Here are the only rules you need

Jeff Roman

If you’re in fundraising, it’s one thing to regularly reach out to your donors for support, but it’s another thing entirely to ACTUALLY get them to donate each time you ask.

Today, I’m going to share some ways that might help you STOP feeling like you’re constantly nagging people to give. Plus, I’ll do it in 10 quick tips so you can get on with your day.

Instead, you’ll connect with your audience in a way that develops trust, deepens their commitment to your cause AND elicits donations.

(COMING SOON: In the near future, I’ll share how I raised $750,000 with small pieces of chocolate!)

Ready? Let’s go!

1️⃣ Start with the basics – Don’t make assumptions about what your target audience already knows. You need to tell donors WHO you are and WHY they should care. Do it often. Start a conversation. Ask them questions. Incorporate donor surveys on occasion. Turn your donor relationship into an ACTUAL relationship and you’ll see a shift in your results.

2️⃣ Keep it simple – Way too many organizations OVERTHINK their donor communication. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be consistent. You don’t need to perfect your marketing speak. You need to be regularly connecting with your potential donors. Don’t get in your head and slow this process down.

3️⃣ Acknowledge your two audiences – As a fundraiser, you have TWO types of people you’re talking to. One group is those who’ve already given to your cause (your warm list). The other (your cold list) has never given. Communicate regularly with both.

4️⃣ Training over opinions, every time – Are you serious about getting donations and expanding the reach of your organization? Invest in training for your team. Don’t get stuck in an untested, uneducated internal approval loop.

5️⃣ Focus on moving your cold leads to warm – This isn’t rocket science. There is a proven process that WORKS and it’s called a sales lead funnel. Yuck! We’re a nonprofit Jeff, we don’t want a sales funnel.  If you haven’t adapted it, it’s timeLet’s talk.

 6️⃣ Use stories to make the ask – Storytelling is powerful in your donor comms. But don’t leave out the ask! In fact, every email needs one by your third short paragraph, if not sooner. Ask us about Stories of One.

7️⃣ Don’t get stuck – Mess up? Do something in the wrong order? Took a chance and it didn’t pan out? There’s always next time. Don’t get stuck on what didn’t work. The one thing that didn’t work today may work a week, month or year later.

8️⃣ Tell us what you know – What do you KNOW for sure? What are the facts? Tell them to your readers. Make this clear, concise, challenging and powerful.

9️⃣ Ask “What will make more money?” – Stop letting your internal approval process ruin your results. Just ask this simple question and let it make every marketing decision for you.

🔟 What are you giving your readers? – This is a two-way relationship. Make sure your audience is taking something away, whether they end up giving or not. Build value. This could be encouragement, thankfulness or entertainment, but make sure they walk away with SOMETHING.

Here’s what you need to do from here: SAVE this list. PRINT it out and hang it at your desk. FORWARD it to your coworkers. Then LIVE by it and get ready to have more success with your donor comms than ever before.

Now tell me: Which of these 10 tips were you surprised to see? We’ll take a deeper dive into these tips very soon. Happy Easter Week!