Most non-profits rely heavily on donations from other organisations and individuals to support their cause and keep their operations going. Picking the right time and strategy to ask for donations can make the process a whole lot easier. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Pick the right time
The ‘when’ can always be a delicate matter when asking other people for money. However, there are certain times when people can be more willing to part with their hard-earned cash:
- At events: Whether you’re the host or a guest, there might not be a better opportunity to ask for donations than at a charity event. After all, people are already there for the right reasons. Guests are likely already aware of your work and more receptive to offer contributions in this environment.
- At the end of the year: In the weeks leading up to Christmas, people seem to be in more of a ‘giving’ mood. This can make it a great time to ask for donations, as people tend to feel more generous when they get into the holiday spirit.
- At the end of the financial year: Due to tax deductions, many people will be willing to give leading up to the end of the financial year.
- During a dedicated period: Many non-profits can be linked to certain awareness months, weeks, or days, such as Dementia Awareness Month, National Skin Cancer Action Week, and International Women’s Day. If your non-profit links up with any of these dates, you can use this time to drive donations.
2. Catch their eye
Whether it’s via email, in person, or on social media, if you want to warm people to your cause, your messaging needs to have impact – otherwise, chances are you will lose their interest before you’ve even popped the question. Using a striking opening statement combined with strong imagery can leave a longer lasting impression on your prospects.
3. Tell a story
Telling an authentic story can inspire more people to get involved. If your target group feels a personal connection to your cause, they are more likely to donate. You can tell them, for example, who the donation is for, how donations have helped in the past, and why your organisation is passionate about this topic. This can help them relate to your mission.
4. Make it as easy as possible
People can lose interest fast if they’re asked to jump through too many hoops. So, it’s important to make the donation process as simple as possible. An online donation system with a shareable link can be useful. A smooth user interface and pre-set amounts can also contribute to a hassle-free donation experience.
5. Showcase your work
Publicly disclosing a fundraising goal and showcasing the positive impact of previous donations can create a more tangible experience for your prospects. It also gives them a better idea of where their money is going.
6. Show gratitude
It’s good practice to follow up every donation with a show of gratitude. Showing your appreciation helps validate donors in their choice and can increase chances of receiving another donation from the same person down the track. Sending out ‘thank you’ notes with insights into how their donation is going to help can also forge a stronger bond between your organisation and its benefactors.