How to craft a successful pledge proposal
Long before you can generate revenue from your nonprofit or school’s major donors, there is a pledge proposal that starts the process.
The pledge proposal serves as an important tool for formalizing plans and the gift commitment. It also sets the tone for the donor’s relationship with your organization and creates expectations for both parties.
So, what are the important elements for creating a very successful pledge proposal?
Decide on the pledge proposal format
Before creating the content for your proposal, you should determine the right format to deliver it.
Written proposals are often seen as more formal and professional. They may be the preferred approach if that fits the your organization’s brand image or your supporter’s expectations. It could also be the right method if there are a lot of specific details that must be clearly conveyed.
In other cases, though, a PowerPoint-style proposal will better suit you. This approach comes off as more casual, which may make your supporter feel less pressured.
However you decide to create your proposal, it is always best to share and discuss it directly with your supporter, rather than just sending it to them. This way, you can quickly answer questions or concerns, and sense anything that the potential donor is uneasy about.
Make the pledge’s impact clear
Before getting into the monetary details, a best practice is to talk about what the gift will help accomplish. You can share your planned projects, the obstacles you face, and how the donor can make a difference.
It can also be helpful to show how a longer-term pledge commitment will allow you to take on bigger initiatives and plan to reach goals in the future. The more specific you can be about the people, places, and projects the gift will impact, the more influential your proposal will be.
Ability to easily track and change details
It’s very rare for an initial proposal to be the final version. There are almost always unique details to add or remove in order to suit your donor’s wishes. You also want that first version of the proposal to be the start of a discussion, rather than a take-it-or-leave-it request.
While making an edit to a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint document is simple, it’s crucial to properly track these changes. This ensures that your donor management system has the up-to-date pledge details. Then, it can be correctly anticipated and eventually turned into revenue without complication.
Ensure flexibility for future adjustments
We would like to think that confirming the pledge is the last hurdle, but that’s typically not the case. Plans often change down the road, whether that is the payment date or type, where the funds are allocated to, the details of the payee, and much more.
It’s important to convey that these adjustments can be made if needed in the future. This will help donors feel comfortable committing to the pledge without having to worry about each specific detail.
Of course, it is also key to have technology that makes these changes easy to implement without causing data challenges for your CRM and accounting tools.
Explore Causeview’s Pledge Manager
We’ve built Causeview’s Pledge Manager to help your organization simply tackle these complex challenges. From tracking the details of your proposals to adjusting the specifics before processing a payment, Causeview makes pledge management a breeze.