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Home » How to Pitch Non-Profit Copywriting?

How to Pitch Non-Profit Copywriting?

There’s nothing more effective at getting people to open their wallets than a strong persuasive pitch coupled with a relevant call-to-action. As a copywriter, you might be tempted to skip over this part and move on to the fun stuff – designing the copy and creating the headlines that will convince your readers to part with their cash. But here’s a secret: if you want to succeed as a fundraiser, you need to understand how to write a winning pitch.

Let’s explore the art of convincing others to part with their money through compelling writing. We’ll cover topics such as:

Pitch Design

This is the part of the proposal that’ll let you show off your creative and persuasive writing skills. To ensure your pitch is effective, you need to take the time to plan out the whole thing. The best plan is to start with a brief outline, then jot down the key ideas as you come across them. This way you’ll be sure to keep track of the main points – while at the same time, you can easily revise the draft as you go.

As a starting point, you could create a concise, one-page overview of the project. This can serve as a blueprint for your pitch, and it’ll help you stay focused on the main idea – whatever it may be. If you have a specific proposal you’re trying to sell, this page can help you identify the areas you need to focus on so that you don’t waste your time elaborating on things that may not be relevant to your target audience.

The last thing you want to do is waste your precious time with something that’s not even close to being relevant to your goals. The only thing that matters is that you follow the formula for success – and that’s formulaic fundraising: identify the problems, offer a relevant solution, and include all the key stats for credibility.

The Hook

Now that you have your proposal ready, you’re ready to write the hook. The purpose of the hook is to grab the reader’s attention and keep it. After all, if you want the reader to take action – especially when pitched against competitors – you need to make sure that they’re engaged from the very beginning. To achieve this, you need to keep the hook simple, yet compelling. It can be as short as possible, but it needs to contain a clear call-to-action.

Here’s an example of a hook:

“A study conducted by the Global Industry Leaders in Market Research Consulting found that 89% of consumers would be more likely to purchase a product or service if the description were written in an engaging manner.”

In the example above, the hook draws the reader in with the promise of a fascinating read. As a copywriter, you’ve probably found yourself wishing you could grab people’s attention like this, especially when you’re pitching a fairly dull topic like insurance.

Key Ideas

You’ve got a pretty good idea of what your proposal is going to be about now. You’ve got a clear idea of the problem you’re trying to solve, and you’ve also got the key stats that you need to prove your point. At this point, you can start to flesh out the details of your proposal, going into more in-depth information about the product or service you’re offering. Remember, you’re not writing a scholarly monograph here – you’re writing a winning pitch. So don’t embellish beyond what’s necessary.

Your proposal should be concise and to the point. The fewer words there are, the better. Clutter in a proposal suggests a lack of professionalism, and that, in turn, can scare off your potential donors. When editing your proposal, go through each part and eliminate unnecessary words and phrases. Use concrete language and avoid fancy words and phrases. This will make your proposal easier to understand, and it’ll also make you sound more authoritative.

Here are some examples of Key ideas you might want to include:

  • Actionable Research (e.g., “The Nielsen study reveals that out of 200 respondents, 55% are more likely to purchase a product or service if the advertisement offers actionable information rather than just opinions.”)
  • Value Proposition (e.g., “The study shows that brands with a clear value proposition succeed in gaining consumer trust and loyalty, resulting in an increase in consumer spending by 92% over the course of a year. “)
  • Case Studies (e.g.,“Northwestern University’s Beekman Tower Food Hall was experiencing low meal swipe values (average value of $14.29) – despite high average order values (average value of $35.62). After implementing the Bonjoro solution, meal swipe values increased by 45% and average order values increased by 24%.”


A summary is simply a restatement of the key points brought up in the proposal. It serves as a succinct reminder of the details of what was said in the proposal. A summary can help the reader follow the flow of ideas, and it can also be included in the pitch letter as a means of responding to any questions that may arise during the course of the donation cycle.

Here’s an example of a summary:

“Thanks for your time. We appreciate your interest in our organization. Here’s a short summary of the key points discussed in our proposal.”

Again, keep things simple. Don’t use large blocks of text, fancy fonts, or colors. Stick to the basics and keep the language simple. Make sure that every part of the summary is concise and easy to understand. The last thing you want to do is leave your readers confused – especially right at the end, when all they want to do is give you their money and go home.

Executive Summary

An executive summary is an optional, shorter version of the proposal that usually contains the key points. An executive summary is usually no more than 5 to 10 pages long and is meant to be a quick hit for those who have only a few minutes to spare.

We’ve already established the shorter, simpler version of a proposal. An executive summary should follow the same blueprint: keep things concise and to the point. Use simple language and concrete examples. The last thing you want to do is leave your readers with a mind-numbing array of figures and statistics. If you’re worried that something inside the proposal is going to drag, you can always include a brief overview of the project on your website – and link to the full proposal (with citation) if a potential donor wants to read more.

The Problem

This part is pretty self-explanatory. The problem is the thing that you’re trying to solve. A clear and concise problem statement will serve as the backbone of your proposal, and it’ll also help your target audience understand what your project is all about. You can use existing terms or create your own:

“The lack of consumer confidence in the U.S. banking sector is well noted, and this lack of confidence is harming the financial wellness of American families.”

“The growing trend of individuals establishing emergency funds highlights the need for a strong foundation of preparedness. However, the existing banking system leaves much to be desired in this area, resulting in an overwhelming 68% of American Express survey respondents reporting that they’re rarely or never satisfied with the level of financial protection they have.”

“As a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and encouraging individual and corporate philanthropy, the American Institute of Stress argues that donations from the marketplace can play an important role in decreasing stress and anxiety for both the giver and the receiver.”

You get the idea – whatever the problem you’re trying to solve, there should be a suitable and descriptive problem statement. If not, you might end up with a proposal that isn’t all that persuasive.

The Solution

This is the part that’ll convince your readers that your proposal is the best one for the job. As you’ve surely noticed by now, pitching isn’t an easy task, and it takes a lot of preparation and research. Your solution should be tailored to the problem you’ve identified, and it should also solve the problem in a distinct, and convincing manner. In writing this part, you’re going to pull out all the stops and use all the resources at your disposal.

Here’s where you develop your value proposition. What is it that you offer that is uniquely suited to solving the problem you’ve identified?