This idea will work with any kind of fundraising campaign where you want to motivate volunteers to make the ask.
Ben Gregory, development director at the Colorado Conservation Voters (CCV) told the Grassroots Fundraising Journal how he motivated his board members with a weekly email tip. Each tip reiterated points that had been made in the training leading up to the campaign and also included little updates on the progress of the campaign.
The nine emails addressed the following:
- How to handle the put-off. This tip suggested responses to common assertions by prospects from "I don't have time to talk right now" to "All my money is going to get my kids through college."
- Where you should meet your prospects. This tip provided a list in descending degrees of effectiveness of possible meeting places. The top place was the prospect's home and the worst place was at lunch.
- The value of props. Board members were reminded that one of the reasons to meet donors face-to-face is to use all the wonderful materials that have been provided them. This served as a reminder to dig those printed pieces out and provided ideas about how to use them.
- Silence is golden. This tip encouraged the asker to give the prospect time to think and to answer, encouraging the board members to refrain from filling silences with words born from their own nerves. Concrete ideas were offered such as counting to 12, having a sip of water, not staring the prospect down, and to just be relaxed and natural.
- The pledge form is your friend. Reminded the askers that once they get a pledge, it needs to be formalized with the pledge form (see sample pledge form). The form captures all the information necessary to follow up with the donor, to thank the donor, etc. A copy of the pledge form was attached to this email.
- The power of $85. A reminder that small gifts, made monthly ($85x12=$1000), can really add up; and that CCV is able to accept monthly contributions by credit card.
- Block off your time. Encouraged askers to schedule their fundraising efforts into their calendars, to set aside an hour once or twice a week for fundraising efforts, and to keep their schedules.
- Party time! This email was to remind the volunteers that there would be a party the following week and suggested that they could turn the event into an opportunity to introduce prospects to the organization.
- Tell them your story. Encouraged the board members to tell their own stories of how and why they got involved and why they donate. These stories, from the heart, could be powerful motivators for their prospects.
Adapted from Cheering Them On!, Grassroots Fundraising Journal, Volume 27, #5, Sept/Oct 2008.
More about email: 14 Tips for Making Your Nonprofit Email More Effective