Why Should Donors Give a Hoot?

by | Jan 13, 2014

Good question.

Everyone has a reason for giving when supporting a cause—If you understand your donor’s motivations and concerns, you can build a case study and tailor your fundraising pitch for increased success.

Here are the top messages your donors need to hear.

#1 Their Gift Matters

Sure, you do good work in the world. Just look at how you’ve helped the people you serve. But why does it matter to your donors?

Obviously, people give to your hospital because they want to make a positive difference in the world.  But remember that giving is personal. The closer we feel to a cause, the more likely we are to give. Be it saving lives or reducing suffering, many are motivated when they feel they can truly make a difference.


  • Be clear about exactly how their dollars make a difference.
  • Don’t just focus on need. Tell patient stories to demonstrate impact.
  • Don’t send junk. Deliver news they care about.

#2 You’ll Use Their Gifts Wisely

We know you won’t use your donor’s money to pay corporate solicitors or give your VP a seven-figure salary. But do your donors really know where their money is going?

If a donor thinks you’re wasting money—which they may believe unless you make it clear how their funds are being applied—they won’t respond positively to your appeal.


  • Deliver news they care about.
  • Show visible results.
  • Give them the numbers.
  • Be transparent.

#3 To Be a Hero, They Need to Take Action

Ready to develop your case statement? Keep these points in mind as you’re creating your materials:

Why me?

Connect with your donors on a personal level. Use photos, stories, and influencers to help your audience relate to your cause.

Why now?

You should always have a built in sense of urgency for the gift. Show potential donors why it is important to give and give now.

What for?

Isn’t it obvious? People want to know where their money is going. Clearly communicate to them what they will receive in return for their donation, whether it’s feel-good rewards or naming rights.

Who else?

It may be a “herd mentality,” but people tend to follow along with what other people are doing. Use trusted sources to deliver your message, such as people your organization has helped or fellow donors. Find ways for your supporters to speak for you among their own circles of influence.

Next time you develop a case statement, remember what your donors need to hear – their gift matters, you’ll use it wisely, and they need to act now – and prepare for measurable success!

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