Is your donor database small? Are you looking for new donors and are stressed out that most of your donors are inactive? Do you want to learn how to communicate more effectively to your donors, develop new donor relationships and look at ways of expanding your duck adoption donor base? Giving by individuals, not corporations, made up the vast majority of contributions received by nonprofit organizations in 2014 according to research compiled by Giving USA 2015 so it makes sense to focus your fundraising efforts on individual donors.
Try some of the ideas listed below for finding new donors and cultivating your existing donors.
1. Volunteer Base
- Volunteers give 10 times as much money as non-volunteers.
- Talk to your volunteers just like you would a friend. “We can’t do it without you and you really know our mission and what we are all about.”
- You can make a special appeal just for volunteers since they are already giving you their time.
- Reach out to your local high schools and colleges in your area and discuss volunteer opportunities. Many school clubs (i.e. Key Clubs, National Honor Society, sororities and fraternities, etc.) require members to volunteer to nonprofits in their community.
2. Annual Reports
- Look at annual reports from other nonprofits similar to yours at the local, regional and national level.
- When reviewing annual reports of other nonprofits, look at their board members, sponsors and foundations.
3. Mailing List
- If you do purchase a mailing list, make sure that you vet the list by asking the following questions such as: “What can you tell me about the names on the list and how often do you update the list”?
- Keep in mind that you probably won’t receive any donations for at least the first 3 times you use the list since people won’t know who you are so don’t get discouraged.
- You will get results eventually but not right away.
4. Your Board
- Who do they know?
- Who do they work for?
- How do you make it easy for them to talk about you and become ambassadors of your organization?
- Ask board members if they would be interested in hosting a coffee or a small gathering at their house where they invite their friends, have some light food and talk about your cause.
- Make it easy to for your board to talk about you with a one-page bullet list featuring facts about your nonprofit.
5. Your Vendors
- Talk to your Board Members who are close to the corporate community to help identify which vendors should be contacted.
- Grocery Stores – Grocery stores are a great tie-in for nonprofits such as food banks.
- Utility companies or Credit Union
- Telephone provider – Which cell phone provider are the majority of your staff, board members and volunteers using and could you contact them to get some corporate support?
6. Your Neighboring Businesses
- Stores Nearby and Businesses in your community.
- When talking to businesses, also talk about your duck race and how it is a unique event in your community. A business may eventually want to become a sponsor for your duck race.
- Stop into businesses and talk about what you do and ask them to be an official supporter of your nonprofit if they aren’t already connected to any other nonprofit in your community.
- Tell the company what your nonprofit can do for them such as the marketing opportunities you will provide and how aligning with your organization shows how their business helps people in need in your community.
- A local business could become a drop-off point for donations to a local homeless shelter, women’s shelter or child agency and eventually become one of your “mission partners” who donates regularly to your nonprofit.
7. The Business Journal Book of Lists
- Available every January in every US state.
- Contains the most charitable companies and which organizations they give to and also includes the fastest growing companies.
- It can be expensive to purchase so go to your local library which should have a copy that you can reference.
8. Speaking Engagements
- Set up speaking engagements to speak about your cause at Rotary Clubs, Chamber of Commerce events, Libraries, Festivals, Conferences, Corporations, Board Member companies and on radio stations to name just a few places.
- Speaking engagements allow you to create a one on one connection and will also give you exposure to potential board members, volunteers and opportunities for grants.
Try one or several of these strategies to build your donor database. There are people who will be glad to give to your nonprofit. They just don’t know it yet.
What are some ways that you cultivate new donor relationships? Share them with us!