When you got back to work after the holiday break, chances are, a lot of office chatter involved resolutions to get back into shape. It’s a true sign of the time: it’s the New Year, and it’s time to hit the gym.
As you plan for the year ahead, you might be thinking of a different kind of fitness plan; that is, you want your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts to “hit the gym,” too. You want a strong, toned, healthy fundraising strategy that yields great results.
In the spirit of the New Year, let’s get into shape – fundraising-style. We’ve come up with five “exercises” to help.
1. Set Specific Fitness Goals
No personal trainer will start an exercise plan without knowing what you want to achieve. That’s because you won’t get very far if you don’t know where you’re headed.
Sit down with your development team and identify specific fundraising goals for the next year. Then, devise a plan to achieve them.
2. Tone Your Strategy with Monthly Giving
Get toned with high repetitions, low weight. Instead of requesting only one-time donations, give your supporters a monthly giving option, in which they’ll donate more frequently, in smaller amounts.
These “high rep, low weight” giving options commonly add up to increased overall gifts. For example, perhaps a segment of your donors commonly give one-time $150 donations. If you ask them to give $25 monthly, they’ll end up giving a total of $300 each, and you’ll have a more reliable stream of income throughout the year.
Once you hit your stride with this system, you’ll start seeing great results.
3. Fuel Your Efforts with Mobile Fundraising
When a person walks into a gym and says she wants to be healthy and fit, her trainer isn’t going to give her only an exercise plan. He’s also going to tell her to eat healthy food. That’s because total fitness depends upon how you fuel your system, too.
Because mobile devices are becoming so central to people’s lives, total fundraising fitness can’t be achieved if mobile fundraising options aren’t fueling your strategies. Think of a mobile fundraising option as the “Paleo” of your nonprofit’s fundraising fitness. It’s your way of feeding your fundraising strategy the healthiest “food” possible, giving it the fuel it needs to help you reach your goals.
4. Boost Your Endorphins with Peer-to-Peer Campaigns
As with any new fitness program, engaging with others helps you stay motivated. Other people’s enthusiasm can push you to get moving. Soon, you’ll feed off their energy and exceed your goals.
Use this mentality for your fundraising strategy, and integrate peer-to-peer campaigns into your annual plan. When they’re well implemented, they will boost excitement about your cause. People can give to your organization, share their donations on social media, tag friends and encourage them to give as well.
This process can draw hundreds of new donors, rev up energy, keep people enthusiastic about your cause and motivate YOU to keep moving.
5. Pump Up Your Asks
You’ll never know if you can achieve a little more if you don’t push a little further. This year, attempt to draw in greater overall gifts by pumping up your “asks.” When you design your direct-mail response envelopes or your mobile fundraising pages, input slightly higher numbers for your suggested donations boxes.
If you usually suggest $10, $25, $50, $100 and $250, try for $50, $100, $150, $200 and $500. You can also customize your response forms according to your donors’ giving histories.