Keep it Simple, Smartypants

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We created the graphic in our previous post to illustrate a point: the simpler you can make your fundraising the more money you’ll raise.

Now, it’s going to be hard to keep it simple because you are a smartypants. You know all about your cause and your organization. Each level of detail means something important to you.

But you are not the audience for your fundraising. It’s not for you! It’s for people who know far, far less about your cause and your methods than you do. To engage the majority of your donors you need to talk to them at their level of understanding.

Note: If you think you’re going to educate donors into understanding and giving, think again. If you do, your donors are going to go find another organization that makes it simple for them to understand and help.

So keep it simple. And the results back this up; we’ve analyzed hundreds of appeals from hundreds of organizations. The most successful Asks simplify the Problem to something the donor can understand at a glance, and then ask the donor to help in a simple, tangible way.

Jim Shapiro
Jim Shapiro

Jim Shapiro is the fundraising coach you always wanted, the proven Sherpa who can help you get to the top of the mountain. He has 20 years experience raising money, including serving as the VP of Development for a $300m nonprofit. He then co-founded The Better Fundraising Co. to help small-to-medium nonprofits raise more money. Jim is married, serves his community by coaching high school football, and has three children.

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