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Monday, May 29, 2017

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What's the Money For? 10 Ways To Make an Appeal
Jacqueline Beretta

August, 2009


The age old question posed when you ask for funding - "What's the money for?" How you answer this question is pivotal to the results you want to achieve. Here are some hints to help you with your dialogue with donors during the funding process.

People give to help other people. Realistically speaking, most donors do not usually relish the idea of funding operations and overhead. Telephones, salaries, rent, debt reduction are just not too appealing. In the grand scheme of things, while covering these expenses are important to you, most organizations would rather fund programs, buildings, land, renovation and capital campaigns.

How To Package and Market Your Proposal?

  • Tell the whole story - an uplifting story of the problem and why they should care. Explain the issue and why it affects our society. Make this appeal to their munificent nature. Explain why they should care.
  • Humanize your appeal by explaining heartfelt reasons to give. Explain who will benefit from your project and why. Give specific examples of any other groups who have successfully solved the problems in other areas.
  • Define the project and include numbers of people affected by the problem, how many you intend to help and how. By this, you are defining what their donation can accomplish. Create a visual image.
  • Avoid looking like an object of pity. Tell a success story. No donor wants to hear about failure and pity. They want to know that they can entrust their money to a strong organization to cure the ills of society. Invite your donor to join into a partnership with great pride in accomplishment and shared vision.
  • Present a budget that includes every cent you need to make this project a success. Present all costs - totally integrate the budget to include overhead. More and more donors who are business oriented understand the value of full cost accounting.
  • Make sure you are talking to a donor that is in fact interested and concerned in addressing this societal issue. Explain how they can help and how it fits to their agenda.
  • Rationalize your appeal by substantiating your request with solid facts. Present your case as would to a jury. Include a time frame and a map of the steps you will take to administrate the program and maximize the likelihood your success.
  • Generosity likes to be measured for success. Donors like to see results. Inform the donor of how you intend to break the project into manageable pieces that can be measured along the way.
  • Structure a giving process that combines your needs with the givers ability and funding policies.
  • Define what the donor will receive in return for their generosity.


REMEMBER - success in raising money is more a function of focusing on the societal objective you are trying to achieve rather than the need for the money to pay expenses.

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