Is your fundraising plan missing this critical element?

So it’s 2014 and you’re excited to get cracking with new fundraising tools and new training. But tools and training can’t replace the plan, and you know that.

So you put together a plan to attract and retain donors in a variety of ways. Through events, on your website, on Facebook and Twitter. And also with email marketing (let’s not forget about that one).

Still, you have this feeling that something’s missing…

Is your fundraising plan missing this critical element?

A plan that lacks a value exchange between your nonprofit and your supporters is like a car without gas. It won’t start.

People won’t join your email list unless there’s value in it for them. People won’t register for your event unless there’s value in it for them. In fact, every single human relationship runs on some sort of value exchange as the fuel.

How charity:water turns being selfish into H2O

charity:water asks their fundraisers to give up something in exchange for being part of a global movement of some very passionate people.


By giving, they get to turn something selfish into something that’s selfLESS. Running a marathon is no longer just about getting in shape. It’s about making a difference. Skydiving is no longer a thrill-seeking high. It’s a way to be a philanthropist and an egomaniac! 🙂

Ask the difficult questions

Defining your value-exchange forces you ask the difficult questions, which are often sorely make neglected:

  • What do we want people to do? This requires you to have specific goals. It also requires that you have the appropriate technology and resources to enable whatever action you want people to take.
  • How are we going to get them to do it? This requires that you know your people. You know what’s important to them, and make that a primary focus. You set things up so that when they take action, they feel like it’s on their terms, not yours. It also requires effective storytelling, clear CTA’s and frictionless technology.

Don’t over complicate this.

Simply include a short paragraph describing what you get and what they get. What do they get in return for joining your email list, volunteering or making a donation?

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