A new year brings new challenges and, more importantly, new opportunities to the world of cause-related organizations. And for those operating in the non-profit sectors, the beginning of 2016 should be viewed as a chance to reevaluate your fundraising efforts and make adjustments accordingly, whether those changes involve focusing more on social media to simplifying your website or simply putting forth a clearer and more concise message on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Fortunately, the folks at Nonprofit Hub have compiled a nice list of tips from experts worldwide that can help get the year off to a good start. From learning to talk about your cause on the donors’ terms to working harder to build personal relationships, there’s some truly good advice here no matter the size or goal of your organization.
- Bring your message down to earth and talk in real-life terms. Too often, experts note, the true goals of a non-profit get lost because those closest to said goals aren’t able to clearly express them. So for 2016, keep your message simple and concise—without sacrificing emotion—for your supporters and connect with donors on their turf.
- Revamp the way you build personal relationships with your donor base. Indeed, one expert recommends that you shouldn’t even consider writing a grant, planning an event or even sending out an email plea for donations until you’ve met face-to-face with at least five donors and enlisted their support.
- Reinforce the idea to your donor base that you’re offering them an opportunity to “invest” in a cause they care about and that they’re in a position to make a real difference in the world. This tactic eliminates the sense that you’re begging for money or pestering them to support your organization.
- On a more practical level, consider creating a form that all first-time donors receive. Ask them to tell you why they gave, what their connection to your cause is and, most importantly, what they expect your organization to accomplish. SurveyMonkey is a free online resource and can be incredibly helpful in this effort.
- Don’t forget to thank your existing donors over and over for their continued support. Be specific about how their gift has made a difference for your cause, and ask them to do more by continuing their support.
- Make your supporters part of your dreams by stressing that they’re philanthropists. This creates strong meaning in the donors’ lives and lets them know they have a purpose when it comes to making something in the world better.