Words, Words, Words
Eliza Doolittle, in the film “My Fair Lady,” sings a song of protest as she repeats her phonetics: “Words, words, words. Words all day.” Does it really matter how we pronounce them, and the words we choose? Apparently, she didn’t think so.
In the dead rush to raise much-needed funds for our charitable passions, we sometimes forget that the words we choose in reaching out to our supporters need to be chosen with them in mind. There’s a unique fundraising idea.
Consider these two statements:
“We need $124,345.17 to meet our annual fund goal. Give now, so we can balance our budget.”
“We’re less than $125,000 from our annual fund goal of $1 million. Your gift will insure the availability of scholarships for our most deserving students.”
Which would you most likely respond positively to?
The irony here is that the first statement was the one actually used in the appeal, even as the second was equally accurate. Ouch!
Donors want to see outcomes, make a difference. They’re almost never interested in meeting an internal budgeted number to give the program director or chief financial officer that glowing feeling.
There’s the unique fundraising idea again. Using words that donors want to hear.
The next time you’re shopping and you thank the clerk for your package, think about the difference between the ubiquitous response of, “No problem” and the much more infrequent, “It’s my pleasure.”
Which would you prefer to hear?
Principle 7 of The Eight Principles™ is Renew & Refresh. We go a long way in renewing our best supporters by simply remembering their favorite words.
To your fundraising success!
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
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