Fundraise Smarter

5 Things to Remember When Asking for a Donation

Posted by alexmcdowell27 on Dec 3, 2013 1:04:33 PM

Last week we celebrated a day for giving thanks, and today - Giving Tuesday - is a day for giving back. All across the country, charities are connecting with their supporters and raising funds. Just in time for the philanthropic day, WeDidIt has come out with 5 things for non-profits to remember when making their appeal for donations:

1. Explain where the donation is going – Emphasize the current projects your organization is working on and explain how donations will directly help this initiative.

2. Describe the mission in simpler terms – Craft a simple message that explains the organization’s mission and why the donation is important. One or two sentences should do. The goal is to have an easy to understand message that can be quickly shared by supporters to new donors. (Of course always have more information on hand if it is requested.)

3. Show don’t tell – Use videos and photos to illustrate the work your organization does. Give people who have never heard of your organization before an idea of who the people that make up your organization are. The more personal and genuine your organization can appear the more other people can relate to it.

4. Brag – Tell everyone what your organization has accomplished this year and is years past. What was the high point, where were their struggles? Be honest but don’t be modest. The goal is to show that your organization is serious about its mission and with the increased funding can achieve even more in the year ahead.

5. Pick up the phone and dial – It’s not easy to call your supporters out of the blue and make a hard ask for a donation and it can feel counter-intuitive. But this year, in addition to your mass emails or mail and letter campaign, also consider making a phone call or two. Speaking with someone over the phone is a much better outlet for you to do the above steps: tell them what their donation will go towards, tell them about your organization's accomplishments, and come off as a real person who is doing great work (which if you work full time for a non-profit, you are) and most importantly wish them a happy holiday and make the hard ask for a donation.

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