Motivation is arguably the coin of the fundraising realm. If a donor feels motivated to give, they’ll keep doing it.
Motivation differs by amount, a lot or little and by type, high or low quality.
And most importantly it differs by situation or context. We all experience this; different levels of motivation for different jobs or goals.
My motivation to exercise is high, my motivation to drink less is appreciably lower.
Beyond this sample size of one is the data below measuring the level of autonomy or control felt by the same people in different settings and contexts. It’s all over the place – high, low and in-between.
Translated to your donors this means people aren’t born with high quality motivation to support you.
They’re created, knowingly or not by our fundraising.
The formula is pretty darn simple. A sense of autonomy is a key ingredient of high quality motivation. If I feel in control and choiceful it increases the quality of my motivation.
What else? If your donor says, “My giving to you reflects my values” and “my giving to you reflects what interests me” then you’ve got high quality motivation. How would you know? Measure it.
More importantly, how do you get them to feel this way in the first place?
Have fundraising messages whose sole purpose is to show Person A that supporting you is in keeping with his values. And realize that Person B has different values, message to her differently.
One of the biggest mistakes with fundraising messaging is we leave it to chance.
Too often we just assume that Person A and B will put in the mental effort to read between the lines and find themselves in the messaging. It’s much easier to see my values in your fundraising if there’s a message dedicated to showing me.
People who see themselves in you will have high quality motivation to support you. These same people will feel happy, joyful and pleased. This is their payout.
Matching gifts, premiums and superficial reasons to give foster low quality motivation. Messaging that creates guilt or is pressurizing and creating sky is falling urgency does the same.
And even your ‘better’ messaging about issues, programs, showing need and impact are all leaving way too much to chance, too much mental burden on Person A and B and less likely they’ll strongly agree that “giving to you reflects their values”.
That means we risk not giving them the payout they want and deserve. Instead we leave them too often feeling unhappy, worried, anxious or frustrated.