Help Your Non-​Profits Win More Contributions

Is there anything you can do to help your non-​profits pull in more contributions during 2009? This is the year, according to a recent Harris Poll, that nearly ¼ of consumers will donate to fewer organizations and nearly 1/​3 will give less in general. But not all of the news is negative.

One of the key findings of this survey is that 60% of donors prefer to give ‘designated' gifts to a non-​profit. In general, consumers do not find the idea of general giving very appealing. But  if you help your client launch a fundraising campaign for a specific program or goal such as buying new equipment for a free health clinic or constructing a new building at a school which serves disadvantaged youth, donors may be more likely to open their wallets.

Another way to increase donations may be to reach out through social networking. Currently only 6% of adults say they use social networking to follow their favorite charities. However, this group of adults seems to be particularly active in terms of spreading the news to friends and family members. Over half of these adults discussed a specific nonprofit organization or event with others. These discussions may act as multipliers in reaching consumers who would otherwise not have heard about the nonprofit. These  discussions also build a community of people who may ‘adopt' the charitable organization as a means of staying connected with friends. All of this activity leads to a higher profile for the organization and possibly an improved rate of contribution.

Review the results of this survey with non-​profit organizations in your market. Suggest new ways to market fundraisers and if the organization cannot afford to pay  your fees, you'll at least gain some community visibility of your own.

[Source: Harris Poll, March 17, 2009] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.