5 Weirdly Easy “Life Hacks” That Will Make Your Fundraising Work MUCH Better
OK, thank you, Adriana, and thank you for being here. I'm glad you've joined us, and I hope you get something useful and good that helps your life, get just a little better. Before we get to the material, let me introduce myself. I've been in fundraising for a really long time, 30 years. You know, I like to tell people: I started when I was nine years old. And I've been largely in direct mail, newsletters, digital, kind of everything, OK?
Now, I'm probably lazier than you are. But I love fundraising for nonprofits. It's like the best profession, as far as, like, but certain, so in 30 years of being lazy, but want to do this work, and do it well into it a lot.
I've been thinking, I've kind of come up with some life hacks, and you know what? They might help you, and you get them a lot faster and get them today, instead of waiting for third decades of work to get there.
These things work. They worked for me, and I think they're gonna work for you.
A little bit more about my career. I've worked doing it for a long time for a lot of organizations, the really big ones that I've listed here on my resume, but also the small ones. And the action kind of is where the small and medium organizations are. As most of us work. Most of the time, 99% of nonprofit organizations are, what? we've been classes small.
I am a fundraising allergist over at ... .com. If that makes you curious, surf over there and take a look. My blog is future fundraising now.
Check that out if you get a chance. And if you get a chance take a look at my latest book called How to Turn Words Into Money.
OK, before we launch a little poll, I'm going to launch it here.
So you can answer these questions.
Take it a little bit. There we go.
There's the poll. How difficult is your job as a fundraiser?
Give me your answer.
We are at about half of you have voted.
Votes are pouring in.
Keep it up, keep it up.
I'm going to, you're still voting. I'm going to close the poll in 3, 2. 1 colo is, and let's see what we got here. I always loved this moment or finding out the truth.
Oh, there's a more relaxed group than I usually get up. Nearly half of USA, it's sometimes hard, but sometimes not so much. OK, good, good, I'm glad.
Because usually, I get most of the people, and actually, you know, 36% of you are in those top two categories, in this is a rough world we live in And for those of you already that's complicated.
I know some of you that means something like Health Night one Anyway.
However busy or not busy, you are I hope I can help you today, we, we struggle with a lot of things in this or in this profession.
There's a lot of understaffing, you know, there are all kinds of issues like that we face, and a lot of you are very Responsible. People who take on more than, maybe you should anyway.
Some of these things I'm going to show you will help you get beyond that, so, thanks for that.
OK, here is Fundraising Life Hack Number one, and this is any project you're doing.
I'm going to use direct mail language, even, even though it's not only about direct mail, but I always do this, I write that, the reply coupon first, And that means, you know, if I'm doing an e-mail project, I write the online donation page first.
Whatever is the place where the donor takes the action, OK?
If you do that first, it saves you so much effort, and pain, and all of that stuff, That, that you might, You might be wondering about, OK.
Fundraising, or rather, I put it the other way. from the donor's point of view charitable. Giving is destiny is not a destination.
But it's a journey, but the destination is really, really important. And the destination is, great.
That reply coupon our landing page.
If you know where you're going, everything else in the project you do, goes better.
OK, so let's take a look at one here's here's, here's a direct mail.
Reply coupon, Quality organization called Food for the Poor, OK, now I didn't, I didn't do this one. I just got it. And mail actually. My uncle Maynard. Got it in the mail.
But, let's, let's take a look at Let's say you did this project, and this is all you've done so far in the project.
My gift to feed the hungry. Yes! I want to help starving children closes my gift of $12.
For £50 of rice, and we have a picture of a child. The child is it looks unhappy, it looks like it looks like there's a problem that needs to be solved. And below that, every $12 gift provides another £50 bag of rice. Thank you.
OK, now, there's not a ton of information on here is there?
But you know what when you come to the the brightening everything else. the outer envelope the message if you, if there's any other inserts in there, every other part of it, it's gonna go well because you know, this is what, you know, you can emphasize on that headline?
Which is that's what we're talking about, feeding hungry people.
So you know, you're going to be talking about that and we know that there's a lot of emphasis here on rice and that it's going to be about feeding children.
We actually know also here that there's some, there's some three different amounts. Now, what I can't tell by looking at this is, Did all donors get 12, 24, and 36, or were these amounts variable, depending on the donors giving?
I can't tell that from just looking at this one, but, you know, if you are working on this, and then you could say, Hey, want to make sure these amounts are mentioned in the letter, too.
