You may experience occasional stuttering in your fundraising as a professional in the nonprofit sector. You might be going through a fundraising lull in the summer. Or perhaps you've expended a lot of energy enlisting new donors and interacting with current ones, but your fundraising efforts aren't producing the outcomes you were hoping for.
For your organization to continue operating effectively, you must make sure that your fundraising activities yield a good return on investment (ROI). To increase donations as much as you can, it's crucial to pursue a variety of fundraising tactics.
Your ability to increase donations will depend on the strength of the relationships you’ve built with your donors, volunteers, and other supporters. Keep that in mind when implementing the strategies in this guide.
1. Improving your stewardship approach
To increase your donor base, you should concentrate most of your fundraising efforts on enlisting new supporters. Building relationships with your current supporters are equally vital for securing ongoing funding as well.
You can return the cost you incurred in acquiring those supporters by encouraging them to donate to your cause in the future. Additionally, statistics demonstrate that recurring donors make larger average contributions than one-time donors.
Effective donor management is essential if you want to increase your retention rate, which gauges the proportion of one-time donors who return. The likelihood that contributors will support your nonprofit in the long run will rise if you develop sincere relationships with them.
Use the following strategies to improve your donor stewardship approach:
- Get donor data - Your donor data enables you to discover more about the preferences for communication, interests, and reasons for contributing among your supporters. Keep records of your supporters' past donations, volunteer service, event attendance, and other important information in your donor database.
- Personalize communications - If appropriate, include a donor's name and title in your written correspondence. To demonstrate that you've been paying attention, refer to previous correspondence or donations the donor has made.
- Express gratitude frequently - By expressing your thanks to your supporters, you can compel them to keep supporting your cause by letting them know that you value and honor their contributions. Regularly and unexpectedly show your gratitude by phoning donors to thank them or inviting them to a special banquet with a fun theme.
2. Creating opportunities for peer-to-peer fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising events are incredibly interesting ways to generate money because they provide supporters the chance to explain why they care so much about your cause and urge their friends and family to donate.
Your supporters will be more likely to take time out of their busy schedules to participate in your peer-to-peer initiatives if they are enjoyable and engaging.
For example, you can host peer-to-peer campaigns such as:
- Fundraising competitions: Holding a friendly contest might be a terrific approach to engage supporters with your fundraising efforts. For instance, organize a fun run or 5K to raise money, replete with branded goods and awards for the fastest runners. Before the race, require participants raise a specific amount of money from their friends and relatives. So that supporters may simply give extra on the day of the race, you might even have donation kiosks there.
- Giving day challenges: On occasions like Giving Tuesday, supporters are tasked with raising a certain amount of money in a short amount of time. This sense of urgency motivates contributors to give right away and spread the word about your fundraising initiative to their friends and family.
- DIY peer-to-peer challenge: Examples of these possibilities include birthday or other special-occasion fundraisers on Facebook, where donors raise money to honor a memorable occasion in their lives.
Because participants can play a more active role, these supporter-led fundraising initiatives frequently have higher levels of engagement than simple email or social media outreach campaigns. Supporters will feel much more personally invested in helping you reach your fundraising goal if they collect donations on your behalf.
3. Making matching gifts
Companies that participate in matching gift programs match the contributions their employees make to qualifying nonprofits. Businesses that provide these programs often match donations made to charities, educational institutions, and other local organizations.
Your nonprofit may be able to use matching gifts to boost the impact of each donor's contribution. It's crucial to advertise these programs whenever feasible because of this.
Purchase a matching gift database that is compatible with your tools for raising money. What this would appear like in practice is described in Double the Donation's guide to matching gift databases:
When a donor accesses your online donation form to contribute, they see your matching gift research tool embedded there (usually in the form of a search bar).
- To check if their employer has a matching gift program, the donor enters the name of their company.
- The donor looks over the specifics of the matching gift program, such as the minimum and maximum donation limits, the match percentage, and the application process.
- The donor donates and submits a match request. If their company approves the application, they will match the donor’s gift, which will double their impact on your mission.
4. Offering recurring contribution choices and suggested donation amounts
When you provide suggested giving ranges and recurring contribution options on your donation page, you can use it as a powerful tool to increase donations.
Donors can use suggested donation amounts as a guide to determine how much they want to give. In addition, studies show that prompting donors with suggested giving levels increases their contributions.
As an illustration, suppose a donor visits your giving page but is unsure of the exact amount they wish to give. They observe that the page recommends donations in the ranges of $20, $50, and $100. This helps them determine the appropriate giving level for them by giving them an idea of what other donors typically contribute.
Additionally, contributors can increase their support for your cause by setting up monthly gifts through recurring giving programs. These initiatives are appealing to supporters who want to go farther in demonstrating their dedication to your cause but aren't yet ready or able to make a significant investment.
You've put time and effort into promoting your online donation form. By including these components on the form, donors have greater freedom to decide how they want to express their support and get a better return on their investment.
5. relating your fundraising to your mission
Donors require a strong motivation to contribute. Supporters are considerably more inclined to give to your nonprofit and even develop a long-lasting relationship with it when your organization's messaging is captivating and inspiring.
Marketing experts advise using storytelling strategies to directly tie your fundraising efforts to your objective.
Take, for instance, a foundation that encourages high school girls to pursue STEM degrees. A year-end email marketing campaign is being developed by the nonprofit to gather money for a particular program. This nonprofit needs to do the following to use captivating narrative tactics in the campaign:
- Highlight a particular person, such as a long-time volunteer or someone who has received support from your nonprofit. For instance, the group might decide to tell the tale of Sofia, a local high school student who has benefited from free after-school coding sessions and aspires to pursue a college degree. This offers the audience a hero to support. They'll be motivated to give since they probably want to see other girls thrive as well.
- Describe the issue that they are trying to resolve. This nonprofit may be addressing the issue of gender imbalance in STEM fields. Supporters are more likely to appreciate the magnitude of the problem when the story of the primary character is zoomed out and set within the framework of the wider objective.
- Specify the proposed remedy and how the donor's gift will aid in resolving the issue. This nonprofit should explain how donations are used to pay for STEM workshops and after-school tutoring programs. This gives donors confidence that their contributions will be able to significantly advance the cause.
All of these five methods for increasing donations can be incorporated into your nonprofit's current fundraising initiatives. You may start raising more money for your cause by making a few simple changes to your marketing campaigns, online contribution website, and event planning calendar.