3 Simple Fundraising Tips: Don’t Leave Your Donors Hanging
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why a fundraising attempt falls short of the goal. It seems like you promoted it well enough. You thought the loyal supporters would come through. But for some reason, it didn’t happen.
Even for experienced nonprofit professionals, sometimes the best course of action is to return to the basics. It’s easy to lose sight of fundamentals while we’re fretting about complicated things like search engine optimization (SEO), click-through rates, or graphic design.
Whether a specific fundraising effort succeeds or fails, a successful nonprofit cannot neglect the vital step of nurturing your donors, subscribers, and prospects.
Here are 3 simple fundraising tips about keeping donors engaged.
3 Kinds of Donors And the Attention You Must Give Them
Fundraising Tip #1: New Donors Want Love
When new donors give, this is your one chance to re-affirm their decision to support your work. You’ve got a few weeks, at most, to send out a thoughtful thank you note. Or you could make a phone call, if you have the personnel for this. At the very least, send them an email with a short story of how their donation has had an immediate impact.
But do something to solidify their decision to financially support your work. It’s not about making them feel appreciated as much as it’s about making them feel important. They are needed. People want to know that what they’ve done matters..
Fundraising Tip #2: Prospects Need Attention
Your website and print campaigns also reach people who have yet to give any money, but are engaged enough to want to know what your organization is all about.
If these people sign up for a newsletter, or attend an event and give their email, this may be your only opportunity to engage them, and you may have just a few weeks. Send them substantive content on a consistent basis after first contact. This is the only way to turn large numbers of these prospects into regular donors.
The neglect of new mailing lists is one of the greatest wasted opportunities for many nonprofits.
Fundraising Tip #3: Loyal Donors – Don’t Forget Them
Having to spend a few thousand dollars on a copywriter to produce stories, testimonials, emails, and e-newsletters should be an easy choice, because this is what maintains the enthusiasm of your regular donors.
They have made a commitment to your cause. But they probably support a few other organizations too. What happens if they lose some income, or tire of giving so much for some reason?
Suppose there’s a family that gives monthly to five nonprofits, and the wife loses her job. They decide to cut down their giving from five to two. Which two will they pick?
No doubt a lot will go into this decision, but the organization that never sends emails, doesn’t provide personal stories, and only sends very technical “giving statements” or letters that ask for more money – this charity will have a tough time making the cut.
Let Your Donors and Potential Donors Be Part of Your Story
All three groups of people require different sorts of outreach. But one thing is the same – keep them engaged, feeling valued, and knowing they make a specific, tangible difference in their community or the world.
If your nonprofit is lacking this kind of outreach, and especially if you have an event coming up, let me write your next set of blog posts, or create other new content for your website. Or, maybe you need a fresh take on your e-newsletter or your direct mail campaign.