Implementing great fundraising strategies is critical to running a successful nonprofit. While annual giving is one of the major avenues of approach to meet these goals, it can be difficult to know where to start. In July, Melissa Smith, the VP of Marketing and Strategy at DipJar joined Ellen Bristol of Bristol Strategy Group and Julia Beltran of Double the Donation for NXUnite’s “The Quest for Best Practices: Annual Giving Success Strategies for Today” panel. This discussion produced some striking insights into long-term fundraising strategies for nonprofits.
Consistently Expect the Unexpected
Unexpected events are sure to come up throughout the year, so annual giving should be a year-round focus. Sometimes the expense will be something time-sensitive related to your mission or some other surprising cost your nonprofit suddenly has to take on. During the panel, Melissa Smith emphasized that since you can’t plan for everything that’s going to happen, nonprofits need to be sure to maintain a fundraising strategy that will keep them afloat and able to further their mission, even in the face of uncertain circumstances. “If you can keep a more fluid strategy…and say, okay, ‘we’re going to allocate fundraising efforts all throughout the year,’ you’ll probably see a bigger return at year-end giving because you’ve engaged more people in your organization and in your fundraising messaging.” If your organization is searching for ways to stay consistent in your efforts, DipJar’s fundraising solutions are a good place to begin.
Leverage Corporate Social Responsibility
Another critical question is how nonprofits can raise more funds. One path to success is ensuring that your organization is taking full advantage of corporate philanthropy. Julia Beltran shared her insights on the subject and discussed corporate social responsibility best practices to aid fundraising. In her own words, “The first [best practice] would be just education, both educating your donors — I’ve talked a lot about that…throughout this panel — but I think also educating yourself as the nonprofit about matching gift funds. It can be a lot easier to communicate the value of something and to communicate next steps if you, yourself, understand it.” Additionally, she advised ensuring your organization has a clear call to action. The more unclear donors are on next steps, the less likely they are to actually follow through with their donation.
Always Keep Your Mission in Mind
“Your goal should always be telling your mission to as many people as you can,” Melissa pointed out. While the exact metrics of how many people you communicate your message to will vary based on the size and capacity of your organization, your focus on message should never waver. Perfecting your organization’s storytelling methods is a tried and true way to keep existing donors engaged and to find new donors who will contribute because they especially value the work your nonprofit is doing. Utilize new strategies to boost your impact, but make sure that communicating your mission remains the focus and the face of your organization.
While crafting an annual giving strategy can seem daunting, these are great building blocks to make the process easier. Tapping into educational resources, such as annual giving nonprofit podcasts, is another way to set your nonprofit up for success. Overall, remember to be both consistent and flexible in your approach to fundraising.
This collaboration was arranged through a listing on Nexus Marketing’s HAPO (Help a Partner Out) page. HAPO is a free service that connects members of the social good sector for cross-marketing and educational opportunities, such as webinars, podcasts, and conferences. For more information on HAPO or Nexus Marketing’s other offerings check out their website, nexusmarketing.com.