Our clients know that fundraiser recognition programs can improve event income results DRAMATICALLY, as I’ve written about many, many times.
Now is when I get the age-old question, “Which kind of item makes for a better fundraiser gift? Which recognition item will MOTIVATE fundraisers to higher fundraising levels?”
This is when I push my sleeves up and say, “Wellllllll… I’m glad you asked!”
Two Key Facts You Should Know About Recognition Products
FACT #1: People Who Accept Fundraising Gifts Raise More
Our studies show that people who accept gifts for reaching a certain fundraising level typically fundraise more than those who do not accept gifts. (I’ve written lots of papers about this. Check out our incentive program research on our website!)
FACT #2: Gifts with a Nonprofit Logo Motivate to Higher Fundraising Levels
Fact #1 is only seen when the nonprofit’s logo is imprinted on the gift. If the item was a gift card or available in a retail setting, fundraising average levels were diminished.
It’s TRUE, when retail-available gifts are positioned side-by-side with nonprofit branded gifts, the retail available gift is selected more often, but our #2 factoid still applies. WHY?
Study by Dr. Victoria Shaffer of Wichita State University
Researcher Dr. Victoria Shaffer of Wichita State University surveyed gift accepters and found that the high acceptance of the retail-available gift was due to the fundraisers paying homage to their own budget, as opposed to seeing the gift as recognition for high fundraising. The inner talk was, “My family needs this item. I should take it” instead of “This is recognition for my high achievement.” To sum: allegiance to family budget drives redemption, but not fundraising to higher levels.
Her research revealed that personal budget showed its power when nonprofit branded gifts were positioned against retail-available gifts in one set of choices. Invariably, the retail- available gift was selected at higher rates than the nonprofit branded gift. Further, total redemption or acceptance of gift was far higher with retail-available gifts as part of the selection, elevating expenses for the nonprofit greatly, with no commensurate increase in fundraising.
What All This Research Mumbo Jumbo Means
In my opinion, nonprofits are well-served to make it “all about me” when it comes to gifts for their fundraisers. Your fundraisers will more than likely raise more for your cause, and your brand will have “legs”… quite literally… sprinting past the walk, ride, run season and beyond!