We’ve had a shortfall… we’ve fallen behind… please help us out….
When organizations find themselves in the position of not meeting goal, it’s tempting to bring the situation to the public in an effort to inspire greater giving.
While your concerned message will likely inspire a handful of saviors to take action, for most it will simply raise more questions. Why is there a shortfall? Are they doing something wrong? Do not enough people care? If no one else is donating maybe I shouldn’t either.
Truly effective fundraising is about supporting the possibilities for the future, not paying off the debts of the past.
Unless the shortfall is significant enough to threaten your organization’s future, don’t mention it specifically. Find other ways to get at it – for example, by setting the goal you need and speaking directly to it.
“Our goal right now is to raise $## to finish the budget year strong and continue to provide essential services long into the future. It is critical that this goal is reached now, and vital that you do your part with your contribution.”
People give to fulfill their needs, not yours. They support strength and stability. They’re inspired by a vision, and by understanding the role they play in helping you serve their values and beliefs.