Selling a fancy car may only need a good picture of it. People know what they get. They trust it will run perfectly and be noticed by friends and strangers alike. In other words, it is a product that speaks for itself.
But fund raising is a service business, not a product sale. Yes, depending on the service you are providing, you may take a picture of the beneficiaries … cute puppies, wonderful children, or even wounded warriors. But you, the fund raisers, are the “middleman” collecting money to support them.
You provide the service enabling that benefit. Just as a lawyer provides the service to create a will or trust. Do you wonder whether you are paying too much or getting the proper document?
That’s the challenge of being a service business. How do you present your case for something that is not tangible and real? How do you soothe the worried prospect about your organization?
To be more successful in securing big gifts, it is important to communicate your services in the most compelling way.
First, make your service more tangible. That comes from compelling photos of beneficiaries, case studies and stories about successful results. The focus is not on your organization, it’s on your beneficiaries. They are real. They are tangible.
Second, make your prospect feel comfortable. That’s more challenging because it feels like you need to talk about your organization and how wonderful it is. But that comes across wrong. It isn’t about you.
So how do you make a prospect comfortable? Address the very things that makes him uncomfortable. For example, are you taking a chunk of his gift for your operation? Does he know? Are you using the funds for something he doesn’t know about? Are you “double dipping” by getting money from multiple sources to cover the same activities?
You know the things that your prospects worry about. Answer their concerns and make them feel comfortable. You’ll get outstanding results … and have a donor for life.
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