There are 3 top nonprofit fundraising strategies you must incorporate as a part of your fundraising efforts to raise money in this environment of instability.
Listen to this – Half of Charities Expecting Drop in Donations in 2020 and Beyond. That’s the headline in an article by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Results from the Coronavirus Response Survey reports that most fundraisers “expect to raise fewer funds in 2020 compared to 2019” and expect 2021 fundraising will be “lower than a typical year.”
Interestingly, many fundraisers expect to see an increase in giving or giving stay the same. However, that seems to be the case mainly for large and human service organizations.
One thing is clear – individuals, businesses, and organizations are giving. They are giving when we are adjusting and pivoting to find our footing, even with the virus and uncertainty in full swing.
So what does this report mean for you and your not-for-profit organization?
No matter if you are a small or large organization, there are strategies you must employ.
In fact, there are three strategies you must – I mean MUST – incorporate as a part of your fundraising efforts to raise money in this environment.
Fundraising Strategy #1 – Keep your Donors’ Passions Ablaze
Certainly, you have been in contact with your donors by checking in on them, sending them articles of interests, and keeping them abreast of how you are serving your mission — a cause they are deeply passionate about.
Experienced fundraiser, Olivia Alison, Director of Development for The Nature Conservancy of Alabama, sends photos taken by staff working in the field to select donors interested in particular projects.
“I send a photo with a one-line email that says ‘thinking of you’. That’s it. And it works great” says Alison.
Most importantly, find fun and meaningful ways to keep your donors in the know and your organization top of mind.
No question, donors want to hear from you and love to know behind the scene activities happening at your organization.
It may seem as if your routine of checking in with donors is “getting old” or you feel you are a nuisance. But I can tell you — you are not!
Absolutely, keep relationship-building your #1 strategy in your fundraising efforts. Engage with donors in routine ways … but also in creative ways.
We may not go back to meeting face-to-face for some time. Seemingly, when the virus cases do subside, those in the high-risk category are likely not to be the first to get out.
These are likely your major donors.
Fundraising Strategy #2 – Show Donor Gratitude! Love the Donors you Have.
The #1 mistake I see happening with nonprofits is donors do not feel valued and appreciated.
Sadly, not all nonprofits are practicing good stewardship – they are not considering how they make their donors feel.
Clearly, showing donor gratitude should be one of your top nonprofit fundraising strategies.
Treat your donors like your best friends.
If a donor’s mom had surgery, check-in with the donor to see how her mom is doing.
Simply send a text, leave a voice message, or email– whatever is appropriate for the relationship with the donor.
Your major donors are your organization’s best friend.
Fundraising Strategy #3 – ASK Donors for their Support!
This is not the time to hold back on fundraising. Frankly, you are not doing your job as a fundraiser if you are not asking for money.
Your donors know of the environment. But they may not fully know how the virus and economic crisis is affecting your organization.
Let your top donors know what is going on at your organization and how they can help.
Needless to say, be specific in what you need and how a donor can help.
Give your donors an opportunity to be a hero for your organization. Don’t be the one who denies opportunities for others – let people decide how they direct their funds.
Above all, share your circumstance. And ask donors for their support.
Those who can give, are giving.
These nonprofit fundraising strategies should be used not only now but made a part of your culture of securing large gifts. Here more fundraising strategies to implement.
Deepen your relationships with your donors by getting creative.
Donors are eager to hear from you. They may even have hurt feelings from not hearing from you.
No doubt, go back to your giving well.
Donors have not abandoned you – they still believe in your mission.
Without question, do your part as a fundraiser – get on the phone, engage your top donors, and ask for their support.
Your beneficiaries are depending on you.
Your cause needs you.
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Nancy Rieves, Ed.D. is a fundraising coach. She provides executive and development directors with a roadmap to maximize and sustain major gift fundraising. She prepares leaders to be confident and successful in raising money. Reach her at [email protected].
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