Caution

October 17, 2012

Incentives, benefits and deadlines are all valuable tools we have at our disposal to help raise more money. But be careful not to sell out on the value of your organization when you use them.

…It’s the email that encouraged making a donation now in order to “minimize the need for additional fundraising”…

… or the one that opened to a giant photo of an IPad and gave the “chance to win” as the only reason to give.

What if the first looked something more like this… 

“Your contribution right now ensures that more time and effort can be spent delivering the programs and services you find so valuable.  Help make our campaign successful today so we can continue our important work tomorrow.”

Or the second…

“When you support our organization today, not only will you do something great for our community, but you’ll also be entered to win an IPad, a little something extra to inspire you to do your part now.”

We all have big goals, but we also have a responsibility to the future of our organizations. If a donor’s main motivation to give is based on ending fundraising… or winning a prize… it’s not likely they’ll return to make a second gift. Your up-front investment will be lost, and the long-term financial health of your program will be compromised.