<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=319290&amp;fmt=gif">
Fundraising Truisms

One major secret to successful fundraising is to understand why people contribute. People give for different reasons and you have to figure out the motivators of potential contributors so they write checks to IFAPAC. Here are some reasons why people contribute:

  • Reward – Enjoy the feeling of participation or receiving a material reward such as a lapel pin or ribbon

  • Access – Want the opportunity to deliver IFAPAC campaign checks and attend fundraisers for elected representatives

  • Friendship – Have a personal relationship with you, the asker

  • Habit – Have a regular practice of giving

  • Policy – Have a desire to take an active role in making a difference

  • Fear – Scared of the opposition or outcome (e.g. trial lawyers, single-payer health care, excessive taxation)

  • Prestige – Seeing their name listed in a publication as a prominent IFAPAC contributor

  • They were asked – Just like in sales, this is the #1 secret to success

Here are some reasons why people don’t contribute:

  • Not asked – Willing, but overlooked

  • Appeal not personalized – Solicitation is too generic and too impersonal (pitch is made from the podium to a large audience instead of delivered NAIFA member-to-NAIFA member)

  • An unspecified amount – Don’t know how much to give

  • Inexperience – Have never contributed to a political action committee

  • Offensive appeal – Feel used or unappreciated

  • Vague appeal – Unsure what money will be used for

  • Unconvincing appeal – Question if the right candidates are being supported

  • The wrong person asked – Solicitor is not a peer

  • Stakeholder – Don’t feel their contribution can make a difference

  • Policy Disagreement – Think NAIFA is on the wrong side of a legislative issue or isn’t giving due attention to an issue

Anticipating these common negative reactions to fundraising appeals can help you develop a strategy that works. Most of the reasons people don’t give can be “fixed” or avoided altogether. You need to know how to reach each type of potential contributor with the “correct” appeal to make them feel motivated and committed enough to give money.

Maxims of Fundraising

  1. Organizations Have No Needs People have needs and problems. The organization has the solutions.

  2. People Prefer Structure Human beings need goals and deadlines.

  3. If the most capable people give substantially and give early, the others will follow – as night follows day “He who gives early gives twice” – Cervantes

  4. Create Authentic Involvement If we want people to invest their money in our program; we must give them an authentic involvement in the cause.

  5. The Process of Planning is More Important than the Plan Itself “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.” - Yogi Berra

  6. People Give to People Words that come from the heart enter the heart.

  7. The Right Person Makes the Difference Select the right person to ask the right person, in the right way, at the right time.

  8. The One Who Asks Must Give First

  9. Put your money where your mouth is.

  10. Ask for a Specific Amount; Ask for Enough; Give ‘Em a Deadline “Whatever you can do” is a recipe for failure.

  11. Don’t Try to Teach a Pig How to Sing. Don’t waste time trying to educate someone who won’t listen