Did you know that 80% of U.S. donations come from individuals and that 60% of American households participate in some kind of charitable giving (according to Define Financial)?
Yet, nonprofits of all sizes leave a considerable amount of money on the table by not prioritizing donor relationship development. Some of the nurturing of donor development challenges include:
A lack of connection – If prospects don’t feel a strong emotional connection to your mission and your message, they are less likely to want to contribute.
Poor timing – It’s important to reach your donor base at the right point in their journey with you.
No follow up – Donors like to see the impact they’ve made to be inspired to continue to make donations.
What follows is an exploration of strategies you can use to develop new donor relationships, increase donor retention, and continue nurturing your donor and prospect base to achieve your goals.
A data-driven, omnichannel direct mail appeal is the most effective way to build support, grow your donor base, and increase revenue. Making sure that your direct mail partner is up to the task is half the battle. You should be working with a company like Rescigno’s that enables you to plan, execute, and track the success of your appeals across all channels. Can they analyze your donor data for key metrics and insights? By focusing on the following 4 areas, you can benefit from an appeal that resonates at the right moment to inspire the best possible outcome.
1. Knowing when to reach out – With so many potential touchpoints, it can be difficult to know when to make the ask. The right solution shines a light on where potential donors are in their journey and what next steps you need to take to cultivate the relationship, ask at the right time, and follow up with a thank you. When you interact with an individual based on their interests and actions, you create a customized path for them to follow.
2. Design to drive engagement – The reason, at least in part, for direct mail being so successful is its ability to trigger emotional responses. Your design should highlight your story’s most critical elements. Showcase relevant, personalized messaging with visuals that help create lasting emotional impressions with your audience of readers. Rescigno’s direct mail strategy experts can help you test designs proven to automatically lift results.
3. Give details about the need – Everyone knows nonprofits “need” money. But a general appeal for support, without details, leads to questions about exactly what the money will be used for. Will it be used for mission-critical needs or general overhead? If you’re not pro-actively communicating the need, prospective donors may withhold support. They want/need to know “How much will my donation buy for the cause?
“Is my gift going to make a difference?” People tend to be more supportive when they know how the amount being requested will be used. For example, “Help us build shelters for the victims of Hurricane XXX.” That’s so much more effective than simply, “Please help.”
4. Acknowledge achievements made from past gifts received – Don’t leave donors wondering if their gift made a difference. If you’re going to be pro-active about anything this is the place to do it. Be sure to recognize a donor’s support for the positive impact its had on your mission. Communicating thanks should be done as carefully as every other phase of the donor’s journey with you. Showing donors that their gifts have been put to good use makes them feel appreciated and confident in their ability to make a difference and motivates them to give again and again.
Expert analysis, a versatile production platform, and increased donor satisfaction are critical when it comes to protecting your donor base. Rescigno’s can help equip you with a deeper understanding of each of these areas and help you increase donor acquisition, secure larger donations, and accomplish your mission’s goals.