Good storytelling and geographic information systems can improve nonprofit fundraising

By employing strategy, nonprofits can increase the number of donations received from supporters.
Date Published
10/30/2014

Charitable organizations are always on the hunt for ways to make their fundraising efforts stronger. Without financial contributions from supporters, it makes it extremely difficult for a 501(c)(3) organization to advance a specific cause, help those in need and reach its foundational goals. For this reason, decision-makers are always looking for ways to attract new donors and encourage existing constituents to give more.

However, there is a certain measure of strategy that must be applied to make fundraising initiatives as effective as they can be. Simply asking people for donations can work, but it’s important to remember that the way the request is made can make all the difference.

Storytelling is one method that charitable organizations are using in their nonprofit fundraising campaigns. People are much more inclined to lend financial support to a cause if they feel emotionally compelled to do so.

In an article for LinkedIn, Marc Pitman, a well known nonprofit fundraising expert that started the FundraisingCoach.com website, wrote  that good storytelling propels an individual to take action. This is especially true when used in nonprofit fundraising strategies. If a charitable organization can tell convincing stories about why it needs financial support from donors and present them in such a way that constituents experience an emotional connection, then it increases the chances that people will not only give once, but continuously.

The importance of knowing your audience
Big data is permeating every industry. Organizations in a number of sectors are gathering large amounts of information, analyzing it and then developing growth plan from it. This strategy can also be used in nonprofit fundraising efforts.

Geographic information systems – commonly referred to as GIS – are a way for charitable organizations to capture and develop a deeper understanding of certain geographical data that can be used to shape fundraising plans.

According to GIS Lounge, nonprofits can take advantage of this system in a number of ways. For starters, GIS can help decision-makers uncover who their competitors are. Too much overlap between charities supporting similar causes can make their efforts largely ineffective because donations will be so spread out.

Having this information can help a charity make its fundraising efforts stronger by changing the way it communicates with existing donors.

GIS can also be used to show how impactful an organization is overall. While constituents like to know how their money is being used, nonprofits also need to have data on the impact they’re making in their communities by supporting those in need.

Nonprofit fundraising will be an ongoing effort every day that a charitable organization is in operation. Leveraging any strategies or tools that can make these efforts better should be considered at all times. Nonprofits will need financial support from donors in order to reach their goals. As a result, developing new and unique ways to convince people to give will be of the utmost importance if a charitable organization is going to thrive and provide a benefit to others. 

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