January 7, 2013

7 ways to increase your nonprofit’s donations

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Photo by zizzybaloobah on Flickr

Make donating simple, say thank you & showcase your results to keep donations coming

Target audience: Nonprofits, fundraisers, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises.

John HaydonAcquiring a new donor is more expensive than keeping a current donor.

Most nonprofits know this, but it seems like most of them spend a larger amount of their resources on acquiring new donors instead of keeping their current donors happy.

Plus, the lifetime dollar value of a happy donor is way more than the value of a donor who only gives once.

And the math just makes sense:

Higher acquisition costs + lower donations = icon sad Seven Ways to Increase Your Nonprofits Donations in 2013

Following are seven ways to help you turn this sad face upside down:

Say thanks

1Can you believe that even some huge organizations with ample resources fail to say thank you once a donation is made? Research shows that thanking donors increases the likelihood they’ll continue to give, and increase the amount they’ll give.

Give your supporters better tools

2You know what has made Amazon a billion dollar success? They’ve optimized their purchase down to a single mouse-click.

Same thing goes for your top social fundraisers.

Don’t give your top fundraisiers a clunky platform. Give them something powerfully simple, like Razoo and get rid of the ugly PayPal button on your website.

Plug up the holes in your website

3There are critical pages on your website where you want visitors to complete a specific transaction, such as donating money or joining an email list.

Sadly, these pages are often the reasons why people aren’t donating as much as they would. This free eBook includes 15 ways to improve these landing pages.

Make your supporters’ agendas your agenda

4One way to keep your top supporters interested and committed is to support their agendas! For example, if one of your top supporters publishes a blog about why the cause is personal, you need to be retweeting their blog posts.

Or if one of your top fundraisers owns a local restaurant, you’d better be holding some of your events there.

Constantly report outcomes

5I love what the Animal Rescue League of Boston does on Facebook. Almost every week, I see some kind of success story. As Alexandra mentioned, 53 percent of online donors in one study identified “achieving and communicating measurable results” as prominent in their decision to donate again. You want people to donate more than once? Report outcomes!

Develop one cause marketing partnership

6Cause marketing is a partnership between a nonprofit and a for-profit for mutual profit. And it’s probably one of the most overlooked, underutilized strategies for raising money.

Joe Waters has five tips for creating a cause marketing program for your organization.

Don’t shoot for perfection

7Trying to make everything perfect will only get nothing done. But “done” is what you want — not perfect!

Break your donor retention strategy down into to small chunks that you can do one at a time. Done… next… repeat.

What do you think?John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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  • julietrell

    Great tips, John! One other thing to note is that your current supporters make for great super supporters, super fans or ambassadors of your cause and can greatly increase donations as well. According to this infographic – http://pinterest.com/pin/30117891229869086/ – Social Endorsement is a key factor in awareness and eventually donations. As noted 68% of your friends will take the time to learn more about a cause or an organization if their friend is posting about it, 39% would donate, and 34% would repost the donation request. Tools or platforms like SocialToaster can amplify your message via your supporters’ own social networks. Learn more at http://www.socialtoaster.com. socialtoaster

  • Desi_Cabrera

    Hi John, excellent tips that nonprofits should keep in mind as 2013 gets underway.  Since external factors usually impact their fundraising results, it’s important for them to also be aware of these and modify their initiatives accordingly.  Recently I wrote about a Blackbaud report that identified Donors perspectives on their giving: http://www.miratelinc.com/blog/3-factors-affecting-nonprofit-fundraising-according-to-blackbaud-survey/