OK, so by doing that, you, you are just become automatically just miles ahead, I promise you. The whole project goes better when you do this first. In fact, let me take it one step farther.
You can, if a really smart thing to do would be to write the, this piece first, and it actually route it around to all the stakeholders.
Right? Because this is what the arguments should be like. I know how it is in fundraising that you got more than one person in your office.
And there are different ideas of what it ought to say, Right?
Well, do this, and have everybody look at it and say, OK, this is what we're going to have. This is what we're going to ask the donors to do.
And if you're going to have controversy internal within your organization controversy here, where you have only spent a smaller amount of time on it, you haven't put in the whole, all the work and everything, you've just started.
And if it turns out, Oh, you know what, it turns out it's not $12 for £50 of rice, is $14. Well, I'd sure like to know that now, rather than after I've done everything else.
Or maybe we're not doing the right program anymore.
I've had that happen, right?
Well, wouldn't it be nice to find out, before you do the whole project, and say, oh, I gotta change this from the £50 bags of rice to some other, hopefully, similar kind of thing.
So, really, this is what, This is one of the most important things I'm gonna share. I know that this may not seem like it's a big deal. It is a really big deal, It's just all the things you do.
It's a fairly simple document, but this is the, this is the destination of the journey for the donor. Somebody who's going to give is going to stop here, OK?
They're going to hold this thing in their hand, and they're either going to give or not give at that point.
But if they're holding the hand looking at it, they are on the edge of giving.
So when you know what this says, you know what everything else ought to be.
I know I said, you don't just know, but you are so much more on target.
OK, do that, you're going to see a ton of time, a lot of pain.
So let's go to Life Hack number two.
This is kind of similar, and this is the thing I do next, Write your thank you message next.
So, here's what I'm saying. Let's say you're doing your project, let's call this Say it's a Direct Mail project, right? That coupon, first. So, you know the destination, you know, where the donor is going and then write the thank you note.
The thank you note, and, And, by the way, I'm assuming here that you write specific thank you letters. I hope you're doing that. And if you're not doing that, you better, I really recommend you figure out how to do that.
So that, if you do the $12 for £50 of rice, that you have a thank you, where you think people for providing £50 bags of rice for hungry children, OK?
Now, the Thank you message is a little more complex than a reply, but there's more words on it And there's sort of more human connection more emotion, OK.
So, when you do this, it actually takes you one more step down the road toward having clarity about what the project is, OK.
So let's take a look at, Hey, thank you.
Kept me, this is, this isn't the whole letter, but you can kinda see, we just received your kind donation of...
There's an amount on a gate.
Thank you, bless you for generosity, but a blessing your kindnesses, especially during this season. I'm sure you can imagine how painful Thanksgiving be if you have no family and no food because you gave seniors neighbors all over Springfield received wonderful Thanksgiving, Feasts, people like Roy. He's 93 years old, three years old, and blind. Recently, widowed and living alone because there's blindness. He can't prepare woods fields for itself. And you can see it goes on and tells the story about right now.
Because I wrote this, before I wrote the letter, I had a real clarity about the sort of what's the mood of this project we're doing.
Now, of course, I knew I knew that anyway, but it becomes much more clear.
Maybe quite possibly, we even have the same story in the appeal or the e-mail, whatever, the PTS, Maybe we told the story of Roy, 90 through the years, old blind, maybe it's in there. And we're saying you can help people like Roy and then Anna, thank you. We sort of tell the rest of the story. You did help people like Roy and now because he got Helped his, life is better, he's, his health is improving on all those kinds of things.
OK, that, Yes, that's the way I go, every single time. I'm always glad I do it. There are moments when I think, I want to do this in logical order, I wonder, what's The logical order for direct mail? Wouldn't you think the first thing you write is the envelope?
Because it's kinda the first thing, don't disease. Yeah, that's the logical Right, But it's not that great in order so let me show.
Let me give you the Whole Writing order so here's the direct mail writing or you can you'll be able to translate this over to other kinds of projects, But when I do a direct mail project I do it in this order.
Reply coupon first, like I said Thank you, mister Second.
then I finally get to the letter Now, a lot of people start with a letter because it's kind of the You know the central pillar of the projects like where the main All the the story the main arguments the asks. It's all there in that letter, right?
But when you start there, if you don't start with your reply coupland a thank you message.
