improved fundraising: illustrating the X

Last month we told you if you want to improve your fundraising results and thrill your donors, be specific about what a donor is doing by giving to your organization. We usually talk with clients about it this way: “$=X” Your nonprofit must “frame” for me as a donor what my gift of a dollar (or $10 or $100) will do. Click here to read more on “$=X?”.

The more concrete and interesting your frame (or description), the better. Remember concrete, vivid and startling sticks in your donor’s mind… Boring, traditional, predictable will produce a nap not a gift.
over 25mph-crashover 25mph-hospitalover 25 mph-bills
In Elm Grove, Wisconsin, the police department employs their version of this fundraising strategy. Rather than the expected automated sign that shows the speed limit and your radar-calculated speed, they used an agency to create die-cut signs that went over the top of the traditional automated sign. Now if you are driving above the 25 mph speed limit, you get an alarming display of the percentage of odds you’ll have an accident… or the number of days you’ll spend in the hospital if you have an accident… or how much it will cost you… Yikes. Not the way any of us would choose to make a “donation.” This is arresting in all meanings of the word.

So what’s the bottom line: Frame your ask for donations in creative, concrete ways to get more gifts. Trust me. It works.

What about you? Do you create unique frames to help you describe what your donor can do? How are you creatively talking to your donors about the good they do with their gift?


Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity


(photo credit: Agency: Cramer-Krasselt, Milwaukee, WI)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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