A top truth for fundraising: it’s about avoiding loss

One of the most important (and most widely ignored) truths about fundraising is this: Fear of loss is more motivating than hope of gain.

Read more about this at Clairification: Fundraising Appeal Psychology: Show People How to Avoid Loss.

Here’s what this mainly tells us: You aren’t going to raise as much with a message saying, “Everything is great; jump on our awesome bandwagon” as you are by making the case for what won’t happen if people don’t donate.

Donors are most likely to give if they know these things:

  1. There’s a specific problem they can understand.
  2. There’s a specific and meaningful solution. Don’t give them the impression that the problem is so big it can’t be solved.
  3. They can be a meaningful part of that solution. Make sure they know their giving level (whether it’s $25 or a million bucks) does something great.

There’s more. But that’s most of what you need to tell donors if you want to succeed.


Comments

2 responses to “A top truth for fundraising: it’s about avoiding loss”

  1. Thanks for the shout out and great synopsis Jeff! We human beings are funny creatures. BTW: Donald Trump played into this fear of loss psychology exceptionally well. Not a political statement. Just a truth.

  2. Thanks for the shout out and great synopsis Jeff! We human beings are funny creatures. BTW: Donald Trump played into this fear of loss psychology exceptionally well. Not a political statement. Just a truth.

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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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