Motivate Giving with Results, Real People, and Reminders

February 26, 2014


Last year, 287 local nonprofits raised $2.78 million dollars in just 36 hours during our community’s second Giving Challenge. Where did all of that money go?

Every organization has its own stories to tell about the good things accomplished through philanthropy, and donors and funders need to hear these stories.

That’s why we loved getting an email from our friends at Habitat for Humanity Sarasota last week sharing news about a Habitat house that will be built with Giving Challenge dollars raised last year.

This communication is just what donors and funders like to hear for a few reasons:

  • We can visualize and understand the real impact of the dollars raised.
  • We can share in the positive emotion generated from the good work we helped to accomplish.
  • We have affirmation that the organization values our relationship, even when they aren’t asking for money.

Donors feel motivated to give again when they can see and feel the results of their gifts in action, when they feel appreciated, and when they have evidence that their gift made a difference—even if it was $25.

No matter how “grassroots” or busy your team may be with the work of programs and services, making time for meaningful and consistent communication with your supporters is essential if you want to inspire donors to give again and to recruit their own networks to join your cause.

Consider the value of communicating using results, real people and reminders as you frame your ongoing messages.

  • Results: What has your organization achieved because of your donors’ past support?
  • Real people: Who are some recipients of your programs and services?
  • Reminders: How can a gift of $25, $100, or $1,000 make a difference now?

Kivi Leroux Miller’s “6 R’s of Messaging” post has some other fabulous “R’s” to consider.

Thanks, Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, for giving us a great example to share.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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