There are many important rules when it comes to fundraising, but one that is often overlooked, especially in digital ads, is specificity. The adage is that specificity converts. The more specific you are, the higher your conversion rate is going to be. Being able to write a long appeal provides luxuries that can help overcome a lack of specifics to a degree. But when digital ads need to be short and to the point, a vague ask is hard to salvage.
What Specifics Do You Need?
Donors and prospective donors want to know what their resources are going to accomplish. They want details. They want to sleep better being able to visualize the need their gift is helping to alleviate. Asking people to give in order to “help people” in country X is not going to be compelling. Let’s break down the elements of that example.
- Help – What is being done to aid people? Is it food? Medicine? Clothing? What kind of food? How much food? How fast and how often will they get it?
- People – Who are the “people?” Are they adults? Children? Students? Mothers? Homeless? Etc. Picture in your mind one of the people in need of the most help and tell their story.
- Country X – What part of the country? What village? Why is that part important or in greater need? Have you been there? What makes it believable and compelling that you can help there?
- Who Is helping? – This was not even included in the example, and often is not remembered by those raising funds. Whose hands are the ones administering the aid? What is their story? What makes them trustworthy?
- How much do you need? – Another overlooked aspect is the size of the need. If you take up an offering to make a church “better,” you will get far fewer gifts than if you share the vision and cost to replace the broken furnace with one that keeps the building comfortable all winter.
How Do You Gather Specifics?
From the lowest level to the highest level, the most successful organizations are often ones that never lose site of the specifics and are constantly gathering them. Every detail can matter at some point or some time. Constantly collect stories, photos, videos, receipts, journal entries, anything and everything you can about the work your organization does.
You would be surprised how little is often recorded by organizations that do the most amazing work. If you do not have details about the life-changing ministry your organization does, that can be the same as never having done it, at least as far as prospective donors are concerned. Specifics are evidence. Proof of the fruit you are bearing.
The more specific your fundraising is, the more effective you will be at gaining new donors and deepening relationships with existing ones.