In a world where donations can be given with the click of a mouse, it’s more important than ever for your brand to stand out in a crowded market. A strong brand can help build your donor database, provide clarity of your message, and most importantly grow your donations.
The donor of today is not the donor of yesterday. Today’s donor has more options than ever to give and no longer is an organization selected just based on proximity. It’s also no longer based on giving to just one organization – many donors today are looking for a number of organizations to provide monetary donations, physical donations, or volunteer opportunities. Brand means more today than it ever has before for non-profit organizations. You can be one of the most well run, well managed, and helpful organizations but without a strong brand, including story and messaging, you may be missing out on donors, volunteers, board members, event attendees, and associate board members.
Every day individuals see more than 4,000 number of ads. We’re all bombarded with social media posts, ads, text messages, and even spam calls. Add in emails, bills, and even political advertising and let’s be honest — we are all overwhelmed and confused about where we can put our dollars. Donors want to know that their donation is being used in an appropriate way but they also want to make sure to understand the organization they are giving to. You have to stand out — both visually and through messaging.
Want to reach that donor of today and donor of tomorrow? Follow these few steps or message the Fearless Thinkers to build a package that will help you grow your donations, build your donor database, and help you reach that next goal for your organization.
A common misconception is that brand means your logo. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the story your organization is telling. What’s that five minute (or less) elevator speech that will take me from a passive observer to an engaged donor?
In addition to that brand story — how and where you are telling that story is important. With mere seconds to tell the story while someone scrolls their Instagram or Facebook feed, you have to be clear and be direct. Why should I care? Why should I give? And what does that dollar do to support those that you support?
It’s not about that print newsletter or appeal anymore. In fact, more and more donors are seeing the cost behind those mailings. What can you do in a cost effective way that shows that you take the donation seriously and that you are meeting the donor where they are – which more often is online. There’s always a time and place for a physical mailing or appeal, but separating and building your donor database means that you are meeting each donor in the way they want to be marketed to.
Donors want and need to feel appreciated. Sometimes that’s through an in-person meeting, sometimes it’s through an email saying thank you, and sometimes that’s through a handwritten thank you. But the donor of today is not guaranteed to be your donor of tomorrow. You need to build the relationship with them to ensure that you are consistently top of mind when they have the ability to give. And most importantly — make that thank you in a timely fashion.
Again, be direct. But also don’t depend on that one donor to be your every time donor. Notice the effects of donor fatigue, or better yet, have that donor engaged in a new way that opens a new door. Have them invite friends out for a tour of your space. Host a volunteer day. Ask if they would host your meeting in their office. You may be surprised that with that small ask comes a big reward – possibly a donation but more importantly a brand advocate for you and your organization.
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