The Donation Maximization Blog

Eliminate the Barriers to Raising More for Nonprofits



Even with the most noble of causes, limited administrative resources mixed with low engagement can spell disaster for Giving Development Officers looking to boost their annual donations. Consider the following challenges that nonprofits commonly face — and their respective solutions.

Data Quality and Making Use of Data

We live in the era of Big Data, with massive troves of donor information available at our fingertips. But this in and of itself isn’t exactly a boon to fundraising: As data volume levels rise, data quality levels get increasingly hard to maintain — requiring additional time and resources that your nonprofit may simply lack the budget for. Without regular data quality checks, enterprises can experience misspent marketing dollars, email fatigue, unsubscribing donors and worse, lost business.

“Within my office, I have at least seven databases that I have to work with, and that is really the time-consuming challenge,” said John Andresen, Director of Annual Giving for Alzheimer’s Canada. “I can’t really get to all of those other sources of information and get out to people in an effective way.”

Streamlining data aggregation, quality-checking and analysis are good ways to avoid many of the pitfalls of wading through data lakes, trying to find the right information, without even knowing if the information you’ve collected is useful. Using a predictive analytics platform is one of the ways that targeted fundraising campaigns can more effectively utilize data.

Lack of Clarity

When approaching a new or returning donor, one important element that they are likely to be looking for is clarity. Your donors want to understand where their money is going and why they’re being approached.

Too many nonprofits suffer from an inability to pin down their mission and strategy on both the macro and micro level. This can manifest itself in many ways, from Development Officers struggling to tell their story to being unclear about exactly how much money they are even asking for. Asking for too much — or too little — is a sign of operational confusion about the overall donor profile a nonprofit is targeting.

One way nonprofits can eliminate barriers to raising more is by using personalized ask amounts to zero in on a number based on what their donors are willing to give — often resulting in increased donation amounts up to 76 percent higher. This is invaluable when it comes to guiding nonprofits and further connecting them with their donor base and mission.  

Staying Lean

For most nonprofits, the root cause of most challenges is limited resources. There is never enough money or hours in the day to reach every possible donor. Nonprofits need to be able to make the most of every dollar spent and every decision made.

Operationally, it’s ‘how do you run your ship lean? How do you keep your cost to raise a dollar lean? How do you give your ROI the impact that it needs?’” asks Mary Lynne Stewart of March of Dimes Canada. “Peoples’ expectations are huge when it comes to what you’re doing operationally.”

While the judicious application of inexpensive evergreen inbound marketing materials can certain help get the most bang for your buck, the key is efficiency and — where possible — automation. Your time and the time of your staff are significantly more precious, limited and expensive than that of an automated, predictive analytic software solution like those offered by Arjuna.

Through staying lean, maximizing the use of data, keeping your eyes trained on your donor profile and base, nonprofits can defeat the challenges they face and generate higher donation numbers.   

To learn more about how using personalized ask amounts can help your nonprofit eliminate barriers to raising more, contact us for a free demo.

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