You're going to have to go back and change and I pray. You know, After you write your letter, then you can write the book, I reply coupon, you get it, then.
Look at the letter again and say, oh, it was a little off target there. Well, skip that step.
All right. OK, so what do I do next?
Well, at that point, all right, the outer envelope.
Because, now it gets, They'll see, I'm doing this late in, the project, right? The outer normal is super, super important. It's maybe the single most important, most impactful thing in a direct mail piece effort.
For e-mail, it's, that's the idea that the subject line is the outer envelope because if they don't open your e-mail or open your letter, you're gone. You're dead in the water, it's not going to happen.
Why haven't gone through this process reply coupon? Thank you message and letter.
I'm a lot smarter about what the outer envelope OK, then I go everything else. There's, there's there's probably other things, you know, you might have a mapper or a picture, or you may have other stuff in your direct mail.
You see you definitely have a return envelope, and you probably should put something on on your return envelope, but that's the last thing you do. It's like fill in the details. But you don't make sure is it more, There's something more I could have said in these, in these first four things that I want to make sure they get, that's when you do that.
OK, I have a little bonus tip for you here and it's about the outer envelope.
And here's your bonus.
The best performing outer envelope you can do most of the time is to not have anything out there at all.
I know, that feels weird.
It feels like you're being lazy, but 75% of the time in testing, and I'll put nothing on it, hot performs an envelope with a cool teaser on it.
Well, because mystery Mattar's, mystery is your best weapon.
And the best way to have mystery is to not say anything. We humans we are innately were like monkeys, like like our near genetic neighbors. Monkeys. We can't persist of history. We have to do something about that.
Now, your best ever appeal in your whole career probably will have an amazing teaser on it.
The go to thing if you're not sure what to do.
Blanck is great.
OK, let's go to Life Hack number three.
Go you crazy.
And what I mean by that is in my first draft, I do this have the word you in every sentence.
I want to emphasize that first draft. Because what you're gonna see, I'm gonna show you a sample.
Yeah, you end up with a somewhat awkward clutter like that you in every sentence thing.
A good number of sentences, they don't read. Well, OK.
But the reason it works, is it, when you do that, in your subsequent drafts, you kinda cleaned it up and make sure the sentences flow and everything, When you do that, you are on target.
Because fundraising, fundamentally, fundraising for nonprofits is about the donor.
It is completely about that. That's the thing you most care about, is, Hey, donor, I'm asking you to take some action. I'm asking you to care. I'm asking you to put your values to action. It's not, Hey, we're a cool organization. We're really responsible. We're great at everything we do. That's not fundraising. That's just bragging. Doesn't work very well if you're doing that. stop.
If, but if you make it about the donor, so the donor goes, Yes, this is a thing I understand I care about, and they want to do.
And that's why you make it about the donor, and it's easy to wander off of that, because you're an expert. You understand your programs, you know, your programs are good. I hope they are. Of course, they are. And that's why so much fundraising just doesn't seem to stay on the donor at all. In fact, a lot of fundraising, I'd say, 80%, I read a ton of fundraising. Most of the fundraising I see is not at all about the donor.
It's about us. It's how awesome we are.
That's not the fundraising, because if you're doing that, got to stop it.
And a really, really good way to stop that is to do that first route. So let me show you an example.
There's a Thanksgiving Appeal again.
Can you imagine, going hungry on Thanksgiving Day?
You can see, I put you probably using red. It's almost unbelievable, don't you think?
But it's happening right here in your community.
Senior citizens living in your neighborhood who live alone and simply can't afford the food to eat, I know you agree, had Thanksgiving. It's devastating.
But that's why I'm writing to you today.
I know it's important to you because you've been generous in your giving to help. I'm hoping well pray that you can give a special gift to share Thanksgiving meals with some neighbors here in the community who really need your help.
So there's a U in every single sentence, there's at least one in every sense.
Now, if you're looking at the saying, some lessons are kind of awkward. And you're absolutely right.
Here's the final draft.
You can see there's no use for the first few sentences hungry on Thanksgiving Day. It's almost unbelievable, but it's happening right here, Oliver Springfield. Senior citizens who live alone simply can't afford the food to eat, Thanksgiving is devastating.
Now, we'll get back to all those users, we can see. This draft is a lot.
This paragraph is quite similar to the first draft that first draft had.
