Monday, May 6, 2013

The Latest Fundraising Tips & Trends

Good news! According to a recent study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, 2012 saw the largest increase in charitable donations since 2006 - and predictions are that 2013 will see continued improvement.

The survey data showed that these specific strategies worked in increasing fundraising success:

Saying thanks: Nonprofits that thanked their donors promptly (within two business days after receiving a gift) fared far better than those that didn't. Saying thanks in a timely fashion makes your donors feel appreciated and acknowledged - and encourages them to keep donating.

Personal contacts: Old-fashioned fundraising techniques still work. Handwritten thank you notes, phone calls, individual chats, invitations to participate in planning for the future or to be a part of a volunteer initiative - all of these really make a big difference in a donor's sense of involvement and commitment.

Online giving: Remember when we were all uncertain about paying for something using credit cards online? Well, that attitude is now a thing of the past. People in every age group - including seniors - are increasingly making their charitable contributions online. Younger folks don't even remember what a bank check is for. This means it is essential to make online donations easy for your donors by making that all-important donate button visible on every page of your website as well as on every newsletter.

Sharing information: Providing your supporters with easy-to-read and relevant information about your work is a great way to invite them to become more involved. You can do this by posting interesting infographics on Facebook, or providing free downloads of white papers through your website. 

Re-engaging lapsed donors: Your organization  probably lost some long-time donors when the recession hit in 2008. Now people have made adjustments, and the economy has seen some improvement. Acknowledge their past support, remind them of your good work, update them on any exciting new developments, and invite them to return to the fold.

The signs are looking positive for a better year for charitable donations! Now is a good time to assess your fundraising program, identify effective strategies (from the old-fashioned to the new-fangled), and raise more money for your good work.