When it comes to effectively attracting donors, many nonprofits usually make the mistake of relying on marketing alone. While that is important, the basics should never be overlooked. An ad will never have the same impact as a firm handshake and an honest smile.
That is what we’ll be talking about today. Let’s go through the process of getting a donation, step-by-step.
Step 1: Identify possible donors
There are three important traits that donors usually have:
- You know them personally – In this case, they are more likely actually to listen to an acquaintance than a stranger.
- They care about your cause – If they do not, don’t force them. You’ll only further drive them away.
- They have money to donate – Sometimes people would like to donate, but they just can’t.
A surprisingly large number of nonprofit organizations look for donors in the wrong places. You will not be effectively attracting donors just by getting in touch with some rich strangers. In the US, the middle and lower classes are the one that gives the most to charity, not the wealthy.
The lesson here is to reach out to those close to you: Your friends, your neighbors, and co-workers.
Step 2: Inform them about your cause
You are probably familiar with the classic “cultivation visit”. It is a good way to attract donors effectively, but it is by no means the only one.
We encourage you to get creative. The one defining feature of your efforts should be to familiarize the possible donor with your work and cause.
Maybe invite them to meet some of the people you are helping or personally show up to help the cause. It mostly depends on what you do. After they have firsthand experience, they will truly understand the importance of their donation.
Step 3: Ask for support
This is the point where you ask for a donation. If you are effectively attracting donors, they’ll most likely accept at this point.
The best way to ask is face-to-face. It is personal; it shows that you care about them, and it also conveys the message that their help is needed the most. We know this is not always possible, so do as you see fit.
An important aspect is not to talk their ears off because it will start sounding like a sales pitch. Instead, ask them questions and let them do the speaking. This way, they will feel more involved and that they are really making a difference.
Step 4: Show gratitude
The obvious “Thank you” that you’ll give them when they tell you they’ll donate isn’t enough. If you never talk to them again or just ask for a donation again later, they’ll think that you only see them as a piggy bank.
Think about how you’d show gratitude to a friend after they do you a favor. That is how you should treat your donors as well.
You could send them a gift or a personal letter done by you or one of the people whom you are helping. Maybe invite them out to show them how thankful you are. These are some personal, one-on-one examples, but you can dream bigger too. You could organize an event to celebrate and thank all your donors.
Step 5: Ask them to become a bigger part of the organization
You are looking for anything helpful to the cause, and they’ve already proven that they want to help. The next logical step is to get them more involved in your work.
Invite them to do some volunteer work with you or tell their friends about the cause and how they can help too. There’s obviously the chance that they’ll refuse, but if they do not, they will become more and more invested.
The conclusion about effectively attracting donors
As you can see, asking for donations is only a small part of the process. The secret is to build a strong relationship with your donors, to get them to become emotionally invested in the cause, and to encourage them to become a part of the organization.
You’ll get many more donations by following these steps, but here’s another piece of advice for you: A great way to wow your possible donors and get them onboard is to hold compelling events with the right entertainers.
We happen to be experts in planning events and providing entertainment, so contact us right now and let’s start wowing your donors.
Make sure to also check out the rest of our articles and learn more about how to attract people in awesome ways.