There are many ways to run your nonprofit fundraising – some better than others. Each development program uses an array of techniques and tools to solicit both new and retained donors.
Even still, every non-profit has a different way of running their organization – Some organizations have a large online presence for fundraising, while others utilize direct mailing for solicitation; Some organizations throw one huge event annually, while others have smaller, more intimate meetings monthly; Some organizations have a large staff, while others only have some volunteers…
No matter what fundraising strategies are used at your organization there is a fundraising idea that will increase your revenue more than any other single strategy…
What is it?
Get out and ask donors for money face to face.
- In-Person Conversation and Time Investment Matters.
Why does this work? There is nothing that is more authentic and impactful than in-person meetings and face-to-face donation requests. Spending time one on one with your donor cultivates deeper relationships. Believe it or not, making your asks in person will also deepen relationships. Relying only on letters and phone calls for donation requests creates a depersonalization of the act of giving. Creating a bond and connection with a donor through in-person conversation and time investment is the first step. The second step is to make an ask. Don’t forget the second step!
- You have not because you ask not
Asking in person is equally as important as fundraising events, letters, and even crowdfunding. Donors who are have sponsored events for $5,000 could be doing $10,000 sponsorships. But you have to sit down with them and ask them to sponsor more! Sending another renewal letter will not justify an increase in sponsorship.
If you’ve never asked in person, chances are you are nervous about trying. For help more help – read our article about answering the most common question nonprofit’s have when asking donors face to face for donations: “How much should I ask this donor for?”
- Recruit your “Minor-League” Players
But what about your donors who give smaller amounts of revenue? Most non-profits who ask for donations face to face only meet with their major donors. This is a BIG mistake. You are missing out on significant amounts of revenue. If you don’t meet with your mid-level donors, they will never become major donors! And there is no better prospect for cultivating a major donor than a person who is already committed to giving to your cause.
Though you may not have time or enough resources for an infinite amount of face-to-face meetings, think of the opportunities in this scenario:
There is a donor who gave $100 to your campaign last year. Is there not a chance that this same donor might give $200 this year, plus send out personalized emails to all her friends asking them to help donate if you only stopped by her office one morning and asked her for an upgrade and some help spreading the word?