5 Ways to Get Your Donors Excited Again to Give
Today's giving climate is more competitive than ever. Donors are bombarded with messages and offers all day, every day. So, it's up to you to give your donors a reason to choose your nonprofit over another one. In short, you need to move past the same old boring dynamic that inspires few people and belongs in the past.
Giving is the backbone of any nonprofit. Full stop. But keeping your donors interested is challenging, especially when so many other philanthropic options are available. Regardless, money isn't the only way to motivate someone to donate. What you need to do is to find the right incentive for each donor.
Here are some great tips on how to get your donors excited about giving again.
1. Don’t Panic, Communicate
You might think that donors will panic and stop giving if they notice a dip in the average donation amount. However, the truth is that most donors aren't even paying attention to that. And, if they are, they don't panic. So, your donors need transparency from you about any challenges you face. It builds and retains trust. Communicate concerns to your donors, show them the data and discuss what might be causing the dip.
Your donors aren't expecting you to always be perfect. But they expect and will appreciate your being upfront and honest about the situation. Communicate to your donors that you’re aware of the problem and don't have any reason to believe it’s permanent. It’s not. Then, discuss ways and ideas for increasing support in your community.
Nothing gives a donor a better feeling than when you surprise them with a small gift of gratitude, an unexpected e-card or a handwritten letter. A token of appreciation, especially from a nonprofit leader, doesn't have to be large or expensive. In fact, donors don't always want gifts, such as mugs and branded merchandise, because they’re a waste of money.
Still, a small token of appreciation is a great way to excite your donors. The best time to do this is during the holidays or when you've just wrapped up a big campaign and can give donors a special and seasonal gift. You can also do it throughout the year and at the end of each quarter. If you want to be creative, find a way to surprise your donors with a gift that has to do with the cause. For example, you can send donors quarterly digital images of donor events, behind-the-scenes pics or program photos.
3. Mix Up Your Strategy
If you’ve used the same strategy repeatedly, take a break from it and try something new. If you've gone back to large galas or high-dollar events for your donors, try hosting a smaller, more intimate and casual event. Most nonprofits shifted away from large galas during the pandemic, so maybe it’s time to retire those permanently or make them something that happens every few years.
Conversely, if you've only been holding online fundraising campaigns, throw in a few offline campaigns and vice versa. Mixing your strategy will help you re-engage your donors and get them excited about giving again. Be careful, though — don't go overboard and try to do too many things simultaneously. You don't want to overextend your organization; moderation is key.
4. Find the Right Tipping Point
As you’re coming up with new ways to get your donors excited again, look for the right tipping point. You can do this by asking your donors why they give. Once you know their motivations, you can devise ways to provide them with a reason to give again.
For example, suppose your donors support your organization because they want to help the environment. In that case, you can host events or even trips focused on environmental conservation or encourage them to volunteer. You can take trips to the park or nature so they can understand what and how conservation happens.
5. Put a Face on the Cause
People are more likely to get excited about giving to a cause if they can relate to it and put a face to it. Put a face on the cause by regularly featuring stories from those that your cause has positively affected. You can do it through your website, social pages and your presence in the community.
Use stories to highlight people your organization has helped, your team and other donors. If you have a blog on your site, feature different people and the stories behind their involvement with your nonprofit. Moreover, your nonprofit leaders need to be out in the community — not holed up in their offices.
Ask More from Your Donors
It might seem counterintuitive, but asking donors to give more is essential. And that doesn't just mean money. It could mean everything from giving their opinion to answering surveys to volunteers. You don't want to ask them for a donation without considering inviting them to become a sustaining donor. Sustaining donor opportunities excite donors and make them feel like they are part of a more significant movement.
Still, there are many ways you can get your donors excited about giving again. Get together with your team and brainstorm ideas. For example, create an online and offline community, figure out new events that are fresh and different and create experiential events depending on your mission. The fact is that there is a lot of competition for your donors, so you need to do the work to keep them interested in your nonprofit.
Related story: 4 Reasons Why Donors Don't Give
Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises. Among his various independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs, a social enterprise that helps nonprofits, schools, churches, civic groups, individuals and others raise funds, while helping to support micro-enterprise (small business) opportunities in developing nations and the environment.
You can learn more about Wayne and obtain free resources, including his books on his blog, Not Your Father’s Charity.