Strengthen Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Campaign In 5 Tried And True Steps

With giving season right around the corner, we asked some of our most successful nonprofit partners to share their best practices in fundraising campaigns.


 

1. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is one of the most crucial steps you and your organization can take to ensure that any fundraising campaign runs smoothly. Above all, successful nonprofits in the GlobalGiving community cited planning as the key to fundraising campaign success. With #GivingTuesday and the year-end fundraising season fast approaching, prepare with this year-end fundraising checklist.

“Plan ahead with a strategy for who you will engage and what role you will have them play. As a best practice, we add the site-wide GlobalGiving campaign dates to our calendar so that we can strategize early on our communication plan. We begin by sending an initial email a week or two prior to a specific campaign to key stakeholders who might be interested in giving. The response we receive to this notice serves as a temperature check on interest in the campaign and provides insight on the potential scope of support. After our key stakeholders have this date saved and understand the role that they will play in both supporting and soliciting additional support, we craft our broader outreach strategy to have maximum impact in furthering our mission of restoring music education to disadvantaged schools.”

Jacquie Henderson, Education Through Music-Los Angeles

“One of the biggest mistakes is not planning in advance! To be successful, you need to utilize all the resources at your disposal from social media to email campaigns to gain support. To avoid donor fatigue, these have to be strategically timed to keep momentum and excitement up! This also means working weeks in advance to line up important gifts at key times in the campaign.”

Jennifer Wilder, Warrior Canine Connection

2. Engage Your Donors

No one knows their donor base better than you. There is no one right way to fundraise, and though figuring out what works and what doesn’t takes time, the results can make future fundraising campaigns more successful. Learn more about best practices in donor engagement here.

“Keep it interesting! There is no one way of fundraising that works for all organizations, and it is best if you take the time to understand the demographics of people who resonate with your mission in order to find the best ways to keep them excited and consistently involved. There are countless ways to approach fundraising, and different methods can often engage different sectors of your supporters. Reinvent your process and spend time taking note of what works—and why!”

Lauren Rha, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine Inc.

3. Create an Effective Communication Strategy

One of the biggest mistakes in a nonprofit fundraising campaign is the failure to notify your network of supporters. More often than not, reaching out to your network just once is not enough. Figure out what your donors respond to best and create a strategy centered around it. Learn tips for writing more effective, engaging email appeals here.

“We have learned that the key to success is communication, ensuring that everyone has the same understanding and is on the same page. A mistake in campaigns, especially ones involving other external partners, could be starting too quickly in fundraising activities without the alignment of all partners in place. In our view, there is no such thing as too much information or having someone be too included.”

Jacquie Henderson, Education Through Music-Los Angeles

“Segment donors and build a communication plan for each segment. We treat VIP donors differently from small donors. Each needs different attention and different communication.”

Connie Duran, Puerta Abierta IAP

4. Follow Up!

In order to cultivate donor relationships, don’t stop at just one appeal. Your donors need a reminder that your nonprofit’s fundraising campaign is coming up! Prompt them with a call-to-action and explain why the specific fundraising campaign is so important to your organization. Discover new ways to frame donor messaging here.

“Many people send out the request for funds to their friends and family and then leave it at that. We have found that many people who receive that request may have the intention of donating, but don’t do so at that moment and with just a friendly reminder or follow up, are happy to give.”

Daniela Franco, Libros para Todos

5. Thank Your Donors

Showing your donors appreciation is an easy way to keep them interested. By thanking your donors, you are cultivating that relationship in hopes to create a long-lasting partnership. Struggling to find the right words? Download GlobalGiving’s free thank you note template here.

“Every donor counts and you can never thank them too much! Make your $10 donors feel as important as your large donors, for both the purposes of retaining them as well as nurturing the relationship so that in the future that $10 donation becomes a $20 or $100 gift. During campaigns, our Director of Development monitors gifts as they come in and sends personal notes to every single donor—noting those that have made two, three or four gifts in the campaign. Our Social Media Coordinator is engaging constantly with supporters on social platforms as they comment on our posts or ask questions. Keep it personal and thank often!”

Jennifer Wilder, Warrior Canine Connection

If you want to take your fundraising initiatives to the next level, apply for the GlobalGiving Accelerator.

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