Are you raising money for your child’s school trip. Do you struggle to collect urgently needed funds for your local animal shelter? Perhaps you run a large nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for AIDS, saving threatened polar bear or fighting poverty.
No matter how modest or grand your fundraising goals, you need words to pry open those wallets. But have your ever thought about what is the most potent fund
raising word of all? Is it “help”, or “give”, or “please”? No,it’s not.
It is “you”.
I’m betting you’ve just smacked yourself on the forehead and cried, “I already knew that”. Of course you do. You just need a reminder. Or, if you are a newbie at fundraising, you really didn’t know or are so busy firing off reasons your cause needs money that you have simply overlooked this utterly essential component of campaign success.
As in nearly every kind of human relations, the pivotal question, consciously or unconsciously, it, “What’s in it for me?”
In advertising, the answer is very clear. The job of the ad is to drive home the benefits to the customer so the customer will buy. In fundraising, it’s much trickier. The possible donor is being asked to give to benefit someone else, usually a total stranger. Pretty tough sell, you are thinking.
So discover the massive power of “you”. You selling job is the same as in advertising. You convince a donor to give because of what’s in it for them whether it’s the satisfaction of solving a social problem in their community or the warm feeling of know they helped feed a hungry child on the other side of the world. Use the word, “you”, to drive home the personal benefits of giving.
“By giving to the Cherry Street Playground Fund, you are giving your children a happy place to play, transforming the current bit of industrial wasteland that is such an eyesore.
“This dreadful disease has likely touched someone close to you. Now you can feel you’ve really helped fight back by supporting the effort to relieve pain and find a cure.
The power of “you” taps directly into the donor’s self interest. So rather than impersonally listing the needs of your cause, offer as many personal benefits as you can. And watch the donations increase.
Check out the Fundraiser’s Phrase Book. www.hamilhouse.com