Happy New Year! I expect many of you launched a year-end appeal last year. I hope it was successful. If it wasn’t, I have some suggestions about how you can raise more money – both now and throughout the year.
Reach out to your lapsed donors
Take advantage of this now. Look to see who donated in 2017, but didn’t give this year. It’s possible some people meant to give but were too busy.
Send these donors a personalized appeal or give them a call. Let them know you miss them and want them back. You can go back another year or two, as well.
Take a good look at your list of lapsed donors. They’re not all the same. Do you have someone who’s given consistently over the last few years, but not this year, or are you looking at a person who gave once five years ago?
Eventually you’ll want to move some of your lapsed donors to an inactive file. This will save you money because you won’t be mailing appeals to people who aren’t going to donate.
But you can raise more money with a pesonalized appeal to donors who are likely to give again.
Emphasize monthly giving
A great way to raise more money is by having a monthly/recurring giving program. Monthly donors usually give more and their retention rate is 90%.
If you don’t have a monthly giving program, make this the year you start one. You can also try to get current donors to upgrade to monthly giving.
Your best bet for monthly donors are people who’ve given at least twice. These are donors who have shown a commitment to you. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask first-time donors. You can include information about monthly giving in the welcome packet you send to new donors. You do welcome new donors, right?
Donors who gave in November or December may not be ready to give again so soon. Make a plan to specifically invite people to become monthly donors in the spring or at other times of the year.
Remember the two R’s
Now I’m going to tell you how you can raise more money without asking for money. You need to remember the two R’s – retention and relationships.
It’s easier and less expensive to keep your donors than to find new ones. Yet, many nonprofits have abysmal retention rates, especially for first-time donors. Now is a good time to figure out your retention rate.
One way to raise your retention rate is with the second R – relationships. Building relationships with your donors is a key component of fundraising.
This starts with a good thank you experience and continues as you update your donors regularly throughout the year letting them know how they’re helping you make a difference.
One reason you may be behind in your fundraising goals is because you just blasted out a bunch of generic appeals without targeting them to specific donors and trying to build relationships.
The New Year is a good time to evaluate what’s working and what’s not in your fundraising. You should be able to raise more money by reaching out to your lapsed donors, starting or growing a monthly giving program, paying attention to your donor retention, and focusing on building relationships.
Photo by: http://401kcalculator.org