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7. Fundraising - Your Donors' Needs

The psychology of fundraising will be more thoroughly covered later, but while we are thinking about donors and how to appeal to them, it makes sense to say a few words about what is going through the minds of those who are willing to give money to your non-profit group, in other words your donor's needs. 

Many fundraising organizations assume that people give money for specific causes for "nothing," but this is rarely the case.  Studies have shown that people who are likely to give money to non-profit groups generally do so because they feel they get some "value" from giving.  You need to make sure that your fundraiser does satisfy your donors' needs, so you need to know why people give to non-profit organizations. There are a number of reasons for this:

Fear: Many people give to non-profit organizations because they fear specific events or situation.  Some are afraid of becoming homeless or losing their jobs and so they give to food banks to ensure that a social support system exists for those who have less money.

Contribution: Many people feel that by giving to a non-profit they are making a valuable contribution to society.  This is absolutely correct - non-profit groups do the work that many working people simply do not have the time or the resources to do themselves.  Donors can contribute to this work through volunteering or through money donations. 

By emphasizing how donor money will be used to a make a real difference in people's lives, you will be explaining  to your donors and contributors how their help of your cause is a contribution to society.

Tax deductions: The fact that many gifts to non-profit companies are tax-deductible is often an extra bonus for many donors.  No one likes to pay more taxes than they absolutely have to.  For this reason, you will want to tell your donors when their gifts can be tax deductible and make sure that they get the receipts they need to make their tax deduction claims.

Chance to win: Charitable lotteries and charity casinos are becoming more and more popular.  These events draw not only donors who support a specific non-profit, but these fundraising efforts also draw people who simply wish to win a good prize and also like the benefit of helping a charity while they get this chance to win. If you are running a lottery or raffle, you will want to emphasize to your donors their good chances of winning as well as the contributions they are making to society.

Emotional benefit: If you look at most successful fundraising campaigns, they generally appeal to the emotions rather than just the rational mind.  Non-profits that raise money for international relief, for example, often show emotionally charged pictures of people who do not have the basics of life.  Animal shelters often show saddening pictures of abandoned pets.  The idea is not to manipulate your donors, but rather to make sure that their emotions as well as their intellect understand the importance of your group's cause.  You take part in your non-profit because you think that your group's cause is an important one.  You need to communicate to your donors why the cause is important on an emotional level so that they feel the importance of your non-profit, not just understand it.

Immortality: For a few people, donations are made in order to have a plaque or a statue dedicated to them.  Some individuals like to be known as philanthropists.  In many cases, these individuals are willing to offer larger sums of money in exchange for recognition of their gifts.

Products: Some people take part in fundraising because they want whatever products or services a non-profit is offering through their fundraising efforts.  If you hold a book sale to raise money, for example, you can expect book lovers to show up, whether they want to support your non-profit specifically or not.  If you have useful goods or services you are offering as part of your fundraising, you will want to emphasize this to potential donors.

Now that you have a sense of who will be offering you money, and where to find these individuals, you can start adjusting your ideas to make sure you fill your potential donors' needs.


Next Page: 8. Fundraising - Ideas

Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents

  1. Fundraising - The Basics 
  2. Fundraising - Terminology
  3. Fundraising - Money
  4. Fundraising - Where to Find Donors and How to Reach Them
  5. Fundraising - Targeting Your Donors
  6. Fundraising - Research
  7. Fundraising - Your Donors' Needs
  8. Fundraising - Ideas
  9. Fundraising - Donated Products
  10. Fundraising - Bought Products
  11. Fundraising - Marathons
  12. Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles and more
  13. Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and Bazaars
  14. Fundraising - Fun Events
  15. Fundraising - Drives
  16. Fundraising - Services
  17. Fundraising - Tips for Choosing a Fundraising Idea
  18. Fundraising - Your Plan
  19. Fundraising - Your Team
  20. Fundraising - Staying Organized
  21. Fundraising - Communicating With Your Donors
  22. Fundraising - Advertising
  23. Fundraising - Letters
  24. Fundraising - Emails and more
  25. Fundraising - Person to Person
  26. Fundraising - Thank You Notes
  27. Fundraising - Grant Proposals
  28. Fundraising - Press Releases
  29. Fundraising - With Computers
  30. Fundraising - Secrets to Success
  31. Fundraising - Problems
  32. Fundraising - Conclusions


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