Why use testimonials in your fundraising appeals?

19th November 2017

Do you want to see more donors respond to your fundraising appeals?  The answer to this question is simple: make better use of testimonials in your appeals, fundraising emails or your online channels.

That’s because in order to attract more responses to your appeals you need to be more effective at addressing three questions that can surface on your donors or potential donors minds whenever you ask them to give.

Here are the questions your donors might be asking to themselves when they engage with your appeals:

  1. Can I trust your charity to do what you are saying you will do?
  2. How great is the need you are taking about/ trying to address?
  3. Will my gift really make a difference?

One of the most effective ways to respond to these questions is to include one or more compelling testimonials in your appeal as well as a powerful story that outlines the need/s your charity is trying to address.

By definition a testimonial is a statement that recommends your charity to others, it provides evidence that you are doing a great job, or it expresses gratitude for your charity’s contributions to a community, etc.

There are three ways you can use testimonials to increase the response to your fundraising appeals:

  1. Recommendation testimonials: This kind of testimonial can be a quote from a trustworthy individual like a well-liked celebrity, a denominational leader, a local community leader, etc who encourages potential donors to support your charity. This type of testimonial can help build bridges of trust between your charity and its donors.
  2. Evidence testimonials: This kind of testimonial is a statement that can back up your claims about your initiatives or projects or it can support statistics you have gathered from the mission field. For example, an evidence testimonial can be a statement or a story from one of your charity’s partners or from one of your beneficiaries who can express clearly and simply what your charity is doing to address pressing needs.
  3. Gratitude testimonials: This kind of testimonial aims to show admiration or gratitude for the work of your charity and the gifts of your donors. Once again perhaps the best people to make this kind of testimonial are your charity’s beneficiaries, or community and church leaders in their community, your volunteers or major donors and other key stakeholders who might have first hand experience of your charity’s work.

In the next blog post we will explain briefly where to look for testimonials and how to collect them.