Your nonprofit may be backed by many generous supporters, but are you making the most of their contributions?
Your organization should take advantage of every possible opportunity you get to maximize your revenue.
It’s no surprise that many small nonprofits struggle to raise money they need. Gathering enough support from your community through major marketing initiatives can be a challenge for your already-stretched team members. You’re passionate about your cause, but without sufficient fundraising, it will be harder for your nonprofit to succeed and thrive.
When you feel as though your organization needs a bit of a push to improve, it may be time to re-evaluate your fundraising plan.
By targeting your weak areas by taking advantage of existing improvement opportunities, you can ramp up your fundraising and strengthen your nonprofit’s ability to raise support for its mission in no time. Let’s get started!
Reach out to your existing supporters. As a nonprofit professional, you know how important it is to show your appreciation after a donation. Letting donors know that you value their gifts and the time they devote to your organization can boost relationships more than you’d initially expect.
However, it’s also important to make sure the conversation isn’t just one-sided. Encourage supporters to provide feedback. Then, make sure your organization acknowledges their concerns.The communication process can even be simplified by conducting outreach through the right donor database software.
Make sure you effectively hold up your side of the conversation with supporters. Approach any communication with the intent to grab the attention of your audience. According to last year’s Trends in Giving Report, 54% of donors worldwide prefer to give online, which means they’ll likely also read your messages online.
So, carefully craft your emails with the following best practices:
Direct mail donations represent about 11% of all charitable donations. Therefore, you’ll want to put as much care into direct mail as you do for emails, so try the following:
While most gifts are given online these days, most of your largest donations are given after a face-to-face conversation. Make sure to frame your conversation correctly by first asking about the philanthropic impact they want to make, then focusing on the effect the person’s donation will have on your organization.
Don’t overlook any form of communication, because you want every last charitable donation you can get. Even though 69% of donors prefer to be thanked via email, you’ll miss out on a large number of donations if you only focus on email communication. The remaining 31% is accounted for by print letters, text messages, postcards, social media messages, and phone calls.
Building an effective communication strategy for your fundraising campaigns will also require you to target your messages towards a particular segment of your donor base. For instance, mid-level donors are frequently overlooked by nonprofits.
TIP: Learn how to communicate better and more effectively with all types of people from all walks of life with our free downloadable tip sheet.
Generally, nonprofits focus heavily on stewarding their major donors or acquiring new supporters, both of which are great strategies! However, it leaves your mid-tier donors without much attention. These are the donors you want to cultivate to reach those upper-level donation amounts.
The first step in better targeting this segment of your donor base is figuring out who your mid-level donors are. Run a report to find out who falls between the categories of your largest and smallest donors. The second step is engaging them.
You should create a unique mid-level donor experience by doing the following:
When you use your communication platforms effectively, you can more deliberately cultivate your relationships with mid-tier donors. No matter where exactly they fall within the mid-tier range, show them how their support helps further your mission, and as always, say thank you.
As you get started implementing more effective communication strategies, remember that not all donors respond the same to the same communication platforms. Get to know your donors and their preferences, and always keep an open line of communication. That way, they’ll feel valued, and you won’t miss out on any fundraising opportunities.
Listen to your donors. This is the simplest donor retention technique. When you listen to their feedback and concerns and then take action, you’ll gain your supporters’ trust and make them feel respected and appreciated.
To simplify the feedback process necessary for strong donor retention, create a questionnaire to gauge areas of improvement. Instead of posting the survey on your website, send it directly to donors via email. Keep open-ended questions limited so as not to bore participants, but including one to two can add immense value to the questionnaire.
Consider the following:
|Why did you first give to our organization?|
|Why is this cause important to you?|
|If you had 5 minutes with our director, what would you say?|
By collecting information directly from your supporters, you can better personalize the messages you use to communicate with them. Donor management software allows you to store personalized information about each and every one of your donors, including relevant documents, demographics, relationships, and notes. Plus, with the right software, you can even create these messages within the CRM.
Donor database software simplifies every step of the communication process and creates a positive, customized donor experience.
For instance, donor management software allows you to manage your entire list of supporters, create email newsletters, track individuals’ engagement histories, analyze your data through its generated smart reports, and much more.
With strong donor management software in your tech toolbox, you can also more easily conduct prospect research to further personalize interactions and identify prospective major donors. Look into your supporters’ philanthropic and wealth indicators to determine how much they can give as well as how likely they are to give.
Some of these indicators to look for are:
When selecting the right prospect research technology, keep an eye out for features that allow you to conduct social discovery. Social discovery is one type of prospect development that focuses on donors’ social factors. Factors like personal passions and social media followers can effectively indicate affinity, capacity, philanthropic interests, and professional stability.
|Related: Learn about how GoFundMe works and alternatives to determine the best fit for your fundraising campaign.|
The more publicly-available data you gather, the more effective and natural your asks for support will be as you grow your relationship with that prospect. Remember that when choosing the right donor database software, look for a solution that integrates with your donor database. This makes it easy to store the information you collect for the future.
When your donors feel as though you’ve taken the time to get to know them, they’ll be more likely to stick around and continue contributing.
One often overlooked revenue source is corporate giving programs. They stem from employees’ engagement with specific nonprofits and aim to multiply their contributions.
According to Double the Donations’ matching gift statistics, 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, but an estimated $4 to $7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed every year. Think of all the money you could miss out on by not taking advantage of these programs.
Different types of corporate giving opportunities include:
Educate your supporters about these opportunities. When you tell your supporters about these opportunities, they’re much more likely to give and, in some cases, even give more. In fact, 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered.
Offering tools and resources for your supporters to check their own eligibility is a smart move. By implementing a tool like this, you educate your supporters and make it easier for them to multiply their contributions. This is an easy way to bridge the gap in knowledge about employee giving opportunities.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to get your supporters engaged, acquire new donors, and boost revenue all at once!
Any nonprofit can benefit from peer-to-peer fundraising but only if they think through their approach. While smaller nonprofits might be able to have a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser with limited tech resources, larger nonprofits may find investing in more comprehensive fundraising software to be helpful in their campaign efforts.
While it is a cost-effective way to raise more money, it can take a lot of effort from everyone involved. In order to have a successful peer-to-peer campaign, you’ll need to:
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerfully effective way to revamp your fundraising strategy while also engaging your supporters. Plus, when your supporters are reaching out to their friends and family to support your organization, your nonprofit reaches new and exciting audiences (great for donor acquisition!).
|TIP: Learn more about peer-to-peer campaigning so that you can implement it in your own organization.|
Making small adjustments can make a huge impact on your organization’s fundraising, so cover all your bases by practicing effective communication, focusing on donor retention, and exploring corporate giving programs.
Remember, peer-to-peer fundraising requires careful planning, but the process can be simplified through fundraising technology. Any nonprofit can benefit from peer-to-peer campaigning, so find out what it can do for your organization!
Every donation matters, so make use of all available information about your volunteers, donors, and other supporters to personalize your outreach. By taking advantage of all opportunities, you can take your fundraising to the next level.
Curious about creating the perfect fundraising plan? Take these tips and read on to see how to make an unbeatable nonprofit fundraiser for your company.
Jay B. Love is a Co-Founder and current Chief Relationship Officer at Bloomerang.
He has served this sector for 33 years and is considered the most well-known senior statesman whose advice is sought constantly.
Prior to Bloomerang, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of eTapestry for 11 years, which at the time was the leading SaaS technology company serving the charity sector. Jay and his team grew the company to more than 10,000 nonprofit clients, charting a decade of record growth.
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