The most successful nonprofit leaders understand that donor retention is crucial to maintaining sustainable revenue. However, every year, a percentage of donors fall off the roles because they have moved on from your cause, have different priorities, or there has been a life change. Therefore, although donor retention is a vital part of a nonprofit’s fundraising program, donor acquisition also plays an essential component.

Why can it seem tough to get new donors?

There are several reasons charities can find it a challenge to recruit new donors, but all of them can be overcome. The following are a few of the top reasons donor acquisition can seem daunting and what you can do to ensure that you’re successful at getting new donors on board.

  • People do not understand what your organization is trying to achieve because you’re not explaining your work well enough in your marketing.
  • Prospective donors do not see the impact you’re making in the community.
  • Board members are not active in helping your fundraising team to raise awareness and money for your organization.
  • Your nonprofit is not communicating with prospects where they are found, such as social media.
  • You are not using a multi-channel approach to obtaining new donors, and you’re messaging is the same for everyone.


How to overcome the top challenges for getting new donors

Nonprofit leaders and fundraisers should understand that to impact their mission, they must make fundraising a priority. In doing so, it’s essential to devise ways to overcome the fundraising challenges of acquiring new donors. The following are a couple of strategies to ensure that you can get new donors on your database despite the obstacles.

  • Communicating your mission and work well. Some nonprofit organizations write copy and content about the work they do that is too dense and academic. Most people are not academicians, and it’s vital to make the information you’re delivering to the broader community simple. Figure out ways to tell your story directly with some of the facts and more of the stories that are aimed at capturing the hearts and minds of members of your community.
  • Impact is about facts and statistics. Donors want to understand what you’re doing to accomplish your mission. Stories will tug at the heart, but potential donors also want to know the number of families and people whom you are helping. Be clear about the facts of the work you do and provide people who come to your website or see your content specifics that help raise brand awareness and fundraising dollars, such as how much you want to raise, and how many people will be assisted by the money.
  • Board members are leaders of fundraising. Many times board members like the prestige that comes from serving on a nonprofit board. But, board members have to be encouraged to rise to their position in the community. One of the best things a nonprofit executive leader can do for his or her organization is to make the board a 100% give or get board. Meaning, all members should either support the organization financially themselves each year with a personal contribution or raise money from others. It’s not about the level of giving; it’s about being part of the solution to ensure the financial stability of the organization.
  • Become donor-centered. Donors today are found in all places, and it’s essential for your organization to understand that you must be where your donors are regarding how they communicate. Older prospects may prefer receiving letters in the mail, and younger prospective donors may want to engage with you with a social media post, tweet or text. Whatever the platform, your nonprofit must be open to being involved and engaged in communicating with donors and prospects in the way they prefer. That comes from knowing your donors and prospects well.
  • Telling your story well on each platform. And following on the earlier point, when you are where your prospects and donors are and communicate to them through the mail, email, text, social media, etc., the way you communicate in each of these platforms will be different. Learn to master communication on all of these channels and tell your nonprofit story in the best way possible for each of the platforms in a way that will be engaging, concise and compelling.

Getting new donors takes work, but it’s not impossible. All it takes is awareness of what you have to do, and a few tips and strategies consistently used to get the message out to prospective donors.

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