An interesting study reported at the Fundraising Fundamentals blog: Five Words That Helped a Local Nonprofit Raise More Money.
A public radio station tested using some specific words with in-bound callers during the pledge drive. Those words:
When these five words were used during the call, women callers gave an average of $100. Those who didn't hear those words gave an average of $83. The odd thing was this: use of those words had no impact on male callers -- no increase, no decrease.
Does this mean use these words in fundraising and your average gift will jump 25%? Not necessarily. But it might.
I think the real lesson we can all draw from this is that when you talk to your donor about herself, good things usually happen. Try it.