How to Increase the Success Rate of Fundraising Campaigns
Most nonprofits rely on donors to fund campaigns that allow their organization to pursue its mission and achieve goals. Convincing prospects to become donors can be challenging if a nonprofit is not taking a strategic approach to identify the most convertible prospects. Increasing the success rate of an organization's fundraising campaigns can take some time and testing on the part of the nonprofit. The positive news is there are several strategies that your nonprofit organization can take to increase campaign success.
Reward Your Organizations Top Donors
A donor-recognition program can help your nonprofit increase a number of financial contributions that are made towards campaigns. Keep in mind that your nonprofit will want to put the right strategic incentives in place, so that donors will feel compelled to reach campaign goals. Most donors have a connection with your organization's mission, so recognition programs should focus on acknowledgment and personalization.
Here are a few ideas for how your nonprofit can recognize top donors:
- Create exclusive events that bring your top donors together.
- Recognize top donors on your organization's website.
- Feature top donors in video testimonials.
- Provide top donors early registration for events and volunteer opportunities.
- Invite top fundraisers to take a tour of your nonprofit's headquarters.
- Send donors information about their individual contribution’s impact on the organization's mission.
- Provide top donors with branded merchandise such as t-shirts, hats and hoodies.
Focus Marketing Efforts on Inbound
Even if your nonprofit's top donors are older in age, chances are that they spend some time online. A recent study by Pingdom found that 54 percent of social media users are between the age of 35 and 64. Donors today also are making their own decisions on where to spend their financial resources, and what causes they want to invest in. Nonprofit marketing departments need to adjust to changes in donor behavior and put the right strategic messaging in place to reach them.
Focusing your marketing efforts on inbound strategies makes the most sense in today’s digital landscape. Inbound marketing is also more cost-effective in most cases compared to the alternative outbound-marketing tactics. Here are a few inbound-marketing strategies that your nonprofit can quickly deploy to reach more prospects:
- Focus messaging around informing, not persuading.
- Spend time on developing quality content on a regular basis.
- Become a data-driven nonprofit, so you can optimize your inbound campaigns.
- Incorporate video into your inbound-marketing strategy.
- Use email to broadcast your content and connect with prospects
- Deploy SEO strategies to get your nonprofit's content in front of more prospects.
Don’t Neglect Your Existing Donor Base in the Search for New Ones
Some nonprofits forget that their most valuable donor connections may be the ones that they already have a relationship with or individuals who have made financial contributions in the past. Don’t forget that your nonprofit organization should be nurturing your existing donor base and leveraging them to find new donors, too.
Here are a few tips for cultivating and maintaining your nonprofit's existing donor base:
- Keep your donors in the loop in regards to organizational changes and opportunities.
- Understand your donors and their needs, goals and motivations.
- Be a donor-centric organization.
- Always thank donors for their contributions and support.
- Analyze how your donor communications are affecting your retention rates.
- Get to know your donors on a personal level if you can.
Maintain, Analyze and Understand Your Donor Database
Having an organizational process in place for maintaining, analyzing, and understanding your donor database may make all of the difference in being able to create and deliver successful fundraising campaigns for your nonprofit organization. The ability to leverage your donor database to make strategic decisions will also ensure that your organization is delivering the right communications to your top donors. Keep in mind that your donor data is only as good as your organization's ability to leverage it.
Here are some tips for making greater use of your donor database:
- Track as much constituent information as possible.
- Develop a strategy on how the information will be analyzed.
- Keep data accurate and comprehensive.
- Understand and train your team on how to use your system.
- Streamline your system to increase efficiency.
Eric Burger is the marketing communications manager for VolunteerHub, an organization that provides volunteer management solutions for nonprofits across the globe. Eric has worked in the B2B software industry for the past two years and has over five years of experience in digital marketing.