4 Nonprofit Fundraising Basics to Help Strengthen Results in 2013
As nonprofit fundraising continues to evolve it faces many challenges including an uncertain economic climate, adapting to emerging communication and engagement online channels and capturing donor’s attention and support. In the past I have spotlighted reports and their key points that help nonprofits advance their cause and ultimately increase their fundraising results in posts such as 2012 Nonprofit Fundraising Trends According to Industry Report and 5 Communication Trends in Nonprofit Fundraising According to Report. However, amongst all the research and professional advice there are key fundraising basics that are fundamental to achieving fundraising success and nonprofits should keep them in mind with their 2013 plans.
- Connect & Engage – Newer communication and engagement channels have emerged over the past few years and nonprofits continue to try to integrate them into existing marketing plans. Donors now have the choice on how to connect with and support their favorite causes and nonprofits have to ensure they are listening, learning and prepared to meet the advanced communication preferences of their donors. Establishing a department will ensure that the organization maintains visibility on social media platforms while delivering quality content and responding to online community activity in a timely fashion. If that’s not possible, nonprofits can also enlist the help of employees and volunteers to help maintain online presence and increase social reach. Read more: 5 Tips to Improve Engagement on Nonprofit Websites; 4 Social Media Marketing Tips to Increase Supporter Engagement for Nonprofits; and 3 Target Demographics to Boost Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement Results in 2013.
- Storytelling – Marketing your cause and organization should be focused on telling compelling stories that will capture your supporter’s attention. To successfully achieve this, it is critical to tell stories that are honest, outline the challenge(s) faced (and put a face/personality to it) and explains the impact the organization is making. From direct mail pieces to social media postings and updates there should be a cohesive theme that ties all messages together. Make your story more powerful by including other multi-media like photos and videos. Read more: 6 Ways to Maximize Online Video Marketing for Nonprofit Fundraising Appeals and Supporter Engagement; 8 Type of Online Videos to Help Increase Supporter Engagement and Nonprofit Fundraising; and 6 Tips for a Successful Video and Viral Marketing Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign.
- Follow Up – Successful fundraising transcends capturing donations from donors and also involves maintaining a relationship through ongoing dialogue. Diversify your communications with more than appeals and provide timely follow up through regular mail, email, telephone or social media platforms. Thanking donors for their continued support, informing them on how funds are being allocated, spotlighting new projects your organization is working on, relay cause-related news, statistics and annual reporting. Donors need to feel their support is valued and that their gifts are truly making a difference. Read more: 5 Benefits of Email and Newsletter Marketing for Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement; 7 Tips for Effective Nonprofit Email and Newsletter Marketing; and 4 Tips for Building a Strong Nonprofit Fundraising Email Program.
- Annual Report – Annual reporting is a critical component to fundraising and communicating results with donors. An organization’s annual report should be regarded as a report card that outlines more than just donation revenues and organization expenditures. It should have a strong introduction, include your organizations objectives, status of your mission, impact of your programs, highlight success stories and provide accurate and meaningful data. Disclosure of challenges and risks that the organization faces is also an important element not to overlook. Ultimately your annual report must inform, educate and be transparent to ensure it produces stronger engagement results.
A fundraising professional faces many challenges in supporting and furthering the cause they work for. However, regardless of the communication and engagement channels utilized there are core basics that remain the same. What other fundraising basics do you use to achieve fundraising success?
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.