Increasing the Value Proposition for Your Donors

Here’s a simple little math formula:

The higher the Gift Value Proposition, the more likely the donor is to make the gift.

So, how do we make the Gift Value Proposition as high as possible?  You could reduce the ask amount.  If the top part of the equation holds constant, reducing the denominator (Ask Amount) means a higher Gift Value Proposition.  Of course, no one wants to lower Ask Amounts!

We want to increase Ask Amounts.  Therefore, if increase the Ask Amount, we need to increase the the donor’s impression that the outcome of his making a gift will be huge, grand, off the charts.

And the outcome can be anything that is important to the donor – having the family’s name on a building, or helping educate future students through scholarship aid, or providing more breast cancer screening for a community of women.  Whatever the donor is seeking from making a gift in the first place. The more impressive connection we can make between their gift and the results they are looking for, the higher the Gift Value Proposition.

So, what does this little formula really tell us?  First, we have to spend ample time with donors to understand why – really why – they are interested in making a gift.  What do they aim to achieve with their gift?  personal recognition?  curing a disease?  educating the next generation?  We have to use the art of inquiry to get to the heart of donor ambitions.

Second, based on our understanding of the donor’s ambitions, we need to create outcomes that are beyond impressive.  We need to deliver powerful and inspiring scenarios of how their giving will impact the outcomes they most care about.  This will increase the value of the numerator in our formula.

And when we increase the numerator, we can increase the denominator (Ask Amount) and still have an increase in the Gift Value Proposition.  Simple math.


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