10 Tips for Fundraising in Tough Times
5. Inspire, provide value and be transparent to your donors about how funds are spent.
6. Ask for money, regularly. Include a soft ask in every communication and send direct e-mail appeals at least four times per year — as long as you are providing updates regularly outside of appeals.
7. Use multiple e-mails in a series to lift appeal response rates. Suppress those who respond to earlier appeals in the series. Software tools make it easy to automate this process.
8. Make fundraising appeals tangible and compelling. People are presented with lots of appeals and offers. Does yours stand out? Does it compel an immediate response?
9. Empower volunteers to raise money for your organization through online peer to peer fundraising tools.
10. Encourage monthly giving. The lifetime value of monthly donors is much higher than single-gift donors — they give more per year and have higher retention rates. Present monthly giving as an option to new donors and create pathways to encourage single-gift donors to become monthly donors.
Already practicing all the basics listed above? Then you’re ready to incorporate these more advanced strategies into your online marketing program:
1. Identify key audience segments and create “relationship pathways” consisting of tailored Web site content, e-mails and appeals that are congruent with your development objectives for that segment.
2. Integrate your online and offline fundraising efforts. Ensure your communications calendar, messaging and themes are congruent online and offline. Adopt a multi-channel communications and solicitations approach.
3. Create a presence on social networks such as Facebook and MySpace to extend your brand and reach constituents where they reside. Empower existing supporters to promote your organization on social networks, to recruit new supporters and to raise money. While you are not likely to raise much money in the short-term, social networks are here to stay and will emerge as a cost-effective way to recruit future generations of supporters.