“Consider” is a very powerful word for fundraising.
“Would you consider a gift in the amount of $25,000 to help fund this project?”
“What’s the likelihood that you would consider leaving [name of charity] as a partial beneficiary of your estate?”
“Have you considered what might happen if we don’t help that village right now?”
People who agree to consider taking a certain action in the future are much more likely to ultimately consummate that same previously considered action later.
That’s because people have a deep need to be and appear consistent. Inconsistency is commonly felt to be an undesirable trait.
Therefore, it is important to ask your legacy and major gift prospects if they would consider a legacy or major gift before you actually ask for the gift.
Social scientists call this the foot in the door technique. It is a very powerful influencer. But you must have a lot of patience for it to work.
The technique requires you to get your supporters to agree to somewhat small, even trivial, requests. For instance say, “If we were to create a garden outside the hospital… sort of an outdoor waiting room… would you consider helping us with the construction costs?”
Asking people to consider such a decision, will make them more likely to consider it again later simply because they promised and they won’t want to be inconsistent with that earlier commitment.
Also, because they agreed to consider it in the past, it is very likely that their subconscious mind will have developed support for making the decision affirmatively when the time comes. The foot in the door technique has a habit of planting the seeds for positive outcomes.
So, I suggest you consider using the word “consider” more often.
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