In the previous article on nonprofit lead generation, we discussed the definition of lead generation and why it’s important for small nonprofits to work on developing a successful lead generation strategy.
Nonprofit lead generation is the process of finding people who support your mission and creating interest in your nonprofit. The goal is to generate as many leads as possible, turn those leads into donors, and expand your long-term donor base.
Don’t be intimidated by a marketing term like “lead generation.” Every nonprofit is doing it, whether they realize it or not. The key is to understand your options for lead generation and develop a strategy that connects your nonprofit with potential donors, so you can earn their trust and support.
Let’s discuss tried-and-true lead generation tactics, along with a couple fresh ideas that can give your nonprofit a competitive edge!
Traditional Nonprofit Lead Generation Tactics
Most traditional nonprofit lead generation involves primarily grassroots tactics that identify and build relationships with prospective donors. These include but are not limited to:
- Phone calls
- Direct mail (letters, postcards, kits, etc.)
- Networking in the community
- Educational events
All continue to be very effective nonprofit lead generation tactics! Email is extremely cost-effective; response rates for direct mail are very high; and, nothing beats the personal touch of a one-on-one conversation, whether by phone, video, or in person.
As you engage people in a traditional sense, gather as much information as possible and enter it into your donor management software. It is particularly to find out an individual’s communication preferences. For example, some people prefer phone calls over email and vice versa. Others are more likely to respond to a social media post. When you communicate with prospective donors on their terms, your lead generation efforts will produce better results!
Now, let’s shift gears and discuss two “new age” strategies of lead generation for small nonprofits.
#1 Influencers for Nonprofit Lead Generation
Most small nonprofits use social media on a very basic level. They have a single page or account and they’ll share content intermittently, when they find the time. Influencers, however, do the opposite. The world of “influencing” can introduce your nonprofit to a whole new group of prospective donors.
An influencer is an individual with a dedicated, engaged audience online. Their presence may be most influential on social media platforms, YouTube, a blog, or another virtual platform. In many cases, an influencer will recommend or endorse a product, brand, or organization. Their audience will often make purchases and support causes based solely on the content they share. In other words, the followers trust the influencer’s opinion and expertise.
A common misconception is that influencers only associate with for-profit business and commission-based sales. In reality, many influencers also regularly partner with nonprofit organizations. The goal for these influencers is to humanize what they do and find causes that overlap with their passions and interests. The influencer benefits from you because they gain exposure to your nonprofit’s supporters. The advantage to your organization is monumental, in that the influencer instantly generates credibility and trust with an entirely new audience of potential donors.
In addition to expanding your reach dramatically and connecting your nonprofit with new audiences, an influencer knows the ins and outs of social media and other online platforms intimately. Understanding how online platforms function is their job. They know when to post, what types of content to share, and how to elicit a response from their audience. In other words, you’re partnering with an expert. Working together, you can leverage their audience and their knowledge to find leads and expand your donor base!
For more information on the benefits of nonprofit influencers, different types of nonprofit influencers, and how to find the right influencer for your nonprofit, check out this fantastic article from Whole Whale!
#2 Using DonorSearch to Find Qualified Leads
Finding prospective donors can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Why not let technology do the heavy lifting for you?
DonorSearch is a prospect research company that uses proprietary algorithms to help nonprofits find prospective donors from dozens of databases. Simply put – DonorSearch helps you find potential donors and creates a profile about them, based on their previous giving. As a result, DonorSearch allows nonprofits to focus their resources on the most qualified leads.
Nonprofits can search for donors based on a variety of datasets, including but not limited to:
- Charitable giving history
- Nonprofit involvement
- Real estate holdings
- Business affiliations
For example, you can search for people who have given to organizations with similar missions as yours. Or, you can search for donors in a particular zip code. DonorSearch will then provide contact information for those individuals. Your organization will leverage that information to invite them to your events, encourage them to sign up for your newsletter, or even ask them for a personalized meeting.
By bringing millions of donor-giving metrics online and into one searchable database, DonorSearch can replace hours of manual research and provide your nonprofit with a list of highly qualified donor leads.
DonorSearch integrates with Eleo Donor Management Software at a discounted rate and allows you to learn more about your current prospects and donors. To learn more about DonorSearch and how Eleo can support your nonprofit lead generation strategy, contact us today to schedule a demo!