Standing out in Numbers

The right statistics add meat to your materials as well as attention-grabbing heft. (As you scan a page, don’t you find your eyes drawn to numbers that stand out?) Most of us use numbers to get a quick summary of what the text is going to tell us. (Haven’t you noticed that your news and magazines feature ever-more-frequent quick lists to grab your attention?)

There are many statistics to be found in fundraising–the majority of them intended for internal purposes (response rates, percent over last year, etc.). Only certain statistics will be meaningful to constitutents and prospects in your materials.

To be effective in marketing, your leading statistics need to be:

  • Easy to identify with–” Number of counseling sessions provided or clients served in one month.
  • In the realm of comprehension–”reduced homeless incidents from 60 to 50 per month.”
  • Express urgency– “Every 4 minutes a drunk driver gets behind the wheel.”
  • Relate the gift to the impact possible–”only $.67 a day will help veterans adjust as they return”; “your $100 gift will feed X children for a month.”
  • Assure donors that their gifts go directly to serving others–”95% of gifts to the campaign goes directly to the people of the disaster area.”

Knowing that the statistics will be read first, make sure you use the ones that will have the most impact for you.  If you don’t have the right statistic on hand, find a way to start collecting data that will fill the bill!

It’s important to remember that statistics by themselves are rarely enough to create action, no matter how impressive they are. Instead, statistics are a valuable part of telling a great story and as the evidence you use when building a compelling case.

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