4 Excellent Ideas to Refresh Your Fundraising Strategy
THIS IS A GUEST POST WRITTEN BY AVERILL FUNDRAISING SOLUTIONS
Even the most effective fundraising strategies can become tired after multiple years of repeat use. Your supporters and fundraising team will be most enthusiastic about fundraising strategies that find fresh ways to address the interests of both your contributors and your organization’s current projects. Just like your nonprofit’s work, your fundraising strategies should be forward-thinking and always evolving.
Help your organization update your image and stand out from the crowd with new ways of approaching potential supporters and getting your story seen and heard.
When your message is fresh, compelling, and specific, supporters will be eager to give.
Let’s take a look at some steps your organization can take to revitalize your fundraising strategy ahead of your next campaign and even during your year-round efforts.
- Define your goals for an upcoming campaign.
- Determine the best ways to reach out to individual supporters.
- Personalize your communications.
- Provide supporters multiple ways to give.
Let’s take a deeper look at each one of these foundational steps towards your fundraising strategy refresh.
1. Define your goals for an upcoming campaign
If your organization is about to embark on a new project, then now would be an excellent time to evaluate your fundraising strategies and consider new ways to better align them with your goals. Begin by defining your goals and developing ways to communicate their importance with your supporters.
Provided that your organization has the time and resources to plan ahead, you may be mapping out a capital campaign to fund your upcoming project. This may be in addition to your annual appeal for funds. Fortunately, both of these provide a wealth of opportunity for innovative fundraising strategies and updates. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to define your goals and begin creating new strategies for both project specific capital campaigns and annual fund appeals.
Capital campaigns are long-term undertakings intended to fund your largest projects and strengthen your organization’s relationships with your most significant supporters. To encourage increased giving in your campaign, define specific goals in terms of both finances and intended results.
Spend time on the following activities to help ensure that you create the most effective new strategy for your campaign:
- Examine your campaign history. Take the first step towards the future of your nonprofit by first looking to the past. Did you reach the goals you set in previous capital campaigns? What components or strategies within the campaign worked and didn’t work with supporters? Understanding previous campaigns can help determine what goals will be realistic this time around and more effective ways to go about reaching them.
- Set your giving goals. Establish an overall campaign goal that covers the anticipated cost of the project you’re starting. Then break that goal down into gift amounts arranged in a gift range chart. When you know exactly how much you need to raise as well as the size of gifts you’ll need from supporters, you can better tailor your appeal strategies.
- Delegate leadership roles and responsibilities. Your capital campaign should have a designated leader. This individual can be someone within your organization or your nonprofit fundraising consultant if you’ve chosen to partner with one. Everyone else in your organization should be aware of your goals and what roles they play in helping reach them.
When your organization has clearly defined goals for your next campaign and the project it is funding, you’ll be able to develop effective, tailor-made fundraising strategies. If you’re interested in bringing the expertise of a fundraising consultant to your next capital campaign, you can use Averill Fundraising Solutions’ guide to nonprofit fundraising consultants to find the best match for your organization. For MobileCause customers with more focused campaigns, you can enlist the expert help of the Digital Marketing Services team to help clarify goals and strategy.
While they don’t tend to draw as much attention as capital campaigns, annual funds are extremely important to operational costs and supporting your organization and continuing your good work. Take some time to refresh your annual fund appeal by putting your cause at the forefront of your supporters’ minds.
Refresh your annual fund appeal by communicating its importance while remembering to first:
- Consult your team. As in a capital campaign, everyone has a role to play when it comes time to develop your next annual fund strategy. Your organization’s members will need to determine costs, identify prospective supporters, and set a timeline. Partnering with a nonprofit fundraising consultant can also help you throughout this process.
- Set quantifiable goals. While your organization uses your annual fund to cover changing operational costs and supplement other campaigns, you’ll still need to define goals and create a gift range chart so you can target different supporters with the appropriate gift size.
- Connect your annual fund to your mission and your work. Annual fund appeals are often not as specific as those associated with capital campaigns or other project specific efforts. Spend more time communicating the impact of supporting your annual fund before and after donors give.
Clearly defined goals and personalized communications are both excellent ways to improve upon your existing strategy as supporters will respond better when you adjust your approach to their interests, needs and giving capabilities.
