Forget “Fear Factor” fundraising and try a little Chaka Khan

by Jackie Scott

I recently received an email blast from a local non-profit which painted a pretty dismal financial picture of their organization.  The tone of the email message was doom and gloom. The critical request and call to action was to “send donations now”.

My immediate reaction to the message was  “that’s unfortunate” and I swiftly deleted the email message.

Potential Donors support organizations for 3 reasons;


1) Personal Connection – They have a personal connection or have been personally touched by an organization.  They may be a survivor themselves or know someone, lost someone or have developed a deep meaningful relationship with an organization.

2) Sphere of Influence – They have been asked to donate by someone important to them.  “Friends asking Friends ” campaigns are so effective because the ask is personal and its hard to decline a request from you best friend, sis, bro, neighbor, co-worker, employer, etc.

3) Inspired to give –  Donors are educated, inspired and motived to give when organizations provide a clear sense of direction, vision and mission of the organization.  Organizations must propose viable solutions, implement community impact strategies, and communicate outcomes frequently with constituents.

Non Profits will never inspire donors to jump start a dying organization by asking for ” life support” funds.  Forget “Fear Factor” style fundraising and get your groove back on with some Chaka Khan.  Flashback to the lyrics and chorus of Chaka Khans “Tell me something Good” – tell your donors all the great things you are doing in the community, how much you love them, and appreciate their support!

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