Remind your donors of their freedom not to donate

Some interesting research at the Unbounce blog: 5 Research Studies that Will Drastically Affect How You Write Copy.

All five studies are interesting, but one stands out: the “But You Are Free” technique.

It works like this: When you remind donors that They don’t have to give, or they have choices about the amount, timing, or other factors about the gift, they are more likely to respond:

By reaffirming the subject’s freedom, researchers found that the subjects felt less threatened about making a choice.

It’s a simple statement you can add to your message any time. Phrases like:

    Please don’t feel obligated…
  • Whether you give is entirely your choice…
  • Any amount you want to give will help…
  • You are free to say no — I will understand…

These things could improve response. Give it a shot!


Comments

2 responses to “Remind your donors of their freedom not to donate”

  1. Adrian Salmon Avatar
    Adrian Salmon

    Jeff – there was this caveat in the article:
    “There are, however, some problems: While the technique doubled the success rate of persuasive attempts in-person, the effects were less pronounced for when attempts were made over the web (the researchers specifically tested email).”
    In other words they saw the uplift in face to face approaches, not written copy….

  2. Adrian Salmon Avatar
    Adrian Salmon

    Jeff – there was this caveat in the article:
    “There are, however, some problems: While the technique doubled the success rate of persuasive attempts in-person, the effects were less pronounced for when attempts were made over the web (the researchers specifically tested email).”
    In other words they saw the uplift in face to face approaches, not written copy….

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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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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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