Good Fundraising Habit #57: Always Give Your Donor Reasons to Give Now

Good Fundraising Habit #57: Always Give Your Donor Multiple Reasons to Give Now

The appeal letters and e-appeals that do the best tend to have something in common: they give donors multiple good reasons to give a gift right now.

This highlights a really good habit to get into as a Fundraiser: any time you’re asking for money, give your audience multiple reasons to give a gift right now.

And here’s a list of “reasons to give today” that routinely cause donors to take action:

  • A matching grant with an expiration date
  • A deadline of any kind
  • A shortfall
  • A need facing beneficiaries or the organization right now
  • Telling donors they will love how they feel when they give
  • Stating what will happen if beneficiaries are not helped

Contrast this to what most nonprofit appeals and e-appeals do: tell a story about a person or thing the organization has already helped, and ask the donor to “continue this good work” or “join us as we do more of this.”

If you read those appeals carefully, you’ll see that there’s no reason that the donor’s help is needed today.

And if your donor had two appeals in her hand – and she has at least two on most days – which do you think she’d respond to? The one that asks her to “continue this good work” or the one that gives her several reasons why her gift is needed today?

You know the answer.

So for your next appeal or e-appeal, be sure to include multiple good reasons for your donor to respond immediately after reading it.

You’ll be glad you did because you’ll raise more money.

And believe it or not, your donors will be glad you did, too. They love knowing what your organization and your beneficiaries are facing now, and they love being able to help with a gift!


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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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