Five Tactics to Rev Up Fundraising in a Down Economy
These are your organization’s “closest friends,” so treat them as you would a friend. Naturally, providing for their families’ welfare must come first, and they may need to reduce the size or number of contributions they make this year. Encourage and help them in this, and you further cultivate an even stronger relationship that will provide significant support for your nonprofit for years to come.
By doing this in September, you’ll create more accurate projections for income from this key group. Contact them again in the November/December time frame, as things can change even in two months — schedule this follow-up call when you talk the first time — but at least you will not be caught unprepared if giving levels do not meet budgets and expectations created last year when the economy was better.
3. Begin year-end campaigns in September with installment options.
Begin your direct-marketing appeals earlier. Not only does this help get your messaging in front of donors first, it allows you to offer donors installment options.
These options can make giving at previous levels more manageable. While a single $300 or even $75 gift given last December might seem too much when cash is tighter this year, donors might be more receptive to giving a year-end gift in three monthly installments of $100 or $25.
Provide this option online or by sending a special reply device (or even three return envelopes, which has been very successful) with your mailing. You are providing the donor value by creating an innovative giving option that recognizes his immediate needs, while still allowing him to help others.
4. Use alternative giving vehicles.
Most organizations are aware of the success of giving catalogs and other alternate giving methods like adoptions. Create attractive giving vehicles that donors can use as presents for others.