Understanding your donors and what motivates them is key to creating an experience that will take a prospective donor from an observer to a committed supporter. Here are five things to consider as you aim to grow and cultivate donor relationships through acquisition.
1. Your investment tolerance
Many organizations engage in acquisition without fully appreciating the investment involved. It’s important that everyone up and down your organization agrees to the risk and understands the expected return on investment. Acquisition is not an investment that pays off overnight, and it may take years to reap the true rewards of your efforts. Have a clear and patient understanding of that reality.
2. The types of donors you want to reach
Before you start your acquisition efforts, you need to know the audience you are targeting and have alignment in this area. You may be looking to acquire the same kind of donors you currently have, or be looking to acquire a new demographic, or utilize a new channel. Depending on your focus, the approach and expected results may look different.
3. Your case for support
Many organizations have a difficult time answering the (seemingly) simple question: “Why are you raising money?” Perhaps it’s because organizations do a lot of good work, and it’s too hard to distill it down to one simple call to action. Or because this critical component of fundraising does not receive enough attention industry-wide. Either way, it is difficult for a prospective donor to decide whether your organization is worthy of their contribution—and their loyalty—if they don’t understand why they should support you.
4. Your best channels for engagement
From mail, email, digital, and social, there are many different channels you can use to reach your target audience. Understanding the cost to advertise on each channel and which channel will create the best return for your audience should drive your investment.
5. Your new donor conversion strategy
Finally, make sure you have a plan for the new donors you acquire. You need to protect your acquisition investment by ensuring you have put the necessary strategies in place to create an experience that will bond your new donors to your organization and secure that all-important second gift. This may require the investment of more time, money, and effort—but it will pay off in the long run.