Nonprofit Marketing

5 Ways to Attract New Fundraising Donors

Posted by Pete Forbes on Jun 3, 2016 7:30:00 AM
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5 Ways to Attract New Fundraising Donors

Successful fundraising combines the use of old media (direct mailers) and new media (a strong online presence). To attract new donors to your nonprofit (and sustain a relationship with the ones you have), here are five fundraising tips for online and offline platforms:

Freshen Up Your Direct Mail

Even in 2016, many donors prefer to be engaged through direct mail. So give every correspondence the impact your nonprofit deserves. Stay innovative, succinct, clear and on message in all letters and outreach materials sent through direct mail.

Ask for Specific Needs: Allowing potential donors to see how you are matching your requests to your specific needs adds a personal touch to what could have been an impersonal piece of mail.

For example, use a mailer to explain how a contribution to an environmental preservation campaign will make a difference between success and failure. Allow donors to "adopt" or sponsor a certain wildlife animal with monthly funding.

Or include testimonies from families who will receive disaster relief aid due to a one-time contribution.

Evaluate Your Success: Save and analyze all donor data! When you send out a direct mail campaign, how many envelopes return with donations inside?

Is the rate better, comparable, or worse than when fundraising requests go out in an e-mail newsletter? (Or better yet, find out if your digital and traditional appeals are complementing one another.)

Are you maxed out direct mail-wise? See how you stack up with our free scorecard 


Engage through Digital Marketing

Engagement with constituents over online platforms is crucial, though the rules for digital marketing change at a fast pace. Nonprofits absolutely must stay at the cutting edge of online engagement in order to attract new donors. Consider:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you were to enter what your nonprofit does into a search engine, would your organization be the first hit?

Would it even appear on the first results page?

One way to attract interested donors is to make sure they can find your online platform in the first place. Consider how the keywords used on your website make it easier, or harder, for potential donors to find information about you.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising with Google

Google's AdWords helps your organization's page pop up when a user searches something similar. (Search terms, for example, might be "donate toys to families," "foster a rescue dog" or "volunteer with senior citizens.")

It may be worth investing in this advertising strategy -- you only pay when people click your links. Or you may even apply for a Google grant to cover nonprofit advertising.

E-Mail Marketing

An e-mail newsletter can be an effective way for nonprofits to brand their cause, engage with constituents, and solicit donations.

But this strategy can also go awry. E-mailing too often, or sending repetitive content, can cause potential donors to unsubscribe.

Keep your content fresh, stay on message, and make sure your newsletters have accurate information on how donations to your cause can be made.


The above highlights a few ways to obtain new donors. However, there are plenty of ways to diminish your efforts. Check them out in our free downloadable ebook:

seven deadly sins of nonprofit fundraising


Topics: direct mail, digital marketing

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