Fundraising is a challenging component in the life of any nonprofit. There are hundreds of organizations fighting hard for every penny from a small money pot. The stress associated with running fundraising campaigns time and time again can be demotivating. Even a well thought out strategy can meet roadblocks or even stall and leave campaigners second-guessing themselves as to how to maintain fundraising momentum. There are many actions you can take to revitalize your campaign, including:
Your brand is more than just logos, colors, tagline, etc. Your brand has more to do with who you are and what you represent. A successful brand is a narrative that the public associates with your organization. Your brand should communicate a compelling story that entices your audience to want to get involved.
Branding should be treated like a living thing. One which must be continuously reinforced and nurtured. Donors, as well as potential donors, are much more likely to be personally invested in a good brand that falls in line with their values.
If you listen to public radio fundraising campaign drives, you may often notice that, in the middle of the campaign, in a bid to maintain fundraising momentum, a matching donations drive will start. By having one of their benefactors pledge to match or double funds raised by a certain date, they can generate momentum and keep their campaigns alive. In some cases, a wealthy donor could pledge to donate a certain sum on the condition that a certain fundraising amount is reached.
Thanks to advances in modern technology, we have numerous ways through which we can reach prospective donors. Email blasts, twitter, newsletters, free targeted ads, etc. However, nothing cuts deeper or reaches further than that personal one on one conversation. You might be lacking in resources to meet in person with prospective donors, but personal phone calls are within reach. You increase your chances of rebooting your fundraising campaign by reaching out personally. You should talk to donors about the difference they can make, inspire them to get involved and show them the impact they would have.
For past reoccurring donors who have stopped contributing, targeted mail packages along with a phone call can help sustain your campaign momentum. Your mail packages should focus on your mission and be personalized to the intended recipients. Your message should not only be compelling but also presented in such a way that speaks to them – hence the importance of knowing your donors. Thanks to donor management software, it is easier to build great relationships with your donors.
Although the goal of a fundraising campaign is to raise funds, and while it is important to have a call to action, it is important that you invite donors to take ownership of the work your charity is doing. Make sure to include thank-you notes, success stories, etc. Keeping your donors informed allows them to feel personally involved and more likely to reach deeper into their pockets or invite their friends to be a part of the campaign.
Small targeted goals such as, how much can your organization raise by the end of a week, or in a day, might just sway those potential donors who were on the fence about donating. People are more likely to donate if they know that their donation will help the campaign reach a certain goal. You would be surprised at just how this can help you maintain fundraising momentum.
Why not?! Many fundraisers shy away from asking those who have already donated to donate again. It is important to use the right language when you reach out again. Make sure to make them understand that an added donation has meaning. Emphasize to them how that additional giving will help make a difference. You could tie the need for another donation with a set goal your organization is trying to reach. Remember, if you do not ask, they might not give again.
Donors give for a variety of reasons, ranging from a sense of duty, belief in your mission, they know someone who has been personally impacted by your cause, etc. By and large, most donors appreciate recognition for being involved.
You might not have a platform like television nor the radio, but you can use social media to publicize donations and encourage donors to share it on their social media platforms. This would not only increase awareness but it can also provide you with a list of other potential donors by targeting those who ‘Like’ the post.
Most would sympathize with your cause but few will be able to donate. At times people do not donate because they do not have the means. This is an equally important group to engage and present with volunteering opportunities.
Successful fundraising campaigns are ones that are constantly evolving, testing new ideas, always analyzing and always in a constant process of growth. Just because a strategy worked last time, does not mean that it will work this time around. Invest in fundraising management software and use it to segment, prospective and potential donors for better targeting. It is important for your organization to do the small things well and consistently to maintain fundraising momentum.
Written by Franklin Asongwe.