Do You Want to Raise More Money?

There are three leading reasons why donors do not give you any money, or make a higher average gift.

That being said, as a fundraising professional for a nonprofit you know there are a variety of factors that influence response. Some you can control and others you can’t.

Let’s focus on what you can control. Specifically, do these poorly and they become 3 reasons why people won’t give:

  1. Tell donors how their money will be used – in a way they can relate to (e.g., avoid huge statistics and dollar amounts); in a way that shows you’re an efficient steward of their money; and in a way that clearly shows they’re helping you to make a difference. Oh, and don’t overdue the doom and gloom because donors won’t believe they can make a difference if you don’t share “hope” in your story.
  2. Stir donor emotions with compelling copy – whether buying a widget or donating to a cause, people from all walks of life make decisions primarily based on emotions. I’m not limiting this to the tear-jerking emotions! You have a multitude of emotions to choose from. But you also need to back it up with the facts and logic that they’ll need to “justify” parting with their money.
  3. Show appreciation and understanding – Be very grateful for their donations and SAY THANK YOU. Send a letter within a week or two of receiving their donation. Show your gratitude whenever and wherever possible. And by “understanding” I mean recognizing that no two donors are alike. For example: Some like to send checks and others prefer credit cards; some like direct mail and others email; some want to help in ways other than sending money; and essentially all donors prefer that every single communication from you is NOT another request for money.

In a nutshell: Deeply stir donor emotions as you tell them what they want to know through compelling copy. Stories are ideal for this. Include facts and figures they can relate to – something they might encounter in their daily lives – to support their emotions with logic. You must also be very flexible in your fundraising and make everything easy for your donors. And finally, express gratitude freely and quickly.