This is a guest post by Andrew Arrieta, founder of Enact Impact, a group that connects nonprofits to social impact experts for solutions. Their work enables nonprofits to focus on their mission and stay on their feet, instead of becoming bogged down by solvable problems. Their growing community of experts have experience with organizations such as Amnesty International, UNICEF, and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Stepping up and asking for nonprofit donations can be intimidating. People work hard for their cash, and you need to help them understand why they should connect with your cause. The secret is not selling to or convincing them – it’s showing them why they already care. As soon as they realize how much your cause matters to them, of course they will give!
But how do you best ignite those existing passions in prospective nonprofit fundraising donors? Illustrate the story behind the cause and appeal to their emotions with these five tips:
Use the power of video to engage them with the story behind your cause. Making simple videos is easier than ever and sharing them on YouTube, the second-largest search engine in the world, means you can connect with many more prospective donors (who are already searching for your cause) than with your social media profiles or website alone. Start simply by sharing a compelling personal story to inspire them to join you in accomplishing your nonprofit fundraising goal.
Remember the Photos
Be sure to publish simple yet compelling photos of your brand in action. People are much more likely to support a nonprofit fundraising cause or make a purchase when they can see what they are buying (or how they are helping). Imagery is powerful – use photos of previous on-site efforts and those who have benefited from previous campaigns to make your social media presence and website shine.
Create relatable content and establish trust. Use your nonprofit’s blog to highlight the value of your efforts by publishing success stories and featuring staff, volunteers, previous donors and constituents and including their own stories. If you engage readers by creating credibility and trust through testimonials, success stories and more, they will quickly develop trust and a sense of connection with your organization and your cause.
Paint a picture of the impact of their actions with real numbers. Will their donation feed a family of five for eight weeks? Save an acre of an endangered forest? Give a large group of homeless people warm blankets and hot meals? Seeing exactly how far their money will go solidifies their belief in your organization and the real-world impact and value of their donations.
Let Them Be Heard
Give them a real sense of place in the purpose. Remember that you are not selling anything. You are putting everything you can into a valid nonprofit fundraising cause that will help the world, not your wallet. Involve the donors by inviting them into your online community, asking their advice and letting them be heard. This is what most people really want, and involving them may not only reveal their passions, fears and questions (which you can genuinely speak to) – it will make them feel a sense of ownership and value in your organization – a cause in which they will be more than happy to invest with donations.
Is there anything your nonprofit or church does to emotionally appeal to your donors? Let us know in the comments.