How to Get Your Nonprofit Ready for Fundraising

Did you know that over 88% of nonprofits in the U.S are in fact small or medium and all encountered similar fundraising issues? Their funds are insufficient, they do not have enough staff and they cannot provide a return on investment. As most nonprofits in the U.S you are probably having issues raising money, so we are giving you 5 tips on how to move forward with fundraising with very few funds and resources. 

1- Ready, Set, Go

'Ready, Set, Go' is a well known digital fundraising strategy to get attention from donors and increase donations. First, 'ready' you need to get the right staff and budget for a fundraising campaign. Second, 'set' you need to produce the right content and share it to the right people on the right channels. Third, 'set' you have to measure and track all of your fundraising activities and measure just about every data you get, so you can look at what you are doing right or not and improve. Forth, 'go' you just keep going and improve your efforts. 

 

2- 10 key fundraising metrics

The best way to understand if you stand a chance or how your campaign is being perceived is to measure all of your efforts via strict metrics on a daily and weekly basis. First, measure your donor acquisition rate, donor renewal rate, donor reactivation rate, net new donors, the average gift (donation) that you receive, the time lapse between the first and second gifts, the revenue per donor, the cost to raise the funds, the gross revenue and the lifetime value of your donors. 

 

3- Understand your metrics

You have listed your metrics, so now you have to get to work and clearly analyze them. First, you should look at your metrics separately from one another then incorporate them into events, programs and other communication methods, which will allow you to improve your digital strategies and the way you look at donors. 

 

4- Your conversion funnel

It is time to work on your sales funnel or conversion funnel, which traces the path your prospects take until they make a conversion so a donation. The conversion funnel has to be well prepared and understood, so that you can avoid your donors getting lost in between before getting to the final step. Your conversion funnel should incorporate each metrics you previously set. For instance, first your prospect donors need have a clear recognition of your brand, the problem and the solution they would bring to your nonprofit. At this point they become prospects, then as they are looking to get involved with your nonprofit they become leads, after they become donors and to keep the process going initiate them into being ambassadors or special members. 

 

5- Incorporate digital technics in each stage

In this step, you have to analyze how your prospects or donors connect with you at each stage, how do they interact and behave. Each stage should reflect the behavior of your target audience. It also suggested to create personas via inbound marketing technics and to write these personas based on habits, preferences, values and demographics of donors. Then you have to write messages specific to each audience and each stage. Also, use KPI from Google Analytics to understand where your key objectives have been achieved and define your funnel based on them. From then, draft your message and communication methods for each stage. 

 

Thank you for reading our article on how to get your nonprofit ready for fundraising. If you need help with your fundraising strategy and how to craft your conversion funnel contact us today

 

5 Ways To Use Emotions and Get Donations

To reach your fundraising goal you need to master the art of getting prospect donors to act and donate to your organization. How so? Easy you need to understand how to communicate clearly and get your points across in a simple manner and interest your donor. But there is one more tool you need to acquire and it is "flirting' and balance being "cheeky, genuine and authentic."

Here are 6 different emotions you need to master to get donors: 

1- Be naturel

Yes, the first is simply stay yourself! Act like a real person and use common language your prospect will understand and recognize, use simple words and action verbs. Also, instead of using the pronoun "we" use "I" when addressing to your prospects. 

 

2- Be friend

Be aware of hard selling. You should have a warm and friendly tone when talking to your prospects do not try to be overly serious but much like you talk to a friend. Think of it as asking a friend about his problems and you offering solutions. Do not try to force yourself on your prospects but place your nonprofit as you are the one choosing your donor and it is a privilege to work with you. You want to be polite and curious much like flirting, so ask yourself how you would start a conversation with a friend and identify at which level of "closeness" or interest this person is in. 

 

3- Be relevant

Always think of trends and identify current topics that your followers or prospects are interested in and have your own opinion about these subjects. Build your voice and tone around what is relevant to your donors. You must know what your audience is thinking, be neutral but be your own brand at the same time and share content relevant to your audience. The most important part is to develop emotions from your prospects as a nonprofit, which will automatically result in a donation. At last, always have content marketing plan. 

