What Exactly Will Motivate Women to Give This Fall?

Hi!  I’m a bit behind in my goal of one-blog-post-per-day on year-end giving strategies during the month of October – because of a heavy travel and event schedule last week. BUT, watch out, I’m getting caught up this week. So be prepared for an onslaught of strategy ideas this week!

It’s time to talk about the ladies. And why women are likely to be the demographic group who can put you over goal this year.   In the Year-End Fundraising Strategy Telesummit interviews, Margaret May Damen, founder of the Institute for Women and Wealth, shared some fascinating information about how to appeal to women donors this fall.

She said thiStock_000007802393XSmallat women definitely give for different reasons than men, and outlined how to create an appeal that will speak directly to a woman’s interests.  (Women actually buy cars differently than men too!)

According to Margaret May, women give for both pragmatic and passionate reasons.

  • Pragmatic: Women want to give to fund a certain specific outcome or result. They are less likely to make general unrestricted gifts than men are.  Damen says that women want to know what the results of their giving will be.  They’ve had to run businesses and households and can be pretty exacting when it comes to expecting a return on their investment.
  • Passionate: Women also respond very well to emotional appeals.  Damen says that we need to “speak female” and talk to the heart.  The facts need to elicit feelings.  Instead of: “be a benefactor for $100, and an angel for $1000;” try something like this:  “buy 5 bags of food and save three dogs;” or “$50 will buy three kids lunch for a week.”

Damen says that men’s talk is more like report talk. this is what we do and how well we have done. She says that women’s talk is more about rapport – how it feels and what it’s like.

Men are more about getting a job done. Women are more about the best way to get the job done – the process as much as the results.  Women like to build a relationship before buying or giving. They want to know you and feel comfortable with you.

And talk about “community” in  your fundraising appeals. Concepts like the “greater good” are especially important to women.  Fundraising can sometimes seem too self interested, and this doesn’t appeal to women.  They would rather hear how the project connects and supports the overall community.

Language like this generates trust and compassion, which can help open the hearts of your generous women donors. And it will help you raise a lot more money to help your cause.