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Getting Fundraising Right Featured

Getting Fundraising Right Michèle Eckert

The primary reason most nonprofits suffer is that they don’t have enough money to continue their missions. That’s right, even though you may have the best intentions in the world, if you can’t persuade donors to contribute to your cause, you will inevitably fail. This problem can be solved by understanding what motivates people to give money. To help with this, researchers conducted a study titled “Impact of motivation on donation behavior”.

It’s important to note that motivation is a tricky thing; different people behave differently when it comes to the same financial donation. In this case, it turns out that there are four types of motivation:

1. Attached – The people who are motivated want to do a good deed because they want others to know about them or because they believe in doing something good for other people.

2. Self-serving – These individuals need the donations so that they can do something for themselves such as buying a new car or get a job promotion at work.

3. Gratified – They are motivated by the status of feeling important, which includes being noticed and having someone acknowledge them.

4. Disgusted – They get upset when they feel like they aren’t contributing enough and are turned off when others call them selfish or greedy in lieu of their donations.

The study found that while self-serving motives were prevalent among donors and attached motivations among those with more charitable tendencies, gratified motives were more prevalent among those with higher levels of altruistic tendencies and disgust motives were more prevalent among those who rarely give donations than those who donate frequently (i.e., often). Thus, these five motivations should be considered when trying to maximize your fundraising efforts through donor recognition events or other fundraising strategies (e.g., targeted mailings).

Create a Foundation for Success

To continue your organization’s mission, you will need the money to carry out donations, events, and plans for success. It’s your responsibility to make a plan for what you want the organization to achieve in the future. If you want it to be successful, you have to know how you want it to be successful. A great way to do that is through creating a foundation of success. This foundation will include goals, the outcomes achieved by each goal, spending levels in the future, and any other things that are needed in order for the nonprofit to reach its goals.

Find Your Target Audience

A nonprofit can be a small organization, usually with a mission to make the world better by providing programs, services and educational opportunities at affordable cost. Think of all the good you’ve done for others in your life. Perhaps you’re motivated to help others in need because someone you know has been hurt or lost a loved one. Or maybe you’ve made a family member or close friend happy or felt self-satisfied as they saved money on their bills while they helped an elderly relative realize her dream of becoming independent. Regardless of this inspiration, a nonprofit needs funding to provide services that benefit these people and the world around them. Whether it is to educate children in their native language; deliver HIV/AIDS prevention information; teach children how to be healthy and independent; foster relationships between people who are otherwise isolated from each other; provide medical relief for those who have lost their homes due to disasters such as floods, fires or earthquakes; provide humanitarian aid during natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes or wildfires; or help disadvantaged people with HIV/AIDS stay in their homes by providing them with clean water and sanitation, without which many will eventually die from waterborne illnesses . . . donors can make significant contributions when they know what they are supporting.

Typically, fund-raising has been an afterthought for nonprofits long considered too unimportant to care about beyond survival. Fund-raising processes have been overly complex and lacking transparency — often leading donors to feel frustrated when there is no clear understanding of how much money is needed at any given time. A 2015 report titled “A Funding Guidebook for Nonprofits” indicates that over 90% of nonprofits failed to reach their fundraising goals during the first three years of its existence — including many who raised large amounts of money but were short on funds as late as 2016. That’s why it’s critical that you start taking steps now toward increasing your fundraising efforts so that your nonprofit can continue its work in the years ahead!

Create an Efficient Plan of Action

From the moment you start your nonprofit fundraising initiative, you need to keep in mind the following things:

A. What are your goals and objectives?

B. How will you achieve your goals?

C. How do you intend to contact potential donors?

D. How do you plan to track donor’s actions?

E. What is your budget for this year’s campaign?

F. How will you notify donors of all their contributions?

You likely have a great idea for a campaign that would be ideal for this year but aren’t sure how to proceed with it yet. Don’t beat yourself up over it though because there are lots of other ideas that can work just as well or better than yours right now! And now, without any more beating around the bush, let’s get right into it! The first thing we need to do is define our goals and objectives which are important in achieving our fundraising objectives and meet our target fundraising goals so we can continue on with our fundraising activities in the coming year. Next, we need to create a plan of action and stick with it when planning fundraisers for next year so that we won’t waste time or money on campaigns that don’t meet our target fundraising goal. Lastly, we need to keep track of all donations made by potential donors and use them as a source for raising funds for next year’s campaigns or send them out as thank-you gifts along with their birthdays so they will remember! This should all be done through individual donation pages on your website or through an online donation system such as GoFundMe .  

Additionally, if your nonprofit has an online donation form or similar online feature within their website where potential donors could donate directly from their computer without having to log into their site they can also use this feature instead of using an additional donation page using the same URL address. However, no matter how simple or complex your donation page is everyone must agree on what they want done with donations before they make any kind of monetary payments at all (i.e., no one should feel pressured into donating).

Review and Recruit Volunteers to Help You Out

Getting your nonprofit to raise more funds might not be easy. However, it is possible and there are plenty of ways to increase your fundraising efforts without spending a penny. One of the most important ways to increase your fundraising efforts is through events. Actually, this is the most important way because it’s the only way you can reach potential donors and donors who aren’t members of your organization. An event is a time when you try to draw in people who might become potential donors. The idea is that, once they are convinced that you have something for them, they will want to pay money so they can experience what they are going to feel like once they get their hands on it. You can keep an event simple or complex depending on what kind of message you want to convey and how much time you think people would be willing to spend at an event. Be sure you know how much a one-time donation will cost though if you want people coming back again and again for more money!

Make the Most of Your Time

Your organization is a different kind of business. You are not just a job. You are not just an investment. You are not just money. You are people who believe in something bigger than yourself. When you make a donation to your nonprofit, you’re giving up the opportunity to do things that you enjoy doing for free. You may be donating time or money, but no matter what, it’s going to cost you something in terms of energy and time that might otherwise be spent on enjoying something else altogether. Aside from the cost of donations being minimal if at all, there are a few specific things you can do to enhance the effects of your donations. For example, if your community has an annual festival and sells food for the celebration, consider purchasing some extra food for the event instead of donating it to the organization or bringing your own food with you (if you don’t want to spend money). Or if your organization has a planned event and is looking for volunteers, consider partnering with another organization so that they can refer potential volunteers as well as supply them with some extra funds (the same goes for volunteering opportunities).

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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