Is Your Fundraising Offer a Good Deal?


Donors are generous, compassionate, value-conscious people.

Donors love it when they feel like they are “getting a good deal” on their donation.

This is why matching grants work so well! To a donor, it feels like she gets to have twice the impact for what she normally gives. To her, it feels like her impact has gone on sale for 50% off.

Because of donors’ desire to get a good deal, offers tend to work better when the cost of the solution seems like a good deal. Let’s look at some offers we’ve had tremendous success with:

  • “$1.92 to feed a homeless person Thanksgiving dinner” seems like a good deal.
  • “$300 to cure a person of a major disease” seems like a good deal.
  • “$10,000 to send an underprivileged girl to an Ivy League college for a year” seems like a good deal.
  • “$50 to join my neighbors in the fight against cancer” seems like a good deal.
  • “Your impact will be DOUBLED by matching funds” seems like a good deal.

As you create your own offers, look for a couple of things to help show donors how they’re getting a good deal:

  • Small parts of big processes that make a big difference. Things like “the cost of airfare to help an adoptive family meet their new child” or “the cost of internet streaming services so that people around the world can watch our sermons.” See how those examples are small parts of big processes – but they seem to have an outsized impact?
  • Anything that has a multiplier. If you use volunteer hours or grants of any kind to help a process or part of a process, that means the cost of that process is lower than it would normally be. For one organization, we helped them see that they were providing over $200-worth of service to local families for just $50. So, now their main offer is, “Just $50 provides over $200 worth of help to a local family to stop domestic violence.”

And any time you can get matching funds, get them. You can use them far more than you think before your donors will tire of them. FAR more.

In a nutshell: any time you can convey to donors that “their gift goes farther/has more impact than normal,” you’ve increased your chances of getting a gift. And of getting a larger gift. Matching funds are proven to increase both the average number of people who respond AND the size of their average gift!

This post is excerpted from the Better Fundraising e-book “Fundraising Offers.” Download it for free, here.


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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