Many non-profits assume their potential contributors will see the good they will do and generally focus on a theme – a particular disease, helping bring people closer to Judaism,  a philanthropic cause, an organization that helps the elderly and the sick, and so on. Even though you may feel inclined to share how this student is now studying in Israel and this family has decided to enroll their kids in a Jewish school, the general rule for maximizing donations is to individualize the cause. Talking about every success story may cause the donor to “zone you out”.

Case in point: a study described in Nonprofit Marketing: The Power of Personalization, discusses an appeal illustrated with a photo of two children. This version garnered 15% less in donations than one with just one child. A photo that included eight children performed even worse – just half of the single-child donations.

While there may be exceptions to this rule (for example: if you know the particular donor likes hearing your successes) remember that your safest bet may be to simply approach a donor about one single person, rather than that their donation will go to help thousands!

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