Creating a “Why I Give” page on your website is a brilliant idea for two reasons. First, when existing donors publicly voice their support and fondness for your organization, their engagement is deepened. The psychological tendency that each of us has to demonstrate consistency will influence them to respond favorably to future requests for support.
Second, it is a means of providing “social proof” that your organization is worth supporting. Displaying the enthusiastic comments of current constituents is a sure-fire way to influence new donors to join the crowd.
Let’s take a look at two organizations that are collecting “Why I Give” statements.
The Nature Conservancy encourages donors to tell their stories and promises to feature them in both “online and offline” communications. A visitor to the site can scroll through page after page of personal accounts that are more convincing than any marketing jargon could be when it comes to convincing potential donors to contribute.
As you read the stories posted, you can see that many of them offer memories of travel or friends or family. As the constituent recalls those moments and shares them in the context of supporting the organization his/her attachment to the organization is deepened. Psychologically, they are more likely to donate or volunteer in the future as a result.
Vanderbilt University also features a “Why I Give” page on its website. They note that their annual supporters number 50,000 – a clear and effective indication of “social proof”! Various banners on the giving pages feature alumni stories and provide organic content to communicate the value of the organization to prospective donors.
Like The Nature Conservancy, Vanderbilt presents a simple form to make it easy for constituents to share their stories. Again the stories shared are often very personal accounts of wonderful years attending the school or pride in a family legacy that includes multiple generations of Vanderbilt alumni.
This is a simple tool to implement, and it is powerful for both those who write “Why I Give” entries and those who read them.