The secret to asking for donation dollars

Oct 01, 2020

Given that there are so many charities and NFPs vying for donation dollars, how on earth do you stand out from the crowd? How do you convince the generous people and businesses of Australia to give their pennies to YOU, rather than the charity next door?

It’s a really good question, and one that a lot of our clients have been asking. The quick answer – as always – is to tell your story. Stand tall, be honest, and tell the story of WHY you make a difference in the world. Explain the story of WHAT you’d do with any donation dollars. Tell the story of WHY you rely on fundraising. Tell the story of the people you’ll be helping.

That’s the big one! I really can’t emphasise how important it is to tell the human (or animal!) stories. For instance, if you’re a dog shelter, explain to any potential donors that a $10 donation would go towards vet bills for an abandoned dog, so that he could then be rehomed. Tell the story of a dog who came to you in a sad and sorrowful state, and found a loving, happy home because of YOU. Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet!

If you’re a charity that supports the families of premature babies, make it quite clear that you receive no government funding (if that’s the case) and explain that every precious donation goes towards a care package that’s hand-delivered to mothers with babies in the NICU. Then, tell the story of a mother who received one of your care packages, and why it made such a difference to her.

Be transparent, be real, be authentic, be honest. If you’re terribly short of funds, then be upfront about this! It’s okay to put your hand out and say: “We need THIS amount of money to offer THESE specific services to help THESE individual people.” I promise you these stories will resonate much more than generic phrases such as: “Donate now to make a difference to Aussie families.”

Create a very clear, concise and targeted storytelling campaign across ALL your social-media channels, including Instagram stories, and then make it as easy as possible for people to donate. Ensure they don’t have to click too many buttons!

Oh, and don’t forget to remind people that donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE, and they can claim their donations back at the end of the financial year. Spell this out, if you have to!

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