How To Get Your Donors Ready To Give

You’ve spent a ton of time on the details of planning your golf outing, gala, fundraising breakfast or lunch, wine-tasting, or fund-a-need activity. And then, invitations are sent and you cross your fingers and wait. Hoping donors will give.

Unfortunately, your guests don’t care much about the napkin colors, centerpieces, gift bags, or the font on the invitation. Your donors care about things you may not have focused on, yet.

To make your fundraising event a success you may need to shift your pre-event communication. 

To ensure your donors are ready to give, make certain they understand and are able to answer three key questions before the event. Otherwise, and I’m serious here — don’t expect donors to give at your next fundraising event.

Three things donors should know BEFORE they attend your next fundraising event:

    1. What does it take to fully fund your mission?
    2. Why is more required NOW?
    3. Who is impacted when a contribution is made?

Our job is to help make the complex simple to understand. Talking about money and who you serve might feel complex. But it doesn’t have to be. Help people know your organization by sharing a powerful story


    • Weeks before your event PLEASE spend quality time finding & crafting a powerful mission moment stories to share leading up to your event. This becomes the example of what happens when a donor gives. 

    • Story sharing rule: for every 10 minutes spent on logistics spend one -minutes crafting & sharing a mission moment story that answers the three questions listed above.

    • For galas and live ask events: Be sure to prepare your auctioneer or “asker” with at least one powerfully poignant story. Allow them to help you put a face on your mission for your event attendees. 

    • Group events like golf outings, walk or bike-a-thons are an excellent time to use MemoryFox to gather stories from clients and volunteers to share before, during and after any fundraising event.

    • Share bits and pieces of one story BEFORE your event WHILE also answering the three important questions.

    • Tease your registered guests with short videos, quotes, photos, or new details about the person in your mission moment story. But also educate them about the impact of specific dollar amounts. Keep this information real and specific.

    • It takes just $xxx per week to do _____ for someone like ______(name of the person in your mission moment story).

    • At your event remind your guests about the “what it takes” messages they’ve already read or heard. 

    • At your event or leading up to your event while collecting pledges: Invite your guests to decide how many weeks or months they want to support the person in your story. This way donors understand how their contribution will make a real impact.

      Without this knowledge, your guests will likely give smaller amounts, if at all.

Remember: Minds AND hearts must be inspired for people to take action! Click here to download the 20+ Places to Share Your Story at Nonprofit Events. Use the infographic to inspire YOU to share MORE stories before, during and after your next fundraising event.

About the Author

Lori L. Jacobwith
Founder, Ignited Fundraising 

The sweet spot of her work is to help organizations put a face on their impact by sharing inspiring, ethical mission moment stories. For more than 35 years Lori has had a laser focus on helping nonprofit staff & board members implement fundraising solutions that put ease and joy into raising money. To date, she’s helped nonprofit organizations raise more than $500 million. Public speaking & training remain her passion in her quest to fulfill her personal mission of helping as many nonprofit organizations as possible exceed their annual fundraising results.