Work the pyramid
Asking for more money is never easy, especially if you fear losing a relationship with a person who has given faithfully to your organization for many years.
But you must overcome this fear and ask for more money.
Why would someone consider giving you more money?
First, they must believe in your mission. It must support something they find dear to them. So, communicate your mission accurately and descriptively.
Second, they must believe in your team and that you will use their money wisely. No, they don’t expect a return on their investment, but with the thousands of nonprofits out there competing for their dollars, they have plenty of options to choose from when giving to a charity.
Most importantly, donors increase their gifts when asked to. Unless you ask, they’ll likely continue giving the standard amount-which is fine-but we’re trying to build a fundraising strategy for growth.
Key takeaway – You should aim as high as possible when placing prospects in your donor pyramid. The bigger you make the mid-level and high-level sections, the better off your organization will be. You can count on these larger donations on a more regular basis, which can be used a springboard for future growth.
Develop an impeccable marketing campaign
There are many different tools you can leverage and approaches you can take to boost your nonprofit fundraising strategy.
Major types of communication
The basic types of marketing channels are generally known. You can communicate direct via email, phone call or personal visit. You can communicate to a broader scale with public speaking, newsletters, website content, advertising etc. The main thing to know is what you’re trying to accomplish with each type of communication.
You’re not going to get a major donation from sending out a newsletter-you might, but this type of communication is generally geared to higher-volume, lower-dollar amounts.
You’re typically going to want to use more mass communication methods for filling your pipeline and those earlier-stage types of activities. More direct personal touch is required to close most deals, especially when more money is on the line.
When to use each approach
A good approach uses a mix of all the techniques discussed above. There will be times you want to target individuals and times you’ll want to target groups.
This method can be used whether you’re reaching out to an individual or your entire prospect list. Be sure to use mail over email if you plan to have a later-in-the-process “sales” discussion with a prospect as physical mail has a more personal touch.
Use this technique when you want to connect directly with individuals. Be sure to use personal touch to make the recipient feel that this note has more value than the other things that end up in the trash. Also include a call to action-conversion rates skyrocket by simply including an option to act on your message.
Use this technique when you want to reach out to more than just your immediate community. This can be through printed newspapers and periodicals, on the radio or through television or other forms of media.
Make sure you know the expected return on investment before planning any fundraising dollars to this method, but realize it can pay off especially if you want to educate the masses or get your brand and mission out there.
A much cheaper form of marketing your brand, the use of social media platforms and other online communities allows you to connect with the largest number of potential donors for the lowest overall cost.
Besides simply promoting your content or brand, you can include calls to action like “donate now” on a nonprofit Facebook page. The internet was made to reach people quickly and cheaply. Use it to your advantage.
Host an event that brings together different people in your community and use the platform to raise funds. Everyone likes to be connected to like-minded individuals. By creating somewhat regular events that accomplish this, you can provide spikes in your donation intake at certain times of the year.
An annual appeal may work here. Market the opportunity as an annual or monthly gathering, and give people a reason to attend. The key here is to make sure you don’t overdo it. Don’t host too many events or the idea of a special promotion loses its luster. Why would a donor attend your annual appeal if you actually had weekly appeals? No luster.
When you host an event or produce a new piece of useful content, create a press release to announce it to your community. Like advertising, this has the opportunity of reaching a large number of people.
Just keep in mind that you will get more press coverage in an area if you can show that your news directly impacts the community.
Additional methods for nonprofit fundraising success
Of note are cobranding and affinity marketing. Up to 6% of all product launches rely on some form of cobranding. Get your name attached to others who support similar causes. You shouldn’t see other organizations as merely competitors… but rather as potential complements to your strategy.
Work with partners to build a whole that’s greater than the sum of the parts. Unlock hidden potential by partnering with the right affiliates to help extend your reach beyond your immediate community.