Asking for donations used to be fairly simple. Everyone asked the same ways: with either a letter or in-person. However, the internet has changed everything. Now, online donors make up a new target audiences for donation requests.
While technology has added new elements to the asking process, online fundraising strategies have shown to be incredibly effective!
Move your ask online to appeal to these online donors.
Some of the best practices when considering your online ask are as follows:
Add these strategies to your online donation ask for more successful fundraising and your annual report2 will thank you for it.
Determining donor prospects can seem complicated. With so many people out there, how do you know who to ask for donations?
Prospect research is a key tool to find these potential donors. By using prospect research, you can determine who to ask based on giving history profiles for each person.
Use prospect research to determine who to ask for donations based on philanthropic and wealth indicators.
Philanthropic indicators show how likely a person would be to give to your nonprofit. These indicators include historical information such as:
For instance, if someone has donated and volunteered frequently with a nonprofit whose mission is similar to yours, that person would be more likely to also donate to yours.
Meanwhile, wealth indicators can tell you how much to ask for from different prospects. These indicators include information such as:
For instance, when someone has lots of real estate and has given large amounts to political parties, it may be more appropriate to ask that person for larger gifts.
Prospect research is a great way to maximize your potential donations from major donors. This tool also helps with budget planning because you can better plan estimated fundraising amounts.
If all the prospect research details are overwhelming to you, you may consider hiring a fundraising consultant to help walk you through the process.
Fundraising consultants can help with any elements of your fundraising campaign. Be sure to pick one who caters to your organization’s specific needs.
Fundraising consultants may help with campaign aspects such as:
You may consider a fundraising consultant if your organization needs help with any of these aspects of your fundraiser.
Hiring a fundraising consultant can help you make the best possible budget so your online ask goes even further and your fundraising asks are used to their maximum potential.
After deciding who to ask and talking to a consultant, you will be ready to ask your prospective donors for their support!
Be sure that when you ask for donations online, you make it as easy as possible for your donor to give.
Have you ever sent out a letter to potential donors and included a pre-stamped envelope for them to send back the response? This is done to make donating easy. Employ this same concept online by engaging your online giving tool.
Online giving tools have functions that will help you make the task of donating easier than ever for your donors. For instance:
Different online giving tools offer an array of these options and even more.
Research more about online giving tools to decide which tool will be best for your organization’s needs.
A powerful tool at your organization’s disposal for communicating with donors is social media. Social media is a perfect platform to ask for smaller donations.
In addition to your specific recognition of prospective donors, use social media tools to complement your online ask with additional fundraisers.
You may choose to use your social media accounts in a variety of ways to help complement your fundraiser:
Social media is for more than being social as the name suggests. This tool opens up other all sorts of other opportunities for organizations!
The marketing and name-recognition which accompany successful social media engagements bring growth and success to organizations each and every day.
One of the most common methods to communicate with potential donors online is through their email inbox.
Emails are a great tool for organizations to use for communication because the message goes straight to the inbox of potential donors.
However, in reality, emails can be either very effective or very ineffective depending on how they are written. Be sure your email is effective by avoiding common mistakes.
Some of the most common mistakes to avoid in your emails to potential donors are:
Emails are such valuable tools, so it is important to remember how to use them most effectively. This is especially true when asking for donations.
Effectively asking for donations provides a more powerful online fundraising strategy for your organization.
After people have donated to your cause, keep portfolios on each of them to stay organized.
This means that you should not only keep their name and contact information on file, but also any other information you have gathered.
You may consider keeping a database with donor information in it to keep track of everything and to make it easy to get in touch with donors in the future.
Information on donors can help you cater directly to them for future donations. This information can help you form relationships with your past donors.
For instance you may choose to organize donors by:
With this information, segment your email list to better reach out to demographics personally and appeal to them.
Try segmenting your email list by those who are eligible to receive matching gifts! Matching gifts are a part of corporate philanthropy programs in which businesses will match the donations made by their employees for various types of organizations.
When you reach out to the people eligible for these gifts, and provide a database where they can find the parameters for their company, you can double many of the donations you already receive!
Improve your online ask to maximize your fundraisers. These 6 practices will help you get the most out of your next ask.
Be sure to continue your research on online fundraising techniques with these helpful resources from the article:
Traditional fundraising strategies no longer work. This blueprint explains why today's donor expects more, and how nonprofits are shifting to responsive fundraising.