Thursday, February 19, 2009

What Is In It For Me?

Ages ago I took a fundraising class and was told that the #1 message in any proposal we submit needs to be what is in it for the funder. What recognition and benefits do they get in return for their money? For a few years there seemed to be a backlash against this - mostly around the notion that pharma was influencing educational content and programs through grants. This fall we ran a test, accidentally.

Fertile Hope sent out a request to corporate donors asking them to support us just because – just because we are a great organization, we spend your donations wisely, the long-term benefit of your support will benefit your business, we’ve proven time and again that we are effectively meeting people’s needs and growing the market, etc, etc, etc. The return rate was dismal. Coincidentally, two months later, we sent out a request to the same companies asking them to support us in a way that also promotes them. The return rate was phenomenal - companies were literally fighting for limited placements and begging to be included! Lesson learned.

Now the key is to continue to come up with creative ways to meet the cancer community’s needs in ways that also have big benefits for our funders. Any ideas?


  1. John F. Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country!" Under George W. Bush the theme became, "What's in it for me?" The result is the second Great Depression." Today everyone tries to screw everybody else.