Non-Profits: Seven Steps to Maximizing Fundraising
1. Relevant awareness of non-profit
The target must know all relevant information about the non-profit. Here are some key issues to consider as the non-profit builds awareness:
The information should come to target first hand and not filter through second or third hand audience. That builds a connection.
The communication should be on-going and not one time.
The communication should start and precede any request for funds. Those who are made to feel like “insiders” will contribute more.
EVALUATE CURRENT AWARENESS OF THE NON-PROFIT
2. Personal/social connectivity
It is very important that each target audience has an answer to the question: “Why is the non-profit important to me and why do I need to step up for the building of the non-profit”. Many times when a target audience develops a “soft connection” with a cause they feel the following:
There are “many others” who will donate.
The non-profit will happen with or without my support.
After they take my money, I will not be in the loop any more.
BRAINSTORM ON HOW TO BUILD THE CONNECTION
3. Replace current recipient of $/smaller contribution amount
It is a common fact that when a new cause is considered by a target, he/she usually starts by thinking “what can I do less, in order to accommodate this cause?” Hence it is very important to break down the contribution element into smaller chunks. E.g. for less than $14 a day, for only one year, you can make a lifetime contribution to the community by being a donor for this non-profit.
Facts like this, instead of a “high threshold of $5,000” will make the target audience think and see what he/she can do to include this cause in his/her choice set.
REPOSITION SOME OF THE CONTRIBUTION AS PER DAY OR PER MONTH NUMBERS, INSTEAD OF IN ONE-TIME $.
4. Ongoing connection with the non-profit
Ongoing connection, both in the form of involvement and contribution keeps the “habit of participation” alive. This can be accomplished by:
Making contributions in installments
Sending periodic update of progress to the target (and treating him/her as a stakeholder in the non-profit)
Creating a website where the target can check progress anytime he/she wants
WEBSITE WITH REGULAR UPDATE
MONTHLY REPORTING ON LOCAL WEBSITES
5. Issue/cause reaching out on a personal level (not mass communication)
The non-profit and its office-bearers reaching out personally offer the best chance for contribution. Mass-emails hardly work, unless forwarded by a neutral peer.
CONTINUE TO REACH COMMUNITY LEADERS ONE AT A TIME
PENETRATE COMMUNITY LEADERS AND LOCAL BUSINESSES
6. Fundraising is full time job
Based on past experience, full time fundraisers are significantly more effective than part-time fundraisers (especially those who are not into sales).
HIRE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO MAKE CALLS
BASE SALARY PLUS BONUS
7. The target receives a gift that he/she can display to mark the beginning of a commitment
This initiates a commitment (similar to an engagement ring) that:
Makes the target proud of his/her action
Acts as a reminder to his/her commitment
Helps him share his/her good deed with others in the community
WHAT CAN WE GIVE TO DIFFERENT LEVELS OF DONORS?
MAGNETS (WITH NON-PROFIT NAME)