As organizations begin to fundraise more, we advise them to develop what we call an “evergreen offer.”
That’s an offer that is:
- Easy for donors and non-donors to understand,
- Closely aligned to your main mission, and importantly…
- Can be “seasonalized” to work during different times of the year
Here’s an example of what this looks like for an organization we’ve served for almost a decade:
$33 provides a night of safety and care for a mom and her kids
What makes this offer so helpful for the organization is that it can be made to work during every season…
In the summer: “No Mom and her children should have to live and sleep outside during this dangerous heatwave. Your $33 provides a night of safety and care to help…”
In the winter: “It’s dangerous for a mother and her children to sleep outside or in their car during our freezing nights. Your $33 provides a night of safety and care to help…”
For Thanksgiving: “Mothers and their children should not have to be homeless at Thanksgiving! You can provide a night of safety and care – plus a Thanksgiving feast – for just $33…”
Evergreen Offers usually involve a program or service that your organization runs all year long. The trick is to break up seasons into “slices” and talk about the reason the program or service is needed during that season.
Then you’re always giving donors a reason to give now – which is one of the keys to raising money in email and the mail.
Evergreen offers also allow you to raise more money with less work. The “more money” part comes from growing more and more effective at delivering the offer. You quickly get better at knowing what to mention, and what not to mention.
The “less work” part comes from your spending less time inventing new things to talk about. And you spend less time creating each piece because you’ve already created something similar and successful in the past. You have a “model” to follow that makes all subsequent fundraising easier.
If you haven’t already, brainstorm ideas for your organization’s evergreen offer. Try them in email to see which one works the best. Then try it in the mail. You, and your donors, will love what happens!
One comment on “The Magic of an Evergreen Fundraising Offer”
I love this idea and as a donor it appeals to me.
However, I work for a research and advocacy organization focused on policy change (we don’t provide “direct service” and as such most of our funds pay salaries) and haven’t been able to find a way to apply this concept to my own work.