 

4- Your Prospects

Always add your personal touch to your messages when you talk to your prospects; it must be something that will distinguish your brand. Send your prospect a small but thoughtful gift, so they will remember your nonprofit and talk about it in a nice way to others. You have to understand what your prospects are up to and if they are talking about you. 

 

5- Be available

Listen to your prospect and act on it. If they are telling you they have a problem then respond promptly and ask how you can help and what are they looking for. You need to be straight forward and not beat around the bush. You need to truly listen to their problems and gain their trust. 

It is often a good idea to know exactly what is being said about your brand and manage your reputation wisely. Their are numerous tools available out there to help you identify what your brand is missing. In times of crisis in your organization, always respond quickly and don't let things stay unresolved but face the problem with a statement. Remember, there are 2 sides to every story your reputation is not going to be harmed if you deal with the situation, be honest and offer solutions. 

 

Always listen to your prospect: what is their problem, what they do need, why do they want to be involved and then you offer solutions. Ask for feedbacks from your prospects and from your staff and keep ahead of your competitors. 

If you are having issues with your fundraising strategy or getting in touch with prospects contact us today!

 

Produce Great Content and Get Donations in 2 Steps

We all know to get donations for your organization you need to have great content to share and use a variety of techniques to get your prospects to step up and act. Although, it can be somewhat unclear what is considered good or bad content and what are the main mistakes to avoid when you have a nonprofit. We are giving you 2 steps to produce amazing content and get donations: 

 

1- Poor content

It is a known fact that over 2 out of 3 nonprofit donors say that content has a direct impact on their donations and that poor content will directly translate into no donation at all. What is poor content? It is content that simply is not sharable because it is too vague and not of the interest of your prospects. So your first step should always be to know what your prospects want to see. For this, you can use keyword planner on Google Search or simply test it out on your social media accounts. Post daily and track what drags the most action and automatically a conversion on your website. Install Facebook Pixel on your website, do a couple of small advertising campaigns and you will have a good understanding of what good content is. 

A few more stats, over 72% of donors who have previously donated at least once to an organization said they would not donate to poor content, 1/3 said they would not donate to content that is vague and 1/4 they would not donate to content that is boring. 

 

2- Types of content

What are the types of content donors prefer? Over half of donors prefer short, self contained email with no backlinks, a short letter or an online article. Over half are also said to donate to emails that have links to other articles, short Youtube videos under 2 minutes, annual reports delivered by mail and post to Facebook.

What you should get from this is that content that goes straight to the point, asks the right questions and is interesting to the donors is what will win donors over, so keep it short! Avoid, long videos and long articles or you will loose your donors before they even start reading.   

 

You now know what to do to get donations, follow the trends, listen to your donors interest and repeat what works! When you find a way that brings up donations don't change it but work on it to improve it. Study your donor personas meaning your donors demographics and interests. See our posts on inbound marketing and how to build personas.

Thank you for reading our article on 2 steps to produce great content and get donations! If you need help with your content marketing contact us today! Cause Forward U.S. specializes in marketing and fundraising for nonprofits. 

 

5 Ways to Get Prospects

As a nonprofit CEO or an employee your main goal is to get prospect to donate or fund your organization and it is not a simple task. The most difficult task through this fundraising hunt is to find the right one people that will be ready to make decisions. What influence the decision making process from a prospect is the way you approach and present yourself to the people able to make important decision for your organization. 

In order to guide your prospect into making the right decision for your organization and donating whether it is major or planned giving you have to have one of the following personalities below. These approaches and personalities are the ones you want to have in your team, so build your team around them: 

1- A Visionary 

A visionary can understand and see changes before they happen. This person is an innovator and knows what should be done to take the organization to the next move and get prospect exited about donating. 

2- A guardian

Someone who is more balanced and takes into consideration values, missions and other aspects important for business owners and making a partnership. 

3- A Motivator

You have to be a motivator, charismatic, have a sense of humor, be a storyteller and a leader. Business owners or prospects will see you as someone able to carry on responsibilities and be successful. 

4- Flexible

You are open-minded, you adapt easily to situations and are not afraid to go out off the box to find the solution and get others to make a decision. This person is versatile but a strong asset to any team. 

