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In today’s fundraising world, many nonprofits use a variety of communication channels to reach prospects and donors. Direct mail still plays a key role, online giving continues to increase, and social media is growing in popularity. But does that mean organizations are properly integrating their fundraising efforts?

8 Steps to Improve Your Nonprofit’s Ability to Reach Donors

How do you get from a point of knowing you need an integrated fundraising approach to actually implementing one? Start by assessing your organization’s current status and taking steps toward realigning your efforts…

  1. Break down your silos and measure what matters. Having a centralized strategy that each staff member supports within his or her area of responsibility will be the foundation for every other decision you make.
  2. Create a strategy that is data-driven. Extensive, reliable data that tells you who your donors are, their propensity and capacity to give, and their specific interests and preferences will inform your decisions. At Pursuant, we call this our Donor Listening PlatformTM.
  3. Set up a centralized system to manage campaigns. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to automate your fundraising communications as a way to constantly engage and upgrade donors.
  4. Allocate resources where data reveals opportunity. When your strategy is reinforced by data, you will know where best to spend your money. Pool resources currently allocated to specific channels (e.g., telemarketing, direct mail, etc.) and then redistribute those resources based on available opportunities.
  5. Invest in strategy development, execution, and analysis. Too few organizations evaluate the real costs of salary, benefits, and other overhead when smart people do work that could be either managed with better technology, or outsourced with the same or less expense and a higher return on investment.
  6. Use multiple channels. Just because you can do something in every channel doesn’t mean you should. By evaluating data and segmenting donors, you can identify the right channels for the right audiences and coordinate those channels to work together.
  7. Plan your campaigns based on donor preferences. Use your donor data to establish donors’ preferred methods and timing. Interactions should speak to specific donors, and giving options should be intuitive.
  8. Use social media to engage prospects and donors. Your prospects and donors are using Facebook and Twitter daily, and they expect rapid, repeated posts and tweets. Real-time feedback can be key to increased donor engagement, but lack of proper attention will damage your brand.

 

Do you have an integrated strategy in place? What do you see as the necessary building blocks in your campaigns?