Good to Great: Growth Strategies for Up-and-Coming Nonprofits
Only then can a nonprofit truly begin to grow. For up-and-coming organizations, these steps are vital.
From there, a nonprofit must shift its focus to its supporters and constituents to truly engage them for sustained growth.
Acquiring donors for nonprofits is no easy task—entire departments exist around attracting new donors via social media, email, on-the-ground organizing and direct mail. The challenge, however, is to engage and maintain these donors over time so they both provide recurring gifts and love the organization enough to tell their friends and family about it.
According to the Blackbaud 2014 Charitable Giving Report, online giving over the last year grew a formidable 8.9 percent, a strong indicator that more people are willing to give online than ever before. Once these donors are acquired, it would be a shame to let them go!
Stewardship is the most important strategy when engaging a donor year-round. There are a few obvious pieces of communication to start with: Does the organization send a thank-you email and email welcome series? Is the content compelling—would the writer open it? Does the organization ever talk to this donor again?
Newer methods of stewardship include social media engagement and can go a long way in making a donor feel appreciated. This includes following back donors on Twitter and publicly thanking them for their support. Through a social listening tool, an organization can see if those supporters are talking about related issues and favorite, retweet or respond as necessary.
Maybe an organization wants to engage with donors on topics they are already talking about. Social data allows a communications team to track popular keywords, or social mentions, that are most important to their supporters. With this information, the organization can capture this energy and put out a donation ask that acknowledges how important a particular issue is to them at the moment. Perhaps there is even a single keyword that can prompt a donation ask. Automated emails based on these social mentions can allow organizations to send messages within hours of when a supporter was talking about it. Automations and triggering of relevant donation asks free up time to draft new content, find new donors or refuel on coffee.