February 12, 2017

Laws of Attraction: Bringing New Donors to Your Cause


Valentine’s Day: love it or hate it, this time of year sparks conversations about how to attract that special someone. The same can be said for nonprofits all year round – how do you attract the right supporters and, most importantly, donors to your cause? Our Cause Clarity video “How to Attract New Donors” is a great place to start. Here are a few highlights.

As with any successful long-term relationship, often finding the right partner and acquiring new donors both take time. With so many causes and so much clutter in today’s fast paced world, it takes discipline and creativity to reach new people so they can hear about, become interested in and donate to your cause. An important first step for your nonprofit is to identity the types of donors you want to reach. After all, if you don’t know who you are looking for, it’s hard to find them. Once you can organize your ideal prospective donors into your top two to three priority groups, make a list of the characteristics or interests they share. The more you can understand what they care about and what motivates them, the easier it will be to figure out the best strategies to reach them in an authentic and meaningful way.

While attracting new donors to your cause is always a priority, it’s also important to maintain the relationships you have carefully developed with your current donors. With many worthwhile causes out there to compete with, and new ones popping up every day, you need to consistently connect with your current donors to keep them engaged. Just like a healthy and thriving personal relationship, you need to work at it to keep it going. Carve out standing times to touch base with your donors. Update them with relevant stories about the impact of the work they are supporting.

When reaching out, tailor your communications to the preferences of each of your donor groups (not everyone likes roses and chocolate). Regular email updates can be very effective, and including photos and video can make a powerful statement. Social media posts are a fast way to reach people. Mailed letters may also be appropriate for some of your donors who may not always be online. And don’t forget to invite your donors to any in-person events so they can see the work up-close and personal.

Ever been set up by a friend? Don’t be afraid to tap into your professional networks for a little assistance expanding your donor base. From a simple “like” or “share” to making an introduction, think about ways to equip your board, supporters and even current donors to be ambassadors of your great work.

And with any important relationship, don’t forget to say thank you. Acknowledging partners and supporters is always a crucial step in ensuring healthy, long-lasting relationships. And that’s something everyone can love this time of year.

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