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How to Find Individual Donors for Your Nonprofit

Fundraising is one of the most important parts of running a successful nonprofit. But, it is also one of the most harrowing parts. It can be difficult enough to maintain your donor base, let alone add more.

According to Giving USA Foundation, 80 percent of donations in America are from individuals. Knowing how to use these statistics is essential for reaching your fundraising goals. So how exactly do you maximize this giving spirit in individuals in a way that benefits your organization and cause?

1. Publicize your cause

Not every individual willing to donate money to nonprofits will be interested in yours. Focus on attracting donors who are genuinely interested in your cause so they are more likely to stay around for longer. The best starting point for this, before you even begin approaching anyone is to publicize your organize and cause.

Actively utilize social media, make sure you have a relevant, engaging website that clearly outlines your mission, host fundraisers or events and make it easy for people to stay connected to your nonprofits activities. This will not only increase visibility for your organization, it will also build trust for the potential donor; they will be more likely to feel as if their money will be utilized correctly.

2. Build valuable connections

It should go without saying that a crucial aspect of building a strong donor base will be through building and maintaining valuable connections.

Don’t make the mistake of chasing after new donors simply because of the exciting prospect of adding them to your list. Focus on nurturing connections you already have which may be your ticket to further connections.

Every cause has a ‘natural constituency’ that should naturally be the first choice when seeking out new donors. For example, if your nonprofit is for rare diseases, your existing constituency will be the patients currently afflicted by the disease and their affected families. Starting with your natural constituency means you will be more likely to come across people who are genuinely interested in your cause and will be more likely to donate as opposed to people you reach out to at random.

3. Have the proper technique

Don’t harass people for donations. No matter how much you think they are a perfect fit for your cause or how much extra cash they have to give towards your mission – nagging people never has and never will be a feasible option for fundraising.

Instead, for individual donor acquisition take a personal approach. This simply means focus on using what you know about the individual to cultivate a relationship that will make them more likely to donate. Get them interested in your organization without explicitly asking for money straight off the bat. And once you’re sure they’re interested, offer them the chance to see how they can contribute.  

How you cultivate relationships with new donors depends heavily on how prepared you are – both on an organizational front in terms of presenting your mission and cause clearly, and on an individual front with regards to your research and technique. Slow and steady efforts will always be better than hasty and forced ones.

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