Can the Elliot Institute Survive With Only 192 Donors?
No. We can’t.
March 28, 2011
The blame is all mine. I’m not a very good fundraiser. And I’m apparently getting worse.
Both our fall and winter fundraising appeals fell far short of previous years’ efforts. For the first nine months of our current fiscal year (July 1 thru March 15,), our donations are down $39,062 compared to a year ago.
Remember, we have three employees and annual operating expenses of about $125,000 per year. That means we’re missing nearly one third of the income we need to be here next year.
Here is why donations dropped.
My last two fundraising letters focused on good news. But according to fundraising experts, good news does not inspire donations.
But I foolishly ignored that advice.
In our October appeal, I focused on our success in getting our negligent pre-abortion screening bill passed in Nebraska. I asked for help to repeat that success in other states.
(At the risk of torpedoing this fundraiser with more good news, portions of our model bill were also just signed into law in South Dakota! So we have yet another victory to celebrate! Praise God!)
Then, in our January appeal, I wrote about how the drop in abortion rates is explained by recent poll data revealing that the majority of Americans now believe abortion hurts women more than it helps them. At least some of this is due to our own research and public education efforts.
But according to fundraising experts, those letters were doomed to failure.
The formula “Here is the good news; please help us produce more good news”, experts say, produces smiles and complacency, not checks.
According to fund raising professionals, doom, gloom, and an immediate, urgent need for funds is the only sure way to pull in donations.
Apparently, they’re right.
Ironically, by ignoring their advice, I’ve produced just such an emergency.
Our number of donors has dropped from around 350 to 192.
That’s right. Only 192 people.
We have thousands of people on our email list. Thousands of web site hits per day, but only 192 people have donated in the last nine months. On average these donors have donated over $300 (usually in multiple donations). But the total number of donors is way down.
Even now, I wonder how our needs can ever compete with the likes of the disaster in Japan?
The obvious truth is, we can’t “compete.” There are just too many compelling needs out there . . . many employing fundraising professionals who write far more compelling letters than I can ever write.
So, we can’t compete.
But we can ask you to prayerfully consider including us in your list of supported charities.
I promise you: we will stretch every dollar you donate to its furthest limits. Your donations will save lives and souls.
Please look at this summary of our work over the years. Look at what we have already accomplished with so little.
With the support of people like you, we can do even more.
We’ve received so many letters of thanks, that I know we have saved countless women from undergoing unwanted and unsafe abortions.
We also know we have helped to bring women and men to Christ simply by sharing the simple message that God can heal any heart and soul, including those broken by abortion.
So I can confidently promise, your donation will make a difference. It will save lives. It will save souls.
Can you become a monthly sustaining partner, donating $10, $20, or $50 per month? If so, please fill out the pledge form here and send it with your first check.
Or can you afford to make a single annual donation of $200, $500, $1000, or even $5,000?
You can donate by phone, mail or online here.
Please be as generous as you can. And if you can’t donate, please pray that others can and will help us to close our budget gap.
Sincerely yours for Life in Christ,
David C. Reardon, Ph.D.
P.S. – Please respond today, before you become distracted by all of your other obligations.
Thank you for being our partner in this effort. Anything you can give to close our $39,000 deficit will not only further our work this year, it will help us to be here for you and others next year.
Donate by phone, mail or online here