This Scientifically Proven Fundraising Technique Will Shock You

The last thing a fundraiser would ever consider is giving a potential donor the option of NOT donating.

It’s hard enough getting people join your email list, much less donate to your cause. Why would you ever encourage them to put their wallet back in their pocket?

Because it works!

According to a meta-analysis of over 22,000 participants (42 studies), giving people the choice of NOT donating almost doubles the likelihood that they will donate!

The technique is shockingly simple. But goes against every fiber of how most fundraising professionals ask for donations. You simply to ask people to donate, then add some variation of the following phrase:

But you are free to choose either way.


The approach worked best in face-to-face situations, but BYAF also worked well in e-mail.

Jeremy Dean of PsyBlog writes: “The BYAF technique, as with any good method of persuasion, is about helping other people come to the decision you want through their own free will. If they have other options, like simply walking away, and start to feel corralled, then you can wave them goodbye.”

Jeremy hits on an interesting point. Are you trying to corral potential donors, fearful that they might choose other options?

What do you think?

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John Haydon