Now that we’re in the second quarter of 2022, it may be time to review your nonprofit’s list of strategies and plans. A review ensures your organization is where it needs to be to successfully carry out its mission. The truth is many charities have to do more work with less funding. It’s a challenge, and there’s no miracle formula to instantaneously make everything perfect.
There are many valid principles, tested strategies, and best practices to count on in terms of resource development. As your nonprofits plans for the rest of the year, be firm in your belief that your organization can effectively promote its mission by relying on fundraising.
Here are steps to put your nonprofit on a path to compelling storytelling, cultivating donor relationships, and raising money.
Look at the mission, vision, and values
Constant change is a certainty. Meet with management, staff and key stakeholders together to discuss your organization’s values, vision and mission. Your discussion’s results serve as markers for your plans going forward.
Mission, vision and values should be reviewed continuously. Remember, donors face choices regarding how to spend their (often) limited resources and time. Supporters aren’t choosing between good and evil; it’s between good and good. Take time to honestly assess your organization’s pros and cons.
Questions to consider include:
- How is your organization unique?
- How does your nonprofit improve quality of life in a way that other nonprofit organizations cannot?
The charity world is competitive, and now is the time to ensure your key messages empower you to succeed.
Foundations and corporations are lovely, yet your potential donor lists should primarily be of individuals. According to Charitable Giving Statistics, donations from individuals made up 80% of U.S. annual giving (BalancingEverything.com.) Also, individuals make giving decisions quicker than foundations and businesses, so individual philanthropists are worth pursuing. Of course, the bigger the prospect, the harder they’ll be to reach either in person or virtually.
The keys to sustainable virtual development are cultivating and nurturing genuine relationships because it’s critical for your donor prospects to trust you and your organization. One way to accomplish this trust is through video conferencing. Video conferences create inclusion opportunities for people whose schedules and geographic location prohibit them from participating otherwise.
Learning how to communicate directly and create an emotional connection via video requires discipline and practice. Consider aspects of your videoconferences like audio, lighting, background and video quality. It’s best to avoid cost-cutting measures for video meetings and conferences. Furthermore, we suggest you take the time to make sure your donor prospect is comfortable with the technology. A fundraising platform like iConnectX offers a full suite of features to help you create great virtual, hybrid and even live events.
Suppose you’re already part of a nonprofit. In that case, you’re aware that board members are responsible for the organization’s financial well-being. There are many ways for board members to contribute to fundraising without having to request the gifts themselves. A couple of ways board members can participate in fundraising is by identifying potential donors in their personal and professional networks. Moreover, board members can make introductions to those connections. Lastly, you could ask board members to manage fundraiser “thank yous.” Even if it means leaving a voicemail, board member involvement makes a great impression.
Promote monthly giving
This is a win-win. Donors who give monthly tend to be great advocates for nonprofits amongst their peers. These donors cost less on average to retain. There’s better news: a new or repeat donor who converts to monthly giving has a 90% average retention rate (classy.com).
Promote stock and equities as gifts
Many donors hold appreciated assets; if they donate these assets to nonprofits, they can avoid expensive capital gains taxes. Think of it this way: 98% of U.S. wealth is held in real estate and stock assets, not cash (Pew Research.) It may be surprising to learn who has multi-million-dollar portfolios; it could be your neighbor who appears to live a modest lifestyle.
Highlight donor-advised funds (DAFs)
DAFs are a dynamic piece of U.S. philanthropy. For example, Fidelity Charitable donors recommended more than $10.3 billion in grants during 2022– and this is just one fund that helped over 187,000 charities (Fidelity Charitable.) DAFs will grow in impact and relevance, so ensure you promote DAFs on your website, in marketing materials and during gift solicitations.
Start at home
What’s the best way for a nonprofit’s staff, management and board members to have credibility when soliciting gifts? They establish credibility by making personally significant gifts. “Personally significant” means different things to different people, but there should be an element of sacrifice there. Consider: why should the public donate if the ones inside do not?
Trust that it’s possible to do more. Effective fundraisers have big goals, and nonprofit managers believe their programs and people deserve the best. It’s important to remember that enthusiasm is contagious; it’s the passion that connects major donors to charities.
How iConnectX can help
iConnectX ensures nonprofits maximize their fundraising efforts with innovative technology. Our powerful platform helps organizations plan, host and manage fundraisers. Reach out to us to explore your options and schedule a free demonstration today!