Michael Malekoff Consulting

Event Fundraising

20 Phrases to make your donor feel like a hero.

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It’s not just asking for a donation, but how you ask that makes the difference. Securing donations requires understanding what motivates the person to give or to delete your request. Engaging a potential donor is only half the battle. The real challenge is actually securing the donation. Here are 20 phrases to engage your donor and pay attention to the use of the word “you” in each phrase. Have fun with these phrases or creating your own to make your donor feel like a hero.

  1. Have you ever felt…
  2. You helped us achieve this, John or Joan.
  3. If only you could have seen the joy on their faces.
  4. Through your kindness today, we can…
  5. Can you imagine…
  6. You make changes like this possible.
  7. All of this happens because of people like you, John or Joan.
  8. You help us keep that hope/dream/vision alive.
  9. I want to share an amazing story with you today.
  10. Without you, we could never have achieved so much.
  11. I think you’ll understand…
  12. There is hope…and the hope is you, John or Joan.
  13. Please will you do that for someone like…
  14. You have the power to change all of that.
  15. I promise you that your money will…
  16. You know what it’s like when…
  17. I urgently need your help.
  18. Your gift will change/save a life.
  19. Please will you help me, John or Joan?
  20. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Data is king. You heard me right; data is king. Without data and the ability to understand data, analyzing event progress and developing a strategic plan becomes a guessing game. Over the next few weeks I will be addressing data and providing ideas to help you improve things like registration, retention of participants and, most important, retention of dollars. Today’s technology provides a wealth of information on your participants/donors. It’s a matter of interpreting the data, segmenting the data and drawing conclusions to impact your bottom line.
In the meantime, here is some survey info picked up from a recent conference about donor preferences. Use it wisely. Understanding what motivates your donor makes a difference to improve their loyalty.

What matters most to donors:

  • 71% – Money is used wisely
  • 69% – Good Reputation
  • 68% – Strong belief in mission/cause
  • 53% – My support makes a difference

Why donors leave:

  • 5% – Thought charity did not need them
  • 8% – No info on how monies were used
  • 9% – No memory of supporting
  • 13% – Never got thanked for donating
  • 16% – Death
  • 18% – Poor communication or service
  • 36% – Others more deserving
  • 54% – Could no longer afford

57% of donors would like communication at least once a month.
A 3-minute thank you call will boost first year donor retention by 30%.

The “Big Picture” of Event Fundraising

As the website is built out and content is added, a great starting point is identifying the basic elements of a successful fundraising event. By addressing each and every one of the items on the list, your event is going in the right direction. On the other hand, skip any one, or several, and your event is facing challenges.
The dynamics and execution of an event as it relates to fundraising has many facets and can be daunting at times, juggling multiple balls simultaneously in a finite timeframe. Here are my top categories that lead to a successful event. Over the course of the next few weeks and months I’ll be addressing the makeup of these categories. For today here is the “Big Picture.” Of course, if you think I’ve missed anything I’d be happy to add to the list.

Success is a combination of:

  • Engaging Programs
  • Well-Trained Staff
  • Efficient Technology
  • Donor/Participant Acquisition (Marketing)
  • Board/Volunteer Support

Program Audience

  • Target or Expanded
  • Market Penetration
  • Enhancements to improve results

Staff Support

  • Resources to Succeed
  • Training & Structure
  • Incentives to Perform

Business Strategies

  • Program evaluation
  • Business Metrics
  • Retention of Participants & Dollars

Utilizing Technology

  • Technology Advancements
  • Increase Organization Footprint
  • Provide Donors Tools & Flexibility
  • DIY & Endurance

Identify Opportunities

  • Access Best Practices
  • New Perspective
  • Self-Evaluation
  • Investment of Time