One of the most important (and most widely ignored) truths about fundraising is this: Fear of loss is more motivating than hope of gain.
Read more about this at Clairification: Fundraising Appeal Psychology: Show People How to Avoid Loss.
Here's what this mainly tells us: You aren't going to raise as much with a message saying, "Everything is great; jump on our awesome bandwagon" as you are by making the case for what won't happen if people don't donate.
Donors are most likely to give if they know these things:
- There's a specific problem they can understand.
- There's a specific and meaningful solution. Don't give them the impression that the problem is so big it can't be solved.
- They can be a meaningful part of that solution. Make sure they know their giving level (whether it's $25 or a million bucks) does something great.
There's more. But that's most of what you need to tell donors if you want to succeed.