My church launched its annual stewardship campaign recently.
This is a time when every member of our congregation is asked to reflect on our individual time, talent and treasure and determine how we want to give back through one of these gifts. While we’re supposed to reflect on the use of all of our resources, stewardship campaigns eventually turn into fundraising drives, because at the end of the day, churches – like other nonprofits – need MONEY to pay for programs, salaries, rent, etc.
Let’s not begrudge this fact. Let’s simply become better fundraisers!
So how do we ensure that our stewardship and fundraising campaigns are a success?
Repeat after me. “Fundraising is all about tapping into another person’s PASSION for a cause.”
It doesn’t matter what the cause is – feeding the poor, finding alternative sources of energy, or healing broken hearts. PASSION is the underpinning of all philanthropy.
Thus, a first step for all fundraisers is to LEARN what makes our donors feel great! What fuels their passion?
- Why are they excited about our work?
- What makes their hearts’ sing?
- What inspires them to be more generous?
In the for-profit sector, we conduct market research to understand what people want, how they want it, when, and why.
We need similar analyses of donor motivation in the charitable sector.
Money for Good: The U.S. Market for Impact Investments and Charitable Gifts from Individual Donors and Investors by Hope Consulting is a great start. Check out this excellent report to learn more about what motivates donors and use this information to segment your database and create relevant communications, activities, and events that inspire more giving.
Here’s the point:
Don’t fly blind when it comes to understanding why your donors give. Instead, ASK about and LISTEN to your donor’s concerns and fill your appeals with more PASSION!