Summarizing and Closing This Chapter on Fundraising Offers


Why write eleven blog posts on fundraising offers? More posts on one subject than we’ve ever done before?

Because your offer is that important.

In every piece of fundraising you send out, what you say will happen when a donor gives a gift matters a LOT. (Our clients’ success is directly related to our focus on helping them develop and deliver great offers.)

Here are the five most important ideas from this series:

  1. An “offer” is the main thing a fundraising piece says will happen when the donor gives a gift.
  2. Some offers work better than others. Your job is to figure out which one(s) works best for your organization.
  3. You’ll raise more if you ask your donor to help someone/something that needs help now. Another way to say the same thing: an offer will work best when there is a current need for the thing that your offer promises. This is radically different from the standard approach of, “Here’s a story about someone we’ve already helped, please support our work.”
  4. You’ll tend to raise more if you help donors understand what size gift is needed to make a meaningful difference.
  5. One of the reasons offers work well is because they cause your fundraising to be less about your organization, and more about your cause or beneficiaries.

“Offers” are complex. But when you understand what they are – and understand how to make good ones – you’ll start raising more money immediately.

A good offer serves donors (and potential donors) by helping them understand, quickly, the powerful difference they can make with a gift. That’s far more important than most organizations realize – and can be the key to your success.

Read the entire series:

  1. How to Create a Great Fundraising Offer: What’s an Offer?
  2. Why a Good Fundraising Offer Works So Well
  3. The Ingredients in Successful Offers
  4. How to Describe the “Solution” Your Organization Provides
  5. How to Raise More Money by Asking for the Right Amount
  6. How and Why to Give Your Donors a Reason to Give Today
  7. What About Internal Experts Who Don’t Like Fundraising Offers?
  8. How to Make Sure a Low-Priced Offer Does NOT Produce Small Gifts
  9. Half As Important
  10. Offers for Major Donors

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.

4 comments on “Summarizing and Closing This Chapter on Fundraising Offers

  1. Hey Steve, Thank you so much for your blogs and teachings!!!

    Hopefully, you can answer my question, if I want my offer to be to send a child to day care or camp for a week during a school break so their Mom ( who is a veteran) can continue to work on her degree or go to her job.

    The true cost is $300 week. So, $50 is really just one day Instead of asking for $300, should I ask for $50, even though I tell them the cost for the week is $300?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for writing in! And great question. Yes, the offer should be something like, “$50 sends a child to camp for a day.” (I’d just focus on camp, and would not mention day care unless I had to.) Talk about the power of one day for the kid; the friendships formed, the adventures had, how it wouldn’t be possible for the family to afford this themselves. And talk about how valuable that day is for the Mom (so she can work, or stay in school, so she can keep her family moving forward). I’d mention that it costs $300 for the week, but keep the focus on ‘$50 for a day’ and then have all your gift asks (on the reply card) in increments of $50. Good luck!

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