Fundraising is never easy—and certainly not in our current economic climate. And yet, with 2012 drawing to an end, now is an important time to try and collect funds. And so, in an effort to help you in this process, we are going to introduce you to a concept originated by Doug Stevenson, called “the phrase that pays.” Stevenson teaches organizations to look for a phrase that can be used to make the fundraising pitch.

Below, Marc A. Pitman (full link here) illustrates how to use “the phrase that pays.”

For example, one of the stories was about a man how worked construction but decided he wanted to become a doctor. The president talked about the man walking into the construction supervisor’s office to give notice. He could’ve easily added a detail like, “Juan went into the office, put down his hammer, and gave notice.”



Then when he was done the story, he could turn the to the person he was addressing and say, “Now will you help other Juans put down their hammer too? Would you consider a gift of $10,000?”

By using a “phrase that pays” it helps personalize and reinforces your cause/story. Best of all, when you go to make the ask, it doesn’t feel like you’re changing gears.The ask naturally flows from the story.

We encourage you to develop a “phrase that pays” that you can use for your school, organization, etc.


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