Ohio consultant Dean Rieck has several pointers on fundraising:
Create An Urgent, Involving Situation
A general cry for help usually will not trigger the urge to help in potential donors, Rieck writes. “Find a specific situation that requires immediate attention,” he says, “and use it to frame your appeal.”
Dramatize An Individual’s Need
“Don’t talk about masses,” Rieck advises. Even if you are appealing for funds that will benefit millions of people, talk about the needs of a single person.
Rub Your Prospect’s Nose In It
Paint a moving word picture. Show a person’s real-life situation, warts and all.
Explain Exactly What Needs To Happen
“Don’t beat around the bush,” Rieck urges. Present a specific problem. Then detail specifically how money will solve it. Ask for a specific amount.
Make It Urgent
Show that an individual’s life, health, or welfare hangs in the balance. Make it clear that he or she needs help now, not a month from now. Don’t waste time talking about past successes — donors are not history-oriented.
Explain The Dire Consequences Of Delay
Use guilt to your advantage. Don’t lecture, threaten, or bad-mouth the hesitant donor. But be explicit about the bad things that will happen if a generous donation does not arrive now.
Maintain Your Credibility
Do not stonewall. If your particular good cause has been caught with its hands in the cookie jar, admit it without waffling. And tell donors exactly what you have done to correct past lapses.
Thank Your Contributors
Write a note signed by the individual whose condition you have dramatized. He or she should explain how a contribution has relieved pain, and thank the contributor — who is likely to respond with another gift.
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