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The Donor Skim

Did you know that the net worth of the Ricketts family who own the World Champion Chicago Cubs is far greater than the net worth of the entire population of the city of Chicago?

It’s not true, I’m kidding, so don’t bother to look it up.

No matter what you believe about the size of the fortune of this family, the idea itself may have been a mental hurdle for your brain to overcome.

Here’s the point I’m hoping to make: it made you think, didn’t it?

Maybe you spent just a little time wondering about this family and what their lifestyle is, what they do with all of their money. Maybe you also wondered if any of them have “real” jobs.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could present this kind of “mental hurdle” to your donors when they read your various communications?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that you confuse them. Not at all.

I’m talking about engaging them right away so they don’t skim your letter –which is what most donors and prospects do.

Here’s an example of two unique and remarkably important events that occurred in December of 2016, which, at first glance, may seem to be unrelated but, on closer consideration, are intimately connected:

  • No one knows for certain where either of these monumental incidents occurred but best guesses put one somewhere in Africa and the other most likely in South America.

  • In Africa, folks who are supposed to know such things say a child was born and became the planet’s 7-billionth person.

  • And somewhere in South America, perhaps Brazil, some farmer planted the 3-billionth acre of genetically modified seed.

  • The chances are at least 50-50 that the world’s 7-billionth person is going to grow up in poverty and be subject to disease or civil war that most likely will shorten his or her life. And hunger will probably be the child’s constant companion.

  • That’s exactly what makes the second occurrence a remarkable achievement and what links these two milestones so closely together. We’ve all heard dire predictions that the population may reach a point beyond which we can no longer provide food for all.

  • Consider the reality of population dynamics and the limitations of production agriculture. Technology like transgenic seed is a way to close the gap and has already improved production efficiency. That’s the good news. Farmers around the world have technologies to feed the planet. Please consider a gift XYZ to promote the education of farmers who (…………………………………you, get the picture, I’m sure.)

As a fundraiser, can you see how this would cause your donor to really consider the good being accomplished? That’s the point of this strategy.

And wouldn’t it be great if, instead of skimming your letter, you gave your donors cause to linger and think about your cause and how you’re making the world a better place?

Have you ever tried this strategy of presenting two dissimilar, yet very important events and linking them to your mission? Please share with us.

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