Three fundraising tips you can implement today

The following fundraising tips are compiled from Darian Rodriguez Heyman, ed. Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals.

1. Stage a board member Thank-a-thon. An easy way to give board members a chance to dip their toes in the waters of donor engagement is staging a thank-a-thon. The key is to make it easy for board members to participate, and to help them understand that fundraising is much more than making an ask. By inviting your board members to come together one evening or weekend to call and thank recent donors, they will get exposure interacting with donors and will leave feeling empowered and connected to your organization’s work. This activity will also help improve relationships with your donors, who will be delighted to receive a thank you call without an attached ask.

2. Map donations to impact. Donors and prospects want to know exactly where their donations will go, or have gone, and what impact your work is having on their community and the issues they care about. Use the power of personal stories to demonstrate how critical and important their support is to your work. Emphasize impact and stories in all of your communications with donors, both in person and in your written materials. Make sure that you send timely thank you notes, reports on progress and success, and ongoing communications to build loyalty and trust with your donors. Start by sending a handwritten note to your best donor today!

3. Make your donation button shine. Online fundraising is the fastest-growing piece of the development pie, plus when people hear about your organization, want to learn more, or seek updates on your work, they will visit your website. Make sure that visitors can find your donation button within two seconds of clicking on your home page. This means that the button should be sizeable, colorful, prominent, and “above the fold,” meaning it’s visible on the page without the need to scroll down. Play around with different iterations if you can and carefully note the impact on conversation rates and donation amounts; Network for Good performed a test on their Web site and witnessed a 30 percent greater conversion when they changed their donation button from gray to red. Conversion at the last mile is key, so analyze how many people click on the button versus how many actually donate. If the link doesn’t go straight to the donation page, fix it! You should also get creative and use images or different words to relate a donation to something tangible, e.g. “donate a mosquito net” or “save a litter of kittens.”