2. Determine the best ways to reach out to individual supporters
Gathering information on your current and potential supporters in an individualized manner, and ahead of your next campaign, is a necessary component of any successful fundraising strategy. It not only ensures you’re asking for the appropriate size gifts, but also allows you to learn more about the donors’ reasons for supporting your organization.
The most effective way to gather insights about your supporters is to conduct prospect research. Prospect research is an important component of fundraising analytics that allows your organization to gather data on your supporters’ capabilities and likelihood of giving.
Some prospect data points you’ll want to collect before you begin communicating to supporters include:
- Their histories of giving to your organization. Supporters who regularly contribute to your organization, including your monthly givers and other long-term contributors, are key prospects to reach out to in your next campaign. Don’t forget to express your gratitude for their past contributions when reaching out.
- Wealth markers indicating their giving capacities. Wealth markers, which include real estate ownership, stock holdings, business affiliations and political giving histories, help to determine where different supporters likely fall within your gift range chart. When you ask for the right size gift, supporters are more likely to give.
- Potential to make major gifts. Giving history and wealth markers are both important to consider when determining who among your supporters has the potential to make a major gift. Reach out to individuals who are dedicated to your organization or cause and have demonstrated histories of making significant gifts.
Prospect research improves your fundraising strategy by helping your organization better understand your supporters. When it’s time to reach out, use the information you have gathered to personalize your communications toward individual supporters.
3. Personalize your communications
Your supporters will be more eager to contribute to your next campaign or fundraising effort when you acknowledge their individual interests in your organization and your work. Personalizing your communications towards supporters lets them know you value their contributions and dedication to your nonprofit.
For more impactful communications, be sure you’ve first identified their reasons for showing interest in your project as well as their giving histories and capacities. You’re then ready to communicate with them using:
- Personalized letters. Supporters will appreciate receiving a personalized letter addressed to them and containing information about your campaign and the project for which you’re fundraising. If they’ve given to your organization before, don’t forget to thank them for their past support in the letter.
- Their preferred channels. Depending upon their engagement history with your organization as well as their giving levels, your supporters will need to be reached through different media. Supporters with the potential to make major gifts, in particular, should usually be asked in person rather than through phone calls or letters.
- Supporter acknowledgments and thank-you letters. Return to your supporters’ preferred communication channels to thank them for their gifts and provide them with an acknowledgment letter or document containing the details of their gift. Ensure that all acknowledgments and thank-yous are highly personalized, and don’t forget to send them in time!
When your supporters feel that your organization values them, they’ll be motivated to give not just once, but multiple times. Make sure that you provide them with multiple ways to give that they can use during your next campaign and whenever they feel inspired.
Would you like to learn how MobileCause can help you set up an online giving page,
text-to-donate keyword, or a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for your organization?
4. Provide supporters multiple ways to give
Demonstrate appreciation for and attunement with supporters by providing them with multiple ways of making their contributions. When you offer multiple giving options, supporters are more likely to complete their gifts. Much like your communications strategies, the giving channels toward which you direct your supporters are determined, in part, by donation level.
For lower-level supporters, who make up the majority of the supporters you’ll encounter in your next campaign, your organization should consider offering online giving options in addition to traditional methods. To improve conversions on your online giving page, make sure that you’re providing those who choose online giving with:
- A clean and modern website design. An updated website is easier to use and better for displaying content that showcases your organization’s good work. If your site could use a makeover before you begin encouraging online giving, you can check out some helpful website design tips here.
- An easy-to-use giving page. A simplified form that retains your organization’s familiar branding and limits the number of required fields will encourage supporters to complete their gifts. Optimize your online giving experience with forms that your supporters will want to use.
- Automatic supporter acknowledgments and thanks. While your organization may choose to send a more extensive acknowledgment or thank-you letter in addition to an automatic online response, be sure you provide the latter as soon as supporters complete their online gifts. The acknowledgment should also serve as a receipt for the gift.
With multiple convenient ways to give to your campaign or fundraising effort, supporters will feel valued by your organization and motivated to give. Personalization and choices are key to helping supporters feel involved in your campaign and your work.
When your fundraising strategy addresses your supporters’ interests and needs, they’ll be more than happy to contribute and continue their support for your organization beyond your next campaign. Refresh your fundraising strategy with strong planning and personalized outreach to amplify succeed in your next fundraising effort.
Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.
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