Today’s donor may have less to give, or may be more discriminating in deciding where to give. He’s heard in the media about nonprofits misusing donated funds, or–simply from a business point of view– he wants to give where his dollar can do the most good. This donor wants to be a part of real social change. This donor wants to make an impact.
For your next appeal, talk (and show) Return on Investment. If nothing else, it’s a welcome relief from the wonderful stories of the individual successes you’ve made possible.
You’ll need some real numbers here: the number of vaccinations made possible, the number of animals spayed/neutered (and the calculated reduction in number of offspring), number of homes renovated, or families resettled, trees planted, schoolchildren who had a trip to the theater, volunteer hours organized, counseling hours, meals served, etc.
It’s the same principle as the old thermometer showing the progress of a fundraising campaign. Like that thermometer, it helps if you have a goal to reach pre-figured into the campaign. Interim reports can build excitement and motivation to give.
You’ll want to illustrate with graphics or charts. (Another chance for a creative new look that differs from your usual. Take this opportunity to get creative; go beyond the thermometer and find a clever way to show the magnitude of your results.)
You may not want to use this tactic every time, but try it. It may have more appeal for some donors than others; it might strike a different chord than your usual; it might attract a different giver than the ones you already have. Change it up and see what happens!