5- A Catalyst

A "balanced decision-maker, " this person is the best in making decision and best tool to have in a group, assess situations and avoid conflicts. 

 

Which of these personalities are you? Be aware of it and own it, develop it in the right way to bring effective strategies to sign major donors. If you need help getting prospects and reaching your fundraising goals contact us today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP 5 Fundraising Tools for Nonprofits in 2016

You have a nonprofit and you are looking for a way to raise money in a simple and easy way. If you are starting a large fundraising campaign to either get started or fund your missions then it is often better to refer to agencies. But if you want to raise funding for smaller campaigns and with little marketing then they are tools available online to help you get started with fundraising. 

We have lined up 5 fundraising tools to watch and use in 2016: 

 

1. Facebook Fundraiser

Facebook developed a way for donors to donate directly into a nonprofit Facebook page. The nonprofit will be pre-approved and verified, so it is a safe and very easy way to get your followers to donate. Definitely check it out!

 

2. Give a Dime

Give A Dime rounds up your purchases to the highest dollar and gives it to charity. A new concept to definitely look at for your nonprofit. 

 

3. Givolio

This platform is great for donors as they can create a portfolio and follow up on their donations for tax purposes. For nonprofits it is an amazing tool to find donors, create your profile today!

 

4. Omaze

Omaze is a platform made for donors experience as each donor can be selected to win "amazing experiences" once they have donated to a nonprofit.

 

5. Pledgeling

It is a platform made for businesses to easily set up employee giving program. Definitely a new concept and very interesting for nonprofits!

 

Thank you for reading our article on the top 5 fundraising tools for nonprofits in 2016. If you need help with fundraising contact us today! We specialize in nonprofit marketing and fundraising.

 

7 Amazing Ways to Raise Money For Nonprofits

You have been trying to raise money for your nonprofit organization but you are hitting a wall. You are not sure how to take your organization forward and what you should do to attract and engage your donors.

We have lined up 7 steps and ideas to master fundraising and reach your goals:

1- Attract Donors

You have to constantly engage with donors and have your donors feel like their part of your organization and somewhat of your family. They have to get emotionally attached to your cause and know that their donation no matter how small will have an impact on the mission they believe in. Most nonprofits attract donors through social media, email marketing, newsletter and special events or fundraisers. All of these are what you should be doing at all times to maintain your relationship with donors and keep getting donations or ultimately higher donations. Remember as a 501(c)3 your donors are tax deductible, which automatically attracts donors, so make it into your advantage. 

 

2- Major Giving

What is major giving? Simply a large donation made by an individual. Although, to get gifts in the hundred of thousands or more you simply cannot find such potential donors on social media but you need to cultivate a relationship on a personal level with them and turn most of your fundraising efforts around these donors. To start, you need to build a prospect donor list for major giving. To build this list you need to look at a donor capacity to give, history with your organization and involvement in similar missions as yours. Then, you need to reach out to them individually by phone or email and request a one-on-one meeting and support your case. There is no major giving donors who are going to donate if they do not believe in the team or executive power behind an organization.

If you want to learn more on how to attract major donors or want to get in touch with them contact us today!

 

3- Campaign

A great way to reach out to donors is to launch an online or offline awareness campaign. By launching a campaign you will get support for a particular project or mission and reach out directly to individual donors. Each campaign already has a set donation goal and a clear marketing and communication strategy planned out and requires help from volunteers. 

To find out how to launch a successful campaign read our post on campaign strategy.  

 

4- Planned Giving

Planned giving can mean a large variety of gifts from cash, equity, real estate and others. Planned giving may require a developed and longterm relationship with donors. You need to build trust with your donors to acquire gifts that are equivalent to real estate. You can also offer seminars to inform your donors on how such gifts work and can be donated. You need to be transparent on your nonprofit financial situation and mission, so your donors will understand that their gift is meaningful. Other type of planned giving may include assets or investments that donors give to nonprofits in the form of income. 

