If your nonprofit’s direct mail copy doesn’t communicate that your charity urgently needs money when attempting to convince the reader to donate, then something is very, very wrong. You can expect the results of your campaign would be about the same if you told the mail shop to find the nearest dumpster instead of the nearest post office.
But when expressing an urgent need, some nonprofits perpetually sound like they are “going broke.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
No one wants to donate to a charity perceived as ineffective or a bad steward of their donors’ contributions. When surveyed, donors often cite concerns about their donations being used wisely as a roadblock to giving.
If the organization is always a month away from the lights being cut off but can never explain how it’s using donations to successfully advance its mission, the level of urgency expressed in the fundraising copy isn’t the real problem.
However, if the reason it sounds like your nonprofit is going broke is because you’re putting all your donations to work successfully advancing your important mission, that is something donors can appreciate.
One of the main benefits that drives people to freely give away their money to charities is they feel good about making a difference in a cause they connect with personally. And everyone feels better about donating or spending their money when they know they’re getting the most value for their dollar.
If your nonprofit is doing valuable work and urgently needs more funds to keep that good work going, your current financial crisis isn’t a hindrance for current and potential donors — it’s a motivation for giving.
A number of other key elements must be incorporated in your fundraising package for it to really be successful (an intriguing outer envelope that gets the package opened, compelling copy that tells a story and connects emotionally with the reader, convenient reply options, etc.), but “going broke” can present some favorable fundraising opportunities.
The Lawrence Direct Marketing, Inc. team will be on location next week, August 3-4, at the 12th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference.
Pop Quiz: Is having a low percentage of unique names on a prospect mailing list a positive or a negative indicator of success?Answer: Positive.
Email is a critical element in digital fundraising for nonprofits, and it should be part of an integrated fundraising strategy. Why? About a third of all online fundraising is driven by email. And online giving increased by nearly 8% last year.
So if your nonprofit isn’t using emails in your fundraising campaigns, you should start right away. And no matter how often your nonprofit sends fundraising emails, there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure each email is fully optimized to drive donations to your cause.
We’re almost two full months into 2017, but there’s still plenty of time for nonprofits to tweak their fundraising and marketing strategies this year to reach and exceed goals for growth.
There are certainly tried and true, effective methods that nonprofits can utilize to reach supporters and raise money for their worthy causes — such as direct mail. (See “How to Get Donations for Your Non-Profit.”)
You probably can’t scroll through your social timelines very long before being prompted to sign an online petition. New online petitions are launched every day on a host of different website platforms. These platforms are often organized as a “community” of registered users (many times in the millions) who can easily be reached through the website.
One of the most effective, but underused, fundraising strategies for non-profits is the Monthly Giving Program. A Monthly Giving Program is a smart strategy for all nonprofits, but particularly for small shops. Your fundraising dollar goes further with each acquisition of a monthly donor, because those donors will likely continue to increase their giving over a longer period of time. Monthly Giving Programs can make it easier for donors to give more annually and build a stronger relationship with your organization. According to Network for Good, the average recurring donor gives 42% more in one year than donors who give one-time gifts, and retention rates are over 80% for Monthly Giving Program, especially for donors who reach the one-year mark.
In today’s challenging economy, many people are strapped for cash. The tight purses don’t just apply to individuals, though. Many non-profits are strapped financially, especially when they first start up. As The Atlantic said recently “There’s no doubt that non-profits today face serious financial difficulties and constraints...” There's usually a very small group of people - three or four - who do everything that the organization needs to do. They all work 15 hours a day and they're exhausted after their first year on the job.
When newer non-profits finally get to the point where their organization can effectively be championed and supported through direct mail, many people must decide whether it is better to handle the direct mail in house or hire someone to manage their direct mail program. Chances are they are going to be better off finding a direct response company to create and/or stabilize their fundraising efforts.
Lawrence Direct Marketing Inc. (LDMI) had the privilege of attending and exhibiting at the 48th Annual National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) held at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center located in Fort Washington, MD from October 9-12.
Since it’s founding in 1967, NCDC has held an annual Conference and Exposition. Led by many of the top names in Catholic fundraising, the conference is a combination of general sessions covering topics from Digital Marketing to Direct Mail to acquiring Major Donors. Nearly 600 attendees and dozens of exhibitors were at this years conference.
There were breakout sessions about reaching niche markets, discussion groups, and a variety of vendors displaying their work and discussing fundraising strategy for Catholic Non-Profit organizations. Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF, the President and CEO of NCDC has been named in the “Power and Influence Top 50” by the Non-Profit Times 9 times since 2006.
Jim Lawrence Executive-Vice President, Sean Finnegan Online Marketing Manager, Lorenzo Cowgill Senior Production Manager and Helen Bowerman Account Coordinator attended the conference on behalf of LDMI and also hosted a booth in the exhibit hall.
E-newsletters (or email newsletters) are quickly becoming standardized tools for non-profit organizations. Your online newsletter helps build awareness about your cause, bonds your subscribers to your organization and cause, and keeps the important issues in the forefront of your subscribers' minds. While putting together e-newsletters is not easy for smaller non-profits, it is certainly not impossible. If you haven’t yet considered one, think about penning an e-newsletter of your own. (Click here to see more reasons why they are important.)