Good Lord. Why in the world have we written nine blog posts on fundraising offers?
- Donor-centric writing is half as important as your fundraising offer
- Organizational-centricity is half as important as your fundraising offer
- Your organization’s or ED’s “voice” is half as important as your fundraising offer
- How effective your organization is – that’s half as important as your fundraising offer
- Your visual brand is half as important as your fundraising offer
- How well-written (or not) the piece is – that’s half as important as your fundraising offer
In other words, in your mass donor fundraising, how you deliver your fundraising offer is half as important as what your fundraising offer is.
(Offers are also important for your major donor fundraising, which we’ll talk about in the next post.)
How do we know that those things are about half as important? Here’s how…
The 40 / 40 / 20 Rule
I learned this rule in 1993, and I find it just as true today:
- 40% of the success of any fundraising is who you are talking to.
- For instance, if you’re talking to major donors, you can expect to raise more money than if you’re talking to non-donors.
- 40% of the success of any fundraising is the Offer.
- As this blog series has shown, the “offer” of any fundraising piece (letter, email, newsletter, etc.) is what you promise will happen when a donor gives a gift. The better your offer, the more money you’ll raise.
- 20% of the success of any fundraising is the “creative” – how you deliver your offer.
- This is the writing style, whether you’re donor-centric or not, the typeface you use, the header on your email, etc.
Note that in the list I started off with, all of those things are in the 20%.
All of those things at the top are half as important as whatever offer you’re using.
Here’s What You Should Do
Any time you’re creating a fundraising piece that’s going to all your donors, be more concerned with what your offer is than with how the piece delivers the offer.
In other words, spend more time thinking about how you’re going to describe what will happen when a donor gives a gift. Spend less time trying to sound like your Executive Director, or with getting your grammar just right.
Because most organizations spend most of their time on how they write. On “getting their voice right.” Or on using brand colors. And those things matter half as much as what you promise will happen when your donor gives a gift.
Spend more time on the portion of your communications that makes the most difference. Spend less time on the portion of your communications that makes the least difference.
Read the entire series:
- How to Create a Great Fundraising Offer: What’s an Offer?
- Why a Good Fundraising Offer Works So Well
- The Ingredients in Successful Offers
- How to Describe the “Solution” Your Organization Provides
- How to Raise More Money by Asking for the Right Amount
- How and Why to Give Your Donors a Reason to Give Today
- What About Internal Experts Who Don’t Like Fundraising Offers?
- How to Make Sure a Low-Priced Offer Does NOT Produce Small Gifts
- Half As Important
- Offers for Major Donors
- Summarizing and Closing This Chapter on Fundraising Offers