Could Your Nonprofit Be Doing More to Optimize Fundraising Results?

You might be looking for ways to raise more funds. But you’re already busy running peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, hosting fundraising events, sending fundraising emails campaigns. The list goes on.

How can you improve results without adding another project to the calendar?

There are practices you can incorporate into your ongoing work to boost the outcomes of your fundraising efforts. Here are four ideas:  

1. Keep your data in top shape.
Your fundraising campaigns and events won’t deliver ideal results if you have outdated, duplicate, and/or missing donor data. Clean your donor data (and keep it clean) by:

  • Merging or deleting duplicate records – If it’s been a while since you last deduplicated, then dedicate a person or small team to dedupe daily until it’s completed. Then, move to a regular schedule for ongoing maintenance.
  • Finding records that need to be updated and adding to or correcting them – Run data queries in your customer relationship management (CRM) or donor database to find records that need work. If needed, ask your software vendor or a nonprofit technology consultant (like Cathexis Partners!) for training and guidance on how to run data queries in your specific software platform.
  • Updating your organization’s database policies to ensure data is entered and cleaned properly – Review this document with new staff members and notify your entire organization when you make any updates to the document.

Discover more tips on how to keep your data tidy. Read the guide, 5 Tips for Keeping Your Nonprofit’s Data Clean and Ready to Use.

2. Dig into your fundraising data.
Analyze data from your fundraising campaigns and events to look for trends and opportunities to boost fundraising results, and then put your insights to use. For example:

  • Use data to segment audiences and customize messages based on their interaction with your organization. For example, add a personal note to your email, such as: “Thank you for [donating/fundraising] $X last year,” or “Thank you for being one of our top XX [donors/fundraisers] last year.”
  • Add compelling data from past campaigns or events. For example, “Last year we raised $X million dollars. With that money we were able to fund XX research grants. So far, those grants have produced XXX hours in the lab, which resulted in X new clinical trials set to launch in Q2 2024.”
  • Review what worked and what didn’t with past campaigns so you can let go of things that don’t work well and have more time for the things that do. And don’t wait until your next campaign is over to begin analyzing it: Review campaign status reports on a regular basis, and adjust as needed to improve results.

3. Tweak your website.
Make sure it’s easy for people (donors, event attendees, peer-to-peer event participants, etc.) to find the information they’re seeking on your campaign site. Pretend you know nothing about your campaign (or find someone to help you who isn’t familiar with your campaigns) and go to the home page of your website. Step through the online process and make notes of anything that’s confusing or tedious. Then, work with your website manager to make improvements.

4. Optimize your donation form.
Optimizing your donation form can help you get more out of each donation. Some ideas:

  • Use your CRM or fundraising software to automatically specify ask levels based on each donor’s previous donation level. For example, if a donor previously donated $25, you might start your ask levels for that donor at $25, or even bump it up to $30. This approach encourages donors to give more.
  • Offer an option on your donation form for donors to cover the cost of any transaction fees charged by your payment processor.
  • Give donors the option to make their donation a recurring gift, with convenient monthly payments charged automatically to their credit card.
  • Add a matching gift tool to your forms, making it easier to take advantage of corporate matching programs.

When you want to improve your fundraising results, you don’t necessarily need to add more campaigns and events. Use the techniques in this article and start getting more out of your fundraising efforts right away!

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