10 things that can make a big difference in your fundraising strategy

on April 03, 2018

In case you missed it, last month we partnered with our friends over at Guidestar on a webinar about 10 easy and actionable things nonprofits can do to make a big difference in their fundraising strategy. But hey, no worries if you missed it… we’ve got the lineup right here, so let’s dig in.

Flags-1Review your online fundraising tools

Really think about what you want to accomplish this year with your events and fundraising campaigns. If you think about what you want to accomplish (bringing all your events online, adding text-to-give, having more seamless branding,) instead of what you can accomplish with current limitations, it’ll help you zone in on what functionality and tools can really help you get to where you want to be. If your current situation hits all those marks, awesome. If not, maybe it’s time to check off more things in the want column and look for something new.

Flags-2Think mobile first2_Mobile_1600px

Did you know that almost two-thirds of the traffic on CrowdRise by GoFundMe happens on a mobile device? (Side note: isn’t it crazy that we still call it mobile in print but phone in person? Gets me every time.) Anyway, that means that, more than ever, you’ve got to pay attention to how your donation pages, registration pages, fundraising pages, and every other supporter touch-point looks and behaves on mobile. Or, said in a more human way, on a phone.

Flags-3 Meet potential donors where they’re at

It never hurts to do a little deep-dive into your supporter personas in order to gain more insight and create a better rapport with them as supporters, fundraisers, volunteers, and beyond. Dig into your various supporter types and really figure out what they’re into. What else do they do with their free time? What blogs do they frequent? Are there any other interests that have synergy to yours that you can pinpoint?

If you can figure out where your supporters spend their time, you can focus on developing content or opportunities to reach this like-minded audience. Partner with a blog and create a sponsored post, create ads directed at potential supporters (this would be a great use of your free Google AdWord money), add direct mail inserts within publications, or even partner with another business or organization to host a webinar or create a whitepaper. So many creative ways to use partnerships to foster new connections.

Flags-4 Update your Guidestar profile

Guidestar is great at providing accurate and transparent information about the world’s best nonprofits, so making sure your profile is updated should be high up on your to-do list. When you update your Guidestar profile, you’re sharing your most up-to-date information with the public (almost 9 million visitors annually) so that prospective donors and fundraisers can get the best information about your nonprofit and then go on to be incredible supporters.

Flags-5 Talk to your supporters differently5_Supporters_1600px

When you send one message to every supporter, you’re missing out on the key reasons why supporter A and supporter B might have found you in the first place. Are they someone who was helped by your cause? Someone with money to give? Someone with time to give? Thinking about your supporter base in a more segmented way helps you create content and messaging that is more apt to connect with each individual supporter.

And segmentation can go so many different ways. You can segment by donor frequency (one-timers vs monthly), frequency of event attendance (supporters who attend a specific event vs. those who go to everything), or even talk to subsets differently (volunteers vs. DIY fundraisers). There are so many ways to think about your list and how you can speak to supporters in more meaningful ways.

Flags-6 Evaluate your data collection efforts

Supporter data might be just as important as the donation itself. Why? Because when you use your data, you are building a list that you can use to more accurately do segmentation, future planning, instill detailed goals, see what works and what doesn’t work, and so many more actionable insights into the programs your supporters support the most.

Some things to consider when evaluating your data collection…

Are there gaps in your data? Do you have data stored in too many places? Do you have all the info you need? What tools are you using to collect data? Or, one of the biggest ones: do you own your data? After all, what’s the point in collecting it if you can’t access it at a moments notice and take it with you if you need to?

Those are a lot of really important questions. And we’re finding that nonprofits who really value their data and can confidently answer the questions above are really going places.

Flags-7Keeping up with Facebook algorithms7_Facebook_1600px

We know you probably already know this, but as a quick refresher: at the beginning of the year, Facebook changed their algorithm to prioritize content with meaningful social interactions. Now, we know that nonprofit’s missions are definitely meaningful, but what’s not meaningful in Facebook’s eyes is content that isn’t coming from a user’s personal network.

So, to keep up with this switch, try a couple things this year. Namely, boosting more of your posts and utilizing social fundraising more. Boosting obviously costs money, but if it’s worked for you in the past, you can continue to boost. Maybe add in some audience segmentation so certain posts go to all of your followers, some specifically to your followers and their friends, and some to a custom list of your supporters.

Social fundraising, however, is free and actually fits into the new algorithm quite naturally.

Social fundraising is defined as getting your supporters to post to their own networks on your behalf. (An audience which would otherwise be almost impossible to tap into.) So, make sure that you’re optimized for social sharing on all of your campaign pages and during your donation flow in order to encourage sharing and make it easy.

Flags-8 Take advantage of your nonprofit status

Everyone wants to save money and get access to tools designed to make their job easier… so definitely check out our blog on the Top 20 nonprofit discounts. We mentioned the free Google AdWords above, but what about discounts on Salesforce, SEO giant Moz, or even Picktochart, which makes creating beautiful and detail-rich infographics a breeze? Making sure to use your nonprofit status to get access to these valuable platforms and tools is definitely a must-do.

Flags-9 Remember, you’re a decent human9_DecentHumans_1600px

Ok, so this one is just for you. Don’t forget amidst all of the things above that your nonprofit can try this year to add in one for yourself. Take time to remember that you are making a difference. Even when the hours seem endless, the budget seems ridiculously tight, and lunch is leftovers… again, make time to celebrate that you’re making an impact in this world. And that is something to really be proud of. So just a little reminder.

Flags-10 Make doing all of these things easy on yourself

That’s a pretty hefty list, but we’re confident that it’s a valuable list too. So, to help you get going and check a few things off of the list, we’ve created a downloadable checklist that you can use to keep track of everything. Click here to download the checklist, then tack it to your wall and let it be a reminder that there’s always room for growth. And, even though some things are small and quick, and some are a lengthier process or discussion, just thinking about them is a good first step.

Gary Wohlfeill

Gary Wohlfeill is the Director of Marketing at CrowdRise. He works with partners to develop highly engaging fundraising campaigns, and leads the marketing team in developing the CrowdRise brand. Gary has been named as having the “3rd best haircut of people under 6 feet tall at CrowdRise" and hopes one day to slip to 4th.