In the past few years, nonprofit organizations have put much of their focus on migrating over to new technologies. From finding the right fundraising software to collecting and leveraging valuable data, to establishing a robust social media presence, nonprofits have been working hard to stay afloat amidst the changing currents of technology – all to further their missions by improving donor engagement.
But, did you know that every 100 donors gained by an organization were offset by a loss of 103 donors in 2014? That’s a lot of hard work without the return of stellar results! So, before you start moving forward with all of the new technology you have discovered, we recommend focusing on five things guaranteed to help you fundraise smarter, not harder!
1. Start with a Goal and Measure the Right Things
If your fundraising goal is to raise more international dollars, you want to make sure you have established a geographic metric. Likewise, if you’re aiming for a strong campaign presence on social media, you should measure things like total impressions, likes, retweets, etc. The key is to make sure that what you’re measuring aligns with the goals of your campaign. These metrics will tell you whether or not you hit all or only some of your goals, and serve as an indicator for what you need to improve going forward.
2. Establish a Foundation of Testing
Whether you are a small nonprofit or a large organization, you should be continually optimizing your campaigns to make your donors’ experience as easy, and as seamless as possible. We recommend devising a system of testing to monitor campaigns effectively and eliminate potential pain points for donors. For example, let’s say you run a stellar campaign resulting in 20% new donor acquisition – What action do you take next? Establishing cohorts and tracking donor activity over time – not just in the beginning – is what will make your efforts successful in the future.
3. Focus on Your Story
With all of the shift toward digital channels, it’s imperative not to lose sight of what’s at the core of your organization – it’s the reason people choose to donate to you. Your organization’s story should inspire, touch people at an emotional level and, most importantly, compel them to give to your cause. Effectively communicating how a donation to your organization is enabling positive change is what will hook people. Every time. Try testing your digital messaging to understand what resonates with your donors. From there you can formulate a plan, using that information to drive better results.
4. Take Advantage of Available Tools
Why continue exhausting your resources when there are many low-cost, if not free fundraising tools out there to help you improve campaign monitoring and optimization? The beauty of the internet today is you can take advantage of plenty of case studies, fundraising best practices and free analytics tools to help you run your campaigns successfully. While some tools are easier to grasp than others, there are many that when used at a basic level, help to improve results almost immediately.
5. Implement a Strong Call to Action
What’s the point of attracting people to your site or a piece of content if it doesn’t lead them to the next step? Implementing an “ask,” whether that be a link to the next item they should click on or a prominent “donate now” button is vital in obtaining the conversions you need.
Want to go more in-depth with our fundraising strategist, Miriam Kagan, about how you can maximize these five tips for your organization? Sign up for our Webinar – Fundraise Smarter, Not Harder – where you’ll be able to gain a clearer picture of the steps you need to take to get improved results in 2016. Register before it takes place on Feb 4!
Are there any fundraising struggles you’ve experienced in the past that you want to correct this year? Let us know in the comments below!