Writing recently at the Hilborn blog (Successful direct mail for smaller charities), Super Excellent Fundraiser Guy Tom Ahern went well beyond the subject of small-charity fundraising to what fundraising is really about:
When I make a gift to a charity, it's not all that much about the charity. It's really more about me. It's about me feeling like a good person, a contributor to a better world.
... the number-one job of fundraising appeals is to tell donors how great they are. That's what so-called "donor-centered" communications are...
That's true no matter how big or small the organization. In fact, smaller nonprofits have an edge in this area. The big guys often have strict brand guidelines that mandate self-centered bragging and unattractive navel-gazing.
If you're serious about raising money for your cause, you'll focus on your donor. You'll turn every statement back toward her. You'll help her discover or rediscover what an empowered, world-changing person she is.