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Acquiring new donors in today’s noisy and overloaded landscape is undoubtedly a challenge. Acquisition is costly, new donor churn tends to be high, and there are more and more nonprofits competing for donor loyalty.

While these pain points can be difficult to overcome, they can also be the catalyst to inspire your organization to think differently and build stronger connections with new donors.

By taking a more strategic approach to acquisition using both science (data) and art (creative), you can offset the challenges and more effectively grow your donor base. Here are 10 steps to get you started.

On the science side, take these five steps to identify your best new donors:

  1. Clarify “why” you want to acquire new donors – Are you looking to replace lost donors? Do you want to acquire individuals who fit the profile of your current donors, or a different profile?
  2. Gain a comprehensive understanding of your current base – Create 3-5 segments of your current donors, gauge their lifetime value, and look at what motivates them.
  3. Determine the size of your targetable universe – Looking at your pool of potential donors, find out what the competition looks like to assess your realistic chances of acquiring them.
  4. Refine your target audience profiles – Using all the information you’ve collected, choose 1-2 key profiles that offer the best potential ROI and lock them in your sights.
  5. Use optimized profiles to buy acquisition lists and/or purchase advertising – Find the people who match your profiles.

On the art side, leverage these five best practices to convert your prospects into new donors:

  1. Create a meaningful first impression with a compelling offer – Instead of making your first interaction with potential donors an ask, offer them something of value.
  2. Inspire by making donors feel something – Immerse individuals in the experience of your beneficiaries and use powerful storytelling to create an emotional connection.
  3. Build trust with donors before they give – Show potential donors they can trust you to put their dollars to work for good, and be honest and transparent in your communication.
  4. Use social proofing to maximize the ask – Consider ways you can use the support of people who look and behave like potential new donors to bring them on board and increase their commitment.
  5. Plan the entire donor journey – Have a map in place to guide prospects from first contact to first gift to thank you and beyond, with each touchpoint acting as a stepping stone.

By marrying data science with inspiring creative, your nonprofit can develop deeper relationships with the right donors.

Learn more about how you can identify and convert your best new donors—download your free copy of “The Art & Science of Acquisition” now.