Supporters are driven to donate or participate by both an emotional connection to your mission and trust that their contribution (time or money) will be well used. You know your mission, but do your supporters connect with it in a way that builds the kind of long-term relationships that appeal to both heart and reason? The first impression of your organization is created through your brand and how you communicate your mission. Are you making a good one?
A strong brand relies on a strong value proposition. One that enables supporters to:
- Gain trust that they are a vital part of your mission and that their contribution makes a difference. Why act?
- Understand the urgency of your mission. Why now?
- Believe that their contributions are used wisely. Why me?
A strong value proposition answers the question: “Why should I donate money or time to help you today?” It must be clear, concise, easy to understand and:
- Explain how your organization/institution solves a problem (e.g., we give scholarships to worthy students who could otherwise not attend college) or improves a particular situation (e.g., we provide temporary housing for flood victims).
- Show impact and quantify, where possible, the value of past and continued support (e.g., successful past scholarship students establish a $1M scholarship fund or 25 families moved from makeshift tents by the river into a dry, safer environment).
- Tell the donor why your organization/institution (versus others) is uniquely suited to solve the problem or improve the situation.
- Use language that resonates with your supporters. This may be very different than what resonates for you. Your value proposition should lead a prospective supporter to say, “why am I not already helping?” It should optimize the thought process that leads a prospective or returning donor or participant to say, “yes.”
- Is highly visible on your home page, every page where you have a call to action to donate or sign up and all channels you use to communicate with potential supporters.
- Use pictures, not just words. Pictures often invoke stronger emotions, like empathy, than words alone.
A strong value proposition isn’t just for finding donors and participants. It helps convert and retain supporters. Just as you do with your donation page, you must continually test and optimize your value proposition to keep your supporters coming back. You can do this by surveying your supporters and checking which of your projects are most strongly supported.