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#43 Is your proposition poignant or perplexing?

The world’s greatest propositions have a few things in commons. They are simple to understand, easy to communicate, have one ask, and show the donor the impact they can make.

The classic example is the sponsorship of children, communities, and puppies. Propositions that are diluted by too much information, swamped by myriad solutions, and have no clear call to action tend to flounder and fail.

One reason for the success if face-to-face fundraising can be attributed to a factor shared with planned giving, major gifts, and corporate giving. This key feature is the ability to have a one-on-one conversation with the decision maker allowing for questions to be answered and the use of visual materials.

It is true that some causes lend themselves to more simple communication, can boast cute critters or charming children, have clearer more straight-forward actions, and carry price-points that are easier to grasp.

It’s hard to compete with $25 to restore sight or $1 to inoculate a child against waterborne diseases, but it is dangerous going to market if you cannot adhere to the basic proposition rules.

So, if your fundraising teams are not achieving benchmarked results you might want to take another look at your offer. A few simple steps you can take are:

  1. Encourage feedback from your Programs team. Find out if your proposition is honest and the best story you can tell.

  2. Ask your face-to-face agency for their opinion. Don’t ask the managers, just the field staff who deal with the donors and hear the objections. Taking your agency on this journey will bond them closer to the cause, give you the awareness of what works and what doesn’t, and give them confidence in your product.

  3. Survey your donors. Find out what they believe your organisation does based on the interaction with the fundraiser and discover the reason why they signed-up. This can speak to your donor journey too.

Following these modest steps will give you insight into your proposition and ensure that your organisation is promoting its best self.

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