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Nurture potential donors with trust and engagement

Marketing campaigns and other forms of outreach, such as webinars and other special events, are great ways to spread the word about your organization and identify potential donors. Here, we'll show you how to properly nurture potential donors so they not only stick around but become consistent supporters.

Determine your best leads

Let's start by identifying the most likely potential donors. Consider:

  • Who consistently replies to your posts or tweets?
  • Who attends your events?
  • Who donates sporadically?
  • Who speaks highly of your organization on social media but doesn't donate?
  • Who donates regularly?

Be patient

It can be tempting to focus marketing and communication efforts on areas that generate immediate or short-term impact. However, cultivating new donors typically means developing a relationship over time. After all, are you ready to buy something the first time you hear about it? Probably not — and the same principle applies to potential donors.

Nurture your warm contacts

So, you're prepared to nurture your potential donors over time. Focus on building trust and engagement. Make sure that potential donors feel included: that they're listened to, that their hard-earned funds are accepted gratefully and proven useful.

To support the process:

  • Reply to messages promptly (at least within 48 hours)
  • Speak their language (think tone, voice and channel — and cut the jargon)
  • Be thankful
  • Show the impact of donations, whether it's time, money or in-kind support

Make it easy to donate

When you ask for a donation, make it easy to follow through or your efforts will be for naught. You might:

  • Place a prominent "donate" button on your home page
  • Include a "donate now" link or button in your email campaigns and digital newsletters
  • Feature a "donate" button on your nonprofit's Facebook page
  • Ask partner organizations to link to your "donate" page

Keep track of it all

Along with identifying and nurturing your warm contacts, you'll need a way to keep them organized. When you outgrow spreadsheets or other manual tracking systems, consider customer relationship management software. These systems can be used to keep track of every interaction you have with supporters — contact info, favored social media channels, how they were contacted, when they were contacted and so on — and can be integrated with other marketing software.

Keeping these things in mind, you're ready to start converting warm contacts into concrete donors!

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Disclaimer

MissionBox editorial content is offered as guidance only, and is not meant, nor should it be construed as, a replacement for certified, professional expertise.

Disclaimer

References

Network for Good: 7 steps to turning event attendees into donors by Claire Axelrad (2016)

Funds for NGOs: 8 very simple yet effective tips for donor retention by Saumya Arora (2016)

RoundCorner: 9 fundraising tips for nonprofits that work by Diana Herst (2015)

Entrepreneur: 10 ways to better manage sales leads by Greg Anderson (2005)

Orbit Media Studios: Turning social media engagement to donor engagement by Marc Pitman

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Writers and editors working together to elevate social impact worldwide — one paragraph at a time