Nonprofits operate in a kind, generous yet highly competitive environment; they look for donors to sustain their efforts and money to pay their organization’s bills and support their cause, and accomplish this without financial or intellectual cost to any other charity. Maintaining charitable equilibrium isn’t easy when you consider there are over 1.5 million charities in the U.S. competing for about $360 billion in total gifts from foundations, corporations and individuals. The constant search for funding takes time, staffing and ingenuity, but the standout nonprofits bring new donors to their table and sustain their interest in five different ways:
They understand the importance of personal interaction: Whether it’s a midnight basketball fundraiser, dinner dance, cocktail hour, bake sale or a tour around the foundation’s facility, the doors are literally always open to face-to-face contact between donors, staff, volunteers and recipients.
They use social media and email wisely: Donors are thanked in photos posted on the charity’s website and in their newsletter, in promotional announcements sent to the local media and on posters and billboards around the charity office. Emails go out regularly to keep donors engaged with the latest news, whether it’s a building remodel, a large corporate donation or the results of the annual audit. Each email should have a link to the charity’s donation tab in the signature, but the every email should not be a plea for funds.
They brand with a well-known company: Working with a local or national company benefits the charity in several ways:
- It heightens the charity’s profile when their website is branded with the company
- It leads to greater fundraising potential by increasing their audience size.
- It gives a boost of respectability to the charity; the partnership between charity and corporation gives donors confidence in the organization’s strength and sustainability.
Their website speaks to donors as people, not walking wallets: The successful nonprofits consider donors as human, capable of empathy and caring about those in need. Their website presents photos, videos and stories from those who have received help, to enlighten and introduce donors to the real people their money has helped so much.
They use technology-driven donation platforms: Process Donation’s software offers donors an easy and ever-present way to donate with customized donation pages, member forums, peer-to-peer fundraising and every aspect of event management, from invitations to ticket sales and seating arrangements to thank-you notes. The software app operates on any device, donations are managed from a single dashboard and the platform integrates with accounting and marketing software.