Fundraising calls may be a nonprofit’s least favorite task: figuring out what to say, how to respond to objections, and the best wording to elicit a positive response. Getting this right is crucial because an effective fundraising script elicits the necessary donations for your organization to continue its impactful work.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be so challenging.
When you combine effective nonprofit marketing and Virtuous’ responsive fundraising method, nonprofits place the donor at the center of fundraising and grow giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. The responsive approach builds trust and loyalty through personalized engagement.
Read on for simple steps in which your fundraising script will foster responsive fundraising by:
- Placing the potential donor in the hero’s role
- Helping them clearly understand the impact of their donation
- Encouraging generosity
Life change can’t happen without donations, which means your donors play a crucial role in helping your nonprofit create a remarkable impact.
Placing the Potential Donor in the Hero’s Role
If you take this concept a step further, you place your donors as the heroes of every success story your nonprofit creates. Your current donors need to know that, and your potential donors need to know they, too, can wear a hero’s cape.
At Social Impact Solutions, we recommend this be front and center in your fundraising script, so your request lays out an easy pathway for potential donors to become change-makers.
While emphasizing the donor’s role in creating positive change, the fundraiser should consider incorporating the donor’s values with the organization’s mission. It helps to know something about the donor, if possible, and use that as a conversation springboard.
Do they have a history of giving to your organization? Is it possible they were once an act-of-kindness recipient and want to pay it forward? Or maybe the nonprofit’s work resonates with that donor’s personal history. Chances are, one or a combination of these will provide an incentive for an affirmative response.
But whether the donor chooses to support your mission with money, time, or best wishes for success, they should be enveloped in appreciation and gratitude. After all, someone who says “no” this time may just say “yes” on the next go-round. And someone who says “yes” desires and deserves a resounding “thank you.”
Helping Donors Clearly Understand the Impact of Their Donation
But how do you communicate the impact of donations? Tell the truth. Everyone loves stories, and they are the best way for donors to understand how their money can provide shelter, healthcare, food, water, education – whatever your organization is doing to improve the quality of life.
An effective fundraising script can include specific examples, testimonials, or success stories that create an image in the donor’s mind. They will be able to clearly picture their money being used to change lives or communities. Be sure to showcase the tangible outcomes achieved through donations.
Additionally, the fundraising script should continue to highlight the donor’s crucial role in a thriving nonprofit by explaining how the organization relies on donor support. Do this by outlining the importance of sustained giving and long-term impact. Refer to the aforementioned stories to illustrate how donor contributions directly served the cause.
Once the caller has clearly illustrated how the mission supports the donor’s values and has provided stories about lives changed by donor contributions, it’s time to make the empowering ask. Any level of “yes” will generate income for your cause, but a big “yes” means more money and greater impact, so go for it!
Use these steps to encourage generosity:
- Create a sense of urgency by presenting current needs or challenges
- Frame the ask as an opportunity for the donor to make a meaningful difference
- Offer options for different levels of giving to accommodate diverse donors
A good fundraising script should include convenient giving options, so you don’t lose the donor due to frustrations or confusion with the giving process. Clearly explain how the donor can contribute and provide various giving methods (online, mail, phone, etc.). Let them know this information will be sent to them so they don’t have to worry about remembering it. Ensuring simplicity, security, and transparency in the donation process are surefire methods for attaining new donors and retaining current ones.
How can you curate fundraising scripts into your responsive fundraising efforts without using valuable time and energy? If you use software like Virtuous, you are better able to understand your donors’ interests and desires. Virtuous can convert data that helps nonprofits gain a deeper human connection by using responsive fundraising, leading to a 12% increase in donor retention, a 10% increase in gift size, and a 20% decrease in administrative time. When you have donor data that is both specific and accurate, you can curate your scripts to your donor’s interests.
Fundraising calls may not be on anyone’s “fun things” bucket list, but the right script, containing the right information, will have a powerful impact on each call’s outcome. By using responsive fundraising methods, making the donor the hero of the story, and using real-life stories to present current needs and illustrate successes, nonprofits can increase donations and donor retention.
If you would like to learn more about how to better position your nonprofit to your donor base and how to streamline your fundraising, take our free fundraising quiz. In the quiz, you will learn:
- What your organization is doing well as well as find ways to improve
- Benchmark your organization’s performance and compare to industry standards
- Learn best practices from Social Impact Solutions and enjoy a free online course to help you improve your fundraising efforts so you can raise more money!
Go to fundraisingquiz.org to start improving your fundraising capabilities today!