Fundraising is an integral part of the nonprofit sector, and a necessary aspect of any marketing initiative.
In this section, we're going to tackle specific ways you can fundraise, raise awareness, and ramp up interest for your next event or campaign.
There are a variety of ways you can encourage donations with your fundraising efforts. Here are some methods you may want to employ.
This method, most commonly used when gaining support for races or pledge drives, is excellent for supporters of your mission. Offer a way for your biggest supporters to create pledge pages that they can share with their social channels to increase donations.
The tried and true method of direct mail appeals is a great way to start and close out your fundraising year. Across the spectrum of donors, direct mail is an ideal platform for engagement and allows for personalized messaging and targeted campaigns. By segmenting your lists, you can narrow down your audience and what matters to them to generate a targeted appeal campaign that garners results.
Today's donors are always on the go, and having a secure digital platform they can use to donate is ideal. Making your online donation form easy to find and use is key to increasing contributions: the less fields, the better! Always include it in your email marketing efforts and share it often on your social channels.
Have an organization that is passionate about supporting your mission? Consider a partnership with them that is mutually beneficial to both of you. An example would be a campaign where if a person donates a certain amount to the nonprofit, they earn a gift card, and they can use it towards a purchase at the supporting organization.
When it comes to marketing your event, the more time you spend planning upfront, the better your marketing efforts will be.
Pro Tip: Once you've secured the date of your event, start counting backward to set up the due dates for your marketing materials.
If you plan to send out paper invitations, you'll want to send them out at least 12 weeks before your event.
If you plan to send out a save the date, you'll want to send it out six months before your event to get it on peoples' radar and start generating interest.
In planning your event, you need to narrow down the messaging you want to use and the vehicles you plan to use to share that information. Options could include:
• Save the date
• PR/Marketing push with traditional media outlets (newspaper, radio, print ads, signage)
• Formal invitation
• Online event invite (social media)
Knowing which avenues you plan to use will help you not only set up your budget but aid in narrowing down your timeline for communications.
Part of your marketing strategy, whether that's for fundraising or your event, could include promotional items.
For fundraising efforts, consider partnering with like-minded companies.
For events, consider creating welcome kits or thank-you packages. Depending on the scale of your event, you may want to partner with a fulfillment center. It is always a good idea to partner with a vendor who is familiar with your list and can offer you solutions on the best way to get your promotional pieces out to your donors.
Looking for ways to engage and keep your fundraising prospects? We can help with a FREE Nonprofit Lifecycle Marketing Assessment ahead of your next fundraising event to develop a strategy that will boost your attendance and increase donor engagement.