Essential Steps to Attract and Keep Nonprofit Donors

woman holding sign charity sale

At least a million nonprofits exist globally, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Although they champion various causes, their methods of generating funds for projects remain the same: donors.

And after all these years, looking and enticing donors to keep on giving remains challenging. Sometimes it can take days or months and lots of fundraising activities, and in some cases, these strategies are not often enough.

How can a nonprofit, especially a new one, make it easier? Here are the x steps to attracting nonprofit donors and keeping them happy:

1. Know Your Prospects

In his 2014 article in Entrepreneur, Andy Robinson shared the first secret of finding donors successfully: follow the ABCs of prospecting. These are access, belief, and capacity to give.

Some nonprofits make the mistake of focusing too much on wealthy donors. However, not all of them can be prospects, and even if they are, they still need to be qualified. This is where belief and capacity come in.

In a study by Abila, high-roller donors usually support up to five organizations and give around $2,000 a year. However, their most popular causes include places of worship, social services, and health and disease charities.

But Robinson also stressed that the majority of the givers are actually from the low to middle classes. In other words, anyone can be a potential donor as long as their causes align with those of the organization and they have the means to give.

2. Tailor Marketing Strategies to the Targeted Leads

Contrary to popular belief, charitable organizations don’t spend all of the donor’s money on their causes. Some go toward paying overhead and wages, while at least 15% to 20% are dedicated to fundraising activities.

Nonprofits, therefore, still operate on a limited budget. Thus, marketing strategies need to be on point. One of the best tips is to tailor the efforts to the targeted leads. For instance, about 55% of these wealthy donors are baby boomers who aren’t as comfortable with tech as the millennials. Thus, face-to-face fundraising may be more ideal for them.

Meanwhile, during the COVID-19 pandemic, about 75% of the Y generation (whose ages are between 24 and 35 years old) extended financial aid to different causes.

Compared to the much older generations, these individuals are avid smartphone users. Therefore, nonprofits may need to build a website that details all the information about the organization and provides an online system for them to give without having to leave the website.

However, most experts these days now suggest that organizations boost their online presence as all generations can use the Internet to some degree. Doing so may then allow nonprofits to enjoy plenty of benefits. According to a 2012 benchmark study on online marketing for nonprofits, the median online gift could reach nearly $100. An organization could also generate over $350,000 of total funds.

3. Reward Them for Their Loyalty

While nonprofits need to increase their list of donors, they should also take care of the existing ones. Like in business, it actually costs less to “market” to old donors than attract new prospects.

One of the smart strategies to keep donors engaged is through loyalty rewards. In a study by Da Vinci Payments, over 95% of US adults participate in a loyalty program, while prepaid options are the second preferred reward choice next to freebies.

Conceptual hand writing showing Fundraising. Business photo text Seeking of financial support for charity cause or enterprise Message note jute background red heart letters love grunge idea.

Nonprofits can explore many ways to use these cards for engagement:

  • Organizations can set different amounts on the cards based on the contributions of the donors.
  • These cards are often customizable. Nonprofits can feature recipients, share their stories, announce their fundraising activities, or inform the donors more on what they do on the faces of the cards.
  • If the nonprofits have brand supporters, they can customize these cards to bear the brands’ name. These companies can then give these loyalty rewards to their customers. In turn, the cards become a lead-generating tool.
  • They can give away virtual cards. This strategy can improve their online presence and immediately increase engagement as donors can receive the present in real-time.

When donors give, they are motivated by something. Usually, they believe in the cause, while others want to continue the legacy of their family and friends.

Some donors are touched by the story the organization shared, and a number want to feel good about themselves by being altruistic. Many want to contribute to the common good. Prospecting helps you determine the reason to know whether they are the organization’s ideal donors and the best marketing strategies to perform to connect to them.

However, for a successful donor-nonprofit relationship, it needs to be a two-way street. Creating a loyalty rewards program is one step to keep them engaged.

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