An Integrated Multichannel Fundraising Campaign Is Easier Than You Think

Here’s an Easy Tool that Can Turn You into a Fundraising Genius

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How often do you see fundraising that asks donors to do things like these?

  • Will you help us do our work by sending a generous contribution?
  • Stand with us today in this important cause.
  • Please show your support for our work.

You see it all the time, right?

That’s too bad because abstract calls to action like these are a quick path to weak fundraising results. Donors are far less likely to respond to abstract, non-specific asks.

The secret to getting a good response is a solid fundraising offer—a call to action that’s specific, clear, and motivating.

If you have a great offer, you can get almost everything else wrong in fundraising and still do okay. You can write boring copy, list rows of statistics instead of telling stories, use clunky design, and even write a too-short letter. If you include a clear and motivating offer, you’ll still do okay.

And here’s how you can do it…

Use the Moceanic Fundraising Offer Report Card.

The Report Card is a selfdiagnostic tool that helps you pinpoint some of the most important characteristics of a solid fundraising offer. These are based on years of testing and experience. Bringing your offers in line with these things helps you create stronger fundraising offers, which means you’ll raise more money and improve donor engagement.

How to use the Fundraising Offer Report Card

Look closely at your fundraising offer, that is, the specific action you want donors to take. The most definitive version of the offer is usually what is says on the reply device, but you can also include things said elsewhere in the communication.

See your offer through the lens of each of the ten statements below. “Grade” each with a number from 0 to 3. The numbers mean: 

0 = Not at all 

1 = Slightly

2 = Pretty much 

3 = Excellent

The characteristics:

The offer is an action

It is something that will happen in the world, not an abstraction.  

It’s photographable

Abstractions can’t be photographed. Your offer should be either an action being taken or an item that will be put to work – or both.  

It has a specific cost

The offer makes it clear what it costs to make the action take place.

The cost is close to what the donor is likely to give

You have a way to make the cost fit all the donors you are reaching with the offer. If you are talking to $25 donors, you should be asking for around $25. If you are talking to $5,000 donors, you should be asking in that range. If you are including both – make sure you have a way to be relevant to all the groups you’re including.

It’s a “bargain”

It should feel that the cost does a lot for the amount. 

The donor’s gift multiplies in some way

Whether the gift is matched by matching funds, or there’s some other way the gift has multiplying impact. 

There’s a reason to give now

There are reasons to donate immediately, not just eventually. 

It’s concrete

It’s not just an ideal, but something that could be sold for money.

It’s easy to understand without special knowledge

Your donors don’t have inside knowledge. You need to make it understandable without it. 

It can be expressed in one sentence

The longer it takes to explain, the weaker it is as an offer. 

Your Offer Score

Add up the total of all those zero through three scores.

You don’t have to get a perfect score on every item! I seldom see that. But the higher your overall score, the better your offer is likely to do. Here’s how to tell how you’ve done:

25+: Your offer is in great shape.

1524: Your offer is good, but could be better. Make revisions on the lower-scoring areas.

14 or lower: Your offer urgently needs to improve.  

A great score doesn’t guarantee a resounding success in the marketplace, but your chance of good results are better with a high score.

Apply the Report Card to your next fundraising project, and see how it helps you do your very best work.

Looking for specific, practical advice and insight for YOUR fundraising – and connection with other fundraisers like yourself? Join our free Facebook community, the Smart Fundraisers Forum.

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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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