Table of Contents
Identifying Your Perfect Prospect ….6
Create Your Donor Prospect Avatar ……6
Not Everyone Has the Same Capacity to Give 7
Look in Your Own Backyard .7
Establish Your Timeline and Financial Target ….8
Incentivizing the Give …9
Offer a Recurring Option …..11
Telephone Fundraising is Dead …..12
Your Website and Email Marketing .14
Going Mobile with Text-to-Give ….15
Using the Power of Social Media to Boost Your Fundraising Results ….17
Crowdfunding and Fundraising …..18
Fundraising Tools, Apps, and Consulting Firms .20
Donor Retention Is a Must ….22
Real Empathy and Understanding ……22
Offer Incentives and Gifts that Mean Something. ..23
Constant Contact ….23
Don’t Just Say Thank You, Mean It ……24
Let Your Donors Know What Their Dollars Are Doing …..24
Don’t Forget the 3 Stages of Successful Fundraising .25
Think and Talk in the Second Person …25
Tell Them Why .25
A Heartfelt Thanks …25
Remember to “ABF” …..26
13 Proven Fundraising Ideas for Charities 27
Top 10 Tips for Successful Charity Fundraising .33
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Establish Your Timeline and Financial Target
Successful fundraisers have targets. They know when they are going to launch their fundraiser, they prepare in advance, they have dedicated waypoints along the way where they check their progress and make changes, and they keep in constant contact with their team members.
Some charities take a less detailed approach. They know it is that time of year again for their annual fundraiser, so they contact previous donors, get in touch with their volunteers and tell their staff. They do a little advertising and reach out to social media, and when the end date for the fundraiser rolls around, they haven’t hit their target.
They say that the devil is in the details, and this is the case with the successful fundraisers. You absolutely must establish a timeline that has more than just a start and end date. How much money do you need to raise? Add 20% or 30% to that figure and make that your revenue target. Begin advertising and getting the word out through your collection staff at least 30 days in advance of your fundraiser launch date. Email your donor and prospect lists.
The more detailed you can make your fundraiser the better your results will be. This includes continually checking your donation level and letting everyone know the financial targets you are aiming for each day and week. If you hold an annual fundraiser at the same time each year and run it for the same duration, you often find you get better than usual results because your prospects and previous donors know when to have money set aside to help you hit your revenue target.
Incentivizing the Give
It used to be that charitable organizations would simply ask for donations to help them reach their revenue targets. They would wax eloquently about what their charity was providing for the community and how the prospective giver could help make the world a better place with their donation. Since that was away most charities pursued funding, and everyone was doing the same thing, people were used to this type of approach.
Then something smart happened.
Someone down the line decided that if they could give a donor something of value in return for their donation, they would probably make more money than using the old school nothing-for-something approach. The groundbreakers who began incentivized fundraising understood that people give to charities for altruistic reasons. They also understood that just about everyone likes a good value, so if a donor could receive feelgood rewards and a high-value product or service for a donation, this would improve the amount of money raised while also connecting with a charity supporter that could do some free word-of-mouth advertising for them.
This is why you absolutely must offer donors a real incentive for giving. Some charitable organizations have pretty tight pockets when it comes to financing their fundraisers. They want to spend as little money as possible purchasing the products and services they will be giving to each donor that makes a monetary gift. This is a viable concern for charities that don’t have a lot of money for this stage of the fundraising process. While this may be an issue in some instances, charities need to understand there are plenty of companies that don’t require an upfront purchase from NPOs and charities. They will offer coupon booklets and sometimes physical products or services the charity does not have to pay for on the front end. All the charity does is promote a company that has something to sell, and whenever a referral ends in a sale, the charity gets a flat referral fee or commission percentage.
Offer a Recurring Option
A lot of people may not be able to give $50 or $100 at one time, but they can easily afford $5 per month. You are missing out on a lot of potential donor money if you only offer one-time donations. The recurring model can often bring in more money per donor per year because it is easier on the pocketbook or wallet of the person making the donation.
