Fear vs. Possibility

March 13, 2015

The best fundraising appeals paint a vivid picture in your donor’s mind about what their contribution will do. There are two ways to approach the crafting of this picture:

1) Imagine if this went away.

2) Imagine what more this could be.

Both approaches have a place in an effective fundraising program – sometimes even in the same appeal – yet each approach creates a completely different emotional relationship with your donor.

The first is built on fear. It asks the donor to preserve, protect, secure and save something important to themselves or the community. The second is built on possibility. It asks the donor to build, grow, trust and even dream about a better future.

Before you begin a campaign, it’s important to make a conscious choice about which approach you’ll use… to understand why you plan to use it… and to predict its impact on your donors, both in terms of immediate response and long-term connection to your organization.