Fundraising is the lifeblood of charities. It’s often the primary source of income for non-profit organisations so can therefore feel like a daunting and never-ending task.
But thankfully, with so many channels at your disposal, there are lots of things you can do to attract new donors to your cause. We take a closer look at some of our top techniques below...
When it comes to trying to win the hearts and minds of your donors, it’s all about creating visual impact as your audience will need to ‘see it to believe it’. Here is where out-of-home (OOH) advertising can be very powerful. And according to a survey, as many as 56% of Millennials trust OOH media over online banner adverts. This is because sometimes OOH advertising can feel a little more genuine and less intrusive than digital advertising.
But it’s not all about billboards. OOH advertising comes in many different forms, from posters and leaflets to Spotify and radio ads – which were all tactics we used in our Small Talk Saves Lives campaign with Samaritans. Or capitalise on the power of pop culture to create an attention-grabbing campaign just like this debt relief start up did by tapping into the Squid Game craze with a unique business card promotion.
Social media, if used strategically, can be one of the most cost-effective ways for charities to build supporters and increase donations. It facilitates two-way communication and offers charities a chance to engage with a vast number of potential supporters one-to-one.
It can also be great for connecting with your audience on an emotional level. Just choose your platform wisely, thinking about the demographic of your audience and content. For example, Facebook works well for an older female audience and peer-to-peer fundraising or if your cause is very visual try short fundraising drives on Instagram Stories using the swipe up feature.
Sharing images, videos and real-life human voices and reactions can really bring your cause to life, and potential donors are far more likely to get involved if they can see the impact of their donation and feel connected with the beneficiaries. It’s crucial to lead with the emotional impact in your social media activity, listening and interacting with your followers, as dominating the channel with constant prompts to donate could look pushy and be off-putting to your audience.
One of the biggest challenges for charities is resourcing social media activity. There's a constant need for content and strong imagery so mapping out what content you are going to publish and when in a content calendar is essential. Think about getting other members of your team involved to share the responsibility but invest time in creating some social media guidelines so everyone speaks with one voice. It's also important to devise a plan for how out of hours messages and comments will be responded to and what to do in the event of a crisis.
After the last couple of years, most charities have been forced to pivot online. But building resilience in a post-Covid hybrid world is the next big challenge. A digital strategy is key in determining where to best concentrate efforts to continue to help those who depend on your services. Your website is one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox and can ultimately determine whether someone decides to support you or not, so it’s important to make sure that it’s doing its job.
Your website should explain your mission and values very clearly, and should be set out in a way that your audience shouldn’t have to work hard to understand what it is that you do and the difference you’re making. It should have a simple navigation and feature concise and digestible content, with clear calls-to-action. Add case studies to give social proof and provide the option to view or download your latest impact report. If you have the skills and capacity to use email marketing to nurture potential donors create a pop up to sign up to an enewsletter for regular updates on your cause. And don’t forget to make sure that it’s optimised for mobile too.
A lot of your efforts up to this point could be wasted if the donation process on your website isn’t clear, quick and easy. The first step to this is including eye-catching calls-to-action (CTAs). These allow donors to express their intent to donate with the simple click of a button.
This button should take your donors straight through to a streamlined donation page containing one single form. This should include as few fields as possible as every extra step for your audience is another chance for them to get distracted or doubt their decision to donate. But this isn’t about making your audience act without thinking – it's simply about making the donation process as easy and intuitive as possible.
And after your audience has made their donation, don’t forget to thank them and update them on how their contribution has helped.
If you’re looking to implement a donor recruitment campaign for your charity and would like some help in refining the process to make the most out of your budget, get in touch.