By Amanda Khoury
Don’t let finding donor prospects intimidate you. There are a few simple steps to incorporate into your everyday work that will lead you to your future donors. The opportunities to grow your donor database is endless and we’ve come up with 6 more ways to identify new donors, tailor your outreach to attract them to your nonprofit, and retain them for years to come.
Now for the heart of the matter—outreach. You’ve identified your top prospects. Now it’s time to plan your approach to achieve optimum engagement in 6 more ways.
1) Leverage your volunteers
They’re already giving you their most valuable gift—their time. Get to know why they volunteer, where they work, what your common interests are. If you’re not including them in your fundraising appeals, you’re missing a golden opportunity.
2) Turn your board into advocates
Share tips with your board about how to bring you up in casual conversation with friends and colleagues. Give them the tools they need to feel comfortable talking about you.
3) Host free events
Start a community Open House or Town Hall discussion series. Invite people to your office or partner with a local café or bookstore. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather contact information, increase engagement, and hear firsthand what people think and feel.
4) Launch a peer-to-peer campaign
The power of social media, combined with the ease of online giving, has contributed to the rise in popularity of peer-to-peer fundraising. Encourage dedicated donors to spread the word among their friends and family. These initiatives introduce you to new donors through a respected, trusted referral.
5) Cultivate the next generation
Start a young professionals group and host more casual events like happy hours, book clubs, and social activities. Add purpose to your party by providing relevant information and a call to action. The Millennial and Gen X generations are active in their communities, have large networks, and are serious about making lasting change. Recruit regular attendees for peer-to-peer campaigns or invite them to join your board and grow your diversity.
6) Maximize corporate partnerships
If your corporate partners offer employee matching gift programs, make sure you’re featured in their internal updates. What opportunities do you have that a corporate partner might be interested in supporting, thereby advertising you to their clients and customers?
At first glance, you may think the fastest way to grow your donors is to get your hands on a donor list. Consider the pros and cons before buying or renting a list. They can be expensive and you do not have any connection to the individuals on the list. Known as “cold prospecting,” it can take multiple communications efforts to acclimate this audience to your organization/brand. And there’s no guarantee they will ever donate.
Instead, ask if any partner organizations are open to doing list trades for a one-time mailing to each other’s list of contacts. This is especially useful for event invitations or postcards to performances. Just remember, it’s a one-time trade so you can only mail to that group once. Keep the list separate; don’t upload it to your database. Anyone who takes action can now become part of your regular mailing list.
It may seem daunting to get new donors but we have you covered with everything you need to get the ‘ungettable’ get in this free eGuide.
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