At Charity Search Group — a recruitment organization dedicated to helping nonprofits — we often hear our clients comment on the issues surrounding fundraising.
The very thing that keeps charitable organizations alive and thriving, obtaining donations is a nonprofit’s lifeblood. To meet goals and achieve missions, donations are a necessity.
However, it often comes with its own set of hurdles.
From finding new donors to engaging old donors as well as empowering volunteers, at times, no matter what kind of organization you are, it can all be overwhelming.
This is especially true in a world where the opportunity to give is everywhere. We’re talking grocery store clerks, websites like kickstarters, brands like Toms, radio stations like NPR all asking for donations.
Fortunately, in our years of experience both in the nonprofit trenches and now in recruitment, we have identified a few things you can do to overcome the challenge of continual fundraising.
Finding New Donors
Truth is, the nonprofit market is saturated and incredibly hard to stand out in.
Yes, as of right now, there are more than 1.5 million chartable, tax exempt organizations just in the United States. Now couple that with conscious consumers that do their research and attracting new donors seem like an impossible feat.
But, it’s not.
To overcome this situation, many successful nonprofit organizations have actually leveraged creativity and innovation to stand out.
Deploying unique storytelling that appeals to emotions is a great way to attract people to your cause. Other tactics may include sharing data, offering rewards or recognition, even focusing on social campaigns — remember the ALS Association ice bucket challenge?
Engaging Old Donors
Did you know that the likelihood of a first-time donor making a second gift within one year is just 24-27%? After that, the chances drop again.
Why is that?
Well, what most organizations don’t realize is that messaging is far from one size fits all. Actually, in reality, what is being said to a new donor must – let us repeat must – differ from what is being said to old donors.
It all starts with identifying where they are in the gift giving process.
A tip from successful nonprofits includes sending personalized notes to people that just gave, following up with ones that gave recently, and dropping in with updates to long-time donors. This will help people feel unique and appreciated.
The old saying goes, “you are only as strong as your supporters”.
That being said, if an organization fails to understand their volunteers, fundraisers will not succeed.
So, to empower those that are doing the fundraising, it is ideal to reach out and provide the right tools and resources needed to overcome any issues. For example, successful nonprofits that do marathons or walk-a-thons often give on-boarding packages that include simple talking points or scripts. This helps first time volunteers overcome the fear of asking for money from friends and family.
Ultimately, empowerment goes a long way.
With that, we hope this helps you look at fundraising in a new light. Also, remember, if you want help finding reliable fundraisers, please feel free to reach out to Charity Search Group at any time.