Those working in the nonprofit sector understand the never ending need to keep donations coming in. Not only do you want a consistent flow of contributions, but preferably an increase. The purpose of this article is to provide you with 4 tips to increase donations. We will touch on the importance of implementing a donor segmentation system, how to communicate often, disclosing the impact of donations, and the benefit of asking!
There is statistical evidence that there has been an increase in giving over the past year. The National Philanthropic Trust shows data that in 2021, Americans donated $484.85 billion, corporations donated $21.08 billion, and foundations gave $90.88 billion. To review more “charitable giving statistics”, you can review this article by the NPT.
IMPLEMENT A DONOR SEGMENTATION SYSTEM
Donor segmentation is key to increasing donations because it allows you to keep information about your donors organized for you to use and form meaningful experiences and authentic communication between you and your donors. To build a donor database, you must use a CRM that includes features that support: list segmentation, measuring engagement, data analysis, and communication with donors. Check out this list of CRM softwares that are recommended for use by nonprofits.
There are a few categories that you want to segment your donor data: demographic, communication, donation track record, and interests. Using this information, you can send out campaigns that have personalized traits based on donor segmentation information. An example is sending out pre-filled donation asks or mailing a thank you letter that uses the donor’s name.
Donor segmentation increases donations and gets results!
We always say we’re going to stay in touch, but do we always follow through? Communicating with your patrons reminds them that they are a part of your organization. Life gets busy, and we forget about messaging that old friend or donating to an important cause, so don’t let your donors forget you exist!
There are many easy ways to communicate with your donors: posting on social media and sending out emails. Then there are the impactful ways to connect with donors by sending: personalized handwritten thank you letters, impact reports, and pledge cards accompanied by return envelopes. Always remember to include a way for your donors to stay in touch. This means including your organization’s contact information: address, phone number, email, and names of your communication team.
SHOW THE IMPACT OF DONATIONS
Being transparent about the allocation of donations is an assured way to increase giving. People appreciate honesty and authenticity. They want to see that their contributions to your organization are making an impact on the cause. Charts and facts have value and provide beneficial information to an impact report, and community testimonies are a way to show a deeper impact. Personal stories from volunteers, participants, and partners are great for highlighting impact and evoking emotions in donors.
Testimonies are a great way to get positive and structured feedback from those involved in your organization.
Here are a few questions you can ask when collecting testimonies:
- Why did you join our organization?
- How does being a part of our organization benefit you?
- What do you like about being a part of our organization?
- Do you see areas that need improvement? What are they?
- Are you happy with the progress our organization has made to the cause?
- Do you tell your friends and family about your involvement?
- Can we use your testimonials with attributions in our communications?
TIP: Highlight the impact of specific donation amounts
An effective strategy to increase donations is to simply…ask. Nonprofits are in the business of collecting donations, so it is to be expected by participants that they will be asked to give. There are ways to ask for donations that make it easier to donate.
Keeping in mind your donor segmentation system:
- Provide preset giving levels based on demographics
- Encourage automatic monthly donations
- Be transparent about popular giving amounts
- Mail out regular pledge cards accompanied by reply envelope
- Include a QR code that leads to a donation webpage on literature and correspondence as much as possible
- Show the specific impact potential of each ask amount in other words what each ask amount can be spent on
To wrap things up, we have discussed 4 ways to increase giving from donors. Primarily, you want to implement a donor segmentation system, and use donor data to create meaningful experiences with participants. Next you want to make sure you are communicating often via direct-mail, social media, email, etc. Within your communications, it is beneficial to be transparent about the impact of donations with facts and figures, but also provide community testimonies to show social proof. Ultimately, the most obvious but effective method of increasing donations is to simply ask!
Nonprofits value authenticity and personal connections. A great way to increase donations by creating authentic interactions is with handwritten notes!
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