Don't Forget These 3 Fundraising Essentials

Between board meetings and budgets, event logistics and volunteer training, it's easy to let small details fall by the wayside. But even the seemingly-optional choices play a vital role in keeping your nonprofit in peak form.

With that in mind, here are three things you should never overlook during your fundraising efforts: 

Don't forget about direct mail
It's a mistake to go entirely paperless, said Fundraising IP. Even mobile users like receiving tangible mail from time to time.

Cards in the mailbox create a more personal connection than email, and physical newsletters are more difficult to overlook or ignore than email.

You can use direct mail as a prompt for directing supporters to your website. However, keep the mailer's text short, as readers' attention spans don't slow down for paper. All you need is a sentence or two about your mission and a short, clearly-displayed URL.

Less is more
After you accept an online donation, be careful not to bombard your benefactor with too many emails. Overdoing the follow-up can annoy supporters and turn away those who would otherwise contribute again.

Focus on quality, not quantity. 

In addition, personalize your correspondence so that it's meaningful and memorable. Use the donor's preferred name and reference and acknowledge any past involvement or donations. A personalized, genuine message goes a lot farther than a standard, cookie-cutter one!

Don't neglect the power of mobile
It bears repeating: To optimize your fundraising efforts, you need a mobile-friendly website

According to Litmus, 53% of email is opened on a mobile device. That number includes messages aimed at donor engagement as well as the event invitations you're sending.

You'll lose this opportunity for donations if you don't adopt a mobile-responsive web design, said Matt Spitsen, contributing editor of Nonprofit Hub. And it's a mistake to think that only millennials wield phones with screens. Nearly 50% of 50-64-year-olds own smartphones, reported The Pew Research Center.

To engage your loyal donors and reach potential supporters, you need to embrace mobile.

If your budget is tight, you can manually tweak your existing website to be easily-readable via mobile device. Play around with font sizes and spacing until the layout works. If you're not sure what makes a website visually-ideal for mobile, enlist the feedback of your staff.

Above all, make sure that users can see your donation button without having to look for it.

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