OK, it’s time for some good news. (This month we had a loooooong series of posts about complaints. I’m sorry? You’re welcome?)
There’s a free daily email called “GoodNewsletter” that I encourage you to subscribe to.
It has nothing to do with fundraising – it’s a daily email with a couple of stories of good things that have happened in the world.
It’s nice to have a bit of good news in my inbox every morning. Sign up here if you’re interested.
It’s a great reminder that progress is being made.
On a related note, I think the highest form of fundraising program shows donors both the needs for action and progress that’s been made (the good news). It sends out pieces of fundraising that focus on the needs and ask donors to help. It sends out pieces of fundraising that focus on the progress that was made and thanks donors. (This is why there’s both an “Ask” and a “Report” in fundraising’s Virtuous Circle.)
Because seeing only one side has negative consequences. Seeing only good news leads donors to think that the problem your organization works on isn’t particularly big or harmful.* Sounds like things are going great and no help is needed today! And seeing only bad news leads donors to think that the problem is unsolvable. Sounds like things will never get better.
So, share both.
If your organization shares both the needs and the progress, you’ll create donors who both understand the need for action now and know that their gifts (and your organization) have made a difference.
Those are the kind of donors you want. And you can create them with the right mix of messages.
* This does not apply to some organizations where “bad news” of problem they work on personally affects the donor. In other words, the donor doesn’t need to hear the “bad news” from the organization because they are living it. This happens with causes like Cancer – when a loved one has it, you never forget what it was like. Or with the environment – when you live near a place that’s been damaged, you’re constantly reminded of it. I’m convinced that’s why some organizations don’t need to share any bad news in their fundraising, yet they still succeed. And I’m convinced that if you’re at the type of organization whose “bad news” doesn’t affect any of your donors, you should share the “bad news” with them if you’d like to raise more.