4 Steps to Write a Fundraising Appeal for Advocates

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12.07.2011By

Blackbaud has been doing research for quite some time about the link between advocacy and fundraising.

Back in March of this year, I wrote about a report Blackbaud published showing how activists are seven times more likely to donate to a cause, compared with supporters who did not participate in an advocacy campaign. In their report, they also reported higher click-through rates and average donations amounts from advocates.

How to Follow Up Advocacy Actions with a Fundraising Appeal

Now if your organization has an advocacy effort, you’re at a clear advantage here. The question is how to link advocacy and fundraising without offending your advocates.

Exercise Sincerity and Tact

Remember, advocates are often the ones who spread the word and make real change for your cause. So introducing a fundraising element into your advocacy efforts should be timed with sincerity and tact.

Four Steps to Connect the Dots

Recently, Frank Barry shared four specific ways to embed fundraising into and existing advocacy effort. In a follow-up email:

  1. Say thanks. In an email following an advocacy action, emphasize that their actions matter.
  2. Be reasonable. Advocates are smart people. They know money doesn’t grow on trees. Remind them of the change you’re organization is trying to bring about and the need for money to run a productive campaign.
  3. Ask. Just because they are smart, doesn’t mean they can read your mind. Tell them to donate. Give them specific instructions, with a few choices for dollar amounts, and as as few clicks as possible.
  4. Connect the dots. They know that by signing a petition, they will have a direct impact on the success of an advocacy effort. They also want to have the same confidence about how donating will make change. The more specific you can be about how their money will be used, the better.

What does a fundraising advocacy email look like?

Here’s an example of how to tie these items together in an email:

“Thank you for signing the petition, and joining 50,000 others demanding a better world. As you already know, our success depends on help from people like you. Please take the next step and make a donation today! Your support is critical to our fight.”

Have you developed an appeal for your advocates?