How to get someone to give you money
As a nonprofit, you’re working to achieve a social or environmental goal. You might be interested in growing your organization and increasing your funders. But let’s face it – the world of nonprofits can be difficult for small organizations to navigate. How do you get people to give you money?
Even if you’re just starting out and have little experience or connections, it’s possible to get donors interested in supporting your cause. Here are 10 proven ways that will help you get funding as a nonprofit.
- Make a great first impression
- Share your mission explicitly
- Focus on the benefits to your beneficiaries
- Create value for your funders
- Network and build relationships
- Ask your current funders for recommendations
- Offer exclusive benefits to new donors
- Get to know your target audience and market conditions
Make a great first impression
Your nonprofit’s first impression is critical to your success. If you don’t make a good first impression, you might never get a second chance to make an impression at all. You’ll want to take care to make sure you’re giving off a professional image from the get-go.
First impressions are formed subconsciously in the first few seconds of meeting someone. The way you dress, the way your office is decorated, and even how clean your website is can all contribute to making a positive or negative first impression. To make a great first impression, you’ll want to:
- Dress professionally and come across as trustworthy - Your appearance can make or break you. If you come in dressed in casual clothes, or looking unprofessional, your potential donors might think you don’t take your cause seriously and be less likely to donate.
- Have a beautiful and well-designed website - Your website is your virtual storefront. It’s the first thing people see when they go online to learn more about your nonprofit.
- Have a professional-looking donor or gift acknowledgement letter - You might think the person receiving the gift isn’t important, but it’s a critical part of the donation process. The person receiving the gift will either be curious about your nonprofit or remember you for the rest of their life.
Share your mission explicitly
Your nonprofit’s mission is the reason you exist. It’s what makes you different from all the other organizations out there. Your mission is critical to your success, but not everyone understands it right away.
To make sure you’re appealing directly to your audience, you’ll want to make your mission explicit. You can do this in many ways. Some ideas you can try include:
- Inviting donors to make a one-on-one difference with their donation - Make sure your donors know they’re making a difference in the lives of your beneficiaries. Your donors are the difference between your nonprofit being able to make a difference, or not existing at all.
- Providing a clear mission statement - Your mission statement is often a short paragraph describing clearly and explicitly what it is your nonprofit does. It’s helpful for people who aren’t familiar with your field of work to get a clear idea of what your organization does and how it differs from other nonprofits.
- Putting your mission in your fundraising materials - You can do this by putting your mission at the top of your donor appeal letter. You can also embed it in the language of your ask: “Give today to help us reach our goal of ______!”
Focus on the benefits to your beneficiaries
People who donate to nonprofits are often interested in doing good. But they’re also interested in getting something in return — whether it’s helping others or saving money on taxes.
When you’re writing your appeal letters or communicating with donors, you’ll want to focus on the benefits of donating to your organization. Write your letters with your audience in mind, and highlight the benefits and value of your cause.
Create value for your funders
If you want people to donate money, it makes sense to offer them rewards for doing so. If you can create clear and explicit value for your donors, you’ll find it easier to get funding. You can create value for your donors in a few ways:
- Create donor recognition programs - You might want to consider creating a donor recognition program that rewards your major donors in various ways. This could be a system where major donors receive gifts, like a personalized plaque or gift cards.
- Offer donor benefits - You can offer donor benefits that provide a clear and specific value to your donors. These benefits could include a tax receipt, discounts, access to special events, or private memberships.
Network and build relationships
Another way to get donors interested in your cause is to build relationships with potential funders. If you have friends and family who are philanthropists, you can ask them to recommend your organization.
You should also make an effort to network with other nonprofits. Find other organizations in your space, and get to know them. You can do this formally by joining associations, or simply by following the organizations you admire on social media.
Ask your current funders for recommendations
If you have donors who have given to your organization in the past, you can ask them for recommendations. You can offer donors tax benefits for promoting your organization, or ask them to provide a recommendation to their network or colleagues.
Doing this can provide you with greater visibility, and can make it easier for you to get new donors.
Offer exclusive benefits to new donors
Not all of your donors will want to promote your organization, but some might be willing to give you exclusive benefits. You can offer your donors exclusive benefits, like a special edition of your newsletter and other exclusive content.
These benefits can help you stand out from the crowd, and make it easier for you to get new donors.
Get to know your target audience and market conditions
When you know your target market, it can help you create better fundraising appeals and get more donors interested in your cause. You can better communicate why they should give to your organization when they know who you’re trying to reach.
What are the biggest issues in your nonprofit’s area? What do potential donors care about, and what are they worried about?
You’ll want to make sure you have a clear understanding of your target audience. You can do this by doing market research and asking questions to find out more about your donors.
Your donors are the people who make your organization possible. It’s critical to get them on your side, and make sure they want to support you. All of these techniques can help you get more donors and funding for your nonprofit.
But keep in mind, many of these techniques take time. Don’t expect to see results immediately. Instead, make these techniques part of your long-term strategy. They’ll help you find more donors and get more funding for your nonprofit.
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