There is another reason the recurring monthly or quarterly donation model works. People are creatures of habit. Once they have made a few recurring donations to your charity, this becomes a part of their regular financial activity. It begins to seem abnormal to them if they do not give when expected. Set this recurring option up on an auto-debit feature for your donors and the results will be better still.
Telephone Fundraising is Dead
Stephen George is a fundraising expert. He has more than 30 years of experience running fundraisers for charities and other NPOs. He has worked with organizations like UNICEF and the NSPCC and currently serves as the vice chairman for the United Kingdom’s Institute of Fundraising. He advises charities to adopt a digital platform if they expect their fundraisers to be successful.
George points out that the telephone used to be the go-to money generator for fundraisers. There were of course radio and billboard advertising flyers and door hangers, and other types of marketing techniques. By and large, though, it was the telephone that generated the most money for charities during their fundraising efforts.
Times have changed.
The veteran fundraiser points to statistics which show that in 2015, 93% of donors polled stated they used their tablet or smartphone to make a charitable donation. Before you believe this was a study probably slanted towards the younger crowd, think again. The heavy prevalence towards mobile donations showed in all age groups, even those over 65 years of age.
This means creating a fundraising website or blog is a must-do activity. Your charity probably already has a website, and adding a blog dedicated to your fundraisers is essential for success. Over time Google and other search engines will index the pages of your fundraising blog, and you will eventually receive free, laser-targeted donor traffic. Considering the 93% mobile giving statistic research firm Dunham + Company uncovered that Stephen George referred to, you must also make sure the experience is easy to give on a mobile device.
This doesn’t mean you should abandon the telephones. Some older prospects have become used to the telephone fundraising pitch after several years of making donations that way. The move to digital and mobile means you should be tracking how your donors give, and where the largest dollars per donation originate. You will probably find that people who give on a mobile device may not deliver the largest dollar per donation figures, but they will undoubtedly provide the most significant overall amount of your donation dollars.
Your Website and Email Marketing
Start publishing fundraising blog posts or articles months ahead of your campaign. Blog frequently. Use SEO practices to get free traffic. As mentioned earlier, dedicate a special section of your company’s website to a blog where you regularly discuss your fundraisers. You may alternately want to create an entirely new website dedicated to your fundraisers. People may encounter this information on the web weeks or months in advance of your fundraiser, and this warms up your prospects.
Make sure to include some way for your visitors to make a donation yearround, and not just during your fundraiser. Every page of your website should have a payment portal for donations with a clearly marked “Donate” button. Also, make sure you are adding social share buttons to all your blog posts and articles so that your readers can advertise for you. Assign someone the task of responding to blog comments regularly and as soon as possible to drive engagement. These are some simple tips that can generate year-round contributions and warm-up your prospects for upcoming fundraisers.
You should already be collecting emails on your website. These people are your perfect prospects. If anyone is willing to sign up to your email list in return for a free report or some other type of ethical opt-in bribe, that person wants to know what your organization is doing. Develop an autoresponder sequence that keeps your email list informed as to when fundraisers are launching, and include donation links in all your emails.
Going Mobile with Text-to-Give
The Dunham + Company data discussed earlier shows how vital it is to deliver a smooth mobile experience for your donor prospects. The first step to making your mobile fundraising experience enjoyable and simple is to make sure your website is responsive.
When your site or blog is responsive, it automatically detects the size and orientation of the display where it is being viewed. This means that someone viewing your website on a 3 inch by 5 inch smartphone display will receive a viewing experience specifically made for that screen size and orientation. The same is true if someone accesses your site from a 10 inch tablet screen or 27 inch desktop display.
After ensuring your website is responsive, set up a text-to-give campaign. Sending a text message is second nature for many people these days. Texting is like breathing for a lot of folks who stay tethered to their phones 24/7. What easier way to donate than to respond to a text? The following text-to-give providers can help you set up a mobile giving platform that caters to the inclination of 21st century donors of all ages to donate a mobile device.Other Details
- 10 Articles (PDF)
- 1 Ebook (PDF), 35 Pages
- Posters, Infographic, Checklist, Mini Report
- Year Released/Circulated: 2018
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