Now that the 2019 fundraising year has come to an end, did you reach your fundraising goal? No matter what, you’ll likely want to increase your fundraising revenue this year. Here are my top five tips to increase donor giving & retention in 2020:
1. Share how contributions make an impact for one person.
How many of your current donors & volunteers understand clearly what it is you need to raise money for? Do you share the cost of your programs for one week for one child or one adult?
A friend who is a major donor recently told me, “If the organizations I support were not just saying they need money — but would tell me what impact my money will have — I’d give even more.”
2. Throughout the year: Personally contact as many donors who give multiple times a year or for multiple years.
Utilize board members and community volunteers to help you. Contacts can be thank you calls, invitation calls, or simply a “getting to know more about you” call or meeting. NOTE: The person doesn’t have to say yes to the meeting or answer the call for it to be meaningful. Leaving a warm “thank you” message is more powerful than you realize.
3. Meaningful acknowledgement can have a huge impact on your pipeline.
This means timely meaningful thank you letters AND more. Get creative with how you stay connected to your supporters: Shout outs on social media, sending an ecard for their birthday or on the anniversary of their first gift.
4. Invitations to events should say more than “Join us!”
Share a compelling reason for guests to attend and remind them of the need in your community.
Excellent “mission-focused” example of copy on a fundraising event invitation:
One in six children in our community don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
We think ONE is too many.
5. At events be sure to share an update on any gap in your current funding.
Blend a compelling mission moment story with an update on “what it takes” to deliver your amazing programs. If you only show all the “good work” and positive outcomes donors don’t see a place for themselves.
Regular, compelling communication ALL YEAR LONG has huge value in both retaining and generating new donors.
Even a small increase in your donor retention can generate greater dollars raised over time. Adrian Sargeant, Ph.D., from the Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy says:
“A 10% increase in donor retention can increase the lifetime value of the donor database up to 200%. When people stay around they do things like upgrade their gifts, [give more often], contribute to galas and even volunteer.”
This is the time of year when a little extra attention may make the difference between a contribution or none. My best advice: focus on sharing compelling messages that increase donor giving & retention in 2020. You’ll thank me in December.