How To Ask For Donations

Make sure your outreach to consumers is across-the-board, and make it part of your culture—a natural extension of who you are. Don’t limit your efforts to point of sale; move them across all your channels—digital and brick-and-mortar. As a consumer, if I’m asked by a retailer to give at the register but not over mobile or e-commerce, it can seem disjointed and less sincere. This can be challenging for retailers—their IT teams have other priorities—yet they’re doing it, slowly but surely. This measures the overall strength of the email — how many people clicked on a button, image, or text link, you’ll see it in a good click-through rate. Pique interest so people want to learn more, but avoid sounding spammy.

Whether you are crafting an email to potential donors, a social media post, an invitation, or the donation page for your website, your wording impacts the outcome. You can promote your online donation page on a “Ways to Give” page, include links in your email, post on social media, talk about the page at events, and even add the URL to direct mailing materials. Pledge campaigns are time-based, high-intensity fundraising campaigns designed to drum up a lot of support quickly. The main idea is to reach a wide audience of current donors and potential new supporters, who pledge to complete a gift after the drive ends. Fundraising letters are also a great way to talk up your nonprofit and lay out the projects you need help funding. Direct mail fundraising can be used to outline specific donation requests, as well as provide detailed instructions on how the recipient might take the next step to support your cause. Efua Obeng describes herself as an altruistic person who regularly writes checks to charities.

solicit donations

Donors want to be treated like people, not boxes to be checked. Asking over the phone gives donors a good one-on-one experience. But with crowdfunding, the fundraising process takes mere minutes.

Personalize The Appeal

Gratitude is an important factor when asking for donations. Studies show the three primary things donors want to receive from charities they support all revolve around gratitude. However, new research shows that “adding a minimal parameter to the gift solicitation” got better responses than donation requests that did not include parameters. By making a minimum request, you help people understand what you are asking. Using the word “you” grabs your donor’s attention and helps people see themselves as part of the solution. Many nonprofits give their donors credit for funding the work. Help your donors realize that they are the hero in the story–without them, the work does not get done.

How does conspiracy differ from solicitation?


The language is vivid, appealing to our senses and clearly painting the picture of the situation. Such language helps us imagine and empathize — and that leads to donations.

For Help With Your Fundraising Strategy, Hire A Fundraising Consultant

Circle or highlight each time any form of the word “you” appears in your written piece (you, your, yours, etc.). Provide your donors with multiple ways to donate so they can select their preferred method. Show that gratitude by thanking them more than once across different mediums. You shouldn’t “wing it.” Develop a fundraising plan and strategy, and stick to the plan, making adjustments as needed.

By performing prospect research, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your potential donors, and you’ll be able to customize your ask strategy accordingly. If you have plans to raise a certain amount of money in a particular time frame, tell event attendees about that goal and ask them to help you reach it. Phone calls are also ideal for getting in touch with donors who don’t live in your nonprofit’s immediate vicinity. You can easily call up a donor across the country for a chat. Whether they give ten dollars a month for a year or give $5,000 with one check, individual donors have the potential to be the best source of revenue for your nonprofit.

  • Start by including the donor’s name in the salutation (Dear ‘X’), but also experiment with including the donor’s name once or twice in the body of the appeal.
  • When someone shares a crowdfunding campaign on social media or via email, they are essentially asking their entire friend list for a donation.
  • Controlling for other factors that might account for those results, the researchers ruled out guilt, loss of trust, and dislike for the retailer.
  • They can still collect donations while waiting on the 501, but it is best to wait.
  • For email donation letters, ensure that your call-to-action is as high up as possible, and keep in mind that the average donor is going to read it via their phone.

Do not include sensitive information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers. Clarifies notice requirements and when fees and fines are applied. Requires an organization to report changes that materially affect its business identity no more than 30 days after the change. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Select the right charity partner and the right time to launch.

At your next event, highlight the good work you’re doing and ask attendees for their support. Giving Tuesday is wildly successful and is one of the biggest fundraising days of the whole year.

Select The Right Charity Partner And The Right Time To Launch

Invite them to work with you by using a letter or email. Giving Tuesday is a special day of fundraising that started in 2012. They might have limitations on the types of nonprofits that they donate to or have a cap on the amount that they give to charities each year. “Just $5 will help us provide a school lunch for Bobby,” can pack a little more punch.

