It’s a new year and a new decade. (That only happens every ten years!)
Now is the time to renew, to refresh, and to re-strategize, ensuring 2020 is a solid and successful start to an even better decade.
Technological advances, specifically in artificial intelligence and virtual streaming, are disrupting the global marketplace. The 2020 US presidential election is ahead, and some worry this will affect nonprofit fundraising-raising cycles and charitable giving. Most notably, it could make it more difficult to break through the media onslaught and connect with people who would otherwise support your nonprofit’s mission.
Knowing this, however, is half the battle. If you are prepared, you can plan for success, despite these obstacles. Here are some practical tips to inspire you to chase down and to conquer those goals you have set for 2020 and beyond.
1. Set Challenging (Yet Achievable) Goals
You've probably heard the adage, "Aim for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land among the stars." Well, it's true. Successful people set achievable but challenging goals for themselves, and then they hold themselves accountable to those goals. Do the same thing for your nonprofit. If you truly believe in your nonprofit’s mission, raise the bar a little on what you think you and your team can accomplish. Then set realistic time frames, and establish metrics to evaluate success.
2. Diversify Your fundraising Efforts
Identify your most successful fundraising-raising campaigns, and then plan to reasonably expand your efforts, without overextending yourself or your staff.
- Use diverse media platforms to share your mission. (Don't get stuck on one.)
- Stay up to date on which demographics are using each major social media network so you can directly target potential supporters.
- Deliver a consistent message across all platforms.
- Implement a fully integrated marketing plan.
- Don't forget the basics of fundraising-raising.
3. Try Something New
It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone, but don’t risk that mind-set. Network with new people and new organizations. You might just find a creative way to synergize and to partner—like these nonprofits did. Be creative, and have fun with your communications. Make new videos, and create fun content. It doesn’t have to be serious all the time, folks.
4. Get More Digital Support
It’s possible to garner more support online with digital automated tools. In the long run, this could save you a lot of time and overhead expenses. Consider the cost of a thousand returned mailings at $0.55 a stamp. That’s $550, just in postage alone!
More and more donors are giving online and even through text messaging automations. Forbes Nonprofit Council also notes there might be an increase in third-party intermediaries communicating—and potentially even collecting fundraisings—on behalf of nonprofits. Stay ahead of the curve. Connect with your donors directly, and start leaning more heavily on digital tools. Here is how one CharityEngine client, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, started getting over 50 percent of their donations online.
5. Work on Your Ask
If you want to secure more donations and more fundraising for your mission, you have to take the step to ask major donors to support your cause. It takes time to build a relationship, to understand what a major donor cares about, and to learn how that donor wants to be asked. Educate yourself on how to ask for the major fundraising your nonprofit needs from those who are able and willing to give it. Practice what you are going to say, and then go for it!
6. Make it Personal
“Personalization” was the 2019 marketing word of the year—and with good reason. Whether you are asking for a donation; sharing information; or thanking a volunteer, guest, one-time donor, or major donor, make it personal. Use the name that person prefers, and contact him or her by the preferred method. Some might not want to be contacted at all. Tailor your communications to what each supporter wants and needs. Keep track of it in a software program, such as CharityEngine, that allows you to keep easy records and to segment your donors.
7. Keep it Simple
It’s easy to over complicate processes and messages, but you should always strive to keep it simple.
- Keep your messages clear and concise.
- Give visual results of your nonprofit’s mission.
- Make giving easy.
- Make your internal business processes efficient.
- Keep your data in one place.
This will save time and money and reduce stress. Keeping all your data in one place is easy when you use an all-in-one software program, such as CharityEngine. Especially for nonprofits, simplicity goes a long way in this fast-paced and busy world.
8. Pay Attention to the Data
The numbers don’t lie. The CharityEngine software can track all your donor interactions in one place, which means you get accurate, in-depth data with few to no gaps. You can build your own reports and develop a deeper understanding of your donors, what they are responding to, and how and when they are giving. Use the information to refine your strategy and to grow your nonprofit.
If you don’t have a plan, it is highly unlikely you will improve your nonprofit’s standing. It is essential to make an informed plan and to be adaptable to changes that might affect your strategy. This can be made easier by having all your communications, fundraising-raising forms and tools, and donor data in one safe place. Schedule a free live consultation today so you can start driving results for your nonprofit.
Connect with us for a free demo and trial of CharityEngine’s nonprofit software and experience how CharityEngine can help you improve communication with your donors.