If we are lucky, our organizations have at least a small core group of people who financially support it. We wouldn’t be where we are without these donors, but honestly, the more we expand and diversify our donor base, the more sustainable our organizations will be.
Social media is a great way to reach potential donors that are normally outside of your geographical area. Facebook, Twitter, and even Google+ can be great resources to spread a donation campaign or generally about the work you are doing. A quality, regularly updated Facebook page or Twitter handle can show potential donors what you are doing, how you are doing it, and how a donation can impact the work of your organization. Also interacting with other organizations on these sites will give supporters of similar programs an opportunity to check out your projects.
If you are looking for bigger donations, I find that crafting an elevator pitch is the best option. Whether you are at an event, happy hour, or there is a surprise encounter, it’s crucial to have a short pitch about how much money you are asking for, why you need the money, and how it will be used. Cold calls or emails sometimes work, but people really value face to face interactions, even if it is for 30 seconds.
Along the lines of storytelling, just talk to everyone about your organization as much as possible. People are much more willing to give money when they see that the people working within the organization are passionate about the mission. For example, I may have created a new opportunity for my organization at my sister’s graduation party. You never know when people are looking to give, so it’s best to always be ready.
After getting these new donors, what is the best way to make sure our donors keep on giving? I’ve found that organization is essential; keep track of who donates, when, and how much. Make sure the donors feel appreciated, whether it be through personalized thank you notes or a shout out on your Facebook page. The more your donors know about what is happening within your organization, the easier it is for them to talk about how your organization is a great one to support to their friends, family, co-workers, etc.
Ask! The worse they can say is no. Good luck!!