Effective fundraising for nonprofits may seem like a difficult task at first – but it really isn’t.
At the core, running a nonprofit is no different from running a for-profit organization. Though the fundamental goal is different, fundraising should be approached and prioritized in the same way you would with any other business goal: with strategy.
Raising money takes a lot of time and it’s not easy! To raise money, you need a solid, well thought out strategy. However, the challenge there is that there are thousands of organizations who want a piece of the pie, and all of them are working very hard at it. For a good, effective strategy, you need to have long term goals that are highly focused. With the expectations you set for yourself and your organization, you are able to work more efficiently towards them.
Your pitch should be a whole lot bigger than just where you want to be by the end of the year. When it comes to fundraising, your donors want to know your impact, and where their money is going. They want to be sure that you’re not just working towards a small, short-term change. With greater goals in mind, the money you need to achieve them will also increase. A good strategy keeps in mind all of these details.
You are probably not running a nonprofit on your own. There are a number of different people involved who are all carrying out their own tasks that align with their strengths. These could be engaging with your donors to nurture relationships, connecting and networking to find more donors, asking for donations in a timely, skillful manner, nurturing the relationships you’ve built with your donors already, among others. To be able to carry out these tasks effectively, you need to train your team to be able to work in the most effective manner.
Understanding your Audience
Though any nonprofit’s dream would be to secure the support of a large foundation that offers recurring contributions, you should understand that most organizations are short-term, or even one-time donors. Though the amount itself may be large, it is coming only once.
Thus, by spending a lot of time on large foundations that may not stick around, you might be wasting your time. Do not ignore the individual donors, and make sure to celebrate every gift you get, and even more so when it’s a second or third one. By understanding who contributes, how much and how often, you can build a better strategy to appeal to the most repeated givers in the future.
There is some kind of monotony in simply asking for money. Many people don’t like outwardly being asked for money either. To appeal to them, you need to find alternative ways that will make them want to give on their own. For example, by holding fundraising events you can give the chance for donors to have fun while making an impact. Or you could create the urgency for new donors by asking for ‘matching contributions’. This will also let them know you are serious about raising money.
Anyone can understand that raising money is hard work, but with the right planning and strategy in place, you can effectively raise more money and be able to create sustainability and long-term impact.