Whether you are making an in-person solicitation, calling someone on the phone, or writing an email appeal, it’s important to get your fundraising pitch right.
There are simple techniques you can implement right away that will drastically improve your pitch. Here are four ways you can inspire donors to give and to give generously to your cause.
1) Give donors a problem to solve
Show them what the world looks like for a service recipient before that person enters your organization. Focus on the pain points. Your pitch isn’t about asking people for money; it’s about asking people to change someone’s life.
Once you’ve described the problem, describe the solution. How will your organization transform a service recipient’s experience? How will you alleviate their pain?
Now, you can issue that call to action that clearly states that we can solve the problem unless you, Mrs. Donor, open up your heart and donate.
No matter the medium, you should ALWAYS structure your solicitation in terms of problem > solution > call-to-action.
2) Use the word YOU
Make your pitch all about the donor. Your goal should be that at the end of the solicitation, the donor says to you, “THANK YOU for the opportunity to give.”
The act of donating is an expression of someone’s values. Appeal to those values, and you’re sure to solicit a gift.
But if you make it all about the organization, you’re missing a crucial opportunity to invite donors into the story. In many ways, this donation is much more about the donor than it is about service recipients.
You’re asking someone to give you money and receive nothing but a warm glow in return. Make sure that warm glow is palpable.
3) Keep it simple!
Attention spans aren’t getting any longer. The more complex your message is, the easier it is for your audience to get distracted. Don’t make the problem too complicated.
Think of your favorite politician’s stump speech. They have their key points boiled down to digestible talking points. They’re not getting into the details of bills, filibusters, and committee meetings. They’re simplifying the problem and offering you a proactive solution to fix it.
(They’re also likely repeating themselves, hammering home a message over and over again. Steal that strategy, too! If you say something enough times, you’ll cut through all the other clutter and generate stickiness.)
4) The more emotional, the better
The emotional side of our brain is much more generous than the analytic side. Appeal to people’s emotions. Don’t convince them to give. Inspire them to give. Don’t lay out a rational argument. Pull on their heart strings.
Individualize the problem so donors understand what it looks like for a distinct service recipient. This isn’t about the masses; this is about the one person whose life will be forever transformed because of a donor’s gift.
If you can resist the temptation, stay away from facts, figures, and statistics that flip the switch in our brain to make us think more analytically. Stay on the emotional side. It’s better for fundraising results.
The beauty of these tips is that the changes are small, and the effects are enormous. They work across all mediums. And no matter your level of experience, there is always room to improve.