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.

Three Main Goals You Should Know for your Fundraiser

o-GOAL-SETTING-facebook The world of fundraising and charities has long been shrouded in obscurity. While many of these foundations will boast of their transparency, it can oftentimes be too difficult to see whom the funds are for, where they are going, and what impact that they can have on the actual cause. We saw this back in 2010 with Mark Zuckerberg’s generous $100 million dollar donation to Newark Public Schools. I’m not saying we should stop donating. Instead I am saying that fundraisers, nonprofits, and charities need to be more visible and informative for the why, where, and what questions people will ask when donating for a cause.

At the end of the day, donors like to be reassured that their generous donation is making an impact on an individual’s life. That being said, below, I have laid out three main goals an organization should know for the betterment of its future. By internalizing these goals, you will be able to communicate and translate those numbers to understandable concepts for donors. Remember, the more informed they are, the more comfortable they will be to donate to your cause.

Know the Total Amount of Money Raised and Why

This is usually straight forward, but at the end of the day, you want to translate those numbers to something more understandable and comprehensive for the public. To do this, think backwards. By backwards planning, knowing your goal amount and creating steps to get there, you will be able to not just strategically plan for your goal, but also explain why you need that specific amount to various donors. At times, you will be looking for more lucrative donations. For this to happen, you need to be able to discuss why you need that amount and what that amount can do for your organization. We see this in shows like Shark Tank or on social media with GoFundMe promos. Make sure you know the desired amount and what it will be used for in the future. The more detailed you are the better.

Know the Number of Donors and Renewed Donors

The success of your fundraiser depends on just on the financial aspect, but also on the donor side. Make sure you know the number of donors who donated. You can do this monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Either way, you will be able to tract the overall system and progress your fundraising is doing and translate that back to the customer. The higher the donors, the better your charity looks to the public.

Know the Number of Renewed Donors

In addition to knowing the number of donors, make sure you are also aware of the donor retention rate. If you find that your retention rate is high, then that is definitely a fact you can capitalize in closing a deal for potential donors. One thing to note, renewed donors often increase to the cause. Many people find that type of commitment important before making donations on their own. Know this information and utilize it to its fullest.