Five Tactics to Rev Up Fundraising in a Down Economy
Many nonprofit professionals today are nervous. The economy, while showing hopeful signs such as slightly lower oil prices and a stronger dollar, is still not in a good place. That means donors have less money in their portfolios and their pockets.
As a result, giving is down across the board. This is not how we want to enter the all-important year-end giving season. With up to half of all donations coming in the last quarter of the calendar year, nonprofits need to start planning now so they can end the year strong.
There are five simple things any organization can do to not only increase year-end results, but also maintain and even strengthen important long-term relationships with donors.
1. Connect with your donors’ pain.
Higher gas and food prices affect everyone, every day. Acknowledge this joint burden while relating it to how much more these increased costs impact your organization and those you serve.
Americans are the most empathetic and generous donors on earth. Donors can immediately relate to how much rising prices affect poor parents struggling to feed and house their children. They can now easily understand the transportation cost burden for an organization serving elderly, shut-in people or a group helping a needy college student travel home for the holidays.
Articulating the challenges we all face in a difficult economy creates a sense of community and can be a welcome reminder for donors that, even in challenging times, they have much for which to be thankful.
2. Call mid to major donors now.
Don’t wait until November and December to connect with your most valuable donors. Assign key organizational leaders or representatives to call top donors to discuss year-end giving and planning.
Convey your understanding of and empathize with the challenges they may well be facing with their personal finances. At the same time, be clear and honest about the challenges your nonprofit is facing.