The Top 10 Fundraising Tips of All Time
You asked for it, and we listened. Here are the essential tips for non-profit organizations to raise the most money to support your mission.
Name your campaign. Decide on a name for your event or campaign that is easy for people to remember, but specific enough to set you apart. The name should not be too long, but also not too general. Make sure that it’s easy for people to look up (your organization should be among the first Google results). The name will be the first thing that potential donors know about your cause, so make sure it is clear and memorable.
Use powerful images and real stories to emphasize impact. In today’s hustle and bustle, many people only read headlines, and a powerful photograph or infographic can help draw in someone’s attention. Hold their interest with a real-life story of someone who was affected by your organization or your cause. Always be sure to include a call-for-action.
Agree on a clear, concise message. Everyone working on this fundraising campaign (staff, volunteers, and others) should have a one or two sentence elevator pitch. Decide on this together, and then make sure that everyone has access to it. It will create cohesive messaging and make it easy for staff and volunteers to reach out to potential donors.
Be transparent about where each dollar will be spent. The next generation of philanthropists is looking for transparency above anything else. People want to know that your organization is lean and spending money in effective ways. Be clear about what it takes to run your non-profit, and how funds raised will be used.
Make sure there is a clear call-to-action on all marketing materials. No one should have to wonder where or how they can donate. Make it very clear, on all materials (print or digital).
Use social media to connect to a wider audience. Social media can be your most powerful tool. Take some time (or hire a consultant) to figure out what platform is best for your needs – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. This can depend on your industry, or where your potentials donors seem to be scrolling the most.
Outsource when it makes sense. You may not need a full-time staff person for many of the tasks involved in managing this fundraising campaign. Hire an event planner for a few months per year, a graphic designer to design the marketing materials, or maybe a part-time consultant to manage your social media. Spend your time as effectively as possible, and don’t get bogged down with ad hoc projects.
Have timelines and deadlines for specific goals. Everybody likes a good, reasonable deadline to work towards. When setting targets, be ambitious, but not unrealistic. Productivity and staff morale will increase when goals are reached, and it can help people know where and when to give that extra push. For example, many studies show that the bulk of funds are raised at the beginning or tail end of fundraising campaigns.
Engage your volunteers. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteers are much more likely to donate to your cause than non-volunteers. They can also be a way to spread your message to a wider audience. Ask your volunteers to set up their own fundraising pages and reach out to their networks.
Get inspired. Look at the successful campaigns of your peers, or organizations larger than yours. Sign up for their email list and follow them on social media, and then take note of messaging that resonates with you. Have an inspiration folder or bookmark where you can easily reference ideas for your next campaign.
While we recognize that all non-profits have specific and unique needs, these strategies have helped many of our clients achieve maximum success. If you are looking for more helpful tips, reach out to us today for a free initial consultation.
By Michaela Flatley