 

5- Events

There is quite a large variety of events or fundraisers you can host to introduce your organization to the public and raise money. Although, whether it is garage sales or gala events it is difficult to make a return on your investment mostly because of the fees involved in building a successful event. Therefore, when hosting an event you should think more in terms of building a relationship and acquiring connections with prospect donors. You have to know your goal and what could be an asset for your organization other than money such as volunteers. If you only want to launch an event to gather donations then you need to have sponsors, so you keep your expenses to a minimum and make a profit. 

 

6- Grants

Grants are one of the most popular source of funding for nonprofits. Grants are donated by foundations looking for organizations with a particular mission and size. Applying for grants is like looking for an investor as a business. It is time consuming and you may need to apply to a few dozens of them before you find one but they are definitely worth it and often involve a large amount of money. Also, grants are usually not renewed and need to well utilize by the organization. 

 

7- Corporate Gifts

Businesses can offer business sponsorships and corporate gifts to organizations often via their foundations or through their available nonprofit budget yearly. Businesses seek for nonprofits that can improve their image and open them to a new market. So to attract a business you need to know how to sale your organization and how to sale it well. Businesses can also help you by sponsoring an event. The most important part of finding the right business for your organization is finding the right person to get in touch with and how to get in touch with them, so do you research and examine all of the requirements the business has well.

 

Thank you for reading our article on 7 amazing ways to raise money for nonprofits. You may now have a good idea on how to get started but if you are looking for help with your fundraising process we specialize in nonprofit fundraising and will find the perfect solution for your organization, contact us today.

 

5 Fundraising Ideas That Work!

You have been trying to fundraise for your nonprofit but you think you lack of creativity and ideas to get it going? To be successful in fundraising and achieve your goals you need to attract prospect donors and retain them.

We have lined up 5 creative ways to fundraise and get your nonprofit noticed:

1- Reward

In fundraising you have to have fun and be creative, so giving your donors a somewhat unconditional reward once they have donated is a great way to get noticed. This will attract new prospect donors and make the whole process entertaining. An example would be to set up a donation goal for your cause and say that you will do something extraordinary or out of the ordinary once you get it. Set-up a silly goal and people will respond to it.  

For instance, in the campaign "Flush Away Cancer" people had to donate $15 dollars to have the toilet removed out of their front lawn and then have it placed in someone else's lawn or buy toilet insurance. 

 

2- Physical Activities

Sports are a great way to get your prospect donors behind your cause and raise money. You are not an athlete? Don't worry it does not have to be intense but just a fun activity everyone can participate in and enjoy at their own path. Know what you are good at, plan an activity you know something about then it will be easier to organize it and get sponsors to donate to your cause.

For instance, "Breast Cancer Awareness" marathons are always very successful and fun events even if people are mostly walking through the race. 

 

3- Math challenges

Here again you do not have to be a math genius to have a number challenge and it is a great way to get people motivated to donate to your cause. For instance, a person you want to raise money for is having his/her birthday ask donors to donate a small amount on this day. This can also work if the person you are raising money for was kidnapped on a certain day then ask for donations this day, etc... 

Remember in any fundraisers you need to know exactly your financial situation and how much money you need to raise for your cause and at this particular event. You also have to be extremely transparent with your finances and with your prospect donors. You should be able to tell them exactly where their money is going and for this you can make simple graphs showing the exact numbers and locations of your donations. Remember, to donate you want your prospects to trust you and your organization. 

 

4- Get together

Offline events are often the best way to raise funds because you get to connect with your donors! Although often expensive they are worth it. If you cannot afford an event do a small gathering or get sponsors that will give you a place to host an event and pay for some of the expenses. You can also get a few sponsors for your event. 

For your event, get creative! Have great and engaging name and stand out with an amazing theme that will be entertaining. Some fundraising websites suggest having a custom theme event to drag people attention. At your event, find ways to collect as many donations as possible. Get your friends and family involved, sell drinks and snacks and get together with people who will speak lively and in a good way about your cause. 

 

5- Your Networks

Know your audience and your target prospects. The better your understand them the most chance you have to get donations. When you do a fundraiser your event has to be appropriate and built effectively, so that you can reach out to your audience. 

