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Make Your Donation Ask About the Patron

When it comes to fundraising, it’s best when people donate because they want to.

I know that sounds obvious, and yet, arts and cultural organizations often take a different approach.

Here are three key points to consider when making your ask.

Don’t use guilt as a strategy

For decades, arts and cultural organizations have used the pitch that ticket or admission sales only cover a fraction of the cost to stage a show or install an exhibit.

This comes across as trying to guilt the prospect into giving you money.

While guilt might motivate some people, it’s not a strategy that will deepen their sense of connection to your mission.

Focus on the prospect

Most of us who work in the arts and cultural industry are deeply passionate about our work.

So, it’s no surprise that we often list all the ways our organization benefits the community as a way to get the prospective donor excited as well.

The downside to this approach is it leaves the reader out of the picture.

Invite connection

Encourage prospective donors to deepen their relationship with your organization.

Let them know that their support isn't just about giving; it's about becoming part of something special, a community that values and appreciates their involvement.

Deepening their connection to your organization is what promotes long-term donors.

Today's Quick Tip reminds us to make our fundraising asks about the patron, not the organization.

Don’t use guilt as a strategy, focus on the prospect, and invite connection.

By doing so, you'll create a more compelling and relatable appeal that resonates with your supporters.


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