Let me see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 6 years, and this 1 has 4, OK, so, we took some of them.
We are now on target, so even those first three short paragraphs that didn't have using them, they're still aimed at the donor, even though it doesn't specifically have the word, whew!
Now, this, this, this use of the word you, is really critical, is that it's absolutely important, too, aiming at the donor and getting the donor to care.
You know, the hardest thing in the world is to get people just to move off the dime.
You know, if you've ever done major donor fundraising, or you talk specifically to people if any of you are in that at all a very common truth about theirs, it's much harder to get a meeting with your donor than it is to get a recurring donation.
It's harder to get them to just engage than it is to get them to give.
And if you think about it, of course, because actually, most people, their time is more precious than their money.
They've got money Got the least small amounts of money.
They can get away, but a lot of us, including most of our donors, really struggle having the time to read a message like this.
Well, if you send them a message, it's about them, They're more likely to read it, And if they read it, there are a lot more likely to give, because they're going to go, Oh, This is for me. This is something I can do, because that's what you want.
You want them to enter your world and be part of it and make a difference, not support your organization. I know you're awesome. I hope you're awesome.
And I hope you're really responsible and ethical, and all those things that you must be, But that's not why they give. They expect you to be those things.
So make it about them. Make it about the difference they can make through you.
Not give you money so you can make a difference, the difference they can make. So let me tell you, just a little more, here's another sort of bonus hack here. Count pronouns.
OK, now, if you do what I said here in the, you know, starting ever since with word you, and then kind of modify it, so it reads well, you're going to end up with a letter that tends to have a lot of the word here, But if, let's say you're just looking at a letter, maybe somebody else wrote it, you're saying, You know, what should I do?
Here's, here's the thing to count pronouns.
Start with hi.
And, I mean, like all forms of I, the first person pronouns, I, me, my minor, and plural ..., which is wheat, we, and us, and ours, OK, count all of those.
And, here's a letter, I'm just looking at the first page of this letter, it's a longer letter. But let's just say this, look, that's all we're looking at, here.
And I see on this one, there's two.
It says, I twice right there in the first paragraph, now, to my site, Very often, they'll print this, kinda hard to do online. Or, you know, kind of old-fashioned, but I circled them in one color green, or blue, or something.
And then I go back over it again, and I count all of the use, all the forms of you, you, your yours, all of them, And let's see what we got here.
Oh, my goodness.
We have eight of them.
Now, there's nothing really magic about the word, you, the word ... itself.
If you have more, you, then I, you're probably on target.
I'm sure you know it's possible that you have a good pronoun count and a lousy letter is totally possible. But you're really more likely to make you say, I've made an appeal that is really aimed at my audience.
I'm not making the standard mistake.
So many fundraisers make as they make the letter about themselves and they sort of expect the donor to figure it out.
You don't wanna do that. It kinda works sometimes.
And here's my theory on why it works.
It works because the donor reads your ... letter about an amazing you are, and they tell a story. They make up a story that they are in. And that's because donors are great. Donuts are big. They, you know, we'd be in such trouble without donors, but they're even greater than you think.
They take our bad fundraising.
Make it good.
Now, that's not going to do the job for you.
You've got to, you've got some amazing mentors who will always do that for you, You've got another group of donors who might do it for you, and you got into the group with those who will do it for you. And that's why you do this, this way you do this huge thing.
That's what you want to aim at them.
So, my, my little rule, I don't like even put it in writing, because You know. Some people would say. Oh, yeah. You should have twice. Or more as many to use as eyes, OK? No. No, I know. I'm not gonna get that specific. This one has, you know, on the first page has four times as many. Great. Perfect. Great. But all I really ask of you is have more you than I.
That means, probably, that means that this letter is not about the organization.
It's about the donor, It's about the donor's actions. What the donor is going to do.
If you want the donor to do something, you have to make it about what they're going to do, Their values, their connection, but they know what they care about.
That's what it's about.
OK? That was that was a bonus. This is really good thing to do, especially If you have a letter, maybe you've written a letter to kind of wondering if it's, you know, how how strong is flutter, or you're maybe looking at somebody else's work. Somebody said, hey, could you tell me, is this spiel good? This is this is one of the things I do.
I do the pronoun count.
And if I see and what typically, there's like many, many, many more eyes that use most of the time.
That's because, unfortunately, our fundraising is not really being done, right.
