The best way to boost your fundraising is through engagement. Creating meaningful connections with supporters not only proves how much you value them, it also acknowledges their vital role in accomplishing your organization's mission.
That's powerful stuff in your donors' eyes. And doing so will make them more likely to invest their time, talents and money in your organization.
To engage your donors, here are a few ideas you can use.
1. Determine who your typical donor is and appeal to that one person.
Ask questions at every opportunity about your donors' age, gender, marital status and so forth. Only ask a few questions at a time so it doesn't feel intrusive. Once you've determined who your typical donor is, actually envision a person with those qualities (e.g., a 30-year-old single woman) and write to that person every time you write an appeal.
2. Interact with donors without asking for money.
Supporters can develop donation fatigue if every time you contact them you ask for money. They are not ATMs and don't like being treated as such. Find creative ways to connect with donors merely to say "thank you" for their contributions.
3. Perform Google Analytics on your website to find out how and why donors reach out to your organization.
Google Analytics is a free service that can provide you with a wealth of information regarding how your donors interact with your organization so that you can tailor more effective fundraising appeals. Are donors using their mobile devices to reach your site? Which online appeals were most successful? What keywords are prospective donors using to find you? Which pages did people visit and for how long?
4. Remind donors about your year-end appeal.
Always make an end-of-year request for support. Send several reminders to those who have not responded as the year draws to a close, including an email reminder on December 31st. Donors want the tax deduction but get busy with the holidays and family.
5. Thank donors quickly and thoughtfully.
Send an acknowledgement within 24 to 48 (business) hours after receiving a gift. If writing an acknowledgement letter, avoid using the trite opener, "On behalf of the board of directors and staff, thank you." Use verbiage that is fresh and speaks directly to the donor.
Engagement. It's what leads to successful fundraising and supports your organization's mission.