Clever cadence.

Should you use clever cadence in your nonprofit fundraising writing?

“Nattering nabobs of negativity.”

Know who said those words? The same person who said “hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history” and “vicars of vacillation.” Spiro Agnew, 39th Vice President of the United States (1969–1973). In case you were wondering, most people attribute their authorship to Pat Buchannan.

They’re a pretty clever combination of words, huh? But does anyone remember why they were written or spoken? Not really. They just stand out for their cadence.

Why should you, the nonprofit fundraiser, care? Because a clever word combination doesn’t make them – your donors – remember why you wrote. Plain speaking does. Simply telling what your mission does and how it impacts those you serve will raise more money than trying to being cutesy with characters.

So don’t be a “pusillanimous pussyfooter” when it comes to your letters. Just ask ‘em for money, in a way they can understand, for the most important cause in the world: your mission.

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