Much Ado About Selling: Up Your Sales Game to Increase Donations

Woman standing on a platform celebrating infront of mountains made of gold coins

Sell Better = Fundraise Better

If nailing down a meeting with donors leaves you exasperated… if you are constantly are questioning why your go-to mission spiel doesn’t have your bank vault looking like Scrooge McDuck’s… if anxiety dictates how and when you ask for money… you might just be human, BUT you are never going to reach the full potential of you or your organization. Acknowledging your feelings and consciously adjusting your actions accordingly will set your organization and its mission on the path to success. Is that really possible?

Yes. It is.

Rejection is inevitable in every aspect of life. Emotions build up. It feels like a kick to the gut, but for a moment imagine not being phased by it. You would be able to accomplish things you have only dreamt of. While you might be starting to wonder if I am about to tell you to turn into the equivalent of a used car salesman, there are some important lessons to take in.

Why Is No One Donating?

Face it, most people are apathetic to your mission at best and need to be mindful of disposable income. They are in no way bad people; they still think that there are problems that need fixing. We can all understand money being tight. After all, life gets in the way; it is easy to have a myopic outlook. Things that call them to action are issues affecting them personally. In the world renowned book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie states that,

When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Do not in any way imply to donors that they are not doing something that they should be or push to convince someone who is set in their ways. It is a very fine line.

“[C]riticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurt his sense of importance and arouse resentment.”

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

You most likely know this and are rolling your eyes, but take it in and think about how you have worded your pitch to donors in the past. Think about how you can do the opposite.

What Does It All Mean?

With this understanding, you can start to understand the direction you need to be taking. In order to get donations, you have to sell yourself, your mission, and your organization. All it takes is convincing donors in a personal, thoughtful, and honest way, that they care about the problem, that your organization can fix it, and that they are directly helping. Recognition doesn’t hurt either. What do they really want? What are they desperate for? Saving the world is a daunting task and typically leads nowhere with fundraising. Fixing this involves things at a local level and a lot of the time it is about how it benefits the donors. Make it clear that their contributions affect the outcome of your mission and are not just going into the general budget.

Get across how your organization’s mission is pressing and the outcomes are advantageous to everyone involved. What are your organization’s future plans? Does it stop here, or does it continue evolving towards something greater?

How Do They Do It In Sales?

Bryan Tracy, a NY Times best-selling author that has held business positions including CEO, COO, and president of multi-million-dollar companies, goes on to say that the qualities necessary for sales can and need to be learned; no one just suddenly gets these skills. People can be more naturally at ease with selling their organization’s mission, which lends itself toward making the ask for donations more personable and less robotic.

“In selling you only have to become a little bit better and different in each of the key areas of selling for it to accumulate into an extraordinary difference in income… Once you develop this small lead, like compound interest, it continues to grow… As you use additional skills, you get better and better at them.”

Bryan Tracy, The Psychology of Selling

The skills he goes on to list are priority areas to focus on for results,

“[P]rospecting, building rapport, identifying needs, presenting, answering objections, closing the sale, and getting resales and referrals.”

Bryan Tracy, The Psychology of Selling

Final Thoughts

I can’t emphasize this enough: it is all about sales. The more effort you put in, the better your chances are of meeting your desired results. Talk with your organization’s board, development committee, and anyone involved in fundraising about adjusting tactics, as well as having some discourse about new techniques. Huge chunks of fundraising revenue are available from businesses; donors are always in sales mode, give them a show! A good saying is,

“A barber lathers a man before he shaves him.”

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Educating yourself on concepts such as public speaking, sales, and psychology may seem foreign and far from the direction you think your organization should take. Even just skimming the books mentioned will give you countless ideas and skills to increase funding and interaction with donors. If you would like to take a closer look at the sources I mentioned, here are links to Amazon listings (Some links on this page are Amazon Associate links. While we may earn from qualifying purchases, we highly recommend these products. Please only purchase if you actually desire to do so):

Ultimate Donations on EmailUltimate Donations on FacebookUltimate Donations on PinterestUltimate Donations on Twitter
Donor Gurus at UltimateDonations.org
Ultimate Donations streamlines the often convoluted task of planning fundraisers and charity events by guiding you to discover donors more rapidly and effectively. If you have requested donations previously, you might be all to familiar with how tiring and time-consuming examining potential donors can be. Ultimate Donations has done a significant part of the research into who is most likely to donate to your organization. If you want a particular donation, we have the data on what is available.

One Comment

  1. AffiliateLabz February 15, 2020 Reply

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