August 2008 Archives

August 20, 2008

A Green Twist to Donor Appeals

I just got a fundraising appeal from my college that contained the following:

"A fall gift is a 'green gift' as the College will remove you from the normal schedule of appeals until fall 2009, saving resources that can be better spent on education (rather than postage and printing)."

That's almost annoyingly clever. What donor doesn't get irritated when one gift just becomes a prelude to a flood of letters asking for more, and worry about the wasted resources? I have a feeling we'll be seeing this on many fundraising letters in the future. Meanwhile, I just might make that gift.
August 5, 2008

Do Men Give to Charity to Impress?

This could be the new insight into donor motivation we've all been waiting for: a study reported on by the Telegraph (U.K.), indicating that men tend to give more money when there's a pretty woman around to impress. (Women give the same amount regardless of who's watching.)

It's all a part of those primordial mating instincts, apparently. And if all is fair in love and war, then I suppose it's fair to take advantage of said instincts in the interest of a good cause.

Of course, engineering this could be tricky. It does suggest that special events or house dinners with public calls for donations, or live auctions, are a good starting point. But should they be formal dress events as opposed to masked? And how do you make sure to have a lot of women -- let alone "pretty" women, which is too subjective a standard to even touch -- at an event? Hmm...