Overcoming the #1 Donor Objection
We are lucky to live in a world where households give $471.44 billion to charity, but anyone who works within fundraising knows that securing this amazing funding is not an easy task.
Fundraisers understand that inspiring a gift often comes down to overcoming donor objections. And – no surprise – a recent poll found that the hardest donor objection to overcome is ‘bad timing, financially.’
‘Bad timing, financially’ has probably been a donor objection since the advent of donors. However, just because this objection has been around forever, it doesn’t mean we’ve developed a silver bullet to overcome the objection.
They are satisfying gifts to close, though, as Taylor Buxbaum, CFRE, and a fundraiser for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, explains.
“The most rewarding gifts I’ve worked with have come during times of financial uncertainty. The folks who support your institution when it is needed most even though it might be difficult for them are truly special!” - Taylor Buxbaum, CFRE, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Others, like Thomas Wyszynski, a Financial Advisor at Baystate Financial, knows that there are tools that can help donors in times of financial uncertainty.
“Like most things in life, charitable giving requires intentionality. Some people were taught giving (and tithing) as part of a family tradition worth continuing. Others come to it on their own as a way of giving back after career and financial success. But for those who have not embraced giving as a way of life yet, teaching them about the potential tax savings associated with a Donor Advised Fund, Charitable Remainder Trust or Qualified Charitable Distribution can get them there. Walking them through the corporate match process at their employer can create some additional excitement as they see their gift - and its effectiveness - increased and amplified.” - Thomas Wyszynski, Baystate Financial
Yet, tools like DAFs, CRTs, and QCDs are generally intended for major gifts. When we look at philanthropy further down the giving pyramid, fundraisers don’t have great options to help donors overcome timely financial barriers. If, a donor in an annual giving program says, “Sorry, it’s a bad time financially,” a fundraiser could…
Ask For Less
How many times have you found out that a donor wasn’t comfortable at a particular giving level, so you discounted your ask? For example, many colleges and universities will ask alumni who have a financial barrier to give the year of their graduation – $20.11, $20.12, $20.13, and so on.
Although pledges can create logistical nightmares, awkward relationships, and leave the books open on gifts that have not come in yet, most organizations accept pledges from donors. However, rather than receiving a gift upfront, the organization has to wait for each payment to come in to consider a gift ‘closed.’
Defer Your Ask
When a donor says they might be in a better financial position later, your organization has to make note of their feedback and push the giving ask further into the fiscal year, or even next fiscal year.
Settle for Participation
Though participation can be a core strategy in some types of 501( c)(3) organizations, such as higher education because of how the metric is used in college and university rankings, settling for it can leave larger gifts on the table.
Give Now, Pay Later
Luckily, Give Now, Pay Later (GNPL) from Givzey finally gives fundraisers a tool they can use to overcome the ‘bad timing, financially’ donor objection. Because GNPL empowers donors to match their philanthropic values with their monthly budget, you can still close gifts today while your donors receive the flexibility to pay over time.
Also, unlike pledges, organizations receive GNPL gifts in full when they are made, don’t assume any risk if a donor misses a payment or changes their credit card midway through the payment schedule, and gift processors don’t have to consolidate between hard and soft credits.
The next time you encounter a donor who says that giving right now is a bad time financially, instead of discounting your gift ask, see if Give Now, Pay Later helps them clear their giving barrier.