Always on. Always connected. Always moving. That’s the technology-driven, 24/7 world we live in. As stressful as it can be for small nonprofits to operate in a 24/7 world, it also creates an opportunity to fundraise any hour of the day.
Here are six simple tips that can help you get better fundraising results:
1) Be More Visible Online
Where can donors find your nonprofit? They should be able to find you on your website, through a Google search and across social media. While it can be beneficial to see you at trade shows and fundraising events, in a 24/7 world your online presence needs extra attention.
As a small shop, you can’t be everywhere at once – and that’s okay. But the more visible you are, the easier it is for donors to find you and donate. Track which online platforms and communication channels help you generate the most donations. This information can be managed in your donor management software. That way, you can strategize about where your online visibility is most useful.
2) Make Donating Easy
Donating should be easy – by phone, by mail, and in person – but especially online. As more and more donors transition to online giving, it is imperative to make the giving process straightforward. On your website and social media pages, follow the KISS principle and Keep It Short and Simple.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert designer or web developer to make donating simple. The first step is to make your ‘donate’ button stand out on the Home page of your website. Place your ‘donate’ button at the top of the page with plenty of white space around it. Also, to make your button pop, be sure to design it in contrasting colors.
The second step is to take a donor directly to the “donate” page. After one-click, they should be exactly where they need to be. If getting to your donation page is difficult or takes too many clicks, it reduces the chances of someone giving.
3) Reach Out at the Right Time
According to Hootsuite, the best times to reach out to donors are between 9 am and noon, Monday to Wednesday. This is a good starting point, but it is also recommended that non-profits track their own engagement. Keep an eye on when your donors like to give.
When it comes to asking for donations, did you know people are more generous when they’re recently fed and the weather is nicer? For example, if you planned to ask for a donation from a recurring donor on an unexpectedly rainy day, consider rescheduling it to when the weather has cleared. Likewise, if you have a donor call scheduled for noon, consider pushing it to 2pm, after they’ve had lunch.
4) Follow Up Within 24 Hours
A quick “thank you” email to donors within 24 hours of a donation can go a long way towards improving donor retention rates. In fact, research has shown a direct correlation between following up within 24 hours and higher return rates. Something as simple as a quick acknowledgment creates a more positive experience for the donor, making them more likely to give again.
5) Share Relatable, Authentic Content
According to a donor loyalty study, nearly three-quarters of respondents said they might stop donating to a nonprofit if their content was dull, vague, irrelevant, and inconveniently formatted. Again, you don’t have to be an expert marketer to develop relatable content. Just put yourself in the shoes of your donors.
For example, it would make sense for an animal shelter to use a photo of a happy, playful puppy during the day, and a sleeping puppy at night. Additionally, a non-profit should promote their 5K during the day and on the weekend when people have the most energy versus in the middle of the night. Whenever possible, try to use actual photos of those you’ve helped rather than generic stock images. This is not only more authentic, but it also shows the real-world impact of fundraising.
6) Diversify Your Strategy
In a 24/7, technology-driven world, it can be tempting to focus only on social media and other online channels for fundraising. While online is incredibly important, many donors still want to hear from you. They appreciate a phone call. They enjoy meeting for coffee. They look forward to your fundraising events.
Face-to-face interactions build stronger donor relationships and typically result in larger gifts. Of course, the better you know your donors, the better you know their communication preferences. Use information from your donor management software to determine how to contact each donor and how often.
Managing fundraising across multiple, ever-evolving platforms can feel intimidating. We encourage you to think of this 24/7 world not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity to get more from your fundraising efforts. Using these 6-tips for effective fundraising, your non-profit is well on its way to increased success.