Turning name recognition into donations
So people have heard of your organization—now what?
You’re off to a great start. Raising audience awareness is a crucial first step in fundraising. Camber Collective’s 2015 Money For Good report found that 61% of those surveyed prefer to give to well-known nonprofits, not necessarily the most effective. Along the same lines, a recent Vox article cites that giving to the 400 largest nonprofits outpaces charitable giving in general, with large organizations raising more than $1 of every $4 raised for charity in general.
It’s clear that awareness is essential to raising money, but what’s not as clear is how to go about turning name recognition and familiarity into donations. Obviously, not everyone who’s heard of your organization will give, but there are strategies for finding the right people and bringing them on a journey to become donors:
- Get to know your potential donor: Who are they? What do they care about? What do they know about your organization? Creating a donor persona—a profile of a typical member of your target audience—can help you better understand your potential donors and tap into their motivations, interests, and more. (Big Duck’s market research tool, The Brandraising Benchmark can help—the data collected will give you an understanding of which demographics have the highest level of awareness of your nonprofit and the highest likelihood of donating in the future).
- Convert, convert, convert: Now that you know a little bit more about them, let them get to know you. Focus on collecting their contact information, whether that’s through an acquisition strategy like a Care2 petition or by optimizing your website to capture email addresses. Getting an email address lets you proactively communicate with potential donors instead of waiting for them to come to you.
- Communicate frequently and consistently: Once you have their information, keep your organization top-of-mind by communicating often—and making those communications relevant. If you have the ability to segment your emails, do so based on their connection to you. Did you get their email through a Care2 petition? Did they attend an event recently? If your communications are personal and relevant to how they’ve engaged with you in the past, it’ll be easier to get them to take the next step and make a donation.
- Make engagement easy: Don’t make it difficult to donate. When it comes time for you to make an ask, make it clear, fast, and make it multi-channel. You want to meet these people where they live so that giving feels simple and convenient. Quick ways to do this are ensuring that the donate button is prominent on your website home page and updating your organization’s Facebook page to collect donations directly (more on that here.)
The key throughout all of these strategies is building a relationship with those who are aware of your organization. Before asking for a gift, you need to get to know this group and let them get to know you. Your communications should feel personal and compelling so that this group begins to learn more than just your name.
And if you’re still trying to figure out what this whole awareness thing is about, check out Sarah Durham’s blog What are we raising awareness for anyway.