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5 Tips for Fundraising Success

The five most important things to remember when fundraising

I’m sorry for the clickbait title. It’s not misleading, I am about to give you five bite-sized fundraising tips, but what I hope to convey in this post conveys the five most important things to remember when fundraising.

People give to people

It’s that simple. The way I see it is that a good fundraiser builds, or has a relationship and trust with the people she/he is asking for money from. And for a gift to be given, a donor trusts the fundraiser to be a good steward with the funds. Sure, I will admit there are exceptions to this and an individual can trust an organization, not just a single person…but let’s not be too nitpicky! The important thing to note is to not forget that giving is personal. At any given moment, there are an infinite number of things vying for the average person’s attention, money, time, etc. It is an act of sacrifice to choose to give you, the fundraiser (or organization) his/her attention, money, and time. Don’t forget that. Don’t take it for granted.

Understand what motivates people to give

  1. People give to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

  2. People give as a part of their social/moral/religious duty. Did someone say peer-to-peer campaign?

  3. People give to see change/impact. Tell them how their gift will make a difference, and better yet, show them (qualitatively and quantitatively) how you have done so in the past.

  4. People give because you ask. Sure we have all heard or experienced an unsolicited gift. But face it, that is NOT the norm.

Understand what de-motivates people

  1. A feeling of giving to a failing cause and/or a feeling of futility. This goes hand in hand with showing impact as described above. Also, a plea to keep your beloved organization’s doors open/lights on/etc may work once, but don’t employ that tactic again. “In terror the Boy ran toward the village shouting ‘Wolf! Wolf!’ But though the Villagers heard the cry, they did not run to help him as they had before. ‘He cannot fool us again,’ they said.

  2. Not being followed up with - both through acknowledgement and through the sharing of results. Thank and show impact.

  3. Lack of urgency and/or a feeling of unsustainability. Don’t confuse urgency with #1 above, this is more to say that time-sensitive asks can be persuasive.

  4. Un-targeted asks and ask overload. I wrote an entire 4-part blog series about this for Kindful, click here to start part 1.

Paint a picture of why your organization is the best steward of the money

  1. Demonstrate need - “the current social/political/medical construct leaves these people neglected with no resources.” As related to #3 in de-motivation.

  2. Differentiation - “we are the best organization to solve this problem because…” Similar to how businesses display their unique value proposition.

  3. Demonstrate Impact - “last year, we helped XX people receive XX who previously didn’t have access to it.”

  4. Demonstrate Responsibility - “we are a 4 star charity as rated by Guidestar…”

Think in terms of donor engagement

  1. A wise and business savvy marketing boss I once worked with told me that it takes an average of seven “touch-points” before making a purchase/gift. Keep this in mind as you build a donor journey.

  2. Retention is hard, but possible. Always be engaging.

Want to dive deeper into any of these? Contact me today to discuss!

Matt Clark