Then I don't necessarily tell him fixed the pronoun count. Because that's not really the answer. The answer is, you know what?
I can I can show you with numbers that your letter is not about the donor.
You need to focus more on the donor and the things the donor knows and cares about and wants to do.
So it's just diagnostic. So it's not A, here's how to write.
But as closely connected, if you have a lot of you, you're probably on target. If you have a lot of ..., you're probably not on Target.
I'd say probably because I've seen amazing fundraising letters that did and didn't have the pronoun balance kind of the way you want it. But they did such a great job of connecting with donors without necessarily the word to you by the way.
Another version of the word U is the donor's name, OK? You can get the donor's name in there.
Now you see this, what it has the donor to address at the top, and it has the donuts first name.
In this, in the salutation, You could have the donor's name anywhere in the letter two, that has, that's in a way possibly better than you, because it's definitely catches their eye, OK, That was Life. hack. Number three, Let's go to life hack number four.
Whenever I write a fundraising message, whether Struck mail, e-mail, webpage, anything where I want the donor to do something, I start every message with, I'm writing to you today, because always my start.
And, again, that's my first draft.
Uh, probably 10% of the time or less, it's still in the final draft. That's still the first line.
Most of the time, in this, You know, either disappears, because I edited it out, or it gets moved down and there's something before it.
But here's why I start this way, and why it's so helpful and why it gets me going, is when you say this, it's kind of like that, using the word you, in every sentence, it gets you focused on the reader, the donor.
This can be hard, that this focusing on the donor, it's really hard to do, because you've got all these things going on, it's the program, how it works, it's your budget, goals, it's the time of year. You've got, You're juggling all this information.
And so often, I stick and I see some, I'm, like, I say, I read it. I read a ton of fundraising, constantly reading fundraising. And most of the time, they never get around to why they're writing.
They just kinda start talking, know how that goes. Maybe sometimes you ride the bus or the subway. And a weird person sits down, next, you just starts talking.
You're sitting in your thinking, I mean, regardless of what they're saying, somebody does that.
Know, they're weird people, They will tell you weird things.
But even if they're not, you're kinda going, why are you telling me this?
And you either figure it out or it you just remain annoyed.
I think that in a lot of fundraising, I can't prove this, but I can prove that when you focus on the donor you do, you raise more money, raise funds. But I think a lot of ... less successful fundraising is they never connect with the donor about why we're writing now. What, what's going to be next? in this sentence. In any given, like, I just want you to think about that for a minute.
I'm writing today because whatever your next project that you're going to be working on.
Right, the second half of that sounds like I'm just going to, I'm just gonna give you, like, NaN, Seems like quickly type it down, and Make this your haven't run into that yet.
So, I'll go silent for half a minute, OK. And then Just type that down. You're going to be so happy. you did.
OK, I hope you got something good out of that. But more important than whatever you came up with just now is if you make this part of your, your workflow. I'm writing today because, and again, repeat, you know, It doesn't have to be the way every letter used Ever write starts effectively. Maybe not a great idea.
Because being predictable, not exactly a great nonprofit fundraising strategy, but if you do this, you're going to have on-target fundraising that is connected to the donor.
OK, I actually want to show you an example here.
Here is a sort of typical fundraising. For nearly 40 years, Springfield Cares has been a pioneer in their fundraising efforts to translate bold ideas into breakthrough solutions with a focus on the health of women and children. This is real, by the way, I didn't make this up, This is real. The way I change the name of the organization, obviously.
But this is the way, it's pretty typical.
You might go I felt like I read that one before, but if you feel that way, it's because you can have fundraising is like Oh, like Hey, let's tell them about us. 40 years like this is most important thing is you want to start out with fur with 40 years.
Is there a donor who gives because you've been around for 40 years?
The answer is no, 30 years might matter to them. It might be an issue to them. It's good that you've been around for awhile. That's what, that's all great. But that's not where they're giving.
And they don't give because of your mission. They give because they care.
That's a typical way to do it.
Let's say you started width, I'm writing today, I'm reading here today because some very special kids are facing a disease that might kill them, if you and I don't step up to help.
Can you see a difference there?
Just like the fundamental shift in focus, because we started that way. This is one where the final draft, in the, you know, ended up with that. You know, the magic phrase stayed on there, OK, Like I say, don't worry about that. If you find a better way to start, it pushes this into the second paragraph, or the third, whatever, or in you entirely took it out, because now I'm on Target.
