Development audit after development audit of small- to mid-sized organizations reveals that while donor retention remains a critical issue, there is also another that is equally as important. Far too many groups are not focusing their fundraising efforts on wide-scale donor acquisition efforts. As a result, many are witnessing stagnant yearly returns or, even more alarmingly, consistent declines.
Gone are the days of list acquisitions and swapping mailing lists. Today, there are much more effective and cost-efficient strategies with higher returns. Groups need to be willing to embrace them to see increasing returns on the health of their development programs.
Consider these options when thinking about how to acquire donors for our nonprofit organization.
7 Actions Steps to Acquiring New Donors Through Social Media
1. Know your Google analytics to determine how many actual visitors you have to your website.
You may just be surprised at how many uncaptured leads that you have. The question is: Do most fundraisers know their website analytics?
And... do they even realize the potential of this source of prospects for acquisition purposes?
2. Consider moving beyond social posting to targeted social advertising.
In this age of Google grants and inexpensive Facebook, Instagram and Twitter targeted advertising, one can drive traffic from what is a primary relationship-building platform to an organization’s website. Social media sites are for relationship-building. They are not places where individuals go first to seek out information about a cause or to make a donation.
Surely, we should be looking at social networks as a “cultivation” and “relationship-building” tool in the same sense that we do offline.
3. Once you drive traffic off of your social site, then you need to ‘capture’ them on your website.
Very rarely will folks sign up on first glance. You need to develop a vehicle that will capture their interest and engage them in your organization. Common ways of doing this are through online petitions, surveys relating to your cause, product or item distribution, or even a donate “call-to-action.”
4. Once you capture their names, then you need to continue to cultivate them online.
Far too often, I see groups that end here. Whether the medium in which you capture their information is a survey or a petition, I highly recommend that you create a customized donor stewardship engagement series. This series would consist of a string of emails tailored to respond to the engagement medium. This engagement series of emails would continue for a definite period.
5. The culmination of this email cultivation series must be with the aim of converting to donors.
Once a gift has been made, this segment of donors gets placed in a customized stewardship engagement stream of emails. Those who do not convert must be engaged separately.
6. For those non-converters, I do not recommend that you ‘give up’ on engagement.
I recommend that you keep “speaking” to them by sending them your regular e-news updates and existing appeals.
7. You can further follow-up on these non-converting prospects by perhaps a series of telephone calls aimed at further conversion.
The whole premise is that you are taking prospects from a highly relational, social mode of networking through targeted advertising to an engagement vehicle that works to capture their contact information and form of identifying preferences. Once they have been “identified,” you can then place them in a highly specific cultivation engagement stream of emails and communications over several weeks aimed to convert them to supporters.
Robin Cabral is “Hire a CFRE!” the one and only outsourced development professional with close to 25 years experience providing value-added consulting services with razor-sharp monthly result objectives and benchmarked deliverables.
She works with mid-sized nonprofits that want to position themselves to build capacity and generate more fundraising prospects, better donor relationships, and bigger fundraising dollars. She specializes in providing outsourced, interim development services and assisting smaller organizations in their first campaigns (annual, capital, and endowment).
Follow her on LinkedIn, Like her on Facebook, and on Twitter: @HIREACFRE!