'And I Should Support You ... Why?'
Charity propositions mostly offer the "customer" a sense of satisfaction in making something good happen, but there are some instances where value can be given to the donor. Membership organizations offer incentives that are attractive to an interested audience, such as free entry to museums, galleries or nature reserves; special events; and magazines. Although some purists dislike these "commercial" propositions, there is no doubt that they are very effective in increasing membership and engaging more people with the issues that organizations are involved in.
"Sponsorship" can be a very successful way to reach more supporters, as well. International development charities such as Plan, World Vision and ActionAid have built large and loyal supporter bases around the proposition of "sponsor a child." Donors want evidence that their gifts do good and are prepared to pay a premium to read that evidence in letters from the children or communities they sponsor.
The fundraising proposition should be one of the sharpest tools in the fundraiser's toolbox, but its blade should never be allowed to dull. Look inside your organization to develop new propositions, and keep an eye on the external environment, too. Examine the propositions you use, and ask yourself, "Could they do with sharpening up a little?"
Nick Couldry is a U.K.-based freelance charity writer. Reach him via his website.