Winning Fundraising Propositions

I stumbled across this example of a small charity ‘getting it right’. It’s also a reminder that many keep making the same mistakes, including large charities that should know better.

If you’re lucky enough to shop at Waitrose, you’ll have been given discs to vote for local charities competing for a big(ish) donation. These would have been your three options at Waitrose Barbican, can you guess which charity won the cash?


Yes, of course. Was it the:

  • clear large font. So you could actually  read it, always a good start
  • image of a single beneficiary, the cute Zoe
  • proposition. The first rule of fundraising, ‘If you don’t ask…’ 
  • urgency – they added a time limit

Following these four rules will always give you a better chance of winning support, readability, single beneficiary, clear ask, and sense of urgency. Sounds simple, but even your biggest competitors get it wrong.

Either one of the other two charities could have won. Instead, they chose to tell you about the organisation and its work, instead of showing you the difference your support could make. One had a picture of a group of children. Less is more when it comes to beneficiaries – just keep it to one. Simple. Then of course, avoid the tiny-weeny copy telling us about ’50 children’, and printed hyper-links (!) for more information…

The other ‘also ran’ didn’t show you a child or children that would benefit at all! You got pictures of food produce – because that’s what the charity does, right? They decided not to have a photo of a happy child enjoying food that they’d grown.

How far ahead was RLSB?


Good for them! Do you think they deserved to win? Leave a comment below.

Check that you’re not making any of the mistakes the other two charities made…

My guess is that The Fundraising Detective was behind the RLSB victory, you can visit their blog here.

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