It is better to look marvelous

What your letter looks like can sometimes be just as important as what it says, according to a panel of nonprofit consultants.

Luke Vander Linden, formerly vice president and senior marketing director at Carl Bloom Associates; Christine Shiloski, senior account executive for Mal Warwick Associates/Donordigital; Lori Burns, senior vice president at Russ Reid Company, and Ami Tripi, president of Tripi Consulting teamed up for a panel session at a recent fundraising conference.

The quartet bandied about various suggestions about how to make your letter look as good as it reads:

  • Use short declarative sentences;
  • Try occasional underlining or bolding of words or short clauses – but not entire sentences;
  • Employ one-line or indented paragraphs;
  • Incorporate wide margins and more white space; and,
  • Keep the donor reading by inserting incomplete, non-grammatical sentences that start with “and” or “but.”