Maintaining donor relations is a challenge in itself, so how can nonprofits effectively dedicate time to reaching new donors? The answers are simple, but nonprofit staff, volunteers and board members must follow guiding principles to conduct new donor outreach with the best results possible.
ESC Consultant Bruce Enders and President & CEO Bethany Kendall present several fundraising solicitation methods nonprofits can use to reach new prospects in their Nonprofit Fundraising workshop.The following are Bruce and Bethany’s most trusted ways of reaching prospective donors, listed in order of importance and projected effectiveness:
– Face-to-face meetings
– Personal phone calls
– Personalized letters
– Special events
– Email solicitation
– Direct mail to new prospects (although almost invariably a money loser)
– Website (growing in importance!)
Keep in mind that embarking on a fundraising effort with these strategies is nothing without the guiding principles of reaching new donor prospects. Apply these four guiding principles to ensure your fundraising campaign won’t go unnoticed:
– Reach out consistently; connect on your organization’s needs and values
– Examine the geographic distribution of current donors—this should give you a clue on where to seek new donor prospects
– Remember that people give to people, and peers give to peers. Connect with individuals like yourself, your volunteers, and your board members—as well as organizations and foundations with similar values and missions—to maximize your fundraising campaign’s impact.
By following these principles and using the most effective fundraising strategies possible, you are more likely to ensure an increase in overall annual gifts and potential lifelong donors for your nonprofit organization.
ESC of New England offers high-quality management consulting and capacity building services to fellow nonprofits in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including assistance with nonprofit fundraising strategies, donor retention and strategic planning.