4 Things I Know About Fundraising
Last week, I wrote about fundraising questions I couldn't answer. While it wasn't an exhaustive list, it was what was on my mind in recent weeks. This week, I want to talk about a few things I do know and how these things should impact our fundraising. Again, this isn't an exhaustive list, but rather what I recently have been grappling with.
1. Your target audience is often at least 40 years old. Some nonprofits may attract a younger audience because of their spokespersons, their methods or some other unique factors. But for most of us, we're talking to people who are at least 40 and quite possibly in their 50s or older. Why? Because those are people with disposable income. And donations are often made out of disposable income.
So, what does this mean to you? It means you need to forget what you like when it comes to the look of your online and offline fundraising appeals. Instead, you have to focus on what your likely donor can easily read. The sad truth is that if I want to read many things, I need to put on my $2 reading glasses. I'm not alone; Bausch + Lomb reported last September that "Almost half of women over the age of 40 admit to feeling embarrassed, frumpy or annoyed when reaching for reading glasses, but ... 70 percent wear glasses or contact lenses and still have difficulty reading labels. In addition, more than half of the women surveyed (53 percent) struggle with reading text on their digital devices."
Embarrassed, frumpy or annoyed people may not be inclined to make a donation. So why fight it? Make your font at least 12 point, and limit the use of reverse type. Trust me—it looks nice, but it's just not worth the bother to read it.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.