Refresh Your Fundraising For the New Year


How did your annual fund drive do at the end of 2017?

Regardless of whether you barely met your goals or wildly exceeded expectations, when it comes to fundraising, there always is room for growth. To that end, we offer five new ideas to jumpstart your 2018 fundraising.

1.   Consider a mission “refresh”

Does your nonprofit suffer from donor fatigue? If so, it may be time to refresh your mission in the eyes of donors—including your board members—as well as employees and volunteers.

  • Find a new twist to the mission that puts new zing into your message.
  • Develop a new tag line that drives home the reason to donate.

Refreshing your mission will not only fight donor fatigue, it also is likely to attract new donors and volunteers who see your mission in a way they find compelling.

2.   Infuse fundraising with beneficiaries’ stories

Beneficiaries’ stories drive home the reason to donate—as well as the reason to support your nonprofit in a myriad of other ways, beginning with volunteering.

  • For those who already donate to and volunteer for your nonprofit, beneficiaries’ stories become reminders of why they were attracted to your mission in the first place. They are tools to revitalize commitment.
  • Beneficiaries’ stories provide ways for your Board members to talk about your organization to potential donors.
  • Beneficiary stories also are the strongest magnet to pull new people in.

Engagement starts with your mission, and nothing drives home the mission like specific stories about how your organization benefited the community.

3.   Personalize communications, including “asks”

In a world of social media and nonprofit marketing, everyone receives a virtual blizzard of asks. The result? Your “Dear Friend” letter may fall on deaf ears even with a compelling mission.

Savvy development professionals who compare the added time to break out donor communications into personalized messages realize that the payback is worth the extra time.

  • Get to know your donors and write letters that speak directly to them—their hobbies, their interests, their engagement activities.
  • Ask Board members to do the same for potential donors.
  • Segment donors you don’t know well by age, interests, and backgrounds. Then develop marketing materials and newsletters that are more likely to engage each group. The right donor software enables this type of segmentation.

4.   Find high-visibility community partners for joint events

No need to try to convince 100 new people to support your organization. Instead, identify one person—preferably someone who heads up a compatible business or nonprofit with high visibility—to support your organization by championing a fun-filled joint event that will introduce 100 new people to your organization.

5.   Engage local businesses to offer employees a way to donate

Start working with local business leaders and then spread out to every corporation in your area, regardless of its size. Offer a presentation that is fun, informative, compelling, and quick. Then request that a payroll deduction service be offered for employees to make a pre-tax charitable donation in any amount form every paycheck. Even one dollar per paycheck per employee adds up to new gifts that can make a difference.

Utilizing these new avenues will jumpstart your 2018 fundraising and provide ways to grow donations all year long.


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