Jun 6, 2014
Regardless of the size of your school, it's always important to maintain a strong donor database. For larger universities and colleges, major benefactors are an important part of their success; smaller institutions still rely on contributors, but the gift sizes may vary.
Whatever the case may be, organizations need to keep a constant donor stream.
This isn't always an easy feat, though. Benefactors can come and go due to personal or other financial commitments, and this a lack of consistency can sometimes effect how nonprofits accept online donations. To combat these issues, schools often focus on a system of smaller fundraising through special events, product sales and even raffles. While successful, these methods don't always guarantee sustained long-term success.
Listed below are two ways your nonprofit can increase its scholastic donors in the long-run:
Focus on relationships, not dollar amounts
This isn't a piece of revelatory advice handed down from the nonprofit gods. Most industry professionals already know and practice this sentiment.
Yet, as the charitable sector continues to grow and organizations further compete with one another for a limited share of donor revenue, nonprofits employees can lose track of what's important in cultivating gifts: maintaining relationships.
Front-office duties can sometimes distract employees from keeping outside relationships strong. All it takes is a quick phone call just to see how a donor is doing; five minutes may go a long way.
Your nonprofit could even connect with them on social media! A recent IPG Media Lab and 140 Proof report found that 52 percent of the 500 adults aged 18 to 59 surveyed used more than one social platform.
That said, connecting with your donors has never been easier.
Make donors feel like they're part of something big
Although human psychology is complex and sometimes misunderstood, a common denominator between most people is that they like to be part of something bigger than themselves. Generally speaking, donors contribute financially because they want to be part of a team or a larger vision, so its up to your nonprofit to convince them of that very fact.
Many donors give because they have a tie to that particular nonprofit or because they care about the work that the organization does. You can even try to predict giving patterns by looking at previous involvement with your charity and nonprofits with similar missions to yours.
In cultivating major, midsized and smaller donors, charities should cast their vision in a way that shows how the contributor's money will help them achieve that goal. Regardless of what your school's objectives are, make sure that prospective benefactors know how their contributions will help reach where you want to be.