Nonprofits! Declare Your Fundraising Independence!

As the US celebrates more than 230 years of independence from the British, it’s a good time for nonprofits to declare their independence too!

If your nonprofit is reliant on a single funder or a few generous donors, it is time to diversify your income and declare your fundraising independence! Building your capacity to raise money is critical to serving your community long-term and being a good steward of your donors’ investment.

So how do you diversify revenue in our new economy? Well you have to make the commitment and start. We know from many years of Giving USA reports – more than 75% of all giving in the US comes from INDIVIDUALS! Here are few ideas to proactively create or upgrade your current individual giving program

  • Engage your Board in giving and fundraising – seriously, relentlessly and as a partner – If you are on staff at nonprofit organization, leave a comment here and I will send you the Talisman Tool Box on Empowering your Board to Fundraise!
  • Personalize your letter solicitations
  • Segment your lists with messages appropriate to each
    • Current Donors
    • Prospects
    • Volunteers
    • Board lists
  • Ask current donors to give more than they did last time – YES! Include an ask for a specific amount.
  • Suggest a gift amount when asking prospects – Tie their gift to the impact it will have on your work.
  • Include monthly giving opportunity – If you don’t offer it, donors can’t do it. They aren’t going to ASK YOU to charge their credit card monthly.
  • Cultivate, cultivate, cultivate – make a plan, work the plan. If the only time your donors and prospects hear from you is when you want money….you are not forming a relationship – you are using them like an ATM machine.
    • In person through site visits, donor receptions, one on one meetings
    • Virtually through your newsletter, e-news, email updates, blog and/or social media if you are engaged there
    • Engage staff, Board and volunteers in your cultivation plan
  • Thank donors
    Immediately, often and sincerely
  • Recognize donors
    Appropriately, consistently and often
  • Rinse, lather and repeat!

For more fundraising resources, please visit the Talisman website.

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