February 4, 2016 \ Rachel Jellinek
Tips from Tom Ahern on Writing for Digital Donor Communications

Tom Ahern was a recent guest speaker at Women in Development of Greater Boston, sharing tips on writing for Tom Ahern Portraitdigital donor communications. Here are three takeaways I thought were particularly interesting and useful:

  • Using “we” is for public relations. Using “you” is for donor communications. You need to tell the donors that they are needed before they are primed to give. When communicating with donors, it is essential that you include them in your organization’s story.
  • You have to deliver them the emotional gratification of making a difference. One simple way to do that is with the call-to-action buttons on your website. Instead of having the button say, “Donate,” Tom suggests using language like “Join Our Movement,” “Be Part of the Solution,” “Help Us Grow,” etc.
  • He recommends not publishing donor lists. When you share people’s names and their giving levels publicly, you run the risk of making “some people look like cheapskates”, while other people are exposed for having deep pockets, which they might not want as common knowledge.