Running a nonprofit organization presents opportunities and challenges unlike any to be found in the for-profit world. One of the biggest of these opportunities is a nonprofit’s ability to collect donations and issue tax-exempt receipts to donors. But this is also one of the biggest challenges, because nonprofits only survive and thrive when the donated funds keep flowing in.
In this post, learn about 5 innovative ways you can maximize your nonprofit’s next giving campaign.
Tip #1: Harness the power of mobile giving.
The days of sending out a direct mail giving campaign are long gone. Ditto for email-based ask campaigns. Today’s most active givers are as mobile as it gets. In fact, as of 2015, more users access the internet from mobile devices than from desktop PCs or laptop computers.
One easy way to begin is to ensure all your giving forms are mobile-friendly so donors can easily navigate making a donation from a small-screen mobile device.
Tip #2: Keep your asks simple.
In the time-crunched culture today’s donors must navigate, you can’t assume anyone will read a long explanatory paragraph or fill in a page-long form in order to make a donation. In fact, this is a good recipe for how to drive donors away.
Conversely, trimming down your donation form, your ask campaign, your organizational wins, everything to a few bullet points and some compelling graphics can win you big points with prospective donors. Make it easy for them to say yes by keeping the giving process very simple and direct.
Tip #3: Encourage recurring donations.
When an individual opts to make a donation to your nonprofit, do you invite them to consider making it a recurring donation? It is a simple question and all they can do is say yes or not, yet so many nonprofits still do not ask.
The moment when a new donor gives for the first time is also the perfect moment to ask them to opt-in for future email and/or text communications, including future invitations to give to special projects or programs.
Tip #4: Include multiple giving options in your asks.
When you launch a giving campaign, it is a guarantee that some people won’t be able to give to your organization financially. But they might be able to give in other ways. Some might be able to volunteer their time. Others might be able to connect you to a contact person at their workplace to ask about corporate giving. Still others might be able to donate materials or supplies for one of your programs.
Sharpe Group said, “For financial donors, offering a range of recurring giving levels can also boost donations.” For best results, you can analyze your nonprofit’s past giving history to see the range within which most donors tend to give and plan your giving levels to fall around this range.
By offering a range of giving options, your nonprofit stands to gain the most from every giving campaign.
Tip #5: Target (or avoid) peak giving periods.
Research shows that people tend to give more during national annual events like Giving Tuesday and during the last few days of the year when all their holiday spending is done. By understanding when and why peak giving periods occur, you can have the greatest chance of partaking in seasonal generosity.
On the flip side, for some nonprofits, taking the opposite approach works better. By carefully avoiding peak giving periods, when donors tend to be inundated with requests to the point where available funds are quickly spoken for, you may find your donation levels actually rise. Here, you may need to go through a season of trial and error before you can determine which strategy works best for your organization.
There are many methods to reach your donor base in ways that speak to their desire to make a difference and support your nonprofit’s programs and services. These five ideas can get your creative juices flowing as you brainstorm with your team and plan your next big giving campaign. With sincerity, clarity, energy and flexibility, you can attract more donations and more donors to advance your charitable work.