Stop Asking Donors To Fund Your Org: Ask Them To Solve A Problem


Most fundraisers believe they have to convince donors to give to their organization. But, asking donors to give to your organization or ministry is not the most effective way to raise money.

Instead, giving your donors a problem they can solve is a much more effective fundraising strategy.

Giving donors a specific problem to solve is the easiest way to start raising more money quickly. Solvable, precise, urgent problems with a definite price point work like crazy!

What does it mean to give the donor a problem to solve? What am I talking about?

Consider with me. How often do we ask donors to:

  • Become a supporter

  • Help us continue this good work

  • Partner with us

  • Help us help them

  • Stand with us

These CTAs (call-to-actions) are vague and confusing. They are all horrible organization-centered appeals that don’t involve the donor in the real problem-solving process (READ MORE HERE).

Stop Limiting Yourself

If I ask donors to give to me, I limit myself to people who intimately know me. But when I ask donors to solve a problem, I open the door for many more donors who know the problem to give. Usually, there are more potential donors that know my problem than know me.

If I am asking people to give to me, I have to take the time to get to know them. But, if I ask people to solve a problem, I can educate and inspire them to solve it. I am limited in how many people I can take the time to know intimately. But I am unlimited in how many people I can educate and inspire.

Donors Want To Make A Difference

The key to fundraising is allowing the donor to make a difference with their gift.

Donors want to solve injustices.

Donors want to fix problems.

Donors want to be the answer.

Fundraising becomes fun when donors see how they can make a difference.

Appeals and newsletters built with this understanding become exciting and powerful. Websites built around solving a problem, rather than around a person, are more engaging.

It is crucial to show donors their potential impact.

Answer the question, what will $25 buy? What will $100 pay for?

  • What does it cost to reach one of your constituents for a day?

  • For a week?

  • For a month

  • For a year?

  • What does it cost to save one animal?

  • What does it cost to preserve one acre of rainforest?

  • What does it cost to buy one uniform?

  • What does one hour of counseling cost?

  • One week?

  • One month?

  • One year?

  • What does it cost to send one person to your day camp?

  • For a day?

  • For a week?

  • For a year?

Tell me that $4 will buy one meal for a homeless person; THAT EXCITES ME BECAUSE THAT IS A PROBLEM I CAN SOLVE!

Tell me that $156 can provide six weekly 12-Step meetings and personal coaching for one man for six months; THAT FIRES ME UP BECAUSE THAT'S A PROBLEM I CAN SOLVE.

Tell me that $25 can provide one day's housing for a person in addiction recovery; THAT MOTIVATES ME TO WRITE A CHECK BECAUSE THAT IS A PROBLEM I CAN SOLVE.

Defining what $25 does makes the $100 donor and $1,000 donor understand that they have done something significant.

Does your organization break down the power of donor gifts to help them understand the possible impact?

Is that reflected on your website giving page? Is that communicated in your appeals?

One of the first exercises I do with my clients is to take their annual budget and divide it by the number of people they impact in a year. Doing this gets them started thinking about the cost of impact. Take the total cost of a program and divide it by the number of people impacted., THIS IS THE COST PER PERSON FOR THAT PROGRAM. Now invite donors to cover the cost for one, two or ten people!

If a program costs $1,000 and impacts 100 people, then the cost of impacting one person is $10 (1000 divided by 100).

Want more resources? Stop inviting donors to support you or your organization. Instead, give them a problem that needs solving and ask them to solve it with a gift.

Free Resource:

To help you see the power of some great nonprofit giving pages that show impact, I have put together a collection of 10 Great Giving Pages. Free to you, I hope it helps you see the power of inviting donors to solve a problem.

Free Download Now: 10 great Giving Pages

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