Nonprofit organizations depend on grants from private and government agencies to survive. This funding can be inconsistent at times, forcing nonprofits to solicit donor gifts. Below, Jason Webb, a Milwaukee-based gifted fundraiser, shares his tips on effectively reaching the most promising donors.
Purchase fundraising software
Be sure you have quality data. It is of utmost importance to invest in a fundraising software program. Using a traditional spreadsheet, which is not created to serve as a database, will result in errors and missed prospects.
Harness the clout of your executives
Recruit your agency’s director, board members, and other executives as fundraisers. Significant donations can stem from lunch meetings between your executive and local business owners. Arm your leader with information regarding your organization’s most impressive accomplishments and most significant needs so that they can make the pitch at these meetings. Reassure them that they are not asking for a handout but rather an investment in your organization’s continued livelihood and good work.
Arm your staff with a powerful presentation
Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff to deliver throughout the community. A series of 10 carefully curated slides that outline your agency’s work – and the results of that work – will go the distance in drumming up support. Provide your staff with a brief training on the delivery of the presentation. Then set up appointments for them to present the information at local service organizations, community foundations, and prospective donor businesses in your area. This consistent, concerted effort will result in gains you never expected.
Shoot for the stars
The most significant error you can make is to sell your agency short. When developing financial goals, think of potential capital projects, special events that will showcase your agency, and even staff training investments. Be bold. Try to increase your fundraising goal by 25% each year. Aiming high will lead to surprising success.
Invest in a professional website
Perhaps the most important tool for fundraising is your organization’s website. You must be sure to have a visually striking, well organized, accurate, and error-free site. This is the most-viewed, most public depiction of your agency and the work it does. Be sure to feature personal success stories and quotes from people impacted by your work. These testimonies will have a greater impact on potential donors than any facts and figures. Update content regularly. Include various media such as photos and videos to make your content memorable and engaging. If you can successfully engage potential donors through your site, they will be more likely to consider a financial gift to your agency. Finally, make sure to install a “Donate Now” badge on your website’s front page. Making this option front-and-center will increase donations.
With the competition for government funding on the rise, nonprofit organizations must become creative to secure private citizens and businesses’ donations. Using these tips will help set your organization apart.
About Jason Webb
Jason Webb is a gifted fundraiser and entrepreneur with a track record of leading multimillion-dollar campaigns in Milwaukee and worldwide. He has helped start, lead, and mobilize volunteers for domestic and international non-profit organizations. Mr. Webb is a movement leader and a devoted advocate for racial reconciliation. He recently started working as Team Manager and Groups Director for Great Lakes Church.