Relationships are key to keeping donor support.
The objective of many Nonprofit Marketing Directors is to frame the organization in the best light and create the most opportunities in which the organization can attract donor support. That’s actually one of the singular identifiers of a Nonprofit – the reliance on donations.
As a Marketing Director, you’re already experienced in structuring donor levels and pitching your elevator speech again and again to business-owners. But do you ever wonder what it’s like to be on the other end of your speech? How do potential donors and the public perceive your fundraising methodology?
Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of good Nonprofits go wayward when it comes to fundraising. Believe it or not there are actual organizations out there that research the finances of potential donors before they set meetings. The organization will then use the business’ financial standing against them in a useless effort to get a donation. “Oh come on. You can afford it.” No joke. That actually happens. And it is 100% detrimental to the reputation of the organization.
The tactics you use for pitching donors is just as important as the campaign plan. If you establish and build real, genuine connections with these people, they can become so much more important than a one-time check. No matter what their contribution, each potential donor is a potential lifelong advocate of your organization.
It’s about building relationships.
You can’t make it all about the contribution; it has to be about the person-to-person venture that you’re inviting them to be a part of. All Nonprofits should be looking for long-term relationships with each of their donors, and the only way anyone stays in a committed, long-term relationship is if it continues to fulfill everyone over time. Make them feel like a valued part of the organization and more than just a dollar amount.
When putting together a list of potential donors, it’s essential to consider how businesses and individuals tend to donate. Between hospitals, foundations, athletic teams, and mission-minded Nonprofits, people will give money to an organization that aligns with their interests. The UL Lafayette athletics program was having a very difficult time attracting doner support over the course of decades. That is until they boasted a winning football team and a collective of successful women’s athletic teams. That’s because people want to write checks for worthwhile, successful programs because it means their money is now contributing to their success. It’s a quick way to associate yourself with something that’s making a difference or experiencing success.
That idea also goes hand-in-hand with unique, socially conscious organizations. People still buy TOMS Shoes and write checks to AMFAR because they know their small contributions are affecting a bigger, global picture. On the polar end of this concept, people donate to small community-centric organizations because it feels close to home. Regardless of the scale of the organization, it’s all about making people feel like they’ve got a stake in something bigger than themselves. And that’s the best way to get donations – inspiring that exact feeling in the hearts of your donors.
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