Is your non-profit making this mistake with fundraising appeals?

Are there gaps – or is there a disconnect – with what your organisation wants, versus what your client (or even donor, if you’re a non-profit) will ultimately vote and decide with their wallets?

I’ve come across posts of other people’s clients wanting them to change website copy and remove the word “clients”, or change the words “elderly” and “seniors” to “older adults”…. Which could probably affect their own SEO, since the search terms for “older adults” is probably not as high.

Some orgs also want their copy to appear upbeat, avoiding any sad angles, or to be “assertive”. People can be what they want to be, but the trouble is whether their own clients or donors choose to give them money based on what they see and read.

Now, lemme ask you a question. If you watched an Avengers movie where everybody was happy from the start till end, would you or anyone else watch it?

Or would you watch a romance movie (if it’s your thing) where the guy and girl are in love and in a relationship and stay that way throughout the entire movie?

Chances are, No.

You’d prefer to be taken on a story from a “bad place” to a “good place”. The same goes with starting a fundraising appeal, for example. Start off with a “bad place”, and make the donor feel like a hero or heroine for helping move the beneficiary to a “good place”.

Yet another org had an advisor telling them that their tone of voice had to avoid using the word “please” in the asks of their fundraising appeal, and to remove those words. And that their tone of voice was to be bold and assertive.

The real kicker from that advisor was that donors should feel responsibility to the people the org is helping, and should therefore take action.

Ultimately, the key here is Relevancy. There’s a time and place for everything. If an org wants to be bold and assertive and not say “please” or “thank you” when asking for donations, then donors will simply vote with their wallets and choose not to give.

One can be bold and assertive when facing someone who is misbehaving, but not with donors, and much less when asking for money.

A misguided sense of entitlement will get folks nowhere fast.

If one wants to appear upbeat and positive, or happy, then do it with their own clients or patients, not when presenting a story why you need donations now.

Long story short, people can be what they think the want to be, but it has to be Relevant to the situation and to the very people they’re hoping to reach out to.

Being Irrelevant is like laughing and giggling throughout a funeral.

Thanks for attending my TED Talk.

P.S. You should ALWAYS say your “please” and “thank you”s when asking for donations. It’s better to err on the side of being polite, than to come across as rude.

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