The Coach’s Appeal Tip Page

The Coach’s Appeal Tip Page

Appeals, written correctly, are one of the best ways to increase giving at your church. The key is writing them well. Here is my one-page summary of tips for making your appeals appealing.

First, we must understand that vision drives dollars. The reason most direct appeals fail for churches is not that they are not written well but that the message is not appealing. Every appeal MUST touch the heart of the donor before they will send you any money. What is the vision driving the appeal?

We teach what we call the 3 C’s of vision. Make the vision of your appeal…

  • Clear – If I can’t make sense of what my gift will accomplish, I will not give it.
  • Concise – Get to the point. Shorter is better as people quickly skim any appeal.
  • Compelling – The more compelling the message, the more effective the results.

My top 10 writing tips for church appeals – Since I am an advocate of writing concise appeal letters, let me list out my top 10 writing tips.

  1. Write and send them! You won’t know if appeals work or not if you don’t first send them. So, get your appeals out!
  2. Don’t be boring. I always try to tell a story of real-life change that will make my appeals interesting.
  3. Start with a bang! If you don’t grab their attention in the first few lines, they won’t read the appeal, and you won’t get any money.
  4. Get in and get out. The second C of the vision is concise. So, get to the point!
  5. Personalize it. Dear Mark is much better than Dear Church member.
  6. Use bold and underlined text. Just as your eye was drawn to the bold in my text, so will your readers be drawn to your bold and underlined text.
  7. Use bullet points. People skim, so make it easy for them to get the facts quickly.
  8. Use multiple links to your giving page. Again, since people skim, you need to put your giving link in more than one place. Consider putting a link early in the text and another somewhere further into the text. Then, put another link in the PS. Speaking of which …
  9. Always include a PS. Studies show people almost always read a PS. I do this in both emails and snail mail letters. I also put one bonus sentence in my texts.
  10. Always include an easy way to respond. Make it easy for people to respond, and they will be more likely to respond. Snail mail should include a self-addressed envelope. Emails and text appeals should have clickable links to your giving portal.

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