Why bother with individual donors, those people who make small contributions?
You do it because if you get enough of them, their donations add up, big.
During a recent fundraising conference, Lynn Boardman of Harvey McKinnon & Associates and Paul Klein of Indspire, an Indigenous-led nonprofit in Canada, talked about the benefits of building a base of individual donors, using Indspire, which gets 60 percent of its funding from individuals, as an example.
They emphasized the following steps:
- Convince the board. With the annual budget, set a three-year goal for X percent of revenue from individual donors.
- Purchase a database. The right fit matters.
- Hire staff. Have clear responsibilities.
- Make it easy for donors to give. No matter what the medium.
- Recruit new donors. Research, develop a case, test, test, test.
- Look at what others are doing.
- Pick the right channels. But remember the importance of multi-channel fundraising.
- Build your case for support. What makes this organization different? Why should they give?
- Use creative testing/package testing. What’s working in the industry?
- Say thank you in as many ways as possible.
- Renew support.
- Start a monthly giving program. The best prospects are direct mail donors.
- Remember to ask for gifts in a will.
- Measure and improve.