Attract donations from advocates with persistence and a good story

Social media and your online presence can do wonders for expanding your nonprofit's reach and gaining advocates, but ultimately, you will want to direct those visitors to donation forms. Supporters are essential to any charity, but you should keep in mind ways that you can turn their active involvement into giving. Your nonprofit can do this most effectively by cultivating the relationship, offering specific, relatable causes and a strong story.

To turn advocates into donors, you must first have supporters. Consider the visitors who have reached your website and signed up for notifications but not yet made a donation. Alternatively, you could consult the list of the those who have signed a petition for your cause. In either case, keep the information you ask for to a minimum, the more you request, the less likely strangers are to sign at all, npENGAGE advised. With a list of emails or perhaps engaged Twitter or Facebook followers, you can begin to reach out. Welcome your new supporters, providing more information about what you do, where donations go and how visitors might get involved in alternate ways like fundraising. Thank them for their support, inquire about what aspects of your charity interest them most and offer updates. No more than three days later, you can ask them for a donation, with a strong case for the need, a powerful story and a link to your easy donation form. Follow up the next day and you can expect a 0.3 to 0.7 percent response rate.

Frame your story
A multi-step email approach can be an effective way to process a few extra donations, but for long-term engagement and gift-giving, you may want to consider a broader technique. Americans most often contribute to charities on the basis of a sense of belonging, empathy and a good story, according to The Advocate Messenger. Offer specifics on where and how their money will be used and when possible, keep it related to a group your supporters feel a kinship with. It's also important that the recipients and work appeal to donors sense of justice - they will often be more likely to give to communities they feel are worthy. Combine these in good storytelling that allows supporters to relate and see the need of your chosen cause. Then, spread that message through your email and social media follow-ups to turn advocates into givers.

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