Benjamin Franklin famously said, ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ Sadly, that seems to be how most nonprofits approach fundraising: with little to no preparation. Successful fundraising involves setting specific and measurable goals to ensure the best possible outcome. It also goes a long way in making sure you don’t commit one of the five following fundraising mistakes:
- Mistake #1 – Sending Out a Generic Donation Request on Social Media
Don’t alienate potential donors by automatically sending a version of this message: ‘Thanks for the follow! Check out our website and make a donation.’ Your first communication with a donor should never involve asking for money. Take time to cultivate and build a relationship first.
- Mistake #2 – Not Connecting the Dots
Sixty-three percent of donors like knowing how their money will be used, so be specific. Instead of asking for $10 to help prevent malaria in Africa say, ‘Your $10 donation will buy one mosquito net for a child in Africa and reduce their chance of malaria exposure by up to 70 percent!
- Mistake #3 – Ignoring Your Data
Your data plays a huge role in knowing who your donors are, what’s working, and what isn’t. If the thought of managing all that info makes your head spin, use fundraising software to track gifts, send thank you notes, produce fundraising appeals, and track campaign effectiveness.
- Mistake #4 – Asking Before Thanking
Properly thank your donors before asking them for another donation. Remember, the best cultivation for the next gift hinges on how donors are treated after their last gift. Be timely with communication, be specific with details, and be sincere and gracious in your appreciation.
- Mistake #5 – Not Following a Code of Ethics
Nonprofit professionals are a special breed, but that doesn’t mean they are immune to indiscretions. All it takes is one misstep to undo a reputation or career. To help that from happening, the Association of Fundraising Professionals has created standards and procedures that help navigate ethical dilemmas.
Avoid these fundraising mistakes and make your life easier by creating your next event on Events.com.