It’s not too early to think about the 2022 fundraiser
This first half of 2021 has been interesting for the non-profit sector. Here’s a summary of ideas, reports, and strategies that can help your favorite nonprofit make the most of the second half of the year and set the stage for greater success in 2022.
Staying in touch
During the pandemic, many nonprofits called their donors, volunteers and sponsors to register and ask how they were doing.
The pandemic has put stewardship and kindness at the forefront and is expected to continue for two reasons: (1) it is the right thing to do; and (2) the people loved it. I have heard stories from donors, board members and staff of nonprofits who have told me about the wonderful interactions they have had with people they have never met. or who they had never spoken to before, but were related to because of the nonprofit organization.
Spend time this summer making calls to show people you care and appreciate their support. Actions speak louder than words.
I like the following list of ways to solicit feedback from donors. It’s a great reminder that the best fundraising programs encourage two-way communication. Consider asking donors for feedback in one or more of the following ways:
1. In your welcome email series
2. Site thank you landing page
3. After a live or virtual event
4. Thank you to the donor
5. By email survey
6. By direct mail
7. Organization of donor focus groups
8. Ask questions about the donor’s visit
Motivate donors to give
Words you never hear: “Your brochure was so beautiful, I just had to pull out my checkbook. So what motivates people to give? It depends on the interest of the donor who is often stung by a story. Sharing impact stories is one of the best ways to convey not only what your organization does, but also why it matters.
It’s not the donor’s fault if they don’t donate
I’ve heard all the reasons (and excuses) that people don’t give. Last month, the Giving USA Foundation released its annual report that found charitable giving in the United States to a record high of $ 471 billion in 2020, a 5% increase from 2019. Giving is in increase because more people first gave, some people gave more, and the mega-rich gave much more.
If donations to your organization haven’t increased in 2020, it’s time to understand why and determine what needs to be changed or improved. Areas to consider include how you asked, what you asked, how the message was communicated, and what was done before asking to generate interest and earn the right to ask.
What keeps you from sleeping at night?
Paul Hamaty of Rand Strategic Solutions recently started a conversation about risk in the nonprofit sector with this question. A good follow-up question is, “What would you like to do better?” Paul believes there is an “optimism bias” in the nonprofit sector that can cloud an organization’s view of risk management.
Risk categories include cybersecurity, legal and regulatory aspects, reputation, human capital, and finance. To determine if your nonprofit is meeting its risk tolerance, determine if you have one or more of the following: a current risk assessment; risk tolerance statement; WORK [Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats]; disaster recovery plan; business continuity plan; and a plan B for strategies and goals.
Out of necessity, the pandemic may have sparked some of these efforts, which means 2022 could be the perfect time to refine and expand them.
A return to bricks and mortar
As nonprofits recover from the impact of the pandemic on their programs and budgets, I hear more and more of organizations preparing and planning a fundraising campaign.
Some are focusing on building new facilities to meet the surge in demand triggered by the continuing to grow pandemic. Over the past few weeks, I have heard about campaigns for mental health services, anti-hunger programs, historic preservation, and support for the elderly. I expect to see blocked campaigns relaunched and new campaigns launched in 2022. If this applies to your organization, start discussing at board meetings how to meet future needs and identify a plan.
Donors are smarter than ever
At the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ international conference held virtually last week, a common theme emerged: Donors are smart and savvy when it comes to giving. That’s why “nonprofits need to be driven by data and the heart,” said keynote speaker and author Wes Moore.
A new report from the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance says nearly half of Americans don’t know exactly what the impact of charity means. The report says more than 75% of Millennials will stop giving to an organization if they are not informed of the impact of their giving.
85% want to give with a better impact, 32% devote at least two hours to research and 9% do comparative research. To learn more about what donors want to see and understand before giving, here’s a link to the full report. philanthropynewsdigest.org.
Trust matters most
Confidence is the number one factor (40%) that influences giving. Other factors include the impact of charity (31%); financial ratios (28%); gut feeling or instinct (25%); stories about the association’s work (21%) and their relationship with the association (20%).
Taking time for activities that build and maintain confidence, in addition to fundraising, can’t be an afterthought or a strategy if I have the time. Communicating without asking for money and soliciting feedback from those who give should be part of the fundraising effort.
What keeps you from sleeping at night? How will the activities and changes in 2020 and 2021 affect the way you communicate, build relationships and raise funds in 2022? I would love to hear from you at [email protected]
Notes on Nonprofits is produced by Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, President of Stansbury Consulting. Join her and her guests at noon on July 13 for Notes on Nonprofits Live.
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