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How to acquire new donors as a Non-profit

Written by Jolanda Konarska

Looking to acquire more donors? These useful tips will help you put your organisation in front of more potential donors.

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In my previous blogs, I have talked at some length about how best to maintain and engage effectively with your donors, but as we know, the greatest challenge and the most difficult task is acquiring new donors.

Like many Non-profit organisations, we all wish at some point that there was a ‘magic pill’ we could take which would make new donors, just like magic, appear in front of us! Alas, that pill is not yet in production, and attracting new donors will always require an on-going effort and focus.

I have put together a few useful tips for Non-profits that will hopefully help you to put your organisation in front of a few more potential donors.

Identify your ideal donor profile

This may sound like a blindingly obvious step, but before entering into a “scattergun” approach and looking absolutely everywhere for new donors, stop! Sit down and review the common characteristics of your current donors. A good start is to write down the psychographics and demographics of your current donors. The list is endless and will differ if you are looking at individual donors or organisational bodies. Areas to examine might include location, size, purpose, charitable affiliations, investment strategy, and target groups.

Once you have collated these characteristics, the secret is to look at what they all have in common and go from there! These insights can help you form a donor recruitment strategy that will be fact-based, focused, and effective.

Where will people who support your mission be?

Now that you’ve identified what your donors have in common, you can use these characteristics to go and find out where your potential new donors may be. For example, if your Non-profit is linked or related to a sport such as Football, you could partner with groups or businesses who cross into this sports sector. This would cover all things connected to both watching, playing football, and suppliers, etc.

Targeting potential donors online

After you have collated information about your donors, here are some ways you can attract them online:

LinkedIn: If you already have a LinkedIn profile, make sure it’s refreshed regularly and clearly defines the core mission of your Non-profit. We would also suggest putting your core mission statement in the ‘summary’ section of your profile as this is what a visitor will often see first when clicking on your name. I suggest adding supporting information about your work in the ‘experience section’. Having a professional profile will hopefully attract more visitors to drop you a message!

Now you are ready to start looking for groups on LinkedIn to promote your Non-profit. Again the groups you should link with should be related to your values and purpose, and from here you can network with different individuals within these key groups. If you grow your network extensively and at the same time keep it focused, then the next step is start on a regular and timely basis to share with prospective donors posts promoting your purpose and how it makes a difference and if possible, success stories to back up your mission.

Facebook: If your Non-profit has a Facebook page, make sure that it conveys your Non-profits message and mission clearly and professionally. It’s good practise to make sure that all of your recent posts are of a good quality and portray a clear message. This is because visitors to Facebook pages tend to look at the most recent posts before they decide to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ the page. When you’re confident that you Non-profits page is up to standard, you can then go searching for relevant groups and individuals that fit your donor criteria and characteristics. If you have any spare budget, then why not try using Facebook ads? Facebook Ads allows you to run a campaign from as little as £10. Just make sure that you create an audience that is large enough for Facebook to target for you. Whilst making a Facebook Ad, there will be an estimate number of people your ad will target on the right hand side. Make sure you set a ‘Lifetime Campaign Budget’ so you don’t spend more than your budget allows!

Reddit & Quora: Reddit and Quora are great communities to join and they are both filled with Non-profit groups and individuals that communicate to each other through forums. Not only will you be in a Non-profit community, there might just be someone on there who is looking to donate or know someone who is. Not to mention, if you have a question, these forums are a great place to turn to for answers. So why not join a forum?

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