Charitable Organizations – Finding and Keeping Donors
Financial support from donors is essential to keeping your charity or nonprofit organizationup and running. The success of your campaigns is dependent on the people who believe in your organization and your cause – believe not just enough to volunteer help, but to fund your activities and efforts.
It’s a constant challenge for nonprofit organizations to find new donor prospects, and maintain regular donations from current donors. Here are a few tips on how you can recruit new donors:
- Social Media. Be present and active on social media; it’s the best place to create awareness and recognition of your organization. You can easily connect to, and engage with interested people.
Just like marketing any organization or brand online, always remember to be consistent in terms of branding and authenticity. Transparency in your communications is especially important for nonprofit organizations, to convince donors of your passion and sincerity.
- Content.Maintain a blog where you can regularly publish content about your organization, your cause, your projects, and your stakeholders.Create content that’soriginal and insightful, and will make your readers more curious and invested in your cause.
Rather than just flat-out asking for money, provide value to your potential donors by sharing interesting and informative content. Share your content via social media and other platforms to gain more readers and followers. You’ll eventually be able to convert these readers into leads, and leads to donors and volunteers.
- Referrals.Finding prospective donors for your organization is similar to how salespeople find leads for potential customers. Good salespeople constantly ask their current customers or people in their network for referrals.
Getting a referral doesn’t simply mean getting a name and a number; it means you’re asking your customer to introduce you to their friends and colleagues(who usually have similar interests and priorities), if not personally, then at least via a call or email. Doing this implies that the person doing the referring genuinely trusts you and what you’re offering.
- Partnerships.Organize events or other fundraising methods that can attract major donors. You can consider partnering up with other nonprofit organizations with causes that naturallyalign with yours, for a special joint event or campaign. This will be beneficial for both groups, because you can trade mailing lists, cross-promote each other’s other activities, and gain a wider reach to communicate your message and cause.
Of course, it isn’t enough for you to just keep on looking for new donors. You have to cultivate your currentones as well. Also past donors, who had previously donated, but stopped. Two key things to remember:
- Keep in touch. Always stay in contact with your prospects, whether they made a gift to your organization or not. If they’ve contributed to funding your work, they will want to know how the project is going, how their donation is making a difference, and how else they can contribute. If they haven’t contributed, sharing with them information about your cause could help them better understand, and perhaps be more interested in giving to your future efforts.
Make sure to keep them regularly updated with the progress of your campaigns or projects, and provide them with opportunities to ask questions and share their input. Make it easy for them to opt into your mailing list and connect with you via social media, or other forms of communication.
- Give back to your donors.Thank and recognize your donors for their support. Instead of generic thank-you letters, personalize the way you show your gratitude, and be creative,so as to set yourself apart from other nonprofits.For example, you can give your donors gifts that are created by the people who benefited from their donations. In fact, rather than just tokensof appreciation or public recognition, involve your donors more deeply in your work, and show them the actual fruits of their contribution, thus encouraging them to contribute more.
Simply put, take care of your donors. Don’t neglect them or take them for granted. They want to feel like they’re a part of your cause and are making a difference – not just a piggy bank. They’re your partners, and are keys to your organization’s and your cause’s success.