Whether your nonprofit organization is just taking off or has been around for what seems like the Jurassic Period, one of the most important elements of operation is donors. Your organization may be struggling to acquire donors to kick off your fundraising or maybe you are having a hard time obtaining long standing donors from year to year.
Joan Garry has a five-step process on how to secure the future of your organization. Regardless of your talents as a fundraiser, some donors will simply stop giving. Garry’s five-step process will assist in replacing your lapsed donors.
Step One: Know Your Goal
A goal should be S.M.A.R.T.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound
“We need more donors,” is not a SMART goal because it is way too vague.
So how do you figure out an appropriate goal? Look at the data, your overall donor attrition and acquisition numbers for the past five years, and the specific attrition you are seeing in each revenue area [events, direct response, major donors, etc.].
With this information in mind, you should be able to set realistic donor acquisition goals in each area.
Don’t forget to set goals even in the areas that you are seeing growth!
Donors need to be acquired in both good times and bad. Never wait until donors are walking out the door before trying to get new folks to contribute to your organization.
Step Two: Survey Your Donors
It’s just as likely that organizations don’t know why someone continues to donate as why a donor stops giving money.
While there is a lot of art in fundraising, there is an equal amount of science. A survey is a great way to figure out why an individual or organization is, or is not, supporting you.
Based on the constituency, the survey will take different forms. Direct response donors can be surveyed online or in a paper mailing. Major donors, foundations, and corporations should be talked to in person or by phone.
Also, you must talk to both current and lapsed donors. You simply won’t get the information you need by only surveying one of these groups.
And please don’t be worried about talking to lapsed donors. The worst that can happen is that they continue not to give, but I can almost guarantee that after the survey some of the lapsed donors will give again.
All supporters appreciate being asked their opinion, and the survey itself is a powerful retention strategy.
To read about all five of Joan Garry’s Steps to New Donor Acquisitions, read the full article here – How to Acquire New Donors
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