Three Steps to 2x 4x 8x Your Non-Profit’s Donations
Why should anyone give their hard-earned money to your nonprofit?
Whether in person, online, at events, in mailing campaigns or on the phones, most non-profits spend a considerable amount of their time fundraising. Not because they want to, but because they are dependent upon outside funding to do the work they are passionate about.
The more they raise, the more good they can do in the world. So they ask. And ask. And ask. As they should! But while they’re asking for money, the person on the other end of that ask is asking a question back: “Why should I?” They may not say it out loud, but they’re asking it. After all, they have endless options of what to do with their discretionary funds, including many other deserving nonprofits who are asking just as hard as you are. So…
How is YOUR non-profit more deserving than any other?
Yes, there’s the work you do in the world. It’s good, important work, and potential donors might even be grateful that you’re out there, doing it. But is that not enough to distinguish you? Enough to make your promise of helping the world more valuable than taking a weekend getaway with a loved one? Or any one of a million gratifying things that the same money can buy?
In America, we haven’t been on the gold standard for over 80 years. So what is money today? It’s an I.O.U. that you can redeem from someone else. When a business gives (or promises) a customer value, the customer repays it with money. If you pay a restaurant $100, you’re giving them an I.O.U. that they can then redeem for goods from another business, like a bakery. They can also pass it on to any of their employees—waiters, cooks, hosts, etc.—in exchange for the value that they bring to the restaurant. (And, in turn, those employees can take it to any other business or store it in a bank until they want to exchange it for something of value to them.)
Gratitude is not enough, because money is not a “thank you”, it’s an I.O.U.
How to Give Donors Value
Value is a simple calculation: How much do I get in exchange for my money (or my time)? This can be material or emotional, but it’s always a personal decision. What’s worth a million dollars to one person may not even be worth $10 to another. To put it another way, in a world that’s running out of food, a loaf of bread may be worth more than a Rolls Royce.
Whether they are personally affected by the work that you do, have witnessed the impact of your work, or believe that yours is the answer to a problem that desperately needs fixing, your current donors are likely personally connected to your cause. Without changing what you do for your beneficiaries, the simplest way to increase your donations would be to increase the perceived value to donors…and reaching more of them.
Three Steps to Increasing Donations:
We’ll break down each of these in detail in upcoming posts (so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter). But the simple math is this: If you were to double any of the above, you could, theoretically, double your donations. What’s more, the compound effect is exponential. If you doubled two of them, you could quadruple your donations. Double all three, and you may be looking at multiplying your giving eightfold. Of course, you don’t have to actually double any of them to see an impact on your funding. Even increasing each of them by 10% can give you a 33% increase.
The challenge is: how do you provide more value to donors without diverting funds from your beneficiaries?
Delivering Value Online to Drive Donations
The good news is that in the digital age, exponential value can be delivered at a small, incremental cost—in the form of digital/online content.
Four questions to ask your nonprofit:
- What are the newsletter and social media subjects that receive the most positive feedback?
- How often are you sharing the news that donors want to hear?
- How easy is it for a current donor to help their friends discover your cause?
- Are there other media channels that you can use to spread your message to your target audiences?
Taking the time to see what your current patrons respond to and finding ways to give them more of that—by sharing more stories, creating more videos, sending more frequent updates, tailoring content, etc.—can have a dramatic impact. Making it easy and giving them a good reason to share that content with like-minded friends will give your nonprofit a viral lift without spending a dime.
Next week, we’ll be digging into the free online tools (with step-by-step instructions) that your dot-org can use to provide more value, find more fans, and make new connections. Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to get the info you need to grow your organization and do more good.