In the wake of the spate of hurricanes this season, disaster relief organizations have repeatedly asked for $10 through the increasingly popular “Text-to-Give” technique. The $10 ask is the primary flaw in the strategy.
A primary axiom of the fundraising profession is to ask for a specific amount of money. A low ask amount virtually ensures a small gift.
Many prospective donors could give much more than $10, but the soliciting organizations have chosen to promote a fundraising strategy that typically caps donations due to carrier or third party partner regulations.
The result is two negative, unintended consequences: The organization communicates that $10 is the preferred amount and that a $10 donation is creating the desired impact, even though larger amounts would provide more benefit for those in need.
It would be better to ask donors for “$25, $50, $100, $250, $500, or an amount that is personally meaningful.” Through this approach, the organization would be sending a valuable message to the public: Act for the greater good in accordance with your financial capacity to do so.