The 10 Commandments for Optimizing Fundraising Success, Part 3
[Editor's note: This is part 3 of a three-part series on the session, "The 10 Commandments: 10 Ageless, Irrefutable, Non-Negotiable Keys to Optimizing Your Fundraising Success," by veteran fundraising consultant Tom Gaffny, at the DMA Nonprofit Federation's New York Nonprofit Conference. Click here to view part 1 and here to view part 2.]
7. Use all five basic human motivators
The five great human motivators, Gaffny said, are fear, greed, guilt, exclusivity and the chance to be God.
Gaffny shared an example of a letter from Paralyzed Veterans of America that hit on all five motivators. It read:
"These beautiful holiday address labels I've enclosed today are a free gift to you without obligation.
"At the same time your continued support of America's paralyzed veterans is so greatly appreciated, but if you've decided not to donate at this time — please, keep our gift and use them for your holiday letters and cards.
"If, however, you're considering a donation, I hope you'll do it today because our paralyzed veterans need your help."
Gaffny said it's important to understand why people give to you:
- They like you.
- They believe in your mission.
- They need you/a friend needs you.
- They like your premiums.
- They have a desire for affiliation.
- They have a desire for recognition.
- They have a sense of obligation.
- And because "it's time."
That last one, Gaffny said, is the single most underrated, underappreciated, untapped and overlooked appeal — yet one of the strongest motivators. People give the most at the end of the year and during big annual fund drives "because it's time."
"Every program should have a mixture of two to four 'it's time' appeals every year, such as an annual fund drive, annual donor drive or summer/winter/fall campaign," Gaffny said.
Something as simple as a billing statement that gets the point across that it's time to give works well. It's the "equivalent to the basket being passed around church," Gaffny said.