Secret ingredient

The Fundraising Secret Ingredient You’ll Swear by for the Rest of Your Career

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My Mom had a secret.

It was a magic ingredient she could sprinkle into just about anything she cooked, and it made the food better.

More flavorful. Richer. Just yummier in an almost undefinable way.

She didn’t want people to know her secret, because she had this nagging sense that her magic ingredient was a form of “cheating.” (She was raised in the part of the US Midwest that should be known as the “Guilt Belt,” where the working assumption is that whatever you do, you’re doing it wrong.)

She wouldn’t even tell members of the immediate family. Like me.

I snooped around in her spice cabinet. I found some weird stuff, including a tin of chilli powder with a pull date more than 20 years in the past. I didn’t think that was the secret.

Eventually, I wheedled it out of her.

I’ll tell you what Mom’s Secret Miracle Ingredient was at the end of this post.

I’m thinking about Secret Miracle Ingredients because I just realized we have something much like it in fundraising.

Unlike Mom, I’m willing to tell anyone who cares all about it.

Our secret: Matched Giving Offers.

It works as a sort of magic pixie dust that you can sprinkle onto almost any fundraising project you do. 

And it’s not cheating.

With Matched Giving offers, your fundraising may not taste better, but this Miracle Ingredient will give you these improvements:

  • Stronger response rate. Between 10% and 50% better than the project would do without it.
  • Higher average gift. Usually, anything that improves the response rate decreases the average gift. Not in this case! A small but measurable lift is typical.
  • You can add it to almost anything.
  • You can use it repeatedly. This is not a once-a-year thing. You can do it repeatedly, and it does its magic every time. I’ve seen organizations add match offers to virtually every fundraising project they do … and it keeps on working.

The other amazing thing about matched giving offers is that there are very few ways to muck it up. Believe me, I’ve stood by while organizations tried every which way to make it not work — through obfuscation — but it just works anyway. Most of the time. There are a couple things you can do that kill it, but surprisingly few.

So, start using matched giving offers. Early and often.

If you feel a bit nervous about it — the way I felt the first time I added Mom’s Secret Miracle Ingredient — I don’t blame you. Unfamiliar ingredients can be intimidating. 

So let me tell you where you can get some help from an expert: For the next couple of weeks, Sean Triner is opening his calendar to people like you to talk about how you can add matched giving offers to your fundraising. For free.

Just click here to get on Sean’s schedule.

You’ll have direct access to Sean’s calendar, and you can quickly find a time that works for you. Then you’ll have a Zoom meeting with him. He’ll ask you a few questions, and show you the way toward putting these offers to work.

It will cost you nothing, and you won’t be obligated or pressured to do anything. Just a quick conversation with a cool guy in Australia who knows a lot about fundraising.

I urge you to give it a try. Talk to Sean. You have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain for your organization.

Mom’s Secret Miracle Ingredient?  It’s celery salt. Which is what it sounds like, a mixture of salt and ground celery seeds. It makes almost everything taste better. Use it in savory foods. It doesn’t help sweet things — as far as I know.

Schedule your free 25-minute call with Sean. You’ll get practical, experience-based free advice about raising more money for your organization. Click here to book your call.

Please share your experience by leaving your reply below. We’d love to learn from your experience. 

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  • Jeff Brooks

    Jeff Brooks is a Fundraisingologist at Moceanic. He has more than 30 years of experience in fundraising, and has worked as a writer and creative director on behalf of top nonprofits around the world, including CARE, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Feeding America, and many others.

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