Make your fundraising local for better results

Charitable gifts aren’t isolated transactions. Every gift comes out of a social context. Donors think a lot about what others know and believe and say when they decide to give.

The Return Customer recently took a look at this in a commercial context at The Power of Localized Social Proof:

When you use localized social proof, customers start to trust you because someone they trust (at your company, in your industry, from your hometown) already trusts you. This borrowed trust is a great foundation upon which to build a relationship with a potential customer. It opens the doors for opportunities you didn’t previously have.

Even implied localized social proof can improve fundraising results. Just mentioning the donor’s city name, as in Join the Seattle campaign against hunger, where the city name is pulled from the donor’s record, can improve fundraising results. I’ve seen that happen many times.

If your cause is local, don’t get tired to keeping that fact in front of donors. If you aren’t local, look for ways to localize it.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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