The “What’s In It For Me?” For Donors

Emotionally tying your donors to your mission by making them central to your story provides a powerful "what's in it for me"

Whenever we enter into a transaction, the driving force for the parties involved is always “what’s in it for me?” You may not feel like that should be the case for your nonprofit’s donors, but it is. As best selling author Seth Godin said “When someone donates to your nonprofit, they are buying your story.”

The point is that they aren’t donating because you give them something or because they are getting a tax deduction. The underlying reason they give is that they like how it makes them feel when they become part of your story. Helping them make and maintain that connection is the most powerful way to attract new donors and keep them involved.

Two key ways to do this:

  1. Share good stories about the work your organization does. Show what your work really means to those you serve.
  2. Make your donors central to the story. The donors are the hero. The donors are the ones making it happen.

If you remember these and incorporate them into all of your communications (donor  recruitment, thank you letters, annual reports, newsletters, etc.) you will touch emotions and show the difference that each of your donors makes in the world. When donors feel central to your story, they begin to take ownership and will want to continue and deepen their relationship with your organization.

Photo Credit: “Reach Out!” by ~diP via Flickr cc

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