Guest post by Joe Garecht from The Fundraising Authority
Sometimes it seems like larger non-profits have all the advantages. They have a huge development budget, dozens of fundraisers, and all the bells and whistles they need to get the job done. For those of us raising money for small organizations, it just doesn’t seem fair.
The truth of the matter, though, is that many of the strategies used by large non-profits can be adapted for small organizations, where they are just as effective, if not more so.
Here are three key tactics small non-profits can borrow from larger charities to supercharge their fundraising efforts:
#1 – Raise Money Online… the Right Way
At smaller non-profits, we often focus on the “Donate Now” button. We put up the best website we can afford, follow the advice we read about making the donate button big and bold, and sit back hoping for the best.
Larger organizations know that the real secret of effective online fundraising is building an e-mail list. They focus everything on their website towards the one big goal of getting people to give them an e-mail address the non-profit can use to cultivate prospects online.
Sure, you should have a big and bold “Donate Now” button on your website, but if you really want to fundraise like the big boys, focus on building a list you can use over and over again to cultivate and solicit donors.
#2 – Ask for Referrals
Quick… what’s the best way to find new prospects for your non-profit? If you said “send out more letters and hold more events!” then you’re thinking like a small organization. Larger charities know that the best way for any non-profit – including yours – to find new prospects is to earn referrals from your board, donors, volunteers and other supporters.
Getting referrals takes time, and it requires making an ask. When was the last time you asked your donors to introduce you to their friends, family and co-workers? It works! For a more detailed look at creating a referral program for your organization, read The Best Place to Find New Donor Prospects for Your Non-Profit.
#3 – Diversify Your Tactics
Too many small non-profits rely on one major fundraising event per year to raise most of their budget. Likewise, many small shops are grant-dependent, or focus almost entirely on board giving or on direct mail. Putting all of your fundraising efforts into one basket is a recipe for disaster.
Instead, do what the big boys do: diversify your tactics. Don’t rely too heavily on any one fundraising technique. The more successful you are in diversifying, the more stable your non-profit will be in the long run. Focus on individual giving, and add in new techniques and tactics every year. Keep what works, discard what doesn’t. Before long, you’ll have a well-oiled fundraising funnel that keeps your donors excited and engaged.
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