The last couple of weeks we talked about ways you can ask your community to get involved with your work in ways that don’t involve donating money.
With year-end fundraising coming up, today we will focus on donations with another appearance from the fake organization The Center for Wayward Squirrels to provide some sample language.
There are many, many ways to ask for money. To help you get started with your own brainstorming – or to save you from yourself if you have a total block or just can’t make a decision – here are six of our favorite fundraising asks (with six more coming next week!). We’ve seen nonprofits use variations on these many times, with great success.
Want to see real-life fundraising examples (especially direct mail)? SOFII is the place to start.
6 Ways You Can Ask Your Community to Donate
1. The Match
You find a major donor, corporate partner, or foundation to put up a large sum, on the condition that you raise an equal amount from smaller-dollar donors. (Truth be told, most of these matches are given in full anyway, even if you don’t meet the goal, but you certainly don’t say that publicly!)
Give now and your gift will be doubled! Doug Dogman will donate $10,000 if we raise $10,000 from supporters like you by the end of the month.
Break down what you do into how it supports one child, tree, backpack, day of operations, etc.
Adopt a wayward squirrel with your donation of $10 a month. We’ll send you updates on your squirrel several times each year.
3. The Menu
Show what can be accomplished with various gift levels.
Your $25 gift sends one squirrel to Traffic Avoidance Camp. Your $50 gift sends one squirrel to the Traveling on Power Lines without Being Electrocuted Workshop. Your $100 donation pays for Acorn Hoarding Counseling for one fall season for five squirrels.
4. Fighting Evil
Nonprofits are superheroes, fighting against the wrongs of the world, and trying to make them right. Everyone loves an epic battle, especially when they are on the good – and winning – side! Your donor’s gift means the good guys can continue to fight the bad guys. The evil can be incarnate, or it can be an inanimate object, idea, or situation that produces what you and your supporters consider evil results.
Cracked Acorn Syndrome is raging through our squirrel communities, sending squirrel youth wayward. We can stop it now, this fall, but only with your support.
5. The Single Story
Both academic research and practical experience shows that donors can relate better to the story of one – one person, one rescued animal – than a group of people in the same situation. It’s easier for donors to connect, and to see their donation working, when they can picture The One they are helping (even if that one is really a stand-in for the one that the gift will actually help in the future).
This is Fred, the newest squirrel to enter our “Bird Seed Thieving No More” recovery program. He used to swing from feeders daily, mocking people and birds. After a close call with a particularly sneaky cat, Fred knew he needed help, and we were there. Supporters like you were there. Donate today to keep Fred in the program and to ensure others like Fred have somewhere to go.
6. The Emergency
Use the urgency of the situation to motivate action now. You can’t fake this one – the danger must be clear and present.
It’s happening again, right now. Today we saw the first sickening signs of Cracked Acorn Syndrome in our community. It’s not too late to do something, but it will be too late by the end of next week. Can you give today, right now, so our rapid response team can get into the field, and save as many squirrels as we can from this devastating affliction?