The more that your supporters trust you to keep your promises to put their contributions to good use, the more likely they are to donate to your cause. Donations from both individuals and businesses are critical to helping your nonprofit grow sustainably, as this type of funding typically doesn’t come with pre-conditions on how it is to be spent. When your NFP receives donations, you usually just need to ensure that they are used for a charitable purpose that advances your mission. The following three strategies will help you develop stronger relationships and greater trust with your donors and encourage greater giving.
Use Consistent Messaging to Eliminate Confusion and Strengthen Your Brand
Do your supporters know what your organisation stands for? What images come to mind when they hear your name and tagline or see your logo? Are your messages consistent with your values and does it bring your mission into sharp focus? Use consistent messages across all your communication channels to create a strong brand identity for your nonprofit that will increase your NFP’s reputation.
One trend that nonprofits must stay on top of is donors’ growing desire for detailed information about NFP finances and activities. One way to increase understanding about your nonprofit’s position is to publish your financial results frequently.
Release the minutes of your board meetings and hold your meetings in public so that your supporters have ample opportunity to review your NFP’s decision-making processes. Show your donors exactly how their contribution impacts your organisation, and how their donation will specifically be used to advance your mission forward!
Develop Relationships and Avoid the Hard Sell
Most of us are more likely to give to causes that resonate with us and because we have some personal connection to the mission. Focus on open communication and building strong relationships with your current donors and prospects. Take the time to connect with them and learn what makes them “tick” as individuals so that you can show them how contributing to your NFP helps them as well as others. Reach out to your supporters on a regular basis to keep them updated on your activities and the progress that you are making.
Segment your donor lists and adjust your approach based on the frequency and size of individual donations. If someone declines to give a gift, thank them for supporting your nonprofit and ask them to continue their support in other forms. For example, just because someone can’t or won’t donate right now doesn’t mean that they are unwilling to advocate on your behalf or volunteer. Look for ways to streamline and simplify the donation process so that transactions are fast, secure and simple.
Finally, don’t forget to show your gratitude to your donors and other supporters. Automatically thank your online contributors, and follow up with a more personalised, handwritten thank you note. Or, if you prefer, you can pick up the phone and call them to show your heartfelt thanks!