Raising money for a rescue group or small charity? If you're using either of these phrases, you're probably killing some of your donations.
"If you would just give up one fancy coffee a week, we could...."
Now, there's no doubt that this is true. My personal favorite, the grande Flat White, accompanied by a slice of Lemon Pound Cake, runs around nine bucks. Imagine if you had 100 people giving nine bucks a week! You'd be flush, right?
But here are the problems with using that particular paradigm.
The second problem is that it separates you from your donors. Look, I know how it is. With small charities, you're chief cook and bottle washer all at once. Yeah, it's a public benefit 501(c)(3), but for you, it's personal. It's YOUR 501(c)(3), even though you know it's not.First, it's whiny. "...just give up one fancy..." is a long-suffering, martyr type phrase that subtly -- or not so subtly! -- slams the choices that your potential donor makes every day. It's holier than thou. It's rude. It's all sorts of bad juju.
"I hate people."
But WAIT! You're a people. So are your potential donors. I mean, granted, maybe you can unite behind this shared dislike, but this is counterproductive.
The true path to effective fundraising is building a community. Blanket statements about people who may or may not be potential members of that are not good.
Talk about the tragedy you're looking at -- usually it's a picture of abuse or neglect. Talk about the horror, the suffering, and how you and others can make a difference. Be the change you want to see.
One last word