I didn't actually have to say it out loud but do that.
OK, let's get to the final life hack, number five.
Cut the middleman from your message.
Now you're probably going to realize, you know what, but when I say that, I'm kinda saying, again, what I've been saying before.
The Middleman in fundraising is you.
Whatever you do, there's, there's a donor, and then there's a result.
That donor makes a donation, and a result happens, if you're helping people in. Some way, if you're, if you're fighting poverty. If you're fighting disease, they make a donation, and it has a positive result in the life of another person, but, but, Well, regardless of what it is. You're an arts organization. There's the donor, and then there's the art that happens, OK? So that's always what it is.
And fundraising too often focuses on that Middleman, which is just the process.
It's all the things you do to make the good thing happens. Donor gets a gift, OK? You're gonna give us money, and then we're going to do this and that, and this sort of thing.
And they describe the process that's not fundraising.
You have a process, you're good at it.
You're monitoring it to make sure you're doing it right, OK? All that, You have to do that. The donor expects you to do that, but that's not what they're giving money for.
Fundraising, it's about what the donor can do. It's not about what you do.
It's the donor. There's the world that gets better as a result.
Don't get in between.
Always write a message, takes that middleman out.
Now, it's, it's, it's hard because the middleman which gets in the way your fundraising is actually your whole life, all right?
So it can be so difficult to say, OK, well, how do we talk about what we do that we aren't unimportant in it?
I'm going to show you a really easy way to do that.
Get yourself out of the way.
OK, here's a really typical This is real.
I felt that you know this came to me in an e-mail a while back and it said your gift will help us save these final wetlands, OK? Looks familiar, right, You've probably seen this kind of statement many, many times, and all your in your work. What do you do? How do you make that, which seems like a harmless, sort of sentence to say? It seems accurate, right?
Here's a quick edit That completely changes the mood of this sentence And it's to remove the word us.
Now, it's your gift that will help save these vital wetlands, literally, one-word difference.
That's an important change, It might be the most important change, getting that us out of there. Yes.
Us is in there.
in reality, you're in there and you're doing your activities, and you have to do it, and you have to be good at it, and you have to be proud of your work, but that's not why the donor gives the donor gifts to make the thing happen, That this is a donor who cares about the wetlands.
The donor wants the wetlands to be saved.
They don't want to give you money.
If they could do think it's a bit wetland without making a donation, that's probably what they do.
It's not about them giving you money. It's about them saving the wetlands, so make that it, this is the easiest of all the ways to make fundraising better.
Our first drafts, generally have it, like, the first place there, and it's OK, so, right, if your first draft has it wrong, and that's that bill way, because that's the way it looks to you.
But QED to turn it into what it looks like to the donor. So here's another example.
Help us rescue the children. OK, I've seen that before and chew. What's the edit there?
It is, super simple. Now it's rescue the children. Now it's a call to action to the donor in the first one, to call to action to send money.
In the second one, it's a call to action to do a great thing.
The great thing is what they want.
They don't want to fund.
You want to make a thing happen. That way of thinking about this is, donors don't give to fund your programs and processes. They give to make a good thing happen. They don't, they're not paying for processes.
They're paying for outcomes, support our outreach and the school work in the schools becomes theirs. So, it takes a little bit more than a one-word at it, to reach out to kids in the schools, OK? So, really think that through, every time you sort of come to that Call to Action phrase, where you're saying, Here's what I want you to do.
Make sure you change it to, it's not sending money to us.
So we can do a cool thing, is do the cool thing, do the thing that you want.
This is gonna revolution, you are just fundraising.
This is maybe the easiest way to get a lot better fast.
And as you see, it will, it will sort of filter through all the stuff you do. It's going to make a big difference in every way you can imagine.
OK, well, that's, that's the five life hacks, but I'm gonna actually give you a bonus here because I think this one might be even more important, and it's making yourself uncomfortable.
If you're fundraising, feels good.
It's probably off target. If you're not making yourself uncomfortable or your colleagues at your organization or your boss, you're missing it.
You should feel like, Oh, this, I don't know what It feels too simple. It feels too emotional.
You should be thinking those things, because if you're not, if it feels good to you, that means you missed the audience, you start, you were fundraising from yourself, what fundraising from your donors?
So that moment of discomfort, where you kinda go, Whoa, that's a good thing. That tells you, you're on Target.
