No matter what type of nonprofit organization you may be involved with, fundraising is vital. Raising funds is the only way you will be able to secure the necessary money needed to support your cause. However, many nonprofits do not know the proper techniques required to raise the number of funds they need. With that in mind, here are 3 nonprofit fundraising tips and 3 key things to avoid according to the experts at Ballantine.
Top Fundraising Tips for Nonprofits
If you are seeking tips to help you reach your nonprofit fundraising goals, here are 3 you should take note of:
1. Market to the brain, not just the heart.
While many nonprofits focus solely on appealing to their potential donor’s emotions, this is not necessarily the proper way to acquire the funds you are seeking. In fact, nonprofit organizations that focus solely on appealing to the emotions of their potential donors often lose credibility over time. This is particularly true when the results occur behind the scenes or are not easily measured.
Rather than appealing to the donors’ emotions, taking the rational approach can be a great way to raise funds while being transparent. For example, provide potential and past donors with information and statistics on what the nonprofit has recently done with their acquired funds. Your donors are smart enough to search where their money is going; make sure you give them the information they need upfront and don’t just rely on tugging at their heartstrings.
2. Look to your organization, don’t run with the pack.
Another tip for raising funds for an organization is that when it comes to timing, look to your organization rather than running with the pack. For instance, many nonprofit organizations send out their direct mailings during the same times of the year, like around federal holidays. This doesn’t always result in positive nonprofit direct mail response rates. Instead, you should be focusing on the dates that are related to your organization. For example, if your organization is religious, you should be focusing on the dates that are related to that religion. This will help you stand out from the crowd and will emphasize your specific mission.
3. Simplify the donation process.
Lastly, you should make sure you make it as easy as possible to donate. This means you should be providing people with as many payment options as possible, while also ensuring that they can donate with a few short clicks. There is nothing more frustrating than being ready to donate to an organization and finding it impossible to do so due to a complicated website or other obstacles.
3 Key Practices to Avoid
Now that we have heard some great tips for raising funds, here are some key practices to avoid.
1. Don’t treat loyal donors like new donors.
When it comes to your loyal donors, you should use specialized marketing. Rather than sending them the standard marketing materials, you should have a specialized set of marketing that is more personalized for your returning donors. This is the best way to make them feel valued while you continue to request their support. For example, include a thank you letter or a quarterly wrap-up that updates them on what the nonprofit has been doing recently and what you’ve accomplished. They don’t need an introduction to your organization if they’ve already committed to providing you funds!
2. Don’t treat potential donors like existing donors.
Additionally, you will need to work much harder to secure new donors. Therefore, rather than simply sending them a message or two, you need to use a variety of methods to secure new donations. There are many ways to do this. Consider targeting people through Google Ads, for instance.
3. Let the results guide your nonprofit fundraising strategy.
Lastly, it can be tempting to become either discouraged or overconfident about your donations. However, you should be mindful to let the results guide you. For instance, if you set a goal and fall short, you simply need to continue on with your campaign, rather than being disappointed. There is no need to feel defeated because one campaign was unsuccessful. There are many factors that play into a nonprofit fundraising campaign being successful or unsuccessful, and with that, seasonality can greatly impact fundraising. Figure out what marketing niche is best for your cause, review your results carefully, and take our tips into consideration.
- Finding solutions for fundraising is the key to every nonprofit organization.
- In order to raise funds, nonprofit organizations must do things such as simplify the payment processes and appeal to the logical sides of donors.
- You should also be mindful not to treat old donors like new donors and vice versa.
Nonprofit Fundraising Best Practices
Overall, there are plenty of ways to raise funds as a nonprofit organization. These tips should help you do just that. Either way, if you are a nonprofit organization that needs help developing a marketing campaign to secure donations, contact our team of experts here at Ballantine.
I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!