Three Strategies That Will Engage Women Donors’ Hearts and Their Wallets

I’m wildly interested in what Margaret May Damen had to say about appealing to women donors in her 09 Year-End Strategies Telesummit interview with me last week.

iStock_000006752189XSmallAfter years on the big-time university fundraising scene, I know all too well how so many development folks focus waaaaay too much on the men. I know I used to do it too.

But now, take a look at her statistics: According to the Harvard Business Review, 84% of all women make ALL the financial decisions in their households. My oh my.  Too many development officers are missing the boat if they are talking to men.

Here are Margaret May Damen’s top three strategies to engage women donors’ hearts AND their pocketbooks.

  1. Gather a group of top women donors across generational divides. Ask themiStock_000000258399XSmall for their best ideas on how to succeed with your mission.  And ask them to be the pebble in the pond. To go out there and tell the story of what our organization is doing.  Ask them to increase their gifts by 10-20% – not for a dollar goal but for a specific need.  And then ask them to go out and ask two or three other women for the same thing.

2.  In your next newsletter – put a photo or a testimonial in it from a female donor. There are TOO MANY photos of men in our materials – and it matters to women!  Why are they being left out?

3.  Call your female donors and ask them outright – for a specific need, not a general goal:  “Our students need meals – with another $100 from you we can buy 20 more meals.  Can we count on you?”