Wed, September 04 2013
Filed under: Fundraising essentials •
During Labor Day weekend, my husband and I were exploring the Virginia countryside, which included a visit to the Graffiti House. The Graffiti House was used as a field hospital during the Civil War and still houses fascinating graffiti from the soldiers of that time. The building is also the headquarters of the Brandy Station Foundation and serves as a museum and visitor’s center for the nearby Brandy Station Battlefield.
While Helen, the volunteer guide, showed us around the main floor of the house, I noticed that instead of having just one central donation jar, there were other donation jars placed around the exhibits and in various rooms. The jars were located in areas where visitors would be the most engaged: in the library where a short film was shown, next to binders where history buffs could research individual names, and near the “Wall of Honor” where visitors could leave their own signatures. I found this to be a good source of inspiration we can all use as year-end fundraising season rapidly approaches.
Whether you’re collecting donations through your online fundraising campaigns, at an event, or even with Costco-sized pickle jars, it’s essential to provide easy pathways to give at the point of inspiration. Enable donors to give when they are in the moment of feeling the impact of your work. Don’t assume that someone will be moved to donate and then go on a mad hunt to find a way to give you their money.
Some ways to make this work…
On your website: Don’t just plop a big, juicy donate button at the top of your website and call it a day. Do that, and then also add links to donate from your blog, success stories, and photo galleries.
In your fundraising appeals: Pause for a breath in your next fundraising email and offer direct links to your donation page at strategic points in your story.
At your fundraising events: Make it easy to sign up to be a recurring donor on the spot and offer mobile giving options for donors who are in a generous mood, but no longer carry a checkbook.
How are you making it easy for donors to give at the moments they are inspired by your work?