October 17, 2016

How to Grow Your Donations in 10 Minutes

A hand making a donation in a donation jarIt amazes me how frequently I encounter barriers to giving. Since it happens to me, it happens to other donors, too. What barriers do you have at your organization that you don’t even know exist?

Let me explain what I mean.  An organization made a special plea for a cause. Funds were needed that day. The instructions asked for a check.  

I didn’t bring a checkbook. I had cash and credit cards.

I approached two volunteers, “How can I give?’ The first two didn’t know. Before I asked a staff person, I perused the table in the foyer looking for an envelope to label and insert cash. I found none.

A frenzied staff member accepted the cash after fussing about it. From him, I learned a secret: the location of donation envelopes throughout the facility.

Not all of your donors will ask three people. Some won’t ask anyone.

Barriers to donations cost you money. They may also cost you donors. People don’t want to work hard to do good.

Here’s the quick fix.

Walk into your facility. Pretend you have a $100 bill to leave anonymously. Can you do it?  Go try now. Set up a way to empower shy donors to give.   

Do the same thing for your events. In this case, imagine you’re a donor sitting in the event who decides he or she wants to give. You didn’t listen to any of the instructions. Can you still see how to give?

Do you want to raise more money? Check for barriers. Remove them. You’ll open your floodgates to sustainability.

Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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