The Power of a Sentence

Updated: April 8, 2023

Originally published: September 16, 2016

In today's digital age, people are exposed to an overwhelming amount of information and messages. Every day, people process 4,000 to 10,000 messages!

In fundraising, it is important to craft your message in a way that stands out from the noise and resonates with your target audience.

Are you ready for your spring appeal campaign?

A good spring appeal will re-engage your donors and provide you with an opportunity to reach out to donors who may have lapsed or decreased their giving. By reminding them of the impact of their past donations and highlighting the organization's ongoing needs, your spring campaign can help re-engage donors and encourage them to make another contribution.

Appeal letters have many elements in common, from personalization, the ask string, or a compelling “P.S.” to spur a reader to action. One element often missing, though, is thepower sentence” that pulls a reader in from the start and compels them to read on.

While determining your message and creating a timeline for mail, email, and social media is key to any campaign, below we include some power sentences to ensure your letters and emails get read, have an impact, and spur action!



How to craft a compelling message for fundraising with Focus Fundraising nonprofit consultants.

Dear John:

How many times have you felt like you wish you could do more?

 Today, you can.


Dear Ms. Smith:

Last year the Phillips’ family thought they wouldn’t spend another Christmas together.

After nearly a year of tough cancer treatments – and a lot of help from doctors and nurses at Northern Hospital – a family has hope and are together for the holidays.


 Dear Jane:

 In the past year, thousands of migrants lost everything and were forced to flee their homes.

Your support can give them stability again.


Dear Mr. Smith:

Learning to read is one of the most powerful skills a child can gain.

Unfortunately, childhood literacy rates have just dropped to their lowest level in ten years.


Dear John:

If you don’t stand up for tougher environmental standards, corporations will keep making their own rules.

Dear Jane:

Expansive. Breathtaking. Undeniably unique.

Next spring, when the Museum of the Arts re-opens, we want you to experience all this and more, first-hand.


Dear Ms. Smith:

You did something truly incredible last year.

Thanks to you, every child who visited the Science Center received a discounted admission and free return family pass.


If you are still staring at a blank screen, wondering how to start a letter that will stand out, try these tips.  And please share other power sentences that have worked for you!