How to Ask for Donations – Wooing Potential Donors for Your Fundraising Campaigns
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Schools, community groups, and nonprofit organizations all have one thing in common—a shortage of funds. It seems that, no matter how many fundraising activities you have, there is never enough money available for a group to accomplish all of its goals. Sometimes you will find that what makes the most sense is to ask your supporters for a donation to keep your group afloat. However, asking for donations is not always easy, especially if it’s the first time you’re one the organizing end of the entire fundraising process.
Here are five techniques that can make the donation process easier.
Some people feel that online fundraising takes the personal interaction out of the equation, but we think that does not have to be the case. You can still create an effective donation appeal online that rivals in-person meetings—it all depends on how you use the virtual tools at your disposal.
Here are some of our favorite digital tricks we use to help people meet their fundraising goals:
- Use a website like GoFundMe or promote social media posts to reach a large audience quickly. You may be surprised by how easy it is to reach people and make a difference.
- Create an easy-to-use online donation page or donation button on your website. Make sure the donation button on your fundraising page uses a catchy call to action to entice prospective donors to become actual donors.
- Use action-oriented subject lines in your fundraising emails to create a sense of urgency and boost your email campaign’s open rates (and fundraising efforts). (We also recommend using creative and action-oriented verbiage in your direct mail campaigns.)
- Send follow-up emails to potential and past donors alike. Customize the message to increase the odds of success.
Make It Fun
Fundraising does not have to be boring.
Why not host a bake sale, yard sale, pet show, silent auction, or another fun community event to raise money? At the same time you are hosting this event, plead your case to potential donors and make outright donation requests (it’s probably one of the best times for solicitations).
In many cases, you will find that community members are more willing to say “yes” when they can see the good works you have done.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3:
- Create a video or online presentation showing some of the amazing accomplishments your organization achieved through donations.
- Make sure you provide a donation form at the end.
- Distribute this presentation widely using social media. Who knows, you could go viral!
Ask Someone New
Do you find yourself asking the same people, like friends and family members, for donations over and over? Perhaps it is time to open your circle a bit. Think outside the box to find new donors (and get them to open their wallets). For example, what about hosting a joint event with another organization? You may be able to boost donations for both groups since you will be drawing from two different prospective donor bases.
Instead of asking for straight donations and offering nothing in return, why not offer your donors something of value? Fundraising Brick, for example, earns a nice profit and provides each donor with a commemorative brick that lasts a lifetime—especially if you install it as part of a wall or walkway for your organization.
While asking for donations may never be the most enjoyable part of working with a beloved group, it is vital to your organization’s mission and continued success. Remember that the key to successful fundraisers is that you simply need to be willing to hear “no” sometimes if you hope to hear “yes.” So get out there and ask!
And if you have questions or want insight from long-time fundraising experts? Contact us so we can get started on making your next fundraising event your most successful one yet.