Fundraising involves effective communications


Words and language need to be carefully selected in our messages whether they are to be communicated verbally or in some form of written format.  The basic principle of fundraising is that we need to ask to get! This is more effective when we link the reason for asking to the needs or the problem that must be overcome. The donor is often motivated by the change that can be brought about by their support. However, so often we make ourselves the ‘pig in the middle’ – our message basically says, give us your dosh and we’ll make a huge difference rather than saying to a donor ‘your dosh will make a huge difference’! (Slightly re-worded of course!)

We need to use powerful words that fit with the emotional and logical motivations of our new or existing supporters. Let’s avoid some of the over-used words and charity sector ‘speak’ that’s too frequently heard or read.

Then, when we thank our supporters what do we say? So often it’s quite dire.  Do we make the donor feel special? What score would you give to your thank-you communications in terms of their ‘tingle factor’?  Do we thank the donor for their generous gift or do we thank the donor for their generosity?  The latter is more powerful and is more likely to help you secure a further gift in the future.  This is more personal, helps build the relationship as it’s less transactional and the donor themselves feel special not just their gift. We connect with the person not just their money! A subtle difference but an important one and helps donors feel they are just an ATM.

Gill is leading a number of training sessions in the coming weeks with the IOF when language and communicating with donors and supporters is covered.   

  • Trusts Fundraising – Getting Started on 21 July
  • Trusts Fundraising – Intermediate Level for Practitioners on 23 July
  • Developing a Powerful Case for Support on 28 July 

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