The power of giving your donors choices

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Here’s a brilliant piece from the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes (an organization that unfortunately has a 0-star rating from Charity Navigator).

The reply device gives the donor two choices — but both choices involve sending a gift:





Donoryesno

Background: The letter details how the organization went ahead and gave Christmas gifts to wounded vets, even though there was no budget for that. Now they’re asking donors to step up and make it good.

Of course, that’s not good policy. And I have to wonder if the story is even true.

But set aside those things and consider what this piece is doing: It gives donors a “voice” while assuming that the donors fully support the goal of supporting the veterans.

Choice is good for fundraising. Even when the choice isn’t very meaningful. It’s like the once-common (now rare) reply device formula that goes like this:

YES! I’m enclosing my gift…
No, I can’t give right now…

Choice allows the donor to engage, even if she can’t give. Or, in this case of this piece, to express her disapproval for a dodgy action while she gives.

Choice does its magic even when it’s meaningless. It can be better yet when the choice is meaningful.

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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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