The following article is part of a new series presented by TheChesedFund.com to help fundraisers maximize their reach and help raise tzedakah for those in need.
1. Tell Your Story with media — In order to make your campaign appealing to donors they need to connect to the story. Photos and Video are powerful mediums to reach out and engage donors. Facts and figures don’t paint a picture. Your passion and enthusiasm for this initiative will convince others why they should help you.
2. Pictures (and Videos) Say 1,000 Words — This is particularly effective if you are sending out an appeal to friends via email, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. Include a short video or as much media as you have.
3. Make Your Own Gift — It is much easier to ask someone else to make a donation when you have made your own. Make a gift in the amount you want to ask others to give and request they match your own gift.
4. Ask for a Specific Amount — Don’t leave it to someone’s imagination on how much they should give. Most people overestimate how much they think you want. You may want a friend to donate $25.00 but she may think you want her to give $500. Make it clear by asking for a specific amount and she can can then decide if she wants to give more.
5. Make it Easy To Give — Send your Chesed Fund link to all your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who belongs to your network. By presenting them a link to donate, you thereby make it easy for your donors to respond to your call.
6. Share How They Can Learn More — You can be as knowledgeable as possible about your cause but many donors will want to check things out for themselves before they donate. Be sure to provide as much information as neccesary so your donors feel informed.
7. Be quiet — Talented fundraisers know the trick to giving is listening. Share your story and make your specific gift ask and then stop talking. Just listen to what the prospective donor has to say. There may be an awkward silence as she contemplates your request and that is ok. Wait for her response. If you don’t, you may talk yourself out of the gift.
8. Practice Makes Perfect — Fundraising isn’t as difficult as it may appear. It may just take some practice to make you feel comfortable. Get a few asks in and you’ll be motivated by the momentum when you hear donors say, “Yes!”
9. Don’t Take “No” Personally — Every fundraiser knows that when a donor says, “No,” she is really saying, “Not yet.” There may be something else that she has committed to, she may have other responsibilities, she may have other bills, etc. If you get declined, don’t worry. Trust that you have shared a compelling case for support and she’ll give when it is a better time.
Avi Kehat is the founder of TheChesedFund.com. In addition to managing TheChesedFund.com website, he has lived in Israel for most of his life and currently resides in Beit Shemesh with his wife and family