In fundraising, pay attention to psychological motivation – People always want to know what’s in it for them. The benefits of your fundraising must be quickly and clearly explained in terms of “What’s In It For Me” so that people can relate quickly.
What’s In It For Me?
Believe it or not, providing a good answer to the question of “What’s in it for me?” is extremely important to your fundraising success.
And why is that? Because ultimately, everyone’s focus is on themselves.
As the saying goes, “We’re all starring in our own movie. ”
You need to design your fundraising campaign so that all the individual “movie stars” receive feel-good roles, ones that bring out the best in everyone.
There has to be real value delivered along the way for your fundraising efforts to elicit the desired response from your supporters.
A true value proposition needs to exist for your volunteers and for your participants as well.
Your fundraising plan needs to clearly answer the question:
“What’s in it for me?“
Create a value statement
A good place to start is by crafting a concise statement of the benefits that your fundraising campaign will deliver.
This is not a monetary amount or goal. It is the intended positive result that will be created by the funds that are raised.
For example, a PTA fundraiser needs to communicate what the net proceeds will be spent on – teacher supplies, playground equipment, etc.
By being specific, your results will be dramatically higher than just saying that you are doing a fundraiser without specifying what the funds will be used for.
This statement of benefits is the first variation of answering “what’s in it for me?” because you have defined how your group and your community will benefit from the proceeds.
Utilize your value statement
Next, you need to include that value statement into your group’s communications with potential supporters.
Volunteers and other members participating in your fundraiser need to understand this value proposition.
As group members, the benefits resulting from the fundraiser are one portion of the “what’s in it for me?” for your participants.
Explain the resulting benefits
In addition, there are often other individual benefits for those actively involved in the fundraising effort – the satisfaction of helping reach the goal, the future enjoyment of the resulting benefits, and possibly winning an incentive or sales prize.
Ultimately, the success of your fundraising efforts hinges on getting the maximum level of “buy-in” from the maximum number of supporters.
Having your workforce – your volunteers and your participants – understand “what’s in it for me?” will boost your results tremendously.
The reason is that their belief and understanding of what benefits will result will be communicated strongly and clearly to each potential supporter.
Furthermore, that stronger belief will motivate them to approach additional prospects.
So, you get better results from both improved communication and increased effort.
Express benefits by showing as “What’s in it for me?”
Lastly, those supporters that you’ve carefully cultivated will be more likely to contribute to your cause if they know clearly “what’s in it for me?”
It’s a scientific fact that people most often act in their own self-interest first and then consider the needs of others second.
That’s why society places a high value on such selfless acts as the heroism of the firefighter or the courage under fire of a soldier.
Appealing to a potential supporter’s self-interest in in your fundraiser’s best interest!
So, how can you appeal to a potential supporter’s self-interest?
- By defining precisely how their contribution will help
- By increasing the perceived value of what they give
- By increasing the perceived value of what they receive
Define precisely how their contribution will help
Your fundraising participants need to communicate to each prospect the exact nature of the community benefit.
To use the PTA example, a potential supporter should immediately be informed of the amount of school supplies their funds will provide.
If it’s new playground equipment, mention the cost of a specific item and show how it addresses a need. An example is replacing older, worn out equipment that is becoming potentially dangerous.
Increase the perceived value of what they give
Add value to their perception of the impact of their own donation by linking it to the attainment of a sub-goal.
If it’s new playground equipment, mention the rough cost of a specific item and link it to their contribution.
An example is stating that a $10 contribution purchases a new basketball. The supporter sees a visual image in their minds’ eye of the direct result of their contribution.
That image has the effect of associating a donation with a pleasurable feeling, making it much more likely that the prospect will support your cause.
Increase the perceived value of what they receive
Besides increasing the perceived value of what they give, you also want to increase the perceived value of what they receive.
You do that in different ways for different fundraisers – donor recognition items for contributions, more attractive packaging on items being sold for a profit, or making your charity auction a black-tie event.
Each of these approaches increases the perceived value without significantly increasing the cost.
That means that each of your supporters will assign more value to what you are offering. That translates into increased funding for your organization.
So, what’s it all mean?
Just this. In planning your next fundraiser, make sure everybody understands how to quickly explain your fundraising efforts in terms of:
“What’s in it for me?“
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