In our last 3 blog posts, we shared advice from Forefront (formerly Donors Forum) concerning nonprofit-donor relationships, what to for ask when making your ask, and preventing donor fatigue. Tying up the conversation, Marlee and Delia gave us their final thoughts on how to improve fundraising efforts in order to prevail, not just get by, as a nonprofit. The following are the two most crucial steps.
Step 1: Treat your mission with the respect it deserves
Marlee’s last piece of advice concerned placing appropriate value and importance on your nonprofit’s cause:
“Treat your mission like it’s the most important thing happening right now. If you don’t treat it like that, then no one else will be inspired to.”
She then proceeded to quote the head of a successful nonprofit, sharing his personal philosophy:
“If you don’t get what I’m doing in the cause and the important work that I’m trying to do, you just need to get out of the way, because I’m going to find somebody that does.”
Marlee concluded with the following advice:
“Don’t downplay your cause or your work. Put value on it because it’s important to your community. From there, people will naturally want to give and want to be involved.”
This was a great point that would seem to be a no-brainer to those in the nonprofit sector, but is actually something frequently overlooked. As nonprofits, you need to show through your efforts (marketing, outreach, campaigns, etc.) how much you value the work you’re doing for your cause. Otherwise, how can you expect anyone else to see the importance of their contributions and support?
Step 2: Get to know your donors and be donor-centric in your efforts
Delia also contributed her last piece of advice, highlighting the importance of knowing who your donors are and what to ask of them:
“Everything begins and ends with the donor. So get to know your donor…And you’ll never get to know your donor if you don’t build a relationship with them.”
Building successful relationships with your donors is a gradual process. As these relationships progress, you’ll gather more information and develop a deeper understanding of who they are. This also means that you’ll learn what their communication and donation preferences are. You can then segment your donors based on these preferences and carefully select the messages you want to send to each segment. The result? A more effective fundraising strategy!
Delia Coleman, Director, Strategic Initiatives: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marlee Honcoop, Associate Manager, Member Engagement: email@example.com
We hope you enjoyed our
Forefront blog series
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