Putting Your Ideas Into a Fundraising Appeal Brief – Blog 2

This is the second blog in our series on Fundraising Appeals, written by our Fundraising Innovation Manager, Brad French. The first blog post was all about the groundwork you need to do to set up a successful fundraising appeal. If you’re following along, by now you should have loads of doodles on your big sheet of paper. The next step is to put these doodles into an appeal brief.

As explained at the start of the first blog, it’s really easy to decide to skip this step as you need money NOW. However, it’s really worth taking the time to put a thorough appeal brief together, as this will force you to think through all aspects of your appeal and identify any issues before it’s too late. 

Here’s a template for an appeal brief that you can complete, or your organisation may have its own that you should follow.

Some top tips for the more challenging parts of the appeal brief:


  • Setting SMART Objectives


Yes, SMART objectives are the bane of everyone’s life, but they are really useful to clarify exactly what you’re trying to achieve. If you haven’t used SMART objectives before then welcome to an annoying new world – more information can be found on them here.

Once you’ve agreed your SMART objectives, it’s a good idea to keep referring back to them to ensure your appeal isn’t heading off in a different direction, which may cause your message to become confused.


  • Key Messages


Key messages are the snippets of information that are going to push someone to donate. Some good ideas for key messages are a short, snappy sentence explaining what you’re trying to achieve, examples of what different donation amounts could achieve and quotes from beneficiaries or experts.


  • A Powerful Appeal Blurb


This is probably the first thing you wanted to do when you considered an appeal. However, by doing all your doodles in blog one and firming up your objectives and key messages first, you’re now in a great position to write a killer blurb.

There’s some great advice on how to write a great fundraising appeal blurb here.


  • Case Studies, Photos and Videos


A picture paints a thousand words and all that… Case studies, photos and videos are fantastic resources to get your message across quickly and effectively. Consider what content you have that can be used and what needs to be gathered ahead of the appeal. 

Once you’ve gathered all the content you need you are officially ready to start creating your communications plan — which is exactly what the next blog in the series will focus on!

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