The Complete Nonprofit Fundraising Checklist

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The Complete Nonprofit Fundraising Checklist

As a nonprofit organization, you do much needed work. In these extraordinary times, you need financial resources more than ever to enable you to sustain yourself. In recent months, a surge of solidarity has emerged. People are helping and supporting each other more than ever. So how can you increase your chances of receiving the support you need? How do you appeal to your potential donor’s emotions? How can you convey the urgency of your work?

To create effective fundraising campaigns, it is essential to understand your donors and their motivations.

Below are effective techniques that will help you connect with potential donors and motivate them to support your work.

1. Examine your website in detail 

By promoting your fundraisers, you will encourage donors to visit your website. You want to make sure it’s as easy and clear as possible to make a donation.

Make sure your website is easy to visit and navigate, content is relevant, and matches your fundraising goals. Tell the story of your organization and your mission in a compelling way. When visitors come to your website, they should quickly understand why their input is needed and what impact it has.

Encourage visitors to get involved in your community (possibility to subscribe to newsletters, volunteer activities, which can be shared on social networks).

Put a donate button in the foreground so it’s easy to find. Pick a bright color that contrasts with the rest of your page and takes a maximum of 2-3 seconds to locate.

Promote a monthly giving program.

The donation process should be easy. Don’t ask your donors for phone numbers. This might make them change their minds, lest they be called.

Offer donors a default donation amount , but offer options to fit their budget.

Share the link to your social networks so that visitors can stay connected and have access to updates on your organization.

Make sure your website is suitable for viewing on a phone . It should look good, be easy to navigate, and load quickly on all sorts of browsers and devices.

Give donors the opportunity to share their donation on their social networks . Provide donors with a template message with hashtags so they can easily share this information with family and friends. This will allow them to share your mission, raise awareness in their community and invite others to support your cause.

2. Partner with third parties to reach more potential donors

Take advantage of external partners who could help you raise awareness and increase your impact by reaching new donors. There are many partners helping nonprofits reach more donors. A platform that connects businesses and nonprofit organizations, which can give you access to many corporate donation programs.

Promoting your organization on these types of platforms is simple and gives you access to a new community of donors and volunteers.

3. Educate and cultivate your donor

What does your donor know about your organization and your work? You could organize an awareness campaign alongside your fundraiser explaining your needs and how this fundraiser will help you. It should be engaging, specific, and spark interest in learning more and giving. What cause do you support? Why is this important? Share success stories, testimonials from beneficiaries and other donors.

In general, your association must have a point of contact with its donors at least three times between each donation request. – The 3-1 rule applies for donations.

Why that? Your donors need to feel they have a relationship with your organization. They should feel like part of your team. If every communication from you is a request, they will experience this relationship as one-sided. They need to perceive it as warm if you want them to have a lifelong donor relationship with your organization.

4. Share your story compellingly

It is essential to create a personal, informative and persuasive story. Share a sense of urgency. What will happen if they don’t donate? Consider the following:

Who are you helping?

What will you do with the funds? How will this help make a difference?

Where is the affected area geographically located?

Why is this important?

How do you implement your project?

What difference does a donation make?

Use comparisons to make that feeling concrete in the minds of potential donors, and don’t forget to mention the impact their donation will have. You must help the donor to visualize what his donation could bring. For example: $150 could provide 25 young mothers living in disadvantaged neighborhoods with newborn kits.

Donation campaigns with launch videos earn four times more than those without. Be sure to choose a meaningful image of good quality. Your image should show the beneficiaries of your project and their emotions. Use a friendly image and ensure the dignity of the people depicted in the photo. Show your programs in action. Information about your cause and mission is also helpful.

Try to keep your videos short and punchy. The list goes on and on… We could have an entire blog just about telling compelling stories!

5. Be on the networks

Post regularly on social media to remind your audience of your work. Be sure to edit your posts and images to keep your community and donors engaged.

6. Thank your donor

Their generosity is what allows you to fulfill your mission. Write personal thank you notes when possible. According to a study conducted by “The Software Advice”, personalized communication is the most popular follow-up method.

7. Report

Share and celebrate your successes with your donors. This will build trust in your organization, not to mention that this step is crucial for future donations.

Share photos and tokens of gratitude. Make them feel like heroes.

Also, don’t forget to send the tax exemption certificate to your donors.

8. Make a pre-mortem card

Now that your campaign is ready, make a “pre-mortem” sheet . I’m a big fan of pre-mortems!

A pre-mortem is a record assuming that the project failed. That is, before it even started. This strategy allows you to work backwards from the point of failure to figure out what may have caused it and try to fix it. 

Imagine you’re a year in the future, you’ve run your campaign as it is, and it’s a disaster. Gather your team to write down the reasons for this disaster. Once done, go back through your campaign to ensure the best chance of success.

It’s time to improve!

Of course, you never stop fundraising! But when the campaign is over or you feel you have enough information about your efforts, regroup with your team and assess what worked and what didn’t. What can you improve in your campaign? What do you need to change/stop/continue doing? Can you ask some donors to give you feedback?

Here is the essential fundraising checklist! We wish you much success with your campaigns!

Download Complete Checklist


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