Fundraising to Individual Donors at Its Simplest

Keep it simple.

In our experience, effective fundraising to individual donors comes down to two things:

#1 — Sharing why the work of your organization is needed.  What is it that’s going on in the world today that needs to be fixed?  Who is hurting that needs help?  What could we be doing better if only there were more support?

Share this and donors remember why your work is so important.

#2 — Sharing with donors the impact of their previous giving.  What change did the donor help make?  What’s better now because of their giving?

Do this and donors feel like their gift to your organization made a difference.

When an E.D. wonders why the fundraising isn’t working so well, the first thing to do is look to see whether the fundraising comms are effectively communicating these two ideas.

When a fundraising plan or fundraising communications are not working well, it’s usually because these two ideas have been crowded out by information about the organization itself.

But if you build your communications plan to share these ideas, multiple times per year, you’ll raise more money than you would ever expect.

The success of the simplicity will astound you.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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