Let's Raise Some Money
Insights from Karen Climer about fundraising and nonprofit organizations

It’s Not What You Say, It’s When You Say It

October 16th, 2014 by Karen Climer

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve heard me talk about political fundraising.  So often I see a political campaign do something, and I wonder, “Why don’t nonprofits do that?”

Last night, we had a Florida gubernatorial debate.  The first ten minutes were bizarre to say the least.  Rick Scott refused to come on stage because Charlie Crist had a fan under his podium. (Find more details on any news website.) Within minutes of this happening, the Crist team sent an email to their supporters that said, “If you are as amazed as I am by what you just saw, chip in a few bucks right now to make sure this guy doesn’t get to stay our governor.”

The email went out within MINUTES of the fan fiasco.  They didn’t form a committee.  They didn’t get board approval.  The CEO didn’t even see the email – he was on stage debating!  If they had waited until today to send the email, it wouldn’t have worked.  Today, the fan is old news.  Last night, people were fired up and willing to donate.

Timing is more important than anything in fundraising.  Often there is a small window of opportunity where people are excited and ready to donate.  If it takes you too long to act, you’ve missed it.  Sometimes we want everything to be perfect.  We want the wording to be exactly right.  We want everyone on the team to have a chance to contribute.  Or maybe we want other people to approve it, so we can share the blame when it doesn’t work (but that’s another problem altogether!).  Sometimes that takes so long that we miss the opportunity.

Timing is paramount.  Usually it’s better to be timely than to be perfect.


Posted in Email, Planning

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