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Allyson Kapin 6 min read

10 Tips to Ramp Up your Fundraising Today

Yesterday, Care2 held an insightful webinar on 10 Ways to Supercharge your Online Fundraising Campaigns with Elise Ledsinger of Humane Society International, Ghazal Vaghedi of Engaging Networks, and Eric Rardin of Care2.

Check out some of the great tips the panelists shared.

1. Lead with a thoughtful strategy, and set realistic goals to measure success.  It’s also important to remember that you can have access to the greatest tools in the world, but without a good fundraising strategy, tools won’t take your organization very far.

2. Put your content (e.g. story) at the heart of your strategy. Donors are often ruled by their emotions and telling them a compelling a story around your issue will help you raise more money.

3. Define your audience segments. Don’t send the same fundraising appeal to everyone on your list since your list is made of many different types of donors such as monthly donors, one-time donors who were recruited via a certain campaign, low-dollar donors, etc. If you are going to truly build relationships with your donors, you need to have a good understanding of how your donors are connected to your organization and segmenting can you help learn a lot about them.

4. Personalize your fundraising pitches. Donor levels should match specific fundraising asks. For example, a historically high-dollar donor should never get an ask that is below their previous giving level.

5. Experiment with conditional content, which is tied to your supporters profile in your content management system. CRMs like Engaging Networks allow organizations to send one email to all of their supporters but with easy access to swap in conditional content based on each user’s profile. Vaghedi says that this leads to higher engagement and donation conversions.

6. Roll out your fundraising campaign across multiple channels such as Direct Mail, email appeals, telemarketing, social media, etc. According to the donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report, the average multichannel donor (someone who donates both online and offline) contributes $197, compared to an offline-only donor who contributes $63.

7. Perfect your welcome series. Humane Society International has had a lot of success with their three-part welcome series. The first email in the series welcomes the new supporter, tells them about their mission and links them to a survey. Ledsinger says that the responses from the survey help the organization learn more about their supporters and what their interests are. The organization uses the information later to help personalize email messages. The second email is a donation appeal. If the supporter has already made a donation, they are asked to become a monthly donor. The third email in the series is a thank you note. Tip: Ledsinger also said that using catchy subject lines in their welcome series has increased open rates.

8. Segment your welcome series based on the channel supporters were recruited from.

9. Develop a marketing plan to recruit new donors. Since donors don’t typically come knocking on your door and say “hey I want to contribute money to your organization” you need to develop a plan to capture new donor leads. For example, when your organization launches a big online campaign around a key issue, leverage lead generation tactics such as paid acquisition campaigns through online communities like Care2 Be sure and take advantage of your Google Adwords grant if you have one.

10. Don't take your supporters for granted. You really need to pay attention to your donors and listen to their feedback. Don’t send them emails about issues they have not indicated any interest in, said Ledsinger.

Click here to view the fundraising webinar. You can also check out the slides below.


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.