Top Fundraising Tip 

(...and the biggest blunder every nonprofit organization makes)

Have you ever needed to write 'sales copy' - in other words, an ad or article whose sole purpose is to sell something?

If so, then you'll know that to make it EFFECTIVE, it was important to list the BENEFITS of what you were selling, as opposed to the FEATURES!

What does that mean?

Well, just suppose you were trying to sell a top-of-the-range, turbo-charged vacuum cleaner. You could simply list its features...

  • Strong suction
  • Lightweight
  • Retractable cord
  • Telescopic wand

But will those details sell the vacuum cleaner?

Probably not.

OR you could say...

  • With the Turbo Suction vacuum cleaner, you'll get your vacuuming done in HALF the time and your house will look cleaner than ever before.

Your chances of selling the vacuum cleaner just rose significantly!


Because people like to hear about the benefits of a product - what they will get out of it - rather than the features, which tend to leave most people cold.

So how does this relate to fundraising?

I recently read a list of top tips from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals Conference in March 2014, and one very cool idea was to ask previous donors WHY they contributed to your organization.

This then helps you learn how to appeal to others for donations in the future.

The fact is that the vast majority of people contribute to 'causes' in order to...

  • Make a change in someone's life
  • Support their local community
  • 'Give back' to society

Are you appealing to potential donors by highlighting these 'benefits' in your fundraising activities, or are you simply listing the 'features'?

For example, if your goal is to raise funds to buy computers for children in a deprived area, DON'T just state the fact that the plan is to purchase the computers!

Instead, talk about...

  • how these children will gain computer literacy skills that will vastly improve their education
  • how these children will be better equipped for future employment
  • how these children's families and communities will benefit from their newly acquired IT skills

In other words, stress how donors will CHANGE LIVES!

By allowing your donors to feel the benefits of their contributions, you'll increase the donations themselves... a win/win situation for everyone involved.

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