With a wide array of worthwhile causes to support and an even wider array of channels to reach potential donors, nonprofits are forced to compete with each other, even if they aren’t contributing to the same charitable cause. With a lot of noise in the industry and a limited pool of donor funds, it’s more important than ever that nonprofits take a businesslike mindset when it comes to their engagement strategy. Whether your cause is local or international, the following are methods that can help your nonprofit be seen in a sea of other marketing.
Master the art of storytelling
Making your cause relatable to other people is half the battle of attracting donors. Telling a compelling story about why people should support your cause is much more effective than just putting out information to raise awareness. To do so, your nonprofit should ask itself how the work it does impacts the community and why it was established. Sometimes, it’s about the story of the nonprofit itself—how it got its start, who founded it, and why it’s passionate about a certain cause. Otherwise, it’s about beneficiaries: who are they, why do they need help, and what does a donation do to help them? Don’t just tell potential donors why your cause is important, show them the impact they can make if they choose to give.
Some organizations have tried to quantify donations by allowing donors to give an amount that corresponds to a specific service they provide, such as providing a child with a meal or sponsoring the protection of an animal. Donors like to know where their money is going, and providing a direct link helps them gauge the impact of their efforts.
Define your brand
Don’t fall into the trap of making donors think your nonprofit is a monolithic entity—get your workers to serve as the face of your organization. For that matter, a nonprofit should feel as if its values translate into everything that it does, from the design of promotional materials to the verbiage of ad copy. Social media is increasingly important for this, as it affords nonprofits a chance to engage with potential donors in a space that doesn’t necessarily involve asking for donations but leaves the door open for them to do so.
Embracing Unconventional Fundraising
There’s no shortage of charitable events, but not every fundraiser has to be a 5k. Find ways of creating a fundraiser that is congruous with your mission while still being outside of the box. The tactics for this can vary between organizations; for instance, if the turnaround time for a fundraiser is short, leverage multiple social media to spread a message as quickly as possible. Other events may ask attendees to do fundraising themselves to enter, creating a peer-to-peer network that can spread more organically than a nonprofit trying to collect donations itself. Consider the engagement touchpoints and what excites your audience about contributing to your cause. If your organization is centered around helping the homeless in a local community, getting them involved with putting together or distributing care packages might feel more personal than simply asking for donations.