Nonprofit fundraising — 10 simple stepsDoes your nonprofit depend on individual support and donations? These 10 tips are for you!
- Develop a fundraising plan. Specific strategies for cultivating individual support and donations are essential, no matter how big or small your nonprofit.
- Create a donor list. You might identify individual donors by reaching out to the local philanthropic community or tapping into personal networks of board members and staff.
- Know your donors. Traditionally, older donors have tended to give more to religious institutions while younger donors focus more on youth-oriented causes. You might also research the giving history of potential individual donors through local media reports and the philanthropic "grapevine."
- Build donor networks. Consider making affinity subgroups within the network, such as a group for supporters within a specific age range.
- Consider seasonal pitches. The end-of-the-year holidays tend to be the most popular time for charitable giving — although younger donors tend to give smaller amounts throughout the year rather than a large year-end gift.
- Provide volunteer opportunities. Donors who volunteer tend to give more than those who don't volunteer.
- Plan a year-long calendar of events and activities. Think social gatherings, seminars and volunteer opportunities. You might make some of these "non-ask" events to help donors understand the organization before they're asked to contribute.
- Seek adequate staffing for your fundraising operation. More people focused on fundraising — or dedicated to individual donors — may result in more donations.
- Describe how donations are used. Provide regular case stories and testimonies to show the impact of donations large and small.
- Think retention — and thanks. Make sure your fundraising plan includes strategies to keep donors engaged throughout the year and from year to year. Above all, remember the impact of a heartfelt thank you for any donation.
Nolo: Nonprofit fundraising methods: An overview by Ilona Bray
Society for Nonprofits: Pros and cons of fundraising methods