Fact, I'll tell you what. As a consultant, outside consultants, there's a lot of organizations, one, and I'm not the only one who says this.
If my client loves what I did, they say, oh, Jeff, this is like the best furnishing ever seen.
I go, Oh, no, it's not going to work. I missed the real audience, I aimed at my client instead of, at their donors.
And it's always true. And I almost always wish I had, it's really awkward. Obviously. They say, Hey, this great fundraising, And I say, Oh, I'm going to change it now. That would be kind of weird. Right?
You don't want that to happen.
You should always feel controlled. If your boss or board members go, I don't like this.
That's a sign that you did something, right.
Now, it's possible that you did something wrong and that may in the wrongness, but overwhelmingly all the things you do to make it work better.
Make other people uncomfortable. Remember that this is the important thing you aren't.
Your donors are different from your donor, your colleagues or not, your donor. Your boss is not your board, members are not your donor. Even if any of these people are, you know, I hope all donors, but they're not at all like your donors, They are different demographics. Most likely, they are way more involved, an expert in what you do. They're paying a lot more attention. And that's why you tend to miss it. So, effective fundraising here's some things. These are the things that tend to make people uncomfortable. It's always too simple.
The experts in the organization say you have not, you've really not described how complex our program is, you'd like, left out all the middle, The steps. Well, good, that means you probably got it right.
It's going to feel too urgent because you want your fundraising to move a donor to action right?
Now, not, just give some time when you have a chance, even though you might know, and the people within your organization might know. Well, you know, the money, you know, getting the money, the 24 hours is just good, it's getting it three weeks from now: it's all good.
If you really want to do a good job, you gotta make it feel like we need the money. Now, It's gonna feel too emotional.
Giving is an emotional decision.
It's not a rational decision, basically, that what our brains do is, in fact, this is not just giving this basically, all human decisions are made with the emotional part of our brain.
And then the rational part kicks in and tries to rationalize the emotional decision we just made.
Now, sometimes your rational mind talks you out of the emotion of the snippet, and sometimes that's really good, because you were about to do something stupid, but giving to charity is never something stupid.
So hopefully, they make that emotional decision. And then the rational mind kicks in and says, Yeah, I realize that's a good thing.
But the Insiders: Why are we doing all this emotional stuff when we have a good, rational case for what needs to be done and how we're going to do it?
I hope you do have a rational case. If you don't, you're off target, you're not doing it right. But your fundraising is emotional.
It's also good funding is really repetitive. This is this drives people, crazy board members, especially if they say, why do you ask five times in this letter? What's going on?
What wants to know about anything you want people to do?
You've got to say it a bunch of times too long.
You know what?
This is a big surprise. This is actually super controversial, but it is absolutely one of the most dependable truths in fundraising, long messages almost always outperform short messages.
So, if you're right, If you're trying to write one page, direct mail letters, you are wasting your time.
You should at least go to two pages, better yet, go to four pages. Better yet. Go even more. I right.
Now, and then, 10 and 12 pages, direct mail letters. Now, the only reason I don't typically do that is at that point, you're driving up costs to the point where it's saying that's maybe not such a great idea.
But almost always. And this is something like an 80 to 85% kind of thing and testing long messages outperformed short messages and even an e-mail.
The split is a little less dramatic.
An e-mail, long messages work really well, and so do short messages, but never make it your goal to write a tiny little message, because somebody said, people don't have time to read, I don't, we don't know.
We don't know, people are hungry, but we do know that donor behavior tells us, it's just like, so these are some just typical things. If you do, these things are more likely to succeed, you're also going to make you, and, or other people or organizations really, really uncomfortable, so get comfortable with discomfort.
OK, well, our time is up. There's our, our five that is six life hacks we looked at today. So, hey, I hope you can go out and use these things. Let us know how it goes.
If you have any additional questions, you can e-mail me. I'll be happy to engage with you on that.
And with that, I'll let you go have a great day, Goodby!
Thank you, Jeff, and thanks to everyone, for attending today's fundraising training. Once you log out, you will receive a survey on the presentation. We would really appreciate it if you could complete it and provide your thoughts on today's webinar. Additionally, I posted a link to the questions box where you can submit a short video testimonial about their experience with CharityHowTo. You will get a live webinar for free and also a chance to win an annual Gold membership and a $500 Amazon gift card, and well, that's it. Thanks again, everyone, and have a great rest of your day.