Urgency is a powerful fundraising ingredient that motivates donors to action. Adding a deadline to almost any fundraising effort will usually improve your results.
Your donors’ lives are BUSY. A deadline – especially deadlines with consequences – gives them another reason to stop what they are doing and send in a gift today.
And here’s how a deadline helps you. When delivering a major donor appeal for support, I always ask the donor to send me their gift or financial pledge by a certain date. Including a “respond by” date does a couple of things for the donor and for me:
- The donor knows exactly what to do and when to do it by.
- The donor knows that if the gift isn’t received by a certain date that there is a negative consequence for the project, person or program we are trying to fund.
- It gives me a clear reason to contact the donor again if I don’t receive their gift by the response date.
So the next time you ask your donors to make a donation, be sure you’ve included a “response by” date and that you have clearly stated the negative consequence that will happen if they don’t send in a gift by then. You don’t have to hit them over the head with it, but deadlines are magic. And consequences, however small, help a donor realize that their gift really is important.