What's the Money For? 10 Ways To Make an Appeal
The age old question posed when you ask for funding - "What's the
money for?" How you answer this question is pivotal to the results
you want to achieve. Here are some hints to help you with your dialogue
with donors during the funding process.
People give to help other people. Realistically speaking, most donors
do not usually relish the idea of funding operations and overhead.
Telephones, salaries, rent, debt reduction are just not too appealing.
In the grand scheme of things, while covering these expenses are important
to you, most organizations would rather fund programs, buildings,
land, renovation and capital campaigns.
How To Package and Market Your Proposal?
- Tell the whole story - an uplifting story of the problem and
why they should care. Explain the issue and why it affects our
society. Make this appeal to their munificent nature. Explain
why they should care.
- Humanize your appeal by explaining heartfelt reasons to give.
Explain who will benefit from your project and why. Give specific
examples of any other groups who have successfully solved the
problems in other areas.
- Define the project and include numbers of people affected by
the problem, how many you intend to help and how. By this, you
are defining what their donation can accomplish. Create a visual
- Avoid looking like an object of pity. Tell a success story.
No donor wants to hear about failure and pity. They want to know
that they can entrust their money to a strong organization to
cure the ills of society. Invite your donor to join into a partnership
with great pride in accomplishment and shared vision.
- Present a budget that includes every cent you need to make this
project a success. Present all costs - totally integrate the budget
to include overhead. More and more donors who are business oriented
understand the value of full cost accounting.
- Make sure you are talking to a donor that is in fact interested
and concerned in addressing this societal issue. Explain how they
can help and how it fits to their agenda.
- Rationalize your appeal by substantiating your request with
solid facts. Present your case as would to a jury. Include a time
frame and a map of the steps you will take to administrate the
program and maximize the likelihood your success.
- Generosity likes to be measured for success. Donors like to
see results. Inform the donor of how you intend to break the project
into manageable pieces that can be measured along the way.
- Structure a giving process that combines your needs with the
givers ability and funding policies.
- Define what the donor will receive in return for their generosity.
REMEMBER - success in raising money is more a function of focusing
on the societal objective you are trying to achieve rather than the
need for the money to pay expenses.