It’s that time again: year-end fundraising campaigns. Did you know that 67% of our annual gifts wind up in the hands of our favorite charity?
For fundraisers, this brings up an important question. How do you become a supporter’s #1 cause?
Over the last few months, we’ve noticed a fundamental commonality among the most successful nonprofit marketing campaigns: joy.
Stop Shaking Your Cup
We see a lot of non-profits guilting their supporters into donating to their cause, and it’s easy to see why.
Think of the man in the subway station begging for change. In the moment, we feel compelled to give but for the wrong reasons. We want that man to stop making us feel guilty. We give him money so that we can alleviate our guilt, walk away, and stop thinking about it.
When you guilt your donors, this is reaction you are creating. In the short-term, you’ll fill your cup. In the long-term, you are missing out on the opportunity to form a lasting relationship with your donor.
Throw a Party
To be an effective nonprofit marketer, you have to give your supporters a reason to care. That means incorporating joy and community into your messaging. Take a look at this ad from charity: water:
Charity: water could have created a dismal video with sad imagery and slow music. In the short-term, they would have received some money. But, would people have shared the video? Would they have been inspired to hold their own fundraisers? Would they have told everyone about how proud they were to be a supporter of charity: water?
There’s a reason that charity: water raised $13 million in 2011 from over 170,000 individual donors. They went beyond explaining the problem, using a powerful montage of supporters to inspire viewers. Perhaps most importantly, the background music is upbeat and the tone is positive. This video makes you feel good. It feels like a party that you want to be invited to!
Consequently, instead of quickly forgetting about the cause, like the guy in the subway, you want to share it with your friends. You want to join in on the fun!
This is what it means to throw a party for your donors. It means emphasizing the fun, hopeful nature of your organization, not repeatedly pointing out the despairing qualities of the problem that you are trying to solve.
The Power of Positivity
This is a messaging strategy that transcends video. Powerful, positive messaging should permeate throughout all of your organization’s communication channels.
If you need more proof that positive messaging works, check out this video of Susan G Komen supporters performing Gangnum Style before a race:
Now, doesn’t that make you want to fight Breast Cancer?
What do you all think? Do you find positivity or guilt a more effective approach to fundraising?
For more fun ways to engage your donors, check out www.probueno.com.