Raise more for charidee

Raise more for charidee

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[1 minute self development] We Brits love a good fundraiser. It seems every other day that somebody is raising money for charidee, and it's always most deserving. Sadly though, most people collect a fraction of the money they could raise, if only they approached it slightly differently.  So I decided to make it one of the chapters in my new book - Persuade in a minute (out on September 1st).

Whether you’ve got a sponsored walk/ride/cycle/trek/swim or even as my friend did, a sponsored ‘give up beer for a month’ (seems almost a bit too easy), follow the steps below and watch the cash roll in.

1. Foot-in-the-door technique

In 1983 a group of researchers found they could increase donations to charity with this technique. Schwarzwald, Bizman and Raz asked a group of people to make a donation to a charity; however, before being asked, some had already been asked to sign a petition simply agreeing with the aims of the charity. The ones who’d signed the petition were more likely to donate.

The theory is that somebody is more likely to agree to a significant request when they’ve already agreed to a smaller, related request.

A friend of mine, Damian, did something slightly tougher than a sponsored give-up-booze. He was taking part in the Great North Run for the first time and was desperate to raise as much money as possible. He was running it for a cancer charity in memory of his nan so it was a cause very close to his heart.  Here's what he did.

  • Ask a small, general question to get an initial verbal commitment from people about giving something to your charity fundraising effort. Damian’s was simply, ‘I’m running the marathon for charity soon, can I put you on my list of potential donors?’ (1 minute per donor)

He had his (metaphorical) foot wedged in the door.

2. The disproportionate influence of your two most generous friends

The other day I logged onto the justgiving website and made a charity donation to my friend. What was the first thing I did when I went on her page? I took a look down the list at some of the other donations and comments. I then donated myself.

A while later, as I looked at my pledge on the page, I realised I’d donated the same amount as most of the people underneath my name. I realised that I’d unconsciously made a judgement on what to donate based on what others had given. I’d been influenced by the actions of those around me.

How can you exploit this knowledge to raise more money for charity than you’d ever dreamed possible?

  • Pick your two most generous friends. The ones you know you can count on to give, and give generously.
  • Give them a quick call, and explain the disproportionate influence of your two most big-hearted friends when it comes to giving money. Damian explained that if they made a generous initial donation, not only would he be hugely grateful, but that other people will be more likely to donate more. (1 minute per donor)

3. Make every request individual and special

‘Diffusion of responsibility’ is what happens when people in groups allow something to happen that wouldn't happen if those people were by themselves.  Unfortunately, with group emails and facebook, this happens far too often in charity fundraising.

How many times have you been cc’d on an email to hundreds of people asking for charity cash, and not done anything about it?  But if somebody had approached you individually, and told you about the worthy brilliant cause they were raising for, you might have donated.

Send a group email to 100 people and there is no individual responsibility to reply.  But send 100 individual emails and there is a personal responsibility on every single person to at least respond. And then hopefully give as well.

  • Contact each individual you’d like to donate by email/facebook message/letter. Personalise the message with their name and perhaps a line or two unrelated to the charity push. Then be explicit and tell them exactly what you’d like them to do and how much some people have donated already. You can copy and paste most (but not all) of this to save time. (1 minute per message)

Remember, these days it’s very tempting for us to cut corners by writing one message, and cc’ing it to 10, 100 or 1000 people. If you do this, you'll raise less whether you’re giving up beer for a month or running the Great North Run.

Damian made every request personal and special, and he raised money than he ever dreamed possible. And he was proud to do that in memory of his nan.

Persuade in a minute is released on September 1st, and available here.

For more on raising absolutely pots of cash for charity, or for your business.

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