Your Cause as Investment Opportunity

Whether you use brochures, videos, personalized proposals, telemarketing scripts, solicitations letters, newsletters, social media or all of the above, potential donors and sponsors to your cause typically want to know specific information about you before contributing.  Donations and sponsorships are investments. Unlike investing in stocks or other financial vehicles, investing in your cause is meant to generate a positive return for society and/or a promotional return for the contributor.  Despite these differences, the key to successfully securing funds from both sets of investors rests, in large part, on answering two overarching questions:

  • What level of value will you provide thanks to the investment?
  • Why is your organization and project the one to deliver that value?

Providing Value: Value to Society

Every cause either helps people or animals.   Even causes that do not directly focus on people such as some environmental organizations do so for the benefit of people such as future generations.  It is important that you make this people (or animal) link as strongly as possible. Furthermore, potential supporters want to know the value to people you have or will have on three levels:

  1. The value of your organization
  2. The value of the project in question
  3. The value of their specific contributions.

At all three levels, you need to answer questions such as:

  • How many people benefit?
  • How greatly does each person benefit on average and in what ways?
  • How long does the benefit last?
  • What are some very specific examples of individuals that have or will benefit?

Providing Value: Value to the Sponsor or Donor

Even the anonymous donor or sponsor has a reason for giving.  It is important to understand the motivations of people that will support you and to address those drivers.   Sponsors typically seek marketing benefits, while donors may seek the good feelings that come from being generous,  recognition or direct benefit from the work being conducted.  For further background, see Six Reasons Donors Give Their Money Away and Why Companies Will Sponsor You.