Set The Bar High

Posted on 02/19/2014 - by Dan Allenby

The worst thing you can hear after soliciting a gift is, “yes.”

Why? Because it means that you didn’t ask for enough.

The truth is that you’ll never know how much someone will give unless you ask them. Whether it’s $10 or $10,000, people are more likely to donate a specific amount when they are asked for a specific amount. But, once they’ve said yes, you can’t go back and ask for more (at least not right away). On the other hand, when someone says no it creates an opportunity for you to try again.

Set The Bar HighThis same idea is important in the context of leadership annual giving programs. Consider, for example, the minimum gift requirement for membership in a donor recognition society.

As the above chart shows, the majority of organizations begin gift society membership between $1,000 and $1,499 (according to AGN’s 2013 survey). However, when we analyzed those organizations that begin membership above $1,500, we found that revenue per alum was nearly double that of organizations below the $1,500 threshold.

It’s probably safe to assume that higher membership thresholds may result in fewer members. However, if your goal is to raise money, then your strategy should be clear. Set the bar high.

Want to learn more? CLICK HERE for AGN’s Webinar on Leadership Gifts for Annual Funds.