In their book Switch, authors Chip and Dan Heath share a powerful insight - 'Shrink the Change’ - that will transform how you raise funds.

Chip and Dan explain that people find it more motivating to be partly finished toward a larger goal, than at the starting gate of a shorter one.

They bring a proof from a test case:

A car wash ran a promotion with loyalty cards.

‘Get your car washed, get a stamp. Come eight times, get a free car wash.’

Half of all customers received an empty card with eight spots to stamp.

The other half received a card with ten spots to stamp - but with two stamps already on the card.

The same action was required - eight car washes - but one group was given a ‘head start’.

The results were very revealing. A few months into the promotion, the second group - with the headstart - had 80% more people earn a free wash. On top of that, people in the second group earned it faster!

Donors also, I’ve found, are more likely to give (a larger donation) when your request asks them to help you towards an already started larger goal, than a not yet started smaller goal.

Here's a few ways you use the ‘Shrink the Change’ principle in fundraising.

For example,

  • In big donor solicitations, use the leverage of a larger donation to raise the second half of a needed $150K, rather than trying to raise $75K from zero. 
  • In an online matched giving campaign, solicit pre-campaign donations from your closest people before the official launch. When your campaign goes live, showing your 20-30% of the way towards the goal, it's more motivating to your donors to join this already succeeding campaign. 
  • In capital campaigns, use a ‘silent stage’ to quietly build the campaign momentum, getting the largest lead donations, before your campaign goes public. Once public, show prospects that you’re 50% of the way to your goal.

How could you make Chip and Dan's insight work for you this week.

B'hatzlacha raba raba,

Avraham

P.S Check out this inspiring R’ Yoel Gold fundraising story featuring yours truly!

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