Writing a Support Letter: Write Authentically

As with any writing, your newsletter will be so much more readable if it’s written in your own voice.

A simple tip to help: Write like you talk!

Since you’re probably writing to your readers directly, it’s ok to use fairly informal language. This isn’t academic writing. You don’t have to “sound smart” and use big, fancy words. Use simple, straightforward language. Use “you,” “I,” “we” rather than “one,” unless it’s absolutely appropriate. You don’t have to keep a distant, clinical tone. That’s actually a lot more off-putting than if you spoke to your readers like you were having a conversation with them. (That cold, sterile language is pretty hard to slog through no matter the context, anyway.)

And there’s no word count or page number you need to meet, so you don’t need to add extra words to drag it out. You can communicate just what you need to in simple, clear language — the language you’d use if you were chatting with them in person.

That’s voice. Now, what do you write about?

Well, you’re lucky. The people who are supporting you are already interested in you and in your work. You don’t have to prove yourself. Share with them. Open up!

It can be a delicate balance. On the one hand, you don’t need to air your dirty laundry for the world. On the other hand, these are people who care. They want to know what’s going on with you, so that they know how to support you.

Here are some general topics that your donors are probably interested in:

  • Your life
  • Your work
  • Ways you are learning or growing

We’ll go into these topics in more depth in the next three blog posts. Just remember as you’re considering how to share about your life, your work, and the things you’re learning, it’s you writing. It’s you your readers want to hear from. So just be yourself!

Do you have any examples of how your connected to others when either you or they wrote authentically?