Updated: Aug 31
Long ago, I wrote an article for Radio Ink Magazine called “Confessions of a New Business Junkie.” I was asked to write it because my magic power, even way back then was inviting new friends to the table.
My love for new business came from what I think is a unique place…I hate to lose!
When you do New Business Development, often if you don’t “close” the business neither does anyone else.
While this may be a bit different in the world of Fundraising, there are other delights for Fundraisers finding new donors.
They start with you. Their experience of you and your organization start as a clean slate and you get to paint the beautiful picture of your mission. They have no stories about the old Executive Director who did not say hello to them before they knew each other or something equally ridiculous.
You get to control your own pipeline…You can call more people or corporations that you think would be interested in your story - You get to ACT rather than REACT to hitting your goals.
You get the win - You did it…You brought new funding to your organization because you mastered prospecting, asking the correct questions, AND allowing your donor to support the mission in a way they find meaningful.
And remember, new donors invigorate your nonprofit with a fresh wave of funding and engagement.
And, when you properly steward and build relationships with these new donors, they can turn into lifelong supporters of your mission.
So, have I sold you on the Magic of New Donor Cultivation??
Now some ways to do it that just are not that hard.
Tapping into your existing supporter base.
Your board members, volunteers, and current donors are some of the strongest advocates for your cause because they’re already invested in seeing your mission succeed.
Ask them to spread the word about your organization amongst their family members and friends.
Reach out to one-time and lapsed donors.
Your one-time and lapsed donors may still be interested in giving to your organization, but perhaps you’ve fallen off their radar or they don’t know the best way to engage with you on an ongoing basis.
Reach out to these donors with a variety of ways to continue their involvement, such as your monthly giving program, peer-to-peer fundraising opportunities, or upcoming fundraising consultant events.
Be sure to thank these donors for their past contributions and specifically mention their donation amounts and impact to show them the value they’ve already added to your organization.
Optimize your website.
Statistics show that half of all nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile devices, so your site must be mobile-friendly to engage new and current supporters alike.
Make Giving EASY by making sure your online donation form is easy to find and fill out.
Use a variety of call-to-action buttons and links on your homepage to draw visitors to the page. Then, ensure the form only asks for necessary information, such as names, contact information, and payment information, to make it as convenient as possible to complete.
Treat volunteers as potential donors and message spreaders.
42% of volunteers participate in a volunteer program before deciding to donate to an organization.
This shows that volunteering can be a way for potential supporters to learn more about your cause and determine whether they want to support you financially as well as through volunteer work. Plus, they can share your mission in their circles.
That’s why you should take extra care to steward your nonprofit’s volunteers by showing them gratitude.
Use social media.
Build up your presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Us these platforms to share details about your mission. Ask your Board, Staff, and other supporters to share your messaging to broaden your reach.
Use LinkedIn to connect with people in your community as well as influencers, thought leaders, and experts on your mission. Grow your expertise and your footprint.
Build your email list.
Focus on collecting email addresses during community events and volunteer opportunities and using your social media channels.
Create a welcome series for new subscribers that introduces your organization’s mission, describes your impact on the community, and offers engagement opportunities.
Conduct prospect research.
Prospect research is an effective strategy to help you connect with new major donors. Use your internal donor database and external resources to identify prospective donors who exhibit warmth toward your organization (or other organizations with similar or adjacent missions) and the capacity to contribute a larger donation.
Search for those who exhibit both wealth indicators (real estate and stock ownership, large previous charitable gifts, etc.) and philanthropic indicators (previous donations to your organization or similar nonprofits, a history of political giving, etc.).
Build strategic partnerships.
Corporate partnerships and partnerships with other community organizations, like associations, can benefit your organization in multiple ways. You can potentially receive direct donations, in-kind donations, matching gifts, volunteer grants, and other forms of fundraising support from these organizations.
You can also engage with the individuals involved in these groups — the employees, members, etc. — recruiting them to become individual supporters of your cause. Ask your partners to spread the word about your mission, or engage with these prospects directly at your events and volunteer opportunities.
Plus, this is a great way to have your organization “bubble up” to those at corporations who make decisions about philanthropic giving.
And of course:
Be out in your community.
Share your mission wherever you go.
Read the local Newspaper; not just the society pages, but the business section as well.
Keep an eye out in your area to see who is sponsoring/supporting which organizations.
With these strategies, you can transform your new donors into long-term supporters.
Then, these supporters can recruit other new donors by sharing their fulfilling experiences, and the cycle begins again.
Interested in stepping up your prospect pipeline—Learning your personal closing ratio and more- Reach out to Team Kat and Mouse or drop me a line
Other TKM Blogs on this subject;