Category: Donor Psychology

  • Why they give

    It can be hard to remember why donors donate. It’s hard because their reasons are usually simpler and more internal than our reasons for valuing our cause. That’s why so much fundraising misses the mark. Because it basically says, “You should donate to this for these reasons” — backed up by facts, statistics, and high-flown…

  • Do AI images work in fundraising?

    The right photo can really boost the power of a fundraising message. But photos pose some ethical and logistical challenges. AI-generated images seem to be solutions to some of those challenges: (The main downside of AI images is that they often look weird. But we should assume this factor will continue to grow less over…

  • How (and why) to give donors permission not to donate

    Give donors “permission” not to donate. I know that may seem odd, because they clearly have that permission whether you give it or not. And most donors, most of the time (including your best donors) exercise their right not to give. Still, when you give that permission, you recognize their autonomy and put a decision…

  • What you can learn from the most hated fundraising TV spot

    If you look up the famous Sarah McLachlan ASPCA TV spot, you could easily come to the conclusion that it is an utter failure. Because everyone hates it so much! Like a thread on Reddit that starts: “These ads are so damn depressing and long that I loath these ads! I am a huge dog…

  • Donors love to rescue struggling nonprofits

    A lot of us have had a tough year this year. Fundraising results have dropped from their pandemic highs. Inflation was hitting many donors. Two big wars have pulled donors away from giving as much to some causes. Giving is down for many organization. Badly down for some. If that’s you, do your donors know?…

  • How to connect with donors by asking

    Some fundraisers would have you believe you’re doing your donors a big favor by “leaving them alone.” By going silent on them. By not giving them opportunities to give. The Veritus Group Blog begs to differ, at Not Asking = Less Love: Showering your donor with love ultimately means challenging your donor to make a…

  • Educating is not fundraising … so what is?

    Educating is not fundraising. This is a hard truth for many of us, because we know a lot more about our cause, the problems we tackle, and the ways we approach our work. It’s natural to assume that if we can deposit some of the knowledge into donors’ minds, they’ll be more likely to give.…

  • Why are your donors interested in the wrong things?

    In the early morning hours of a late-winter day in 1990, two men dressed as police officers got into an art museum. They tied up the two guards on duty in the basement and proceeded to grab 13 pieces of art, most notably two Rembrandts and a Vermeer. They left with their loot and were…

  • 2 of the magic words of fundraising

    Here’s an easy formula for making your fundraising more relevant to donors. It’s just two words: So That, from the Linked in newsletter, Fundraising Friday. Here’s an example from the article: Before We serve orphaned children in southern Malawi by providing education, residential care, family reunification, and vocational training. It’s a listing of program activities.…

  • 4 words you should never use in fundraising

    The need never ends. It’s a common trope in fundraising. It’s based on the assumption that people are motivated to give when they understand that a problem is big and/or intractable. Bad assumption. In fact, statements like that are reasons not to donate. The Better Fundraising Blog points out the problem, at The Need Never…