Top Tips for Charities to Ramp Up Donations Pre Christmas
As the charity data buying season is nearly upon us we thought we would share some top tips to optimise donor acquisition in the months ahead. 1.
Know what you stand for
1. It’s easy to stray from a chosen path as causes evolve and your charity grows. To make an impact and take correct decisions everyone at your organisation must understand why it exists. So, ask them and pay attention to what they think.
2. Understand your audience – who’s most likely to agree with your core purpose and support you? Pinning down donors’ needs, motivations and behaviours through audience insight will ensure they continue to give. This will allow you to make informed decisions around donor acquisition and retention for example, mailing 50k cold consumers who look like your most valued current donors with focussed acquisition channels such as an email to identify who has an interest and a direct mail piece to openers of the email to focus on conversion. You have now turned cold data into warm data and your ROI goes allot further with costly DM channels.
3. Don’t forget future donors – donor power doesn’t lie solely with over-50s. Millennials are reaching 40, and 40% of them say they’ll increase gifts in future. Gen Z are also donating in large numbers. Don’t ignore them; instead, develop relevant products, services, and donor journeys along with channels that will surprise them for example, we think they will only interact with digital channels, but they rarely receive a letter that would surprise them.
4. See facts as your friend – it’s vital to use all of the information available from multiple sources to understand how and why people interact with your organisation. Look for trends, ask copious questions.
5. Myth bust your story – what can you improve? Start from a viewpoint of what’s been tried before and how those strategies could be better by following steps 1 to 4 above.
6. Seek strategic agreement – actively involve all your people from the outset to seek buy-in, allowing them to discuss and challenge your collective mission through dialogue and workshops.
7. Plan for the unknown – who could have predicted the scale of upheaval and loss of income during the pandemic? The same can be said for recent problems to come as the cost-of-living crisis starts to bite. Scenario planning; emergency structures; an agile approach; and, above all, a clear vision to regroup around, will all help you prepare for future crises.
8. Be prepared to fail – empowering people to take risks means things will go wrong – but that’s fine. Enable funding for experimentations, taking a test-and-learn approach especially with external data that can inform and refine your strategy via collaboration across the whole team.
9. Swap whiteboard for real world – your strategy will not succeed unless you bring it to life, every employee can articulate it, and they know their role in making it happen. Explain the vision, the data and the feedback from across the organisation that brought you to this point.
10. Stay flexible and open-minded – there will never be one fixed fundraising strategy. Flexibility and agility are key as audience needs and behaviours change. Measurement against clear KPIs and feeding learnings back into the strategy as you go are the true foundations of success.