|By Shelly Palmer||
|June 8, 2014 07:57 PM EDT||
No, it wasn’t 80s nostalgia. It wasn’t La Forge’s famous visor. It wasn’t even the star power of LeVar Burton himself.
The Opening 100 Words.
The introduction to a donation page is a gateway into a person’s heart, mind and pocketbook. Burton and the “Reading Rainbow” team realize if they can’t hook you right away, you won’t read further, engage with the mission and ultimately donate… EVEN on a project as warm and sentimental as “Reading Rainbow.”
The world moves at lightning speed today, and attention spans come at a premium. (See: How to Improve Everything You Write in Three Minutes or Less.)
Unless you first explain yourself in a concise, focused way, few people will give to your campaign.
OK, let’s dive in. Below are the first 100 words on the Kickstarter page for “Reading Rainbow” (technically 138 for those keeping score).
Hi. LeVar Burton here. You may know me as Kunta Kinte, from ROOTS, or Geordi La Forge, from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
You also may have grown up with me on Reading Rainbow.
It was my mother who taught me that, by picking up a book, I could “go anywhere” and “be anything.” Ever since Reading Rainbow began in 1983, I have dedicated myself to fostering a love of reading in children, just as my mother did for me.
Over the past year, I have watched Kickstarter bring communities together to support artists and inventors. Again and again, I have been inspired by watching like-minded people team up to accomplish impossible dreams, and to change the world.
Now, I am hoping you will join me on my mission: to bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere.
How “Reading Rainbow” Can Help Your Own Donation Campaign
Let’s examine the 138 words up above. LeVar smartly touches on three points to win your attention:
- LeVar introduces himself so the reader connects with another person and not a company or concept, which is vague and unfeeling.
- He explains his deep connection to the mission (“my mother… taught me”) and why it’s so important to him; again, to humanize the project.
- The final line in bold clearly and unequivocally states the purpose of the campaign.
The “Reading Rainbow” people designed a beautiful infographic with facts and figures on childhood literacy. Yet without the brief, effective lead-in, the reader might drift away and never see the colorful information down below.
Plus, the creative Kickstarter rewards! Like $400 for LeVar to record a personalized voicemail for your incoming calls. Imagine if you never read about that!
Remember the Audience
You have a passion for a certain idea, product, movement or cause and plan to ask for donations. That’s wonderful. I hope everyone finds their purpose and fights hard to make it a reality.
Still, projects with the best intentions may go unnoticed if the writer fails to make an immediate connection with the reader.
If you want our money, then first respect our time and attention.
And since I value yours, I’m done writing.
Here’s a little trip down memory lane!
Sep. 24, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,426
Sep. 24, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,637
Sep. 24, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,766
Sep. 24, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,461
Sep. 24, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,575
Sep. 24, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,495
Sep. 24, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,684
Sep. 24, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,528
Sep. 24, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,017
Sep. 24, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,183
Sep. 24, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,671
Sep. 24, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,475
Sep. 24, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 750
Sep. 24, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 740
Sep. 24, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,020