5 Ways to Increase Gift Giving From Your Donors
New donor acquisition is a major investment. Nonprofits spend a lot of money and commit a lot of time to acquire donors whose gifts are vital to the organization’s mission. Therefore, it’s important to nurture and grow the relationship you have with your donors so that you can make the most of your investment. Your goal, once you have acquired a donor, is to try to increase the number of gifts you receive from him or her. Here are five ways your organization can do that.
- Grow Your Sustainer Program
Building and maintaining a robust sustainer program is a surefire way to keep donors engaged, improve retention rates, and increase the number of gifts you get from your donors. Each of your direct mail appeals should include information about how to become a sustaining member. And, if your donor base is large enough, you can add an annual or biannual sustainer invitation program to your direct marketing mix. Then, once you have your sustaining members, make sure to remind them (frequently) that they’re important to you and that you value their contribution. And don’t forget to ask them to upgrade at least once a year!
- Provide Recognition Opportunities
Encourage current donors to give more by providing incentives. Offer to recognize members in your organization’s literature if they give a certain amount; invite them to special members-only events; create sustainer, mid-level, and major donor level benefits; and encourage members to give additional gifts beyond their annual gift.
- Use Themes
Create a deeper connection with your prospects and donors by creating unique themes for each appeal that brand them in a simple, unique way. Consider themes such as an annual appeal, matching gift appeal, a spring or fall fundraising drive, and others as timely appeals that can be used year over year and in conjunction with your core mission or organization’s activities, such as a Thanksgiving drive. A themed appeal is a stronger sell – it implies a more urgent need than a general appeal would and provides an incentive for donors to give above their regular annual support.
- Make it Easy to Give
When you are designing your direct mail package, you should make sure to always include a clean, easy-to-complete reply slip, ideally one that’s coded so you can keep track of campaign performance and donor behavior. But in addition to that, it’s important to provide alternate donation methods. Be sure to include a URL, an email address, and a telephone number a donor can use to send a gift. These should all be prominently positioned and appear frequently in your letter, on your reply slip, and on any other insert included in the package. Make gift giving as easy and convenient as possible.
- Follow Up
Send a follow-up mailing a few weeks after the initial appeal. You should expect to get about half the response from the follow up as the initial appeal, and some donors will give in response to both mailings. Plus, if you produce the two mailings together, you will save money on the unit price by adding more volume. The follow-up letter should include the same brand or message as the original appeal but should create more of a sense of urgency. Thank them for their past donation, acknowledge that you’ve already asked for their continued support, and remind them that a deadline is drawing closer, but keep the reason for giving the same.
Acquiring a donor or new member should be just the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship. And, like any other relationship, it takes care and effort to nurture and grow. Use these proven strategies to try to deepen relationships with your donors and maximize their revenue generating potential. Contact us to find out how Allegiance Fundraising can help.