In an interesting post, To PS? Or not to PS?, fundraising expert Tom Ahern raised the topic of the P.S. in fundraising letters.
He points out that the P.S. in most fundraising appeals simply reiterates the ask, but that Mal Warwick thinks this is a mistake. Mal says to use this space to add some additional information instead of just restating the offer.
Question is, why do fundraising letters have a P.S. that just repeats the offer?
This is something you wouldn't do in commercial direct response. In that arena, you'd save a benefit or at least an interesting or unusual piece of information for the P.S. and include that with the call to action.
Part of the problem is that the P.S. is usually written last, as an afterthought, probably because it's the last part of the letter. But in reality, the P.S. is so important that it should be one of the first things to be written. It's one of the first things people look at when they get our appeals.
So instead of a P.S. like this:
P.S. See your gift double in impact to save people from leprosy.
We can add some interest, maybe with something like this:
P.S. Act now to see your gift do twice as much good with matching funds. I've enclosed a stamped reply envelope for your convenience. What could be easier? Save these hurting people from leprosy. Please give now.
Then again, we can power up the P.S. with even more energy, maybe like this:
P.S. Did you know that men are twice as likely to get leprosy than women? Science can't explain why. But we do know that leprosy is completely curable -- with your support. Please give now, and your generosity will:
- Double in impact with matching funds, doing twice as much good to save lives.
- Deliver the antibiotics that will cure suffering people of leprosy.
- Send doctors and nurses into poverty zones to treat and heal these hurting people.
- Demonstrate the cause of Christ at work in our world.
- And much more.
Bless these suffering people with your compassion and show God's love. Please give now to transform the lives that leprosy tries to destroy. I'm counting on you. Please give now.
That's pretty long -- almost a whole new letter. But since the P.S. is so important, isn't it worth taking some space from the letter to make the P.S. stronger? It would be an interesting test.
P.S. Whatever you do, don't skip the P.S. on your fundraising letter!