April 10, 2024 Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

Donors are motivated by a desire to make a meaningful impact on causes that resonate with their values and beliefs. Understanding what connects them and finding ways to present it to your donors is critical to building and maintaining a successful direct response fundraising program.

A good direct response fundraising offer is a bridge that connects organizations with their supporters, giving donors tangible and specific ways their contributions can make a difference. In this article, we will delve into the art of crafting fundable offers, exploring the vital components that capture your donors’ attention, inspire their generosity, and ultimately forge a lasting connection between your organization and the donors who support you.

As you brainstorm possible fundraising offers to present to your donors, use these five points as a guide.

Ensure your fundraising initiatives align with your organization’s mission and values. Donors connected with your organization because they believe in what you do—your fundraising offers should reflect the types of services and initiatives that drew them to support you in the first place.

Clearly define the impact of each of your organization’s initiatives. Your donors, much like anyone investing in something meaningful, want to see, hear about, and believe in the impact of their contribution. Donor stewardship involves not just asking for help but clearly articulating what that help accomplishes.

Tailor your offers to appeal to specific donor segments based on interests, demographics, and giving preferences. When donors respond to a specific fundraising offer, they are more likely to respond to similar offers in the future. As you develop additional fundraising offers, it is important to consider the audience these offers will be presented to. Testing will inform you if your donors will support new offers.

Evaluate the feasibility and sustainability of a fundraising offer. While there are fundraising needs that arise over time and for specific campaigns, having offers that are more evergreen (food, meals, safe shelter, etc.) is vital. It is important to assess your fundraising offers to make sure your donors see your organization as meeting important needs and also laying a foundation for a better tomorrow.

Explore innovative approaches to stand out and differentiate your nonprofit. As you develop your specific fundraising offers, regularly assess their performance. Test, analyze data, gather feedback, and be willing to repeat and refine your approach to stay effective and relevant.


Feeding Organization: A gift of $100 can help provide 40 meals.
Homeless Shelter: Your gift of $25 will provide one day of shelter and care.
Animal Welfare: Contribute $25 to feed a shelter animal for an entire month.
Community Development: $100 provides a brood of laying hens for a family.

In addition to brainstorming the points above, consider these five questions to determine the offer messaging that will inspire the support of your donors.

  • What is the problem or opportunity?
  • How is the organization solving the problem or meeting the opportunity?
  • How much will it cost to solve the problem or meet the opportunity?
  • How will the donor’s gift help solve the problem or meet the opportunity, and what is the specific call to action?
  • Why should the donor give now?

Answering these questions in as much detail as you can ensures your offer is not just structurally sound but resonates with donors, prompting them to take meaningful action.

Also consider approaching your fundraising offer ideas as if you were having a casual conversation with your donor. It might go something like this:

    • ORGANIZATION: Would you give to meet this need?
    • DONOR: Why should I give?
    • ORGANIZATION: To help provide [fill in the blank].
    • DONOR: How can I help do that?
    • ORGANIZATION: With a gift of $25.
    • DONOR: What will my $25 do?
    • ORGANIZATION: It will impact our community and change lives.

Working through this type of a dialogue can help you craft a targeted fundraising offer like the simplified examples shared above: “For your gift of $X, you help accomplish Y.”

Creating fundable offers is critical to ensure your organization has the foundational support needed to meet your mission and binds donors to you in a lasting way. And, together, you are changing lives, shaping the future, and making a lasting impact.

If you would like to connect with us to talk more about crafting fundable offers, please reach out: info@douglasshaw.com or 630.562.1321.