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Advance Philanthropy by Answering 4 Donor Questions: Your Appeal will Thank You!

Given all the passion and efforts you pour into your mission year-round, it’s only natural to emphasize your organization and its reason for existence in your appeal. After all, an educated and well-informed donor is your best donor…right? Is it possible, however, that your focus on the WHAT and WHY of your mission leaves out the all-important WHO? I’m referring to your donors, of course.

The best, results-producing fundraising appeals are donor-focused. And, if your appeal answers the following key donor questions in a compelling way, you will you have opened up avenues for tremendous success down the line.

  1. Why me? Your donors, whether they’re first-timers or repeat donors, need to flat-out care about what you’re doing. So, answer this question by showing them that what you do is personally relevant to them.

  2. Why now? Create a sense of urgency and give donors a break-down of why a donation is needed at this precise moment. Show any immediately visible results that will make people want to take swift action. With most donations occurring toward the end of the year (i.e., year-end tax contributions), think about all those other opportunities that present themselves throughout the year. By successfully answering ‘why now’ throughout the year, you’ll feel less pressure at the end of the year.

  3. What for? Aside from donors knowing that you need them to keep your nonprofit afloat, do they know how their gifts are used? Are you focused less on need and more on the impact donors have on specific programs they care about? Basically, have you made them the heroes of your story? You should.

  4. Who says? What if the messenger(s) of your ‘ask’ were some of your most loyal supporters? People readily say that friends and family greatly influence where they give money. So, tap into this opportunity and think about how you can get your best supporters to speak for you and to their circles of influence. Leverage the power of the message and the power of the messenger at the same time.

So, as a professional who’s trying to advance philanthropy and the mission you hold so dear, do yourself a favor by successfully answering these basic and important questions. Your appeal will thank you!

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