You’ve visited this website because you feel strongly about being of service to other people. More than likely, that means you either give to charity yourself, or you raise money for a charity. Some of you might even do both, and if so we thank you for everything you do!
Raising funds for charity is a difficult thing to do – especially if you’re involved in the front line of the operation. The front line of a charity is the team of people who interact directly with the public, and try to persuade them to part with their hard-earned money for a charitable cause. Anybody who’s done this will tell you how difficult this can be. All you’re doing is trying to bring some cash to a great and deserving cause, but the majority of the public find you an annoyance and an irritation.
You shouldn’t be downhearted by people who try to pour cold water on what you do. It’s a noble way to spend your time, and one that most people would never have the inclination and bravery to try. If more people took an interest in the well-being of charities, as you do, the world would be a better place! We know you’d like to do even better, though, and so we have some thoughts for you on how you can maximize the time you spend when you’re fundraising.
Take Every Rejection As Part Of The Process
A lot of people who are involved in fundraising, whether in person or over the phone, become frustrated by the sheer number of people who either rudely reject them, or completely ignore their existence. This is the wrong approach. Trying to get money out of strangers is like trying to win money at mobile slots. The majority of the times you try, nothing will happen. Far more spins on a Vegas Slots game come up with a losing combination than a winning one. As with mobile slots, though, the very next attempt could be a winner. Also, like mobile slots, you have no idea how big that next win might be! You could receive a massive donation after fifty consecutive rejections.
That’s why it’s vital to deal with each rejection as part of your fundraising process. Thank the people who say no to you – their rejection means you’re not wasting time on them, and you’re now one person closer to your next successful donation. It’s a game of numbers.
Use Encouraging Language
Nobody likes to be asked directly for money. If your lead-in question is ‘would you like to make a donation today?’ you’re using blunt force where subtlety is required. People are more likely to be generous when they feel like they’re becoming part of something larger.
Even if it feels unnatural the first few times you do it, try to use words which make it clear that the person being asked to make a donation is becoming part of the solution, and making a difference. Instead of asking them if they’d like to make a donation, ask them if they would consider becoming a helper? They still realize that they’re going to be asked for money – people aren’t stupid – but you’re encouraging them to think of themselves as doing something good. That’s the feeling they’re buying into. On the topic of feelings, here’s our next tip.
The Power Of Positivity
It’s an absolute, incontrovertible, scientific fact that being generous makes you feel better about yourself. The research has been done, and the conclusion has been reached by people far more qualified than us to say so. Giving to charity should be a happy experience, and pitching to people’s emotions is what gets the most results.
Your charity might be about people or animals who are in need or suffering. The subject matter of your charity might be extremely sad, or even tragic. Bring that into the conversation but don’t dwell on it. Negative emotions won’t get you anywhere. Instead, emphasize what a huge difference the charity can make, and how the situation can be improved. If someone shows interest, tell them what a fantastic thing they would be doing by agreeing to help. Let them know that the success of the charity relies on wonderful people like them. When you’ve secured a donation, don’t stop there. Send them a thank you email or letter. It’s been shown to significantly reduce the number of people who subsequently cancel a direct debit or retract a donation.
Focus On The Singular
There’s a loose rule when it comes to charity appeals – the more people, animals, or other entities involved in the appeal, the more anonymous the appeal becomes. The human brain struggles to visualize large numbers. If they’re told millions of people are starving, people tend to blank the message out. If they’re told one specific person is starving and they can do something about it, they’re more inclined to donate.
Your appeal should have a face, and a story. You might be fundraising for a million children, or ten million dogs, or an entire developing nation, but choose an individual to become the face of that appeal – a real one. Tell your potential charity-givers that individual’s story, and why they’re suffering, and what needs to be done about it. People can buy into an individual account – they go snow-blind trying to deal with thousands of them.
Have Examples Ready
It’s obvious that a donation of one thousand dollars will do more for a charity than one hundred dollars. Using the same logic, one hundred dollars will do more than ten dollars. If people don’t feel like they have a lot to give, then they might not see the point in giving anything because they don’t believe it will make a difference.
This is where it becomes imperative that you have examples to use when it comes to specific amounts. You should be able to tell the people you’re speaking to precisely what ten dollars will do for the charity. Get a great example for twenty-five dollars, and fifty dollars, and one hundred dollars. More importantly, get an example of what can be done with just one single dollar. It might be the most trivial thing in the world, but it must make a difference somewhere down the line. That’s the bigger picture you need your prospective donors to see.
We hope we’ve given you a little more motivation to get out there and do great things; thank you once again for being someone with enough kindness in their heart to do them!
Specific examples of donation benefits