Any time the economy slows down or there are talks of a recession, people understandably give less to charitable organisations. People are less likely to donate or give during times of uncertainty, making it difficult for organisations to fund their philanthropic efforts. We have compiled a list of ways to boost your organisation’s charitable efforts.
1. Host a Gala Fundraising Event For Donors
Gala fundraising events can be an excellent way to boost donations within a short period of time. Not only do donors get in the giving mood, but they feel like they’re getting something out of it by getting all dressed up to enjoy a nice meal with their colleagues and family members. Increase the funds earned at a fundraising event by hosting raffles and giveaways.
2. Ask for Volunteer Time or Resources
Volunteer hours can be just as valuable as donations. Ask people who are unwilling to increase or meet their donation goals to volunteer their time instead. This also helps bring donors closer to the mission, which means they may give more later when they can.
You could also ask donors to donate resources they may have available. For example, an accountant could donate a free tax preparation, or a massage therapist, a free one-hour massage. Organisations can then use these resources to auction off at a fundraising event to earn even more money.
3. Request Future Donations
People may be more willing to donate in the future, especially if they’re hopeful that the economy will stay stable or recover. Requesting future donations also makes it easier for donors to plan ahead for expected costs.
Asking for future donations gives donors who are on the fence the time they need to research the organisation and decide on how much they’re willing to donate. Change up your wording when asking for donations, based on whether you’re asking the donor in person, by email, by text, or on social media.
4. Show Proof of Concept
Helping donors understand where their funds are going can also help increase donations. For example, if your organisation aims to assist with international issues like social and environmental initiatives, showing the social impact can be helpful.
Show photographs or videos of people in impoverished countries benefiting from the organisation’s efforts. Allow donors to attend outreach efforts that cater to at-risk youth or communities. Invite a child or family who has benefited from the organisation to a fundraising event to give a testimonial. Share videos of testimonials in a digital setting.
5. Provide Them With the Numbers
Any request for donations should be supported by statistics and transparent bookkeeping. This includes sharing how and where the funds will be used with potential and existing donors. It should also include any completed research that shows how likely the outreach efforts are to achieve the organisation’s goal.
6. Offer Options
Small donations can add up if you have enough of them. Appreciate the larger donations, but show those who donate less that they’re just as important. When giving options, it lets donors know that small donations are not only acceptable but also appreciated. You might also scale donations by giving thank-you gifts to donors based on the donated amount.
7. Go Online
Branching out your outreach efforts to a digital setting allows you to reach more people. Share your cause with others and find an online community that will support your efforts. You can even host online events for a small donation, such as game nights or educational webinars.
Even if your followers don’t have much to donate, ask them to share the cause with their friends and family. Let your followers know exactly what you need the funds for, which could also lead to an increase in volunteers, donated goods, or given resources. Make sure your organisation’s digital donation page is easy to use and secure. Rely on the power of leveraging social media to get the organisation’s word out.
8. Allow Recurring Donations
Big donors may be willing to spend more if given the opportunity. Requesting donors to set up recurring donations means a steady income for your organisation. If donors don’t want to commit to a certain amount each month or year, allow them to adjust their donation monthly.
You can send reminder emails asking for that month’s amount. A monthly newsletter also lets previous donors know where their funds are going and where the organisation plans to use any collected donations in the next couple of months. You could even set up a texting newsletter to reach more people.
Creativity and proof of concept can go a long way when raising funds for a cause that you believe in. Being open, transparent, and communicative with your donors helps you continue funding the causes you believe in, even during fluctuating economies.