Focus on Your Donors

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When it comes to fundraising, it is absolutely imperative that you focus on your donors. As much as you want to continue building growth and development with new benefactors, you want to make sure you cultivate a strong foundational relationship with the individuals who have already contributed to your cause. In the grand scheme of things, nonprofit organizations need to view their operations and logistics as a business. Providing that necessary investment with specific donors, especially your high-valued clients, can, in turn, provide a stronger return on investment.

To start, let’s first examine why so many nonprofits overlook this step. When it comes to focusing on donors, many NGOs and organizations look primarily for growth. While focusing on other avenues and aspects will always be the name of the game when it comes to fundraising, you cannot forget about the individuals who helped established your presence in the beginning. By focusing and investing in your previous donors, you can essentially meet your fundraising goals, quarter after quarter by simply reaching out to that already tapped potential. By involving those individuals with the process, the overall return can lead to either new donations or new donors simply from your interaction and relationship with one client.

To do this, you need to first and foremost build a relationship and rapport with them. Any strong nonprofit organization knows that when it comes to landing a donation, it all begins with how you interact with the person on the other side of the table. Make sure you listen to their intrinsic goals. Ask them those overarching questions of what they believe in and what they are looking for. In many cases, your goals and vision align with their needs. By leveraging that knowledge, you can create that much-needed bond that can continue for years on end.

Once that bond is forged, it will be your job to communicate with that donor. This can be done in a variety of ways. Start by reporting back to them. For many of these donors, they want to know that their donations are leading to something great. Provide them that necessary feedback by reporting how their gifts are making that transformational change on an individual or a community. This can be done through a simple newsletter, appeals, social media, your websites, an email, a phone call, or other communication channels. The more consistent you are the better.  

In addition to communicating and updating your donor, try sending gifts and acknowledgments to them. This will always be important. When you make it a habit to send your donors a thank you letter or a gift of gratitude, you are forging that ever-lasting strong relationship. To continue building on that, consistently update them with information. Share various photos and sentiments of thank you cards from other parties. Here, an emotional appeal will play a large role. Not only will it give you a chance to connect with them, but also it will showcase the impact that their gift has done for another life.

Last but not least, stay donor focus. As stated before, it is easy to get lost within the operations of the day when it comes to fundraising. The simple idea of more donors leads to more donations absolutely works. But by hitting that low-hanging fruit of retaining donors on a long-term campaign, you will be able to see a stronger return as a whole when it comes to meeting your financial goals. To do this, continue communicating with those individuals. Everything flows into communication. Being donor focus can spark a wide variety of opportunities, which will be fundamental for your nonprofit’s future.

Story of Self, How to Tell your Philanthropy’s Story

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Every strong philanthropic organization will tell you that they need to have a persona, a value, and an understanding that can be translated and understood to each of their donors within the general public. While having a nice pitch can get you those little wins, you want to make sure that your story is truly representing the organization’s principles and mission in every one of your calls or presentations. This type of story telling-pitch cannot just enhance your organization’s marketing image, but also improve your fundraising objectives closer to your quarterly goals.

But what does it mean to have a good story? Isn’t a pitch a story in itself?

While that is true, an impactful philanthropic story for any nonprofit can go a long way in changing and shaping the essence of an organization. Simply telling people the problem and asking them to donate is not enough for them to be sold. Instead, it takes a strong commitment in developing a relationship with the crowd to truly steal the show.

In many ways, I call this the story of self. In any philanthropy, you need to establish your identity. While highlighting numbers and grow will play a necessary role in proving your philanthropy’s mission, you also have to be cognizant that you are talking to people. Because of this, you want to make sure you are meaningful and intentional. Having that level of control and confidence is the first step in establishing your presence with the person (or crowd). Once you are able to greet them with an informative background pitch on yourself, you then want to highlight the problem.

When highlighting the problem, the best way to sell it is by tapping into the emotions. At the end of the day, your nonprofit does incredible and meaningful work. But to show them that work, you unveil the true world around them. For any layperson, they are aware that there are various social problems going on in the world. The only difference is that they only know the surface. To enhance their understanding, discuss the ever-growing social problem your organization is fighting against. Go in detail by highlighting a particular story that you know that they can sympathize with. Then drive it home with both the passion and ever-growing facts that this problem can have if we do not stop it today. By organizing your story in that way, you will be able to affectively and informatively highlight the ins-and-outs of your social problem.

Once they are able to comprehend the issue, start by introducing your philanthropy’s work and your overall mission. At times, you may require you to spell it out for them. But to showcase the large extent of your nonprofit’s impact is something that can open their eyes. Be specific if you have to. The more detail you can give them, like a personalize story, the better.

Then end it with a close and thank them. Now, for any fundraising campaign, you wan to make sure you have a logistical system that can consolidate all of their personal information. This can be a sign-in sheet, sign-in cards, or a more tech version of the two so that you can contact them even further. Be sure to note how and where they can donate and support your organization.