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3 Simple Steps to Attract New Donors

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This guest post is provided by: DonorPerfect 

Ready to take your nonprofit growth to the next level? Whether you’re just starting to work on your donor acquisition plan or revamping an existing strategy, you’re in luck! 

There are plenty of accessible tools to produce your desired results. From nonprofit storytelling to leveraging the latest innovations in digital marketing, there are steps you can take today to find and keep new supporters!

Pressed for time? 

Filter out the tips that don’t apply to you! Answer five quick questions and get your free Personalized Growth Plan here!

Step 1: Grow your library of creative content

At the core of any successful donor acquisition strategy lies the art of storytelling. Potential donors want to feel connected to your cause before committing their support, so they need to hear your story.

That’s why it’s so important as a nonprofit to have a library of creative content you can pull from to draw in new donors. Your website content, social media posts, emails, blogs, and newsletters should tell a story that piques their interest and opens their hearts. It should highlight helpful information and reasons to get involved.

And it’s okay if you’re still working on that! These things come with time. Let’s discuss how to brainstorm and format your storytelling ideas.

How to create content that attracts new donors

One of the most effective methods of attracting supporters is what marketers call a lead magnet – a helpful resource in exchange for an email address. We will get to the email aspect later, but for now, let’s talk about how to create this content.

Think about what new supporters should know about your mission before getting involved or what they might be surprised to find out. What solutions can you offer to their problems? The content should be relevant to their interests, but also inform them about your mission. Maybe it’s recipes. Maybe it’s a list of local opportunities or attractions. Maybe it’s ten things you wish you knew sooner.

If you have content written – like a helpful blog article or guide – you can repurpose it into a lead magnet. And if you don’t, no worries – you already have plenty of stories to tell about your mission, you just need to get them “on paper”!

Tips to build your content library:

  • Think about your philanthropic origin story – what led you here?
  • Recount passion projects you’ve worked on – how did they shape you?
  • Capture experiences with beneficiaries – what’s their perspective?
  • Record meetings with major donors – what ideas came up?

Step 2: Maximize your exposure with new donors

As you develop your content library to attract new donors, make sure you also have processes in place to maintain these new relationships. Once you draw them in, you need to make them feel as valuable as they are

For many fundraisers, there aren’t enough hours to go around, but that’s where innovative tools like email automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) come in – not necessarily to do all the work for you, but to improve efficiency and cut costs while you grow!

How to streamline welcome messages:

Research shows that donors who receive timely acknowledgments are more likely to give again, and by automating your welcome messages, receipts, and thank-yous, you can boost your donor retention rate significantly. Fortunately, there are email tools and templates that make automation easy and allow you to save time without sacrificing quality or personalization.

The industry’s latest email marketing tools often integrate with popular fundraising software (like Constant Contact with DonorPerfect) so you can create automated workflows that take care of manual data entry for you. 

For example, if your email marketing platform and fundraising software “talk to each other,” as soon as a new donor gives, their information will be automatically entered into your system and they will automatically receive a personalized welcome email – built from a template!

And you don’t have to write a thing (unless, of course, you want to)! With an email marketing integration that’s tailored to fundraisers, like DonorPerfect’s, you’re all set with fundraising templates that you can personalize in a few clicks – data is pulled from your donor records to eliminate manual entry. You also have the option to customize these templates for specific audiences or purposes.

What about AI? How does it help with new donors?

Fundraising-specific AI tools (like DonorPerfect’s Fundraiser Bot) work similarly to smart email tools. All you have to do is enter a few details about your mission, and you can instantly generate welcome content.

Not to mention, integrating AI technology into your content creation process provides valuable insights, like when to post on social media to get your message seen, and how to appeal to specific audiences to draw in your ideal donors.

Step 3: Build your email list with social ads

While email marketing remains a powerful tool for communicating with new supporters, growing your subscriber list can be challenging and sporadic – especially with a limited budget. Social media ads are an increasingly effective way to attract potential donors on a more consistent basis. 

By launching a lead generation strategy on social media, you can rapidly expand your email list and easily connect with individuals who are passionate about your cause – even without a budget. This is where your content library of lead magnets will come in handy, but more on that in a minute!

Not sure if nonprofit advertising is for you?

Consider your average Donor Lifetime Value – the revenue your new donors will eventually bring in. Even if you don’t have much to spend on paid social media ads, it might make sense to spare a few cents per new donor acquired. You can actually generate hundreds of leads – in just a few days – for less than a dollar per lead. 

Need help justifying your spending?

Your fundraising system can help you analyze your average acquisition cost per donor. For example, DonorPerfect allows you to create custom, scheduled reports that you can automatically share with your board or stakeholders on a recurring basis.

Now that we’ve discussed how surprisingly easy and stress-free it can be to create new content and increase your exposure with digital tools, let’s talk about social media advertising – sharing your lead magnets far and wide to gain new email addresses.

Proven strategies for creating social media ads:

  1. It’s important to test different lead magnets against each other (by running two ads at the same time) to see which are most effective in attracting new supporters for your cause.
  2. Put yourself in your would-be donors’ shoes. What would make you stop scrolling?! You will need an eye-catching graphic to attract social media users to your lead magnet. So, try to sum up your content in a short, buzzy title that you can share in big, bold text. For example, an animal shelter might create a one-page PDF called “5 Tips for a Better Relationship with Your Pitbull” to gain interest in their rescue program.
  3. There’s no need for fancy or pricey tools. Research shows that detailed imagery is often scrolled past, so just focus on the basics! Canva is a free tool that allows you to make a custom graphic in seconds. You can import your nonprofit logo and lean on their catalog of free graphics and stock images to accompany your text.

Above all, be authentic. 

Your passion for your mission is infectious, and you know what’s important to your community. Brainstorm lead magnets that will help others along their philanthropic journey, stay informed on issues that are close to their heart, and learn about new opportunities to get involved. 

Refining your donor acquisition strategy requires a multifaceted approach that embraces digital innovation, and by following these steps, you can strengthen your nonprofit’s ability to attract and retain donors effectively. 

But remember, donor acquisition is an ongoing process that requires continuous refinement and adaptation. Stay proactive, embrace new technologies, and always prioritize building meaningful connections with your supporters. With dedication and strategic planning, you can take your nonprofit to new heights and make a lasting impact.

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