A turbulent economy can be a great fear for nonprofit organizations that rely on generous donor funding to pursue their missions and power day-to-day operations. That said, times like these are when having a strategic, informed plan for your team is more important than ever. And a top priority within that plan likely has to do with ensuring efficient practices all around.
In other words, pursuing fundraising efficiency is critical during periods of economic uncertainty.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through four key ways to do so:
- Focus on workplace giving opportunities.
- Employ personalized and targeted messaging with automation.
- Empower supporters to advocate on your behalf.
- Leverage fundraising technology to streamline efforts.
Your organization’s fundraising strategy likely encompasses a number of key revenue streams that make funding your mission possible. Ready to dive in to see how your team can bring your efforts to the next level with increasing efficiency and effectiveness?
1. Focus on workplace giving opportunities.
Pursuing corporate philanthropy is one of the best and most powerful ways to improve fundraising efficiency, all without having to depend on individual donors to contribute more. And when it comes to workplace giving programs, your existing donors can take action to help drive more corporate funding to your organization.
Here are two of the most popular examples of corporate giving programs to be aware of:
- Matching gifts — An individual makes a contribution to a nonprofit organization, and the donor’s employing company matches their gift at a 1, 2, or even 3:1 rate! Matching gift programs tangibly amplify the value of individual donor giving for even greater results.
- Volunteer grants — Companies provide monetary grants to the organizations to which their employees donate their time. These programs provide generous corporate funding, typically at a set dollar amount per hour an individual volunteers.
Keep in mind that supporters who are aware of workplace giving initiatives are more likely to provide individual support to the nonprofits they care about and tend to give more when doing so. Pursuing such opportunities, from a nonprofit perspective, can empower your team to reach your fundraising goals in half the time (or less). Talk about efficiency!
Plus, research indicates that most corporate giving programs are not negatively impacted by economic downturns—despite concerns to the contrary.
2. Employ personalized and targeted messaging with automation.
It hardly matters how many messages your organization sends its donors if those messages aren’t grabbing the recipients’ attention. In order to increase the efficiency of your efforts, personalization and segmentation are key. Otherwise, you’re spending time and effort sending unopened emails that stay in supporters’ inboxes.
Thus, consider the following ways to optimize your donor communications:
- Personalization — First and foremost, be sure to address your supporters by name; you can even begin doing so from the subject line! Then, consider highlighting specific instances of prior donor engagement (such as how they’ve supported your cause in the past). All in all, you want it to be clear that a particular message was crafted just for that recipient.
- Segmentation — Group donors into marketing segments based on like characteristics such as age, geographic location, preferred communication channel, giving method, donation size, and more. You can even include specific donation asks based on the level of their previous support!
Incorporating the above elements into your fundraising strategy manually can be a big undertaking—one that you likely won’t want to handle on your own. With automation technology, however, it can all be managed behind the scenes to customize and communicate optimized donor messaging. And the more optimal your messaging, the greater (and more efficient) the results you can expect.
3. Empower supporters to advocate on your behalf.
In times of economic uncertainty, your organization might be functioning with limited staff and resources. Luckily, that’s where your nonprofit supporters make a big difference!
Here are a few ideas that donors and volunteers can take on to increase efficiency in regard to fundraising and more:
- Peer-to-peer fundraising — Encourage your supporters to fundraise on your behalf! Get volunteer fundraisers set up with the right resources (such as customizable campaign pages and outreach templates), and they can bring in substantial funding from their own unique networks of friends and family.
- User-generated content — User-generated content, or UGC, can go a long way toward building and leveraging social proof for your organization. In fact, studies show that an estimated 82% of consumers trust online reviews from strangers more than they do a message from an organization itself. And producing UGC is an impactful way for supporters—e.g., donors and beneficiaries alike—to make a difference for your cause.
- Corporate giving advocacy — More than likely, not all of your donors will work for companies that already offer matching gifts and other corporate giving programs. But those that don’t can reach out to their employers and ask them to consider launching one! If they do, that opens up more opportunities to earn corporate revenue for your cause.
By empowering key supporters to advocate on your behalf, you can encourage individuals to get involved in ways that don’t necessarily require monetary contributions.
Keep in mind that non-financial engagement opportunities like these can be beneficial at any time to help avoid donor fatigue. However, it’s generally more important than ever in periods of economic downturns when your supporters may not have a ton to spare.
4. Leverage fundraising technology to streamline efforts.
Like just about anything, having the right technology to power your efforts is an essential component of ensuring optimized fundraising efficiency. After all, delegating manual tasks to key software solutions allows your team to better allocate time and resources to the most impactful “to-do’s” on their lists.
For example, your donation tool makes supporting the cause quick and easy for supporters, creating a fairly hands-off system for online giving. Meanwhile, your donor management solution or fundraising CRM collects and leverages the data you need to produce powerful fundraising insights and enable strategic donor communications.
And don’t forget about your matching gift software—which integrates seamlessly with the rest of your Humanitru fundraising technology! This solution identifies match-eligible donors, provides company-specific program guidelines, and follows up on unclaimed matches to drive more corporate giving revenue to your organization.
And it all takes place without your team having to lift a finger!
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Fundraising efficiency empowers organizations to do more with less. In difficult economic circumstances, doing so just might be necessary. But even during the best of times, streamlining and automating efforts are excellent practices that can go a long way toward producing impactful results.
Incorporate these practices now to see optimal fundraising outcomes in the months and years to come. And, as always, keep an eye out for new and improved ways to bring your organization’s efforts to new heights. Best of luck!