Asking for Donations Made EasyTim Ahern | September 9, 2019
A large part of fundraising, with no surprise, is raising funds. This involves the sometimes difficult task of asking for people to use their finances to support your cause.
Asking for money is never easy, but with a little preparation, you can get amazing results, year after year. The first step is finding volunteers and members who have a passion for what you’re doing. Then you’ll still need to do some coaching on requesting donations. Here are a few tips that can help, depending on your method of outreach.
Face to Face
Of all the fundraising methods, in-person is the most intimidating, but oftentimes it’s the most effective. Whether your team is going door to door or they’re speaking to friends and relatives, it’s important to have a well-honed strategy. One of the best things you can do as a nonprofit is to give everyone as much information as possible about the work you’re doing, how the money will be raised, and what they can do to appeal to your target audience.
Before you take your fundraising out into the community, bring everyone on your team, including volunteers, in for a day of workshops. Work together to come up with great sales pitches and have everyone practice in teams until they feel confident enough to try it on their own.
Using Social Media
If you don’t already have a strong social media presence, it’s vital to get one started. The first step is to make sure you’re active on the platforms where your potential donors are likely to spend time. Facebook can be one of the best tools for reaching out to others in your area, especially if you join various community pages and begin interacting.
In addition to regularly posting about your organization’s activities, you should also make a point to respond to all comments. Encourage your volunteers and loyal supporters to post about your organization and share your posts with their own online followers.
Fundraising letters have long been a staple of nonprofit activities, and that continues today, although it’s more often through email instead of postal mail. The best thing about a fundraising letter is that you have plenty of time to think through what you’re going to say and refine it as you go along.
There are plenty of tips for the layout of your fundraising letter, but what you say is more important than how you say it. Make sure you’re straightforward about what you’re asking and why you’re asking each person. It can be tempting to blast a form email to everyone on your mailing list, but you’ll get much better results if you take extra time to personalize each letter. Make sure you close the letter with a call to action, as well as urge recipients to take action as soon as possible so they don’t set it aside and forget about it.
You don’t have to be a sales pro to convince others to give money to your nonprofit. If you’re passionate about the work you’re doing, that passion will come across to everyone you meet. The most important thing is that everyone on your team is on board with your nonprofit’s mission. For more tips on how to improve your fundraising efforts, download our fundraising guide.