Improving Your Appeals in Tough Times

It is no secret that charities and community / voluntary groups have been hit hard by the economic crises. Demand for our services have never been higher, while the funds and donations that fund our work is becoming scarcer.

It is therefore important to get your communications in order. Sending the right message and using the right words can help to sway donors to support your cause and convince them to dig deeper when giving.

Here are a few practical steps to improve your communications with donors and the public:

  1. Empathy is essential. Ensure that your message / appeal is relevant and cognizant of the tough times people are facing. If a donor can't give right now, they will appreciate your understanding and empathy about this (and so are more likely to donate to your organisation when circumstances improve).
  2. Demonstrate you are sharing the pain and tightening your belt too. Briefly mention some of the ways in which you are cutting costs and making savings. The public is clearly eager to get value for their donated money, and pointing out some of your own austerity measures can help address this need.
  3. Make clear how each donation makes a real difference. Explain how each and every donation is crucial for the work that you do in the community - however big or small: it is only through these donations that your work will be able to continue.
  4. Show the impact these donations have had in the real world. After explaining the importance of each donation, now give real-world examples of how those donations are being put into action. Success stories, bustling projects, well-attended events - all of these are positive examples of the work that you do and so you should not be hesitant about acknowledging them. Perhaps a couple of sentences will suffice - or maybe a glossy photo could paint a more comprehensive portrait. Either way, the key is to help potential donors understand and see that their support leads to genuine results.


The Wheel Summit 2018