The healthcare landscape seems to be in a constant state of flux lately. Between uncertainty around changing regulations and new technologies cropping up all the time, there’s a lot of new information to take into account when planning your fundraising strategy. If your non-profit hasn't updated its fundraising tools and techniques in the last few years, it's definitely time to circle back and see where you can implement some new concepts and ideas.
Appeal to Millennials
For all the flack they get in think-pieces on the internet, millennials are very socially conscious and interested in supporting non-profits that are accomplishing things they're interested in. There’s also no alternative to them - so finding ways to engage with them is crucial. Even if they're not in a position to donate as much as they would like to now, building relationships with younger donors can yield a lifetime of giving.
The primary thing to consider when trying to entice millennials to support your organization is how you leverage technology to enable giving. This comes into play in several ways. Firstly, your youngest demographic has to be able to find you in the digital space. If you don’t have a robust social media presence and website, the chances of connecting with millennials are dramatically reduced. Next, you have to work on removing any logistical barriers to donating. Being able to accept donations online is a huge part of this; millennials are dramatically less inclined to write you a check and put it in the mail than older generations. There are lots of ways to make donating easier; accepting online payments like PayPal is one way, and if you want to take it a step further, you could enable text message-based donations.
If you’re trying to connect with millennials online, you want to keep your communications brief and make sure your messaging is effective. Your campaigns need to be sleek and modern, and the copy you send out needs to be short and to the point. Most millennials won’t read a multi-page mailer, so you need to get your message across quickly and effectively.
Non-profits have been segmenting donors for a long time. Some use different messaging or a different campaign with certain donor groups based on demographics, but segmenting also has a major impact on ask amount. Using different ask amounts for different people is a very smart way to attempt to get to the heart of your donors’ ability and desire to donate. If you are able to figure out the perfect ask amount, you can maximize the amount any given donor will contribute.
The problem is that simple demographic segmentation doesn't work that well. It assumes that every person in a broad demographic group both wants to and can afford to give exactly the same amount of money. Thanks to technology, better, more accurate options are cropping up all the time.
Using ExactAsk instead of overly simplistic demographic segmentation can help your non-profit connect with its donors and identify the perfect amount to asking for. Rather than treating donors as numbers in a demographic group, ExactAsk treats them as people. It usesbu machine learning to analyze the history of your relationship with each individual on your donor list, combine it with data culled from public records, and determine a unique ask amount for each one.
Re-Evaluate Event Schedule
If your non-profit is trying to improve its fundraising efforts, it’s always worth critically re-evaluating your event schedule. Many non-profits are coasting when it comes to their annual cycle of events; they only host the events they hosted the year before, and don’t really see a need to expand or change their offerings. However, even If your event schedule is well-balanced and each event is profitable enough to make sense, it’s still worth considering what else might help you grow your revenue. Most non-profits have some room for improvement.
Offering new types of events can introduce your organization to new audiences and reinvigorate your relationships with longtime donors. If you plan events that target groups you know haven’t connected with in the past, you may be able to significantly broaden both your public profile and your donor base. You can also collaborate with your donors on new events by sending out a survey to your current list to see what types of events they would be interested in. This serves both as a way to see what they actually want and to deepen your relationship with them.
You can also look for ways to reduce redundancies. If you’re hosting two main events per year and they’re very similar, you may want to adjust one to try and broaden your reach and avoid asking donors for the same thing twice. If you’ve gotten to a place where you feel you’re hosting too many events and they are cannibalizing each other’s attendees, you can eliminate some completely, recapture the revenue with the ones that remain and lower your administrative costs.
Donor Lifetime Value
Many non-profits focus the bulk of their efforts on attracting new donors. These organizations are working under the assumption that their existing donors will continue to give regularly without much attrition. As a result, they choose to focus most of their resources on growing their list of potential donors, but this can come at the cost of the health of their existing donor pool.
Focusing solely on donor acquisition is often a critical error, because it can cause organizations to miss out on realizing the value of the donors they’ve already connected with. Keeping your on-going donor relationships healthy requires a constant input of energy, but the payoff can be immense. Any given donor has a total lifetime value - the sum of their donations over all the years of your relationship - and if their actual donations fall short you may be leaving money on the table.
Using more accurate ask amounts is the best way to ensure you're getting the full lifetime value of each of your donors. Each successive campaign can yield more information about their giving habits, so you can tailor your ask amounts to them more effectively each time. You can also use strategies like social listening and current donor outreach through email newsletters to make it clear to your donors that you are putting their money to work in the way they intended. Donors feel good when they see their money accomplishing things, and will often give more as a result.
To find out more about relationship-based fundraising and how you can leverage personalized ask amounts to realize donor lifetime value, check out our new whitepaper.