How do you get people to buy into your organization and donate during tough times?
This comes down to understanding the concept of a benefit exchange:
- An immediate reward to someone for taking action
- The benefit is something personal and deeply related to their values
- That reward is coming from a messenger they trust
The messenger is key during tough times. One idea would be to frame fundraising appeals such that they come from other donors talking about why they gave. Their reasons for choosing your particular organization elevate the value of your nonprofit in the eyes of the recipient.
If you can plug into topical issues, your message is more likely to get through. Another hot point is to try to key into some of the issues that are front and center in the news. For example, if your organization is focused on the environment, compose your appeals to talk about how you're working to try to combat the $4 gallon of gasoline.
This may be a great opportunity to ask people to sign up for monthly donations. Wallets are tight right now, so donors may appreciate the option to give a little bit each month, rather than making a large credit card donation in December.
Source: Adapted from the Nonprofit 911 Presentation "The Experts Are In! Your Online Fundraising and Nonprofit Marketing Questions Answered."