During these crazy last few months, nonprofits we serve have had a lot of success raising money using strong fundraising offers. By that I mean highlighting a specific part of what the nonprofit does and then asking the donor to send in a gift today to fund that part.
Not asking the donor to “partner with us” or to “support our mission” or to “provide hope.” But asking the donor just to fund the part that the appeal focuses on.
There’s a good question that must be answered when using this approach:
“How can you raise undesignated funds in your appeal if it focuses only on one program – even just one part of one program?”
We’ve noticed that the most successful fundraising organizations start creating their year-end fundraising earlier than they need to. They know things will get busy in November and December, and they know their year-end fundraising pieces are the most important pieces they send all year.
You’ll learn Jeff’s best
tip for how to start your stories, my advice on the best stories to tell in
appeals, and why repetition is so important to successful fundraising.
It’s a long one – 20
minutes – but if you watch just the first couple of minutes you’ll leave with a
tip that will help you raise more money the very next time you send a
communication to your donors.
I hope you’ll watch
it and raise more money!
If you’ve never listed to “Fundraising Is Beautiful,” the podcast I host with Jeff Brooks, now is a great time to start!
We just released a fantastic interview with Jen Love and John Lepp from Agents of Good in Toronto. Not only are they fun people, but you’ll absolutely be a better fundraiser after listening to their perspectives on donor love, how fundraisers can take care of themselves, and why innovation so often doesn’t work.
I’ve been doing this podcast since 2007 and can say – without a doubt – that this is one of my favorite episodes.
And it’s the first in a series of interviews we’re doing with smart fundraisers you can learn from – both how they succeed in fundraising and the important lessons they’ve learned along the way.
If you’d like to listen or subscribe to this free resource, here’s where to go:
My personal recommendation for a podcast app for your phone: Overcast. The feature I love: you can play podcasts a little faster than normal speed. I don’t know what software magic they use to make the words still easy to understand, but it works great and saves so much time.
We’ll help you write all of your letters, emails, web page updates and social posts.
It’s expensive, but for the right organizations it’s an incredible value. Not only will your most important year-end fundraising work be done in September (!!!!), we’ll show you how each element of your campaign is a repeatable asset that you can use to raise more money (with less work) next year too. And the year after that.
The organizations that have already signed up are excited – and we are, too.
It feels like you don’t have a relationship with your donors. Like you’re just Asking all the time. It feels like your nonprofit should be raising more money. Maybe fundraising doesn’t feel nearly as fulfilling as you expected.
Here’s a simple video that helps organizations (especially small ones) see why fundraising feels this way – and helps you learn what to do about it.
Warning: the solution is deceptively simple but deceptively hard to do.
Why? Because it requires your organization to think differently about fundraising. You have to talk to your donors more often than you think you do. You have to talk less about your organization. You have to be vulnerable. And you have to give credit away.
All hard things.
This video feels like the beginning of a longer conversation. If you’d like to talk more, get in touch. We’ve helped lots of organizations put their finger on what’s bothering them, and then fix their fundraising. It makes your work life so much more fulfilling, and you’ll raise more money.
See our guidance on fundraising during the pandemic and economic downturn. Donor giving will follow a predictable pattern in coming months; read our easy-to-follow guidance for what to do during each of the phases.