Don’t Let a Dark Economy Leave Fundraising in the Shadows
People can’t give to you if they don’t know you’re there. People won’t give to you until they’re convinced of the importance of your work. Every nonprofit needs a strategic public-awareness program to support fundraising. It complements your case statement and reinforces the benefits you bring to the people or cause you serve. Don’t be shy.
Demonstrate financial wisdom
Beyond making your case, BUT NOT IN PLACE OF YOUR CASE, take the time to show your donors how well their gifts are being used. Donors want to feel confident that their donations will make a difference, and feel secure that you are wise in how you spend their dollars. Consider how your communication looks and feels; make sure your case is good and clear. If not, buff it up. You will use that information over and over again.
Ask for time
Giving one’s time and expertise can often be more valuable than making a financial contribution to a charity. For some organizations, volunteers are key and can perform any number of important tasks, provide insights on improving practices, and serve on organizations’ boards with distinction.
Create meaningful donor relationships
Receiving a gift is only the beginning of the relationship with the donor. Now is a great time to focus on ongoing stewardship of current and previous donors. Thanking your donors is an important part of stewardship, but strong relationships are built through regularly communicating the mission, seeking donor input and sharing success stories. Increasing donor loyalty can maintain the level of support regardless of the economic circumstances.
So, remember, stay positive. This will turn around. Don’t let overly cautious board members deter you from the critical work at hand, and the necessary planning for the future. Don’t stop asking. Be ready for more robust times, and have a plan for when things turn around.