Mission Or Method

If your goal is to increase the amount of gift income you receive, you can:

  • Ask new prospective donors to give for the first time;
  • Ask past donors to give again;
  • Ask current donors to give more.

Those, really, are the only methods (or some combination of these 3) to increase gift income.  Developing plans to implement these 3 strategies is not difficult.  In fact, those plans can be fairly straight-forward.

The most consequential question is almost never, “how can we increase gift income?”

The most consequential question is, “why should givers care?”

When you spend the time, energy, and attention to develop a clear, compelling, and concise case for support, the answer to the question of method becomes far less important.   In general, generosity is sparked by mission far more than by method of solicitation.

However, if you are unable to crisply answer the question, “why should givers care?” you can be technically and tactically effective in your solicitation methods and still fail to meet your gift income goals.

When you and your team meet for strategy planning sessions – for annual, major, or planned giving – instead of spending the bulk of your time focused on answering the “how will we solicit?” question, spend more time addressing this simple question:

“Why should anyone care?”


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