While donor retention should be the priority, engaging new donors is vital to a nonprofit’s sustainability. But where do you find new donors? While we can’t tell you exactly where to find them, we can share a few techniques to help you!
Before you begin looking for new donors, it is essential to review and understand your typical donor profile. While this shouldn’t dictate your search, it will better inform your search!
Engage Your Board Members and Supporters
Chances are your board members and your organization’s friends haven’t spent much time prospecting within their circles. Create an activity to make them reflect on where they go and who they interact with.
Go Where Your Donors Are
This is where that donor profile comes in handy. You know your target audience, now think about where they are, both in-person and online, and be there! Attend events, engage with the same publications and social media accounts they do, and become a part of these communities both as an organization and as a community member.
Attend Networking Events
Whether it’s an in-person or a virtual event, get your business cards ready and put yourself out there. Make a few meaningful connections while attending the event and remember the more you participate, the more familiar your face and organization will be to others in the community! When the event is over, set aside some time to further connect with those you met via LinkedIn and email.
Who is donating to organizations with similar missions? What are they doing to gain new donors? Who attended your last events? What civic organizations are in your community? Who is engaging with you online? Ask yourself these questions, do your research, pull together a list of prospective donors, and begin looking for connections to these prospects!
Host a Party
Work with a board member or close friend of your organization to host a cocktail hour or party. To make this a successful event, the host or group of hosts must invite friends and colleagues. Take a small portion of the party to share about your organization and ask the host to share why they support your nonprofit’s mission. Consider providing a gift for each attendee that includes a donation slip and be sure to collect names and email addresses from the attendees to send a thank you!
Engage The Press
Maybe your organization is working on a significant project, maybe someone you serve has an inspiring story, or perhaps you have a hefty mission-based goal this year – whatever it is, pitch a good story! Media companies are always looking for content, and if you have a compelling story, they will run with it and your organization will benefit!
Whatever you do, don’t just sit and wait for donors to walk through the door. Your fundraising efforts should be active, thoughtful, and strategic.