Relevance is the secret to fundraising. That’s all. If your message fits in with your donor’s life, the chance that she’ll give is very high.But it’s not easy to be relevant. There’s a gap in understanding between you and your donor. You are an expert in your field, she is not.The place where being relevant matters most is your offer — the specific thing you’re asking the donor to do. A relevant fundraising offer has seven elements:1. Problem or opportunityPresent the donor with a specific situation that demands a response. The general, big-picture need for what your organization does will not accomplish this.2. SolutionHelp the donor see that her money does something real, that her gift translates to a solution to the problem.3. CostYou need to connect the problem and situation to her pocketbook. The donor’s part in the solution should feel meaningful. Ask for amounts that are in the neighborhood of the donor’s previous giving.4. UrgencyYou need specific reasons for the donor not to delay her response. If a donor puts the decision aside for later, the chance of it happening drops dramatically. Give a meaningful deadline. And make it clear that there are negative consequences of failure to act.5. ContextA good fundraising offer does not require special knowledge to understand. You should be able to write your offer in one sentence. Avoid professional jargon and solutions that are not closely connected to problems.6. Donor benefitsYou should make it very clear to your donor that something good will come back to her as a result of her giving, such as:Giving will make it possible for us to continue to serve you, or serve others like you.Giving will help make the world or our community a better place.Giving will fulfill a religious or social obligation.Giving will make you feel good.Giving is tax deductible.7. EmotionThe case for any fundraising offer needs to be visceral and emotional — with facts that back it up. You can’t educate a donor into giving. Having an air-tight rational case for your offer will get you nowhere — until you can bring a tear to the donor’s eye.Source: Merkle Orange Papershttp://www.donorpowerblog.com/Copyright © 2007 Merkle Inc.All rights reserved
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