Much of the funding necessary to keep nonprofit organizations running comes directly from generous individuals choosing to support those missions with their hard-earned money. Donors constitute the backbone of any nonprofit.
It is for this reason that attracting and retaining donors for your nonprofit is one of the most important aspects of the industry. Effective fundraising strategies produce the funds you need to continue working towards your cause.
As proud partners, Virtuous and Double the Donation are working together to provide the most proficient set of fundraising tools available. By combining exemplary donor management and marketing tools from Virtuous with Double the Donation’s comprehensive matching gift software, your nonprofit and its fundraising revenue can begin to grow in new ways.
So, if your nonprofit’s fundraising could use a boost (and it always can), check out these top tips for increasing your revenue:
- Personalize donor relationships
- Strengthen your marketing strategy
- Incorporate matching gifts
Ready to get started? Let’s jump in.
Personalize Donor Relationships
The donors who back your nonprofit are real people with their own passions, drives, and life stories. It may seem to go without saying, but you should treat your donors as such!
Too often organizations, nonprofits included, start to look at the data being collected only as numbers and dollar signs. Collecting and analyzing extensive campaign data is certainly important, but never overlook the fact that your donors want to be treated like humans, not numbers or, even worse, wallets.
Consider these 3 ways to personalize relationships with your donors:
- Responsive fundraising: A new trend in the fundraising world, responsive fundraising is essentially treating all donors like they are your major donors. Today’s donors have shifting desires toward a more personal, donor-focused approach, and generalized, wide-reaching nonprofit-centric approaches are no longer as effective.
- Emphasizing impact: Donors like knowing exactly where their money will be going— and who exactly they are helping. For example, asking donors to “buy Julius his 5th-grade textbook,” is going to be more effective than to “help build a school in Sierra Leone.” Additionally, consider following up after a project is complete to show the donor what their contribution did and encourage them to give again.
- Showing appreciation: Another aspect that may be self-explanatory, but donors enjoy being thanked. Going beyond an automated donation confirmation email is an excellent way to continue forming a relationship with that donor. A phone call, handwritten letter, or even a personalized email is a great way to show your donor your gratitude.
These three strategies will allow you to connect with your donors on a level that goes deeper than a transaction. In doing so, you will end up fostering new life-long partnerships. Check out this guide from Virtuous, one of the most personalized CRM platforms available, that explains how to best put the donor at the center of your campaign.
Strengthen Your Marketing Strategy
Having a solid marketing strategy in place isn’t just for corporations, but it is also an important aspect of nonprofit fundraising. Effective marketing is how you educate the public about your cause, attract new donors, and maintain lifelong relationships with your supporters.
Without a strategic marketing plan in place, you risk your nonprofit slipping through the cracks— and never getting the attention and funds you deserve.
Make yourself stand out with these tips for improving the marketing for your organization:
- Reach outside your current network. By utilizing digital marketing strategies such as peer-to-peer fundraising and social media marketing, a whole world of potential new donors is at your fingertips. You don’t need to stick to your current donors, but encouraging them to share your message is a great way to connect with new individuals who already have a personal connection to your cause via their friend or loved one.
- Segment your audience. Just as your fundraising tactics should be personalized, consider viewing your audience as a target comprised of smaller segments that can be reached separately. For example, studies show that female donors are most inspired to give by social media interactions, while male donors are most inspired by email messaging.
- Respond to donor signals. As you begin personalizing your messages, pay attention to the way your supporters respond to the differences. See if a particular email or social media post did especially well (using metrics such as open rate, impressions, and shares)— and consider steering in that direction.
A constantly-growing network of supporters is a great way to increase awareness for your organization and mission. By incorporating strong marketing tactics into your fundraising plan, you will be able to both strengthen existing donor relationships while also reaching new individuals who can become donors.
Incorporate Matching Gifts
If you could quickly double any donation coming into your organization, would you? If your donors could easily make their gifts go twice as far without having to reach back into their wallets, would they? The answer to both questions is almost certainly yes.
This is how matching gift programs benefit both the nonprofit and the donor. Simply put: a donor makes a donation to a nonprofit and, if they are employed by a participating company, submits a request to their employer, who then makes a matching donation to the same organization. Two gifts in one!
However, only a small percentage of eligible donors are even aware of their eligibility for these programs. An estimated $4-7 billion in matching gift funds is left unclaimed each year, largely due to this lack of awareness.
So, how can you take advantage of these matching gifts? Organizations like Double the Donation are working to increase awareness of matching gift programs while offering a streamlined version of the match request process.
By utilizing Double the Donation’s matching gift database, a handy tool for donors to quickly search their eligibility and be presented with suggested next steps, you can start to see an increase in matching gifts coming into your organization.
The database plugin can be embedded in a variety of your webpages in order to inform your donors of the available matching gift programs and encourage them to check their own eligibility.
Some popular places to include this tool are:
- Donation pages: This is an effective choice because it informs the donor of their eligibility for their gift to be matched before submitting the donation. 84% of supporters report a higher likelihood to give, and 1 in 3 donors stated an inclination to give a larger gift, if they know it will be matched by their employers.
- Confirmation pages: If you missed it on the donation page or simply want to send a second reminder, a confirmation page is a good place to both thank the donor for their contribution and inform them that their donation may be eligible for a match!
- Follow-up messages: Many organizations opt to send out a thank-you email soon after receiving a donation; this is another effective placement for the company search tool. It is a good reminder of your organization and can work to keep your mission at the top of the donor’s mind.
- Social media: Looking back at your marketing strategy, your nonprofit’s social media pages are an excellent way to reach both current donors and potential converts. Implementing the company search database here can encourage donors to go back and request a match for a prior donation as well as draw in new donors to support your cause.
Educating and encouraging your donors to explore matching gifts programs can go a long way to increase your nonprofit’s revenue. And for the donor, they know they are making double the impact. It’s a win-win!
By humanizing your donor relationships, increasing and specializing your marketing efforts, and informing your donors about existing matching gift programs, you will be well on your way to fundraising success. May 2020 be your best fundraising year yet!