If you are a non-profit, there is no shortage of resources from experts on how to increase your giving. There are conferences, breakout sessions, webinars, workshops, ebooks, to name a few. The topics are diverse and plenty, yet in my years of keeping an eye on the leading resources, there seems to be a topic that often gets overlooked.
Don’t get me wrong. As a maker of one of the best online giving solutions on the market, we get the need to have effective tools and strategies. These are essential to giving. The point is, most everyone talks about how to capture the donation and few people talk about capturing the heart.
The real question for how you can increase your giving is to ask how to captivate hearts. Because love is the root cause of giving.
It’s easy to forget that people generally don’t give out of obligation. Giving actually is an expression of love and support for the cause and mission. It’s also easy to forget that no matter the cause, donors these days have many choices in whom they send their dollars to. Currently, there are over 1.5 million non profits registered in the U.S.!
With giving solutions, drip campaigns and funnels, you can do a better job of capturing donations from people who already want to give. But that strategy only takes you so far. If you want to truly expand your giving, you need to expand your reach into more hearts.
So, how do you reach hearts?
Most organizations think they need to get a bigger megaphone and shout the problem louder to more people. Its also typical to see organizations using imagery that accentuates the problem. For example, organizations serving the homeless usually use stock imagery of a man in tattered clothing holding a deteriorated cardboard sign.
Every organization is guilty of this. It’s so common and we’ve all been used to this style of marketing.
We’re not suggesting to stray away from detailing the needs and confronting the problem however dire it is. But in order to reach hearts, you must not forget the most important ingredient.
Donors are funding hope. They don’t fund solutions, programs, or budgets… they are funding hope. The only reason to give a single cent is because the donor has hope that their donation will make a difference.
As the Proverb says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”, an organization that does not inspire hope with the need will never inspire giving. Hope is the missing link for captivating hearts. If your messaging is all about the need and nothing about the hope, you are missing many hearts. The need without the hope just makes people depressed. But when we couple hope with the need, hearts are moved because now the vision of what could be is clear.
Hope is a powerful thing. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite speakers said it best… “The person with the most hope in the room has the most influence.”
If you want to have the most influence, see how having the most hope contributes to your mission. Be excellent in capturing the donation, but also be excellent in capturing the heart.
Let us know what you think in the comments below. We would love your feedback for how hope changes your mindset for giving.