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If you’ve ever wondered what your organization is missing when it comes to optimizing your fundraising appeals, here is one common pitfall to watch out for…

Many organizations rely on vision-absent fundraising. It’s not always bad fundraising, but it’s generally transactional rather than relational. It doesn’t inflame the imaginations of their donors with hope for dramatic and positive change.

4 Common Vision-Casting Opportunities That Nonprofits Miss

After working with hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the world, Pursuant discovered four common areas where nonprofits could begin seeing better results if they added a compelling vision to their appeal.

1. Child/Animal Sponsorships
Child/animal sponsorship is a wonderful fundraising tactic. But from a fundraising perspective, they are purely transactional. The donor can’t see beyond the individual gift. The vision is absent. If you want to captivate your donors, be sure to include what life could be like for a child when he or she is sponsored.

2. Buildings
Buildings are an excellent way to raise money. Putting a blueprint or artist’s rendering in front of a donor is pretty powerful, and people do get excited. But that’s not visionary fundraising. Without a discussion of how the new building will impact people’s lives, your building campaign could become very organization-centric.

3. Gift Catalogs
Gift catalogs are a wonderful device that many organizations use to allow people to buy alternative gifts to help someone in need. But again, a gift catalog doesn’t speak to the overall vision of the organization, but rather the one-time gift. Look for ways to show your donors how making a purchase from your gift catalog will lead to a better future for both the donor and the individuals you’re trying to help.

4. Participation Appeals
Participation appeals are common in higher education. However, most are very organization-centric. They don’t connect with the donor because they lack a conversation about how lives are impacted.

Why Vision Is So Important
A few years ago, the Association of Fundraising Professionals conducted a study on why donors make a second gift. They reported that 76 percent of respondents said the reason they made a second donation was because the organization followed up with a compelling vision and specific mission. This was by far the biggest differentiating factor for donors.

Putting the vision into context for donors is a powerful key to cultivating the second gift. Never underestimate the power of sharing why your organization exists and where it’s going.

Are You Ready to Go Beyond Vision-Absent Fundraising?
Learn how a compelling and well-crafted vision will attract donors and lead to long-term relationships by downloading the free Pursuant content paper “I Have a Dream—The Importance of Vision.” Discover how to go beyond vision-absent fundraising and make the power of vision work for you.

Is your fundraising purely transactional or is it infused with a soaring vision for significant change?