Posts Tagged ‘donors’

Operating from a scarcity mindset often leads nonprofits to shortchange their future. It is true that there is a limit to nearly every resource imaginable, and it’s also true that nonprofit boards need to be wise stewards of the resources that they have. Your sole focus, however, shouldn’t only be on the resources that you have, and what it will cost to deploy them.

Adopt a Long-Term Outlook Rather than Focusing on Short-Term Gains

When this is your mindset, it becomes very tempting to justify your NFP’s expenditures by spending the bulk of your revenue on increasing the number of services and projects offered to the community. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, why not look for ways to increase your NFP’s efficiency and effectiveness, and enhance the quality of the core services that you already provide? It is time to invest at least some of your revenues in expanding your NFP’s ability to meet the needs of your community.

Ways to Invest in Your NFP Now

The following three strategies can help you invest in your NFP to encourage future strength and growth.

Training and Development

If you want your organisation to be powered by exceptional people that exceed expectations and deliver excellent results, then you must spend the time, money and effort necessary to train and develop them!

Leadership training and other professional development programs enable your staff to learn new skills so that your organisation has knowledgeable in-house experts to help your organisation overcome obstacles that might derail your NFP’s progress.

Update Your Technology and Actually Put it to Use!

Outdated technology hinders performance in a myriad of ways. From delays due to lost information because of computer crashes, to the inability to track and manage donor relationships, continuing to use old technology is typically more expensive than the price to upgrade when long-term costs are factored into the equation.

Upgrading your accounting software to one that’s specially designed for nonprofit use, such as Admin Bandit, and deploying newer technology, like optimising your blog for mobile users, simplifies and speeds up your processes. This one step also increases the accuracy and security of your information, making it easier to create records and reports. This will allow you to make more informed decisions and create more effective strategies.

Short on Funding? Increase Your Marketing Budget!

Building your brand, discovering what content is meaningful to your audience and learning your donor’s needs and preferences are just a few of the critical actions nonprofits must take to increase the results of their fundraising campaigns. Increasing your marketing budget makes fundraising easier and more effective. It’s also the first item in the budget that’s cut back on during difficult times. Instead of falling into this trap, look at ways to increase your funding so you have more to put back in your marketing budget!


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donorsMany nonprofits place the focus of their fundraising efforts on broadening their base of support, and increasing the reach of their messaging in order to recruit new donors. Retaining your current donors, however, is just as important as attracting new ones.

Generally, it’s easier to convince an existing donor to donate again than it is to convince individuals that are unfamiliar with your organisation to donate to your cause. This is because your current donors are likely already acquainted with your nonprofit’s mission and the important work that your NFP does to help its community.

While existing donors are already aware of the good work that you do, that doesn’t mean that you no longer have to put forth any effort if you want to receive additional contributions. In fact, it can require a great deal of follow-up and interaction to retain an existing donor and encourage them to continue to donate on a regular basis.

Maintaining the relationship and encouraging donor engagement is critical, the following are a few tips to improve your relationship with your existing network of donors so that they are more likely to want to continue to support your cause.

Show Gratitude

One reason way some donors choose to not make repeat donations is that they do not feel as though their contributions are appreciated. On your organisation’s website, make certain that you are expressing a heartfelt thank you to all donors, regardless of the level of their donation. Ensure that your online donations send an automatic expression of thanks at the moment that the donation is made.

To encourage repeat donations, especially to contributors who make larger contributions, or re-occurring payments, use a more personal touch to show your thanks. A handwritten note sent by post, a telephone call, or even taking the time to thank the donor in person all require extra effort and show your donors that your organisation truly appreciates their support.

For regular donors, and large donations, you might even consider sending complimentary free tickets to your nonprofit’s next gala, ball, auction or other event to show your appreciation and gratitude. Offering donors, perks, awards and other forms of recognition goes a long way towards building a relationship with your donors and keeping them happy and engaged with your nonprofit.

Keep them Updated

Donors are more likely to continue to contribute to your nonprofit when you keep them updated and informed about your latest, news, events and projects on a regular basis. Ensure that your website has a page that is devoted to interest stories that show the impact of your non-profit’s work.

Use social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep donors updated as well as to offer recognition for their efforts by giving individuals donors a shout out when they participate and give during special drives and other fundraising events.

Make certain that you post updates on items of interest to your donors in all of your nonprofit’s publications, including newsletters, emails, podcasts, and videos. Donors normally contribute because they want to make a difference and they are more likely to contribute on a regular basis when they can “see” the progress that your nonprofit is making towards fulfilling its mission.

Be Transparent

Donors are more likely to give to nonprofits when they trust them and the individuals that are involved with the day to day operations of the organisation. Take steps to increase your NFP’s transparency. Publish financial updates that show the status of your nonprofit’s financials. Devote a specific page to financials on your nonprofit’s website and update it frequently. Include staff pages and short biographies for board members, administrators and other employees or volunteers so that donors can learn about the backgrounds and personalities of those who are integrally involved in your organisation.

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thank-you-2011012_640When it comes to receiving donations, saying thank you should be high on your priority list. In an interesting study carried out by Parachute Digital Marketing last year, they discovered that most charities were not taking the time to say thank you.

Their longitudinal study also showed that less than 20% of thank you pages were personalised with the donor’s names and 10% of NFPs were still manually processing payments and sending out the receipts via the postal system.

Thank you may be just two words, but it can make the difference between how someon views your charity. These two little words are what stands between your one-time donors become repeat donors. Spend a little time crafting your thank you so it comes from the heart, yet remains on a professional level to reflect your charity. Show your gratitude to demonstrate how much you truly value your donors and their contributions. Explain how the money will be used clearly and concisely.

With a non-profit, your gratitude should go above and beyond a simple thank you. Acknowledge their kindness and caring nature and thank them for taking action to support your cause. While the majority of your donors may only give once, many will have it in the back of their mind to give in the future. Nonprofit Hub claims that 13% of donors stop giving to a non-profit purely on the fact that they did not say thank you. It may only be 13%, but every donation is important.

Your website should be set up to immediately thank the donors for giving. Following the donation, an email should be sent to acknowledge the donor’s kind nature. It might be prudent to send out a secondary email part way through the project to demonstrate the progress or a series of emails depending on the length of the project. It is this attention to detail that will entice them to give again in the future. You can also go so far as to thank them on your website or your social media pages. It is actions like these that will encourage others to follow suit.

There are many ways you can say thank you. If you feel like mixing it up, you might want to consider recording a custom made video message or sending a greeting card or personalised postcard.

Showing your gratitude is one of the most important things your NFP can do. Whether it is coming from a volunteer or the board, always remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.” Wise words to live by!

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