5 Fundraiser Improvement TipsTim Ahern | April 16, 2019
Fundraising is an important part of achieving your mission. Every dime you bring in is a dime you can put toward your cause, whether you’re raising money for a specific project or your overall mission. But no matter how successful your fundraiser is, you can always find ways to improve. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you plan your next fundraiser.
Chances are, you already have goals in mind for this year’s fundraiser, even if it’s simply to beat last year’s numbers. According to neuroscience, you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you actually write them down. Once you’ve set those goals, look into project-planning software to map out everything you need to do to reach them. With many tools, you can even add team members and assign specific duties to each person.
Planning isn’t the only way you can use software to help boost your fundraising efforts. It’s important to have a list of supporters that carries over from one year to the next, adding to it as you go. The same software sales teams use to identify and manage leads can help you improve your fundraiser. Make sure you invest in a content management system (CMS) that will help you locate potential donors since many are built for sales teams to find paying customers.
Spread the Support
If this isn’t your first fundraiser, you should already have an existing base of supporters. These include your volunteers and anyone who has donated in the past. Reach out to them first, then encourage them to get the word out about your fundraiser among their own friends and family. You can simply ask, but you’ll likely get better results by hosting a contest where supporters qualify to win a prize if they share photos from your event or bring a certain number of new donors in. Include the cost of that prize in your marketing budget each year.
Successful fundraising isn’t only about convincing people to give money. You should also be working to build relationships within your community. Host events like kickoff and wrap-up parties to not only thank your supporters but meet them in person. If they feel they have built a relationship with your organization, they’re more likely to enthusiastically return next year.
Work on Donor Retention
The end of your campaign is only the beginning. You’ve worked hard to win the support of every donor you have, and it’s important to strive toward making them want to come back next year.
Send personalized thank-you notes to every volunteer and donor and invite them to follow you on social media to keep up with your organization throughout the year. Interact with your followers and regularly post on your various social platforms. This will help turn first-time donors into ongoing supporters.
As you boost your fundraising efforts from one year to the next, track your results closely and identify areas where you can continue to improve. This will help your organization continue to grow rather than being stuck in a cycle of searching for new donors each year to make up for the ones you lost.