You ask, Kim answers! Welcome to the very first “Dear Kim” blog, where our fundraising experts will be giving all their inside tips, tricks and handy dandy advice in response to fundraising, peer to peer, events and crowdfunding questions submitted by YOU! Our first post is dedicated to questions surrounding how to get more donors – read along to get all the juicy insights:
I am part of a nonprofit that is working toward getting more individual donor leads. We’ve been trying different ways to do this, yet haven’t seen anything that really brings in the results we want. Do you know of some best practices that can help us accomplish this goal?
Desperate for Donors
First off, how realistic are your expectations in terms of the results you want? I would say that if your expectations are not based on some combination of prior performance (X tactics that are projected to accomplish X goals) and industry benchmarks, you may be accomplishing realistic goals, but perhaps dealing with unrealistic expectations.
If this isn’t the case, then I would suggest that the issue is the offer. If donors are not responding or getting involved at a rate that is reasonable, then your offer is not resonating with them. Remember, it’s not about how you see your mission, but rather why donors have given to you.
If you aren’t sure, talk to donors who have already given to you and ask why they gave. Compare that to how you are currently asking donors to give, and adjust as necessary. Another way would be to test the way you ask with prospective donors and ask for feedback.
Finally, are you targeting the right new donor prospects and asking them through the channel(s) they use? The important thing here is to ask yourself: who are the donors I want to get? How are they interacting with and consuming news, information, etc? Then get them to engage with your organization in a similar way to how they engage on a daily basis in their everyday life.
Good luck and prospect!
I work for a small nonprofit theater about to begin our first fundraising campaign. We have a wide age range of constituents, but most belong to an older demographic. What advice do you have on engaging all ages in new fundraising efforts without alienating our core patrons?
Lost in Demographics
Congrats on planning your first ever fundraising campaign! My first inclination is to tell you that rather than trying to be everything to everyone (and I hear you on appealing to all demographics), focus on your core and use that as a springboard for other, more diverse campaigns – especially if you can use some of the funds raised to experiment with a broader base.
With an older demographic, your best bet is a direct mail campaign that allows people to write a check, but that also points them to donate online. Older donors are giving in both channels (check out how KLRU’s online campaign resonated with their core donor base age of over 60), so give them the option to donate in their preferred method. Once your online donation (or membership) form is set up, you now have a great avenue to reach out to younger demographics (tip: if you are on Facebook or other social media channels, try testing out different calls to action).
Contact us to let us know how things are going, and we can speak about advanced demographic targeting techniques, such as ask arrays, setting up honor/memorial campaigns for patrons who’ve supported your theater, and even getting you sustained donors!
Have your own fundraising questions you want to ask Kim? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and look out for the next “Dear Kim” blog post to see the answers to your questions!