Many nonprofits face the challenge of standing out and delivering persuasive fundraising messages to prospective donors.  It is not hard to fall into this category especially since there are close to 2 Million active nonprofits in the United States alone, according to Guidestar.  Almost all nonprofits rely on fundraising efforts so the ability to stand out and create persuasive campaigns to attract and retain donors is instrumental to the success of a nonprofit.  In this week’s blog post, we will examine a few tips and tricks that your nonprofit can initiate to create more persuasive, and effective fundraising campaigns.

Understand your donors and what makes them tick!

The first step in creating any fundraising campaign should be to understand your current donor list.  Analyzing your current donor base will provide your nonprofit with key information about the types of people to target with your fundraising efforts.  Chances are there are attributes and trends that can be identified in your donor database.

A few key trends to examine should be:

  • Demographical trends (Gender, Location, Income Level)
  • Donor Journey (What steps did they take to become a donor)
  • Campaign effectiveness (What campaigns were the most effective in the past)
  • Online vs offline communications (How do your donors like to communicate with your nonprofit)
  • Your donor’s pain points (What problems are your donors trying to solve, and how can your organization fill that void)

Practice, and analyze your organizations ask

You may only get one opportunity to ask a prospect to provide your nonprofit with a financial contribution.  You need to make the ask count, and stand out from other organizations wanting a financial commitment from your prospect.  Keep in mind that you want your nonprofits ask to relate to the prospective donor’s goals, and emotions.

Here are a few ways to optimize your fundraising ask:

Make the campaign personal

Find out what motivates your donor base to make financial contributions, and let that variable direct the fundraising campaign.

Leverage your existing donor base

Your organization’s existing donor base can provide strategic insights into what messaging caused them to move forward with a financial contribution.  Ask your existing donors for their insights regarding your current campaigns, messaging, and goals.

Establish a sense of urgency

In order to reach your nonprofit’s fundraising goals, you need to create a sense of urgency for your prospects.  Creating urgency does not mean that you have to be overly aggressive when asking for financial contributions but you should focus your campaign messaging on:

  • The specific goals that your campaign hopes to achieve
  • The exact need that your organization has
  • The deadline for the campaign to be successful
  • How close the campaign is to reaching its goal

Leverage your nonprofit’s authority

If you’re nonprofit really wants to stand out to prospective donors, and create persuasive fundraising campaigns you should leverage your authority for your cause.  Let prospects know how big of a footprint their contribution will make towards fulfilling your organization’s mission, and goals.  Your nonprofit should focus some effort on displaying progress to prospects so they can see that their contribution will go to good use.

The process of creating persuasive fundraising campaigns can be challenging for nonprofits that are not focusing their efforts on understanding donors and prospects, practicing and optimizing organizational ask, and leveraging their nonprofits authority to their target audience.  The good news is it is not too late for your organization to incorporate a few strategic changes to create more successful fundraising campaigns.

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