Are you asking your donors for more than money?

Have you considered the other gift your donors give you?

Here’s a hint: what might be even more valuable to you than money?

That’s right – time.

Often donors are aware that time is part of their gift. It’s intentional. Think about attending a fundraising event. Or filling out a survey.

(Of course, sometimes, it’s a nuisance and prevents a donor from making a gift. Think about poorly designed websites or response forms.)

But let’s focus on the time you ask for. How can you make that experience meaningful?

Make a gift of time really count

Mission-connected experiences can bring donors closer to you while giving them something in return for their gift.

I will never forget our managing director at the theater urging us to “feed our audience’s addiction” for great theater. In the development office, we had already been doing just that. We ditched the tote bags and developed benefits that let donors experience the art form. Open rehearsals, play readings, dinners with artists – now that was time our donors were not just willing, but eager to spend.

Perhaps you ask donors to participate in an event. Are you focused on the money to be raised? Or are you thinking about the donor’s experience? Giving them an experience that reignites their passion for the cause will result in more money in the long term.

Ask yourself: is this time they’ll enjoy spending or just an obligation? You want the experience to be emotional. Inspirational. Educational. Something valuable to donors.

Every interaction with a donor is a chance to bring your mission to life.

Don’t waste their time – or yours – with anything less.

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John Haydon