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You should try "Full Goldilocks" 🐻 fundraising writing ✍️

Published about 1 year agoΒ β€’Β 3 min read

No matter where you are on the "perfect" scale, I hope you know you are just right. Also: this is the 83rd issue of the Fundraising Writing Newsletter. Please forward it as much as you can bear. They can ​subscribe here for free.

In this issue:

  • You should try "Full Goldilocks" 🐻 fundraising writing ✍️
  • Randomly yours: to inspire and recharge you

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Hi Reader,

A few weeks ago, Brett and I went to the movies to catch the 25th anniversary edition of Titanic in 3D (cried again! β€” and, oof, shocked myself by how much I empathized with the older characters this time!)...

...and we accidentally arrived over an hour early...

...so we did something naughty (sorry, AMC!)...

...we snuck into another theater to while the time away.

It was Theater #13, showing Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

We had zero expectations.

Just thought: something light before something heavy.

And, wow, Puss in Boots had us on cuteness overload, grinning ear to ear.

In the film a key enemy-turned-ally for Puss in Boots is Goldilocks, an orphan taken in by a crime family of three bears: Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Baby Bear.

As per Goldilocks' claim to fame, there's a moment where she tries a bed that's too soft, one that's too hard, and one that's just right.

Which, nerdy me, eventually got me thinking of sentence and paragraph variety and "Full Goldilocks" fundraising writing...


You should try "Full Goldilocks" 🐻 fundraising writing ✍️

Okay, to clarify:

In my mind, Goldilocks suggests "just right" β€” aka, when testing beds or porridge or what-have-you: the one in the middle.

Also in my mind, "Full Goldilocks" suggests the whole spectrum of options β€” aka, all 3 bears (little, medium, big).

So: the "Full Goldilocks" fundraising writing approach = writing with all 3 bears.

E.g.,

Short sentences, for sure.

Plus sentences of medium length included regularly, like generous dashes of salt.

And, importantly, don't forget sentences of greater length β€” perhaps extending a thought or a string of thoughts with the help of punctuation ... for variety and effect.

(See what I did there...?)

(The "e.g. sentences" were all 3 bears: little, medium, big.)

Now, look for the "Full Goldilocks" fundraising writing approach on display in this example from the end of an appeal letter we wrote for a client for EOY 2022:

Did you spot all 3 bears?

Allow me to illustrate with highlighting. Refer to the color-coding key in the following screenshot:

Key takeaways for "Full Goldilocks" sentence variety:

  • There's no one way to do this. Just make sure you have a balance of all 3 bears: short little sentences, medium sentences, and big long sentences.
  • "Baby Bear" sentences read quicker and cuter.
  • You should be able to feel the variety. Too much of one "bear" will feel off.

Now, let's look again ... this time, for paragraph variety:

Key takeaways for "Full Goldilocks" paragraph variety:

  • There's no one way to do this. Just make sure you have a balance of all 3 bears: short little paragraphs, medium paragraphs, and big long paragraphs.
  • "Baby Bear" paragraphs read quicker and cuter.
  • You should be able to feel the variety. Too much of one "bear" will feel off.

Hey, those are (pretty much) the same takeaways!

Hey, this is easy!

Fundraising life lesson: even if you're not from the Chicago area, GO BEARS (the Mama Bears and Papa Bears) and GO CUBS (the Baby Bears)!

Yep, this is your year: GO ALL 3 BEARS!!


Randomly yours: to inspire and recharge you

For your brain, heart, and funny bone...

  • Fundraisingly Informative β€” Mistakes in fundraising that work out well by Jeff Brooks (a blog post that inspires with examples of how mistakes can lead to successes because they get noticed)
    ​
  • Historymakingly Newsworthy β€” GPT-4 Is Here + The Group Chat Bank Run via Hard Fork (a 1-hour, 11-minute podcast episode about what some tech insiders are calling the biggest week ever for artificial intelligence news)
    ​
  • Futuristically Innovative β€” Amazing Invention- This Drone Will Change Everything by Mark Rober (a 21-minute YouTube video about new drone technology delivering blood to hospitals in Rwanda and potentially delivering food and sundries to you in the near future)
    ​
  • Powerfully Simple β€” Unlocking the Power of Simplicity by Sahil Bloom (a newsletter issue about how and why to audit your life for simplicity in the digital, physical, social, and mental realms)
    ​
  • Impossibly Fast β€” The Gap Between Impossible and Normal by Seth Godin (a short blog post with an embedded Ice-Ice-Baby-in-the-Matrix mashup music video showing how quickly things are changing, largely because of tech like AI, so that what used to be impossible is now normal)

Until next time: May you embrace life and fundraising with a "Full Goldilocks" mindset, so your loved ones, admirers, and other supporters never hibernate on you.

All our best,

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PS: Hey β€” here's the third in our weekly video series called Win It in a Minute. You can subscribe here.

In this video, Tom answers the question:

"With a case for support, is short and sweet better?"

video preview

Want to become a case writing expert in an afternoon? Register for Tom's March 30th webinar all about "How to Write a Fabulous Case!"

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​PPS: Need help with your donor comms? Book a free call with us. We'd love to talk to you about how we might stir your donors' hearts to action for your good cause.

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