Donor acquisition must remain a priority strategy for small to medium sized charities looking to increase their impact on society.
According to research published by Giving Australia in 2016 and summarised by The Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, over the past ten years, Australians have placed more focus on volunteering than they have on giving financial support.
While the average donation per person has increased in the last decade, the number of givers in Australia has fallen. To stay on top of the declining trend and avoid an ‘all eggs in one basket’ scenario, it’s vital that charities implement and maintain a robust donor acquisition strategy.
But, as you know, donor acquisition isn’t an overnight solution.
Acquisition is a long, involved and often-costly process.
Buying new lists and seeking new opportunities for engagement while trying to meet the needs of existing donors often means that acquisition can fall by the wayside putting the growth of a charity in jeopardy.
Here are six places to find new donors quickly and cheaply, that you may not have considered.
Every member of the board is there because they have a vested interest in your cause. While they generously give their time and expertise while often expecting nothing in return, there may be more they can do to attract new supporters to a cause.
Board members have their own personal and professional network, and an introduction to potential supporters canvassing a charity they’re already connected to will increase your credibility from the outset.
Acquisition tip: Get into the habit of adding ‘new support’ as an AOB agenda item for board meetings and continually encourage the proactivity of board members in asking for support.
2) Your existing donors
There is no more prominent champion of your cause than someone who’s already supporting you. Encourage shares of correspondence and social media posts by continually highlighting your plight for new donors.
Acquisition tip: Add a ‘share with a friend’ box to all email correspondence. SupporterHub’s automated email platform provides tools to create standard templates so the information is automatically added to correspondence each time you make contact.
3) Local businesses
Local businesses are a goldmine for new supporters.
While it’s common to focus purely on corporate donations or event sponsorship within a business, there is plenty more opportunity for acquisition within a company.
Workplace Giving is a program where each employee can give you an individual donation from each pay increasing the number of donors on your database.
You can also provide opportunities for the business supporter to share their involvement with their customer base to encourage more support from their wider network.
Acquisition tip: Continually promote the support of business donors. Any publicity will be good for their business and if they share your posts, your visibility among their potentially extensive network will increase too.
Just because volunteers give their time, it doesn’t mean they won’t help financially when they can. Unless a volunteer has specifically asked you not to, always include them in your appeals. Despite seeing their value in the behind-the-scenes work, a volunteer may feel compelled to give a one-off donation after an unexpected windfall or if a particular request has struck a chord with them.
Acquisition tip: Don’t ask volunteers for a donation without acknowledging and thanking them for their existing support.
Tag their record as ‘volunteer’ and segment the list so that when writing or emailing to them, you can mention your appreciation specifically for their volunteer support.
5) Peer to peer fundraising
Peer to peer fundraising is when a supporter of your cause chooses your charity as the beneficiary of an event or activity and asks their network for donations which they pass on to you in a lump sum.
In Australia, as long as they haven’t explicitly requested you don’t, privacy laws state that you can contact the individual donors directly to ask for further support.
Acquisition tip: Don’t wait for people to come to you. Approach existing donors about peer to peer fundraising on your behalf. They’re already passionate supporters of your cause which will help them with their fundraising campaign.
6) Facebook advertising
Traditionally, Facebook users discover your cause and follow your page to stay up-to-date with news and events.
More recently, development in Facebook advertising strategy means that an effective social media strategy can help you target new donors who don’t even know they’re looking for you.
Using sophisticated paid Facebook ads, you can show your ad to online users who have similar interests, have previously visited your page, and you can mimic the audience of other charities who are closely aligned with yours.
To find out more about implementing a Facebook advertising campaign, read our recent article here.
Your donor acquisition strategy should be ongoing, but if you need to boost your donor numbers fast, try these simple tips to make the use of your existing supporter networks.
To find out how SupporterHub can help you implement small but effective communication changes, contact us today.