Monday, October 8, 2012

Make Year-End a "Yes!" Instead of a "Yuck!" Answer These 4 Questions in Every Appeal

You already know this but Year-end is THE MOST IMPORTANT time for fundraising.  It can make or break your annual budget. 

According to Blackbaud, 20% of giving happens in December.

According to Network for Good, December giving can be as high as 33%!

How do you ensure that Year-end is a "Yes!" instead of a "Yuck!"  Answer these 4 questions in every appeal.
  • What for?
  • Why me?
  • Why now?
  • Who says?
What for?

It sounds obvious but EVERY appeal you issue (at Year-end and all year long) must describe the purpose of the donation - the more specific the better.  People want to know what their donation will DO in the world and how it will effect change. 

Why me?

People also want to know why they are being solicited and why they should care about making a donation.  This question is not easy to answer because different people have different motivations for giving.  For example, some folks are looking for a tax deduction, especially at Year-end, while others are motivated by altruism.  You need to approach "Why me?" as an empirical question.  Learn about your donors and ask them why they give to some charities vs. others.  Then use this data to tailor your appeals and make your Year-end messaging relevant.

Why now?

By it's very nature, Year-end offers a perfect answer to the question - Why Now? Because Year-end is all about a specific time of year - Giving Season!  Your donors know that it is Year-end.  (They see all the decorations at Target too!)  Still, it's OK to remind them.

Who says?  

In fundraising, the messenger is often more important than the message.  Want to lift response rates?  Give donors examples of who else gives and why.  Donor's Choose does a great job of this.  See below. 

"Social proof" helps donors to feel confident about supporting your charity.  It also helps them feel like they are part of a generous community!



3 comments: said...

So glad you're making good use of the four questions. I am glad they are standing the test of time! More on them here:

Jocelyn said...

Thanks, Katya! It's a great way to organize every appeal!

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