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Do You Really Need Your Donors?

Anyone reading this that answered “no” needs to get out of the pool.  Of course you need your donors!  They are the lifeblood of every organization.  But can you honestly say that your donors feel needed?  That’s usually a much harder question …

Many organizations are hesitant to let their donors know when they are in dire need of help.  It is almost seen as a flaw in management to admit to donors that the organization needs the help of their donors to get through a rough financial time.  However, donors are much more likely to respond to an appeal when they feel every dollar makes a difference.  Examples:

– “Without your help, we will need to cut program A, B or C”

– “Every dollar we raise will help x more people!”

– “The economy is impacting our fundraising and we need your help now more than ever!”

Another mistake fundraisers often make is assuming some grand campaign will be irresistible to their
donors.  That can be true in some instances, but in many cases, being a $10 donor to a $1,000,000 campaign just isn’t compelling.  Better to ask smaller donors to contribute to something where they’ll perceive that their gift matters.   

Similarly, while every organization wants to change the world, grand plans to help thousands of people can make a problem seem daunting.  Research has shown time and again that people give to individuals, not to groups of people.  By focusing your appeals on a single person who will be helped, you remove many of the abstracts that can keep people at arm’s length from your organization’s work. 

It should go without saying, but probably the most critical step for helping your donors feel needed is to thank them!  After every gift (through thank you letters) and before (within the body of your appeals).  Let your donors know that their support has made your organization what it is today.

Katapult MarketingDo You Really Need Your Donors?