It isn’t that hard to ask a $3,600 donor to give another $3,600.
It’s much harder to ask a $3,600 donor to give $36,000.
I was working with a leader who had tens of donors all giving around $10K a year. No matter how hard he tried getting them to move up to $25 or $50K, they wouldn’t budge.
Clearly, they were passionate about his organization’s cause. Many of them were also capable of giving a lot more.
So why was it so hard to get them to up their donations?
Seth Godin, leading business author, gives us a clue through an idea he calls “Pattern Match, Pattern Interrupt.”
We humans are creatures of habit. Once we establish a behavior or opinion, we tend to continue along the same pattern.
When your $3,600 donor decided to give that amount to your organization, he was telling himself a certain story about your organization. A $3,600 story.
Next time you wanted $3,600, your request was a “Pattern Match'' to his internal story about your organization. So you had no trouble getting your money.
But as long as his story is fixed at $3,600, so will his giving be. If you want your donors to break the pattern and jump to higher numbers - you need to initiate a “Pattern Interrupt.”
You need them to experience a JOLT. You need to undo the existing pattern. You need to change their existing story.
How to do that? Here are two options.
1. The donor sees a significant upward shift in their finances.
No, that’s not exactly in your control. But acquiring wealth often causes donors to reset their existing giving patterns. So if such an opportunity comes your way, it’s a smart time to work on getting a larger commitment.
2. The donor experiences a significant change in their relationship to you and your organization.
That’s something within your control. It involves you enabling your donor to play a radically different part in your work than he has previously.
You could take an “ordinary” donor and offer them to become a lead player in some new initiative. You could build for them an experience that transforms the way they view what you do.
Initiating such jolts isn’t easy. You need to be creative. You need to think boldly. You need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and risk rejection.
But when you do, you take an excellent chance at turning $3600 donors into $36,000 donors - or more.
What’s a “pattern interrupt” you can design for a donor this week?
Have a great week,