3 Tips for Running Successful Fundraising Campaigns

Great fundraising campaigns don’t happen by accident. If you’re looking to improve financial support for your nonprofit organization, careful planning and strategy are required. In fact, successful marketing for a fundraising campaign doesn’t differ much from good commercial marketing. In order to attract more donations to your organization, it’s essential to understand your audience, build your brand, and employ the best tools. To ensure that you can meet and exceed your fundraising goals, we’ll take a closer look at each of these three pillars.

1. Understand Your Audience

Today’s data-driven marketing strategies rely upon understanding your audience. If you’re using donor management software and have data about your own organization’s recent donors, you can start with that. If not, you may need to research typical donors for organizations with similar goals.

Use the information you gather to create “donor personas”. Similar to buyer personas for a company, donor personas should include semi-fictional descriptions of ideal donors. For instance, you might describe a giver by listing information about their age, income, family, and relevant interests. In turn, your donor personas will help you target your marketing. You need to learn something about your target audience to create the connection that encourages sponsors to pull out their credit cards.

Consider a few general statistics about charitable giving that may help inform your own research and marketing plans:

  • Men between 18 and 34 are most likely to give.
  • Middle-aged people tend to be the most generous of all online donors.
  • A branded online donation page is more likely to generate repeat donations.

Beyond simple demographics, you should work to understand the motivations that donors may have for their generosity. For example, nonprofits tend to collect about 12 percent of their total donations in the last three days of the year. Last-minute tax deductions may motivate some folks. Other prompts could include a sense of satisfaction, religious beliefs, or a feeling of belonging. Your nonprofit may also appeal to some donors because of their own personal experiences.

Most Americans make donations every year. To ensure that your worthy cause collects its fair share, you have to connect with people to get them to choose your organization over others. Good marketing always requires an emotional connection — but you can’t connect until you understand the people you hope to appeal to.

2. Build Your Nonprofit’s Brand

Donors aren’t exactly like customers; however, you should still focus on developing a brand to attract them. Maintaining a consistent identity across platforms will help to please and retain givers. Here are some brand-building tips:

  • Givers may touch your organization through your website, emails, social media pages, or offline. If possible, have everything professionally designed to offer a good user experience and reinforce your positive image. Make it easy for donors to give and to understand why their donations matter.
  • Offer the same sort of customer service to your charitable givers as you would expect from any customer-centered company. Make sure you’re open to feedback and can work to resolve complaints. Give donors the option to communicate with you via email, chat, or phone.
  • Don’t hesitate to show your gratitude. Certainly, you want to let your donors know that their generosity makes your good work possible. Don’t forget to send thank-you notes and tax receipts for gifts. This step can help turn donors into repeat donors.
  • Consider setting up a sponsor page to publicly thank donors online or on a social network. Your sponsors already feel good about giving to your worthy cause. You can bet they’ll also feel good if they can let other people know about it.

3. Use the Best Tools

The right fundraising campaign tools will help everything else fall into place. Consider using a web-based CRM for nonprofits to manage your donors, donations and fundraising efforts. To understand how a CRM can help nonprofits achieve better results, take a look at some of the features offered:

  • You can set up an online donation page to easily accept payments from your sponsors.
  • The software will automatically generate thank-you notes and tax receipts.
  • The software can store information about donors and their donation history, and seamlessly send this information to QuickBooks.
  • You can use the CRM to schedule follow-ups and reminders for future campaigns.

In a nutshell, using a CRM for nonprofits helps to reinforce best fundraising practices that attract and retain givers. Your organization will benefit from reducing errors and improving efficiency, and you can store the data you need to learn more about your sponsors. The more you leverage the tools available to you, the more they’ll help you raise funds.

Support Your Nonprofit With a Better Fundraising Strategy

How can you increase donations for your fundraising campaigns? Get sponsors as excited about your cause as you are by learning enough about them to make a connection. After people make donations, make sure you thank them and provide the level of service they expect. Then, maintain those connections through timely follow-ups. By following the steps outlined above, you can maximize your fundraising efforts and reap the benefits for your nonprofit organization.


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