One of the great things about fundraising is you can find the information and inspiration you need just about anywhere.
I’ve found a treasury of fundraising wisdom in the work of the Beatles …
When I’m Sixty-Four
By a wide margin, donors are older people. Get used to it. Treasure them. Too many nonprofits waste too much energy trying to activate a new generation of young donors. Our culture may be fixated on youth, but when it comes to fundraising, the smart money is on older people.
Can’t Buy Me Love
If you think you can buy donors, think again. Yeah, it takes investment, and you’d better be tracking the numbers, but fundraising is about passion, relationship, connection — and love. Never forget that.
The best fundraising “tactic” is to act (and write) like a normal human being. Act naturally, and you’ll stand out in the crowd of others who are writing either like soulless robots or self-conscious poets — or an unholy combination of both.
Cry Baby Cry
If you really want to motivate people to give, you’d better get emotional. If you can’t make readers cry, you’ll always struggle to make them respond.
If you need help, ask for it. Cry for it! Don’t pretend your organization can go it alone. Fundraising works best when you humble yourself before your donors and say “help!”
With a Little Help from My Friends
You can’t make it without your donors. Don’t forget that — and don’t let them forget, either. Make sure you and they always understand how necessary they are to your cause.
Please Mr Postman
If you use direct mail, get friendly with the Postal Service. Learn their strange ways. Speak their language. It can save you a lot of trouble and money.
PS I love you
Did you know that the most-read part of a direct mail letter is the PS? That’s why you should never omit it, and why it should say whatever is the most important thing you have to say.
Thank You Girl
One of the most important parts of fundraising is thanking. When you thank a donor, you complete the circle. When you don’t, you’re like a mail-order company that doesn’t send what people pay for.
All Together Now
Donors are more likely to respond when they see that others are responding. Social proof is a powerful motivator. Don’t tell donors, “We need you because nobody else is responding” — that’s a reason not to donate. Show them that others care too. We’re in this together!
Tell your donors that their giving is actually making things better! They hear from every side that the world is getting worse and worse all the time … that their donations don’t make a difference. Tell them the truth: Their giving is making things better.
Here Comes the Sun
Donating is an act of hope. Feed that hope! Let them know that their giving makes the change they want to see happen.
I Call Your Name
If you know a donor’s name, use it. One’s own name is the most motivational word there is.
- VIDEO: Bass Players and Fundraisers – the Real Thing
- Almost Everything I Know About Fundraising I Learned from Christmas Carols
Learn more about fundraising with the support of an inspiring online community at The Fundraisingology Lab. Find out more here!