First, you need to segment your prospect donors into lists of online donors and groups, donation amounts and donation frequency, your relationship to them, etc... Second, you need to find the best way to reach to each segmented group. For instance, if a donors gave $20 he is not going to need the same information as one who gave $500 or if a donor made a donation a week ago compared to one who made it a year ago you are not going to approach them the same way. Approach your donors at a fundraiser the same way you would in an email marketing campaign. For instance, for your friends and family you can start a Facebook page or a closed group with a link to donate on your website and make it funny and interactive. 

 

Thank you for reading our article on 5 fundraising ideas that work! Remember always understand your audience and prospect donors and keep it creative. No one wants to go to the same fundraiser each year or with the same theme, so think outside the box! 

If you need help to start a fundraising campaign contact us today! We specialize in fundraising for nonprofits and will help you reach your goals. 

 

8 Donor Acquisition Techniques All Nonprofits Should Know

No matter the stage you are in your fundraising process you can't ignore online fundraising as the major source of donations. Online fundraising is the main aspect of fundraising you need to master to reach your donation goals. Here is how! We are giving you 8 donor acquisition techniques to follow: 

1- Branding

Let's start by your donation page, it is the most important page on your website, not to mention where you get your donations. It is the page that measures your conversions and where you want your users to end up on. So brand it! Start by name, logo, imagery, typography and copy along brand standards. Your donors need to see a follow up in your style guide on each of your web page, it helps them feel secure. You want to build trust and credibility, so establish a style guide and have a complete follow through on your website and social media accounts. 

 

2- Mobile

Mobile usage surpasses desktop usage, so your website must be responsive and the looks and feel should be likable just as much on mobile. To see how much traffic you get from mobile go to Google Analytics and find out. Then, understand how many visits you are getting on your donation page from user mobiles. Also, make sure you donation forms responsive.

 

3- "Donate Now"

You understand that you need to get as much as traffic as possible on your website, but then what's next? You need to get these people to donate and accomplish a conversion, so draw their attention to the "donate now" button. Make sure the button is easily accessible and noticeable, so your users cannot avoid it. Add a slogan under the "donate" button or a reason for giving and visuals. 

 

4- Simple

Always keep in mind when building a website or landing page being simple is always the way to go. You do not want your audience to get lots of information and forget the reason why they came to your website in the first place. The level of accessibility your audience has to the donate page is what will increase your donations. Most website have a lot going on as an heavy navigation bar. Keep your donation page simple and make sure your users can donate in less than 3 clicks.

For your donation form, as any landing page, remove the navigation, search box and columns. Forms need to be as simple as it gets, so reduce as much as you can and make it fast for your users. For instance, only "require" information that are absolutely necessary for your process.

 

5- Giving Levels

On your donation page it is suggested that you add donation amounts your prospect donors can give to improve your performance. Users should not have to think of the amount they want to donate but just choose one already written. Donation levels cut the thinking time of your donors in half so the amount of abandon of the page by users. People will automatically give larger amounts than what they normally would have. Start with a $20 amount and go up until $100 or $200 and add a box to enter individual amount.

 

6-  Monthly Giving

Monthly sponsorships or monthly donations are a great way to generate recurring donation and have a way of planning for the future. You will grow long-term fundraising performance, revenue predictability and increase your donor acquisition rate. As always, the monthly donations set up should be easy for your donors to access. 

 

7- Security

Nonprofits are often known to be unsafe and to commit fraudulent activities online, so protect yourself! Ensure your donors with a secured transaction form, which will take away all doubts of possible nonprofit fraud. Norton is a very good security system and highly recommended for this type of transaction. Add the Norton logo next to your donation form and you will build confidence from donors. 

 

8- Transparency

The best advice any marketer can give to any profit organization is to be transparent particularly with your financial position. Donors want to know how your organization uses their money and what are their goals. Charity Navigator or GuideStar rank nonprofits based on the percentage of each donation going to an actual mission or program. What should you do next? On your donation page provide prospect donors with a detailed information about your organization financials and make it entertaining such as a graph showing where each dollar goes. 

 

Thank you for reading our article on 8 techniques to donor acquisition. It only takes simple steps to increase your donations, so start changing your strategy today. If you need help with prospect donors strategy, segmented donor lists and donor acquisition contact us today!