Give Donors A Choice

on in Fundraising

Special events, even modest ones, require lots of time and attention. And sometimes the return on that investment stalls.

Even a successful house party – for example, 75 attendees at $100 each – can feel like a mountain to produce, year after year, for only $7,500.

“Don’t mess with success,” the warning goes – but is there a way to increase the net with the same amount of effort?

The answer is yes.

When you ask everyone for money $100 at a time, you are only giving people the opportunity to give $100. Sounds obvious, but this truism has profound implications for pricing and net profit.

If you give people an option of what to contribute, they will pick the level that matches their relationship with the asker, the cause, and their pocketbook. So why not offer a $250 “Benefactor” level for those whose passion, commitment and ability might lead them to select this higher tier?

You don’t need to offer more of an experience to these higher givers – they’re not really paying that rate for the opportunity to consume passed hors d'oeuvres and a glass of white wine, or to listen to a couple of heartfelt speeches.

They’re giving out of obligation, curiosity, gratitude – that someone’s tacking a social problem that needs addressing.

Their $100 – or $250 – is a donation. Not a fee.

Do your “Benefactors” get a little more thank you? Yes. A little more recognition of their higher commitment? Sure.

But not more material value, because that’s not why they gave.

We tend to get stuck in the idea that every experience has a price – a market value for the event itself. And to be sure, there’s a price point for the average respondent, but there’s also more revenue to be gained from those who care more deeply, and who have the capacity to help us at a deeper level. And one doesn’t negate the other.

Try it sometime – even $1,000 more gained (from essentially the same effort) is $1,000 more net revenue to spend on mission.

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