What is solicited and unsolicited?

In a nutshell, solicited business proposals are done in response to a customer’s need, while unsolicited proposals are used to advertise to potential customers.

The important thing to remember, however, is that each donor is unique and must be treated as a person, not as a wallet. Aim to deepen your connection with them and help ensure that they continue giving down the road.

We’re largely influenced by our perceptions of what our peers are doing — whether it’s our friends or those we deem similar to us. There are many ways to work with this internal motivator to raise more funds. For example, you could support live donation events or otherwise indicate that others are giving to your cause. Using peer-to-peer fundraising software, you can empower your biggest supporters to fundraise on your behalf and thereby expand your reach.

Sometimes, a foundation will award a grant to a particular nonprofit, or a nonprofit can submit an annual grant request to receive grants. Foundations are charitable organizations that issue grants to nonprofits based on mission, location, or size. Remember that when you write a donation message, your community of donors is likely full of busy people. Keep the message short, to the point, with a clear call-to-action and a connection between the donor’s contribution and the impact of their donation.

How To Ask For Donations Online

Don’t forget to follow up after any successful call with a reminder and/or a thank you to the donor. They are usually semi-customized, sent in bulk, and cover the basics of your fundraiser in a few short paragraphs. The National Council of Nonprofits is a proud 501 charitable nonprofit. More and more states are moving the registration process entirely online.

However, an annual fund is now considered to be a nonprofit’s overarching plan or strategy with many components and is crucial for nonprofit fundraising success. Many organizations write letters to individuals and businesses requesting sponsorship for a specific event or fundraiser. Talking to a consultant will help you identify the major donors to contact, plan the most effective fundraising campaigns to achieve your goals, and advise you on annual fund planning.

If your nonprofit will no longer be soliciting in a state where it had previously registered, there may be special filing forms required to “un-register” in that state. If your nonprofit fails to unregister it may be assessed late filing penalties. Read our guide to thank-you letters to learn the best practices for showing your appreciation. Individuals can give to nonprofits by contributing money, time, or goods and services. But you can use phone calls for everyday fundraising, too. Nearly three-fourths of all nonprofit contributions are made by people who are drawn to particular causes, organizations, and missions.

Finish your donation appeal by thanking your recipient for considering a gift, and signing it. Instead, choose an employee, board member, or executive director to represent the collective whole. This helps humanize your nonprofit and reinforces the personal connection between you and the reader. Thanking contributors is one of the simplest, most effective ways to express appreciation, and can encourage donors to give again. This can build confidence and momentum toward the next project, but it has also been shown to boost donations.

solicit donations

As you choose your wording to ask for donations, include a reason! A study of more than 45,000 projects on Kickstarter discovered that ideas using success language in their descriptions and invitations were more likely to reach their fundraising goals. This might surprise you, but the word “donate” kills the donation vibes. Instead, choose words like partner, give, and support. “Donate” gives the impression that you only want their money.

Common Questions About Asking For Donations

Now that you know how to ask for donations, it’s time to start fundraising for your cause, project, or event. Crowdfunding is a great option because it’s quick and easy to set up. You and your friends and family members might not agree oneverything, but when it comes to raising money for a noble cause, worthwhile project, or meaningful event, you’re all probably on the same page. These shared values makes it easy to ask for donations from your peers.

Donors want to be thanked in a timely and personal manner that reflects the impact of their giving. How you say thank-you is likely the single most significant indicator of whether or not the donor will continue to give. Change your words asking for donations to include a “because” as well. “Please consider giving a gift of $300 because our children need your help.” Also, avoid negative phrases when asking for donations. Of course, some content, like a story, cannot always directly pass the “you test.” Make sure everything you write to your donor speaks directly to them and includes “you” language as much as possible. Tell your donors exactly where their donations will go to help them visualize how much their support helps.

If you work for a nonprofit and are reading this, a CRM could help you significantly improve your donor data management . Calls give you the opportunity to eliminate anyone not interested and connect with those who are.

This reminds them that they already decided to give to your organization and invites them to remain committed to their partnership. When you thank potential donors for caring about the cause, you remind them of the person they would like to be or imagine themselves to be. Include “because” in as many of your written communications as possible. The word “because” increased the success rate in the study by over 30%! Dr. Langer demonstrated that people value having a reason to do something.

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