5 Tips for Successful Nonprofit Fundraising
As the quarter winds down and the planning turns up during summer, here are 5 tips to consider for successful nonprofit fundraising.
Communicate Regularly: Communicating with your supporters through regular newsletters that highlight your organizations’ accomplishments, updates, new & ongoing campaigns and fiscal transparency will help bond supporters to your mission and build loyalty while keeping your cause at the forefront of their minds. Ask supporters for their newsletter frequency preference, but generally speaking, one to two carefully timed issues every 4-6 weeks is acceptable. While every newsletter can feature a “donate” button, not every newsletter should be a formal ask. Think about it, would you be excited to hear from a friend or colleague who asked you for something every time they wrote you an email? Probably not.
Focus on Strengthening Your Community: The community you build around your organization is both the backbone and communal face of your nonprofit. It includes donors, volunteers, members, regular patrons, etc. They have become part of your community because your organization interests them. They have given of their time or their money because they want to see your organization prosper; it is crucial to genuinely engage with these people not only because of the strength in numbers they can bring to your organization, but also because they are great advocates for your cause in the community and can reach out to potential volunteers and donors to grow both bases. Take care of this important group and encourage & listen to the valuable feedback they amass.
Say Thank You: “Thank you” – two very simple words that go a very long way. Most all organizations associate a “thank you” with a donation or a tax-deductible receipt, but think about other ways to thank your tribe of supporters. Formal get-togethers like breakfasts and cocktail hours are great ideas, but thanks to technology today there are also plenty of inexpensive ways to show your appreciation – Facebook and Twitter are a great way to thank both groups and individuals for their time and energy. Post photos with volunteers tagged for their friends to see or tweet at individuals who went the extra mile. Showing appreciation for even the smallest acts furthers your mission and leaves a lasting, positive online impression.
Clean-up Your Website: Your website is the face of your organization online and many times, it will the first impressions your organization makes on a savvy potential donor. A nonprofit website can make or break a supporter’s perception of the organization and can impact whether or not they chose to support you. Review your existing site and ensure that the following vital components are integrated: 1) Your ‘Donate’ button is easy to find, functions properly and is on the first page; 2) Make the purpose, mission, and urgency of your organization obvious on the first page, with links to additional experiences and stories; 3) Make sure your website is clean, easy to navigate, and provides a positive user experience while telling your story; 4) Optimize your website for viewing on mobile devices. In 2011, more people spent time on their mobile device than on their PC and it is expected that by 2013, more consumers will access the web from a mobile device than a PC or laptop. (If you need help going mobile, Fundraise.com can be of assistance – our website is completely responsive for optimal mobile experience. Give us a call); 5) Allow supporters to sign up to receive regular newsletters about your organization – put the burden on yourselves to contact potential donors and keep them in the loop on happenings rather than hoping they’ll return to your site on their own.
Move the Strategy Online: Obviously at Fundraise.com, many of our past blog posts have focused on the importance of Online Giving and Social Media due to the tremendous growth seen in these platforms and our involvement in the space. According to the latest Blackbaud Index, from July to November of 2011 online giving saw double-digit growth in percentages over 2010. Yet despite these results, there are still many nonprofits that are intimidated and overwhelmed by moving the strategy online. Completely understandable, and we are here to help. Feel free to contact us directly via email at email@example.com or on the phone at 857.445.4165.