How To Get New Donations From Your Nonprofit Contact List

KindfulMay 31, 2016

How To Get New Donations From Your Nonprofit Contact List header image

Almost every nonprofit has a contact list. Organizations get contacts in many different ways—past event attendees, volunteers, previous donors, and marketing leads. All the contact information you’ve acquired is key to getting new donations.

Whether you’re using spreadsheets or a donor management system to keep track of your contact list, communicating with the right people is the first step to cultivating donors and securing gifts.

The key is to target the right people who are most likely to press the donate button. Here are 4 types of contacts you can cultivate from your contact list to secure more donations.

1. Lapsed Donors

Your lapsed donors are a great place to start. Maybe they made a big gift in 2018 but haven’t interacted since then. Is it worth it to reach out to lapsed donors? Yes – but with some consideration of how much return you expect to see on your investment. On one hand, sending lapsed donors a strategic email that will reignite their excitement and financial giving is never a bad idea. But on the other hand, if you spend $500 to reach out to lapsed donors and only get $50 in online donations back, it’s clearly not worth the investment. So do some research on the giving history of your lapsed donors before you reach out. Make sure the money you spend on reaching out won’t exceed what you actually fundraise.

2. Prospective Donors

Prospective donors know your organization exists but likely don’t know much else about it. They haven’t interacted beyond one event or mailing and haven’t given online. With this group, it’s important to send the right kind of fundraising email – no “give again” requests or “thank you for giving in the past” notes – because they’ve never given before. Instead, focus on sending content that’s concise, compelling, and will organically deepen your relationship over time. Ask them to subscribe to your blog, like you on social media, or come to an event before you ask them to give.

3. Periodic Donors

Whether they’ve given once or a few times, regular donors are much more promising leads than prospective donors because you know there’s already a foundation for their interest and support. Because they’ve given before, they’re likely to give again. Focus on extending your communications with these people as you would other prospects, but offer the opportunity to be recurring givers as well.

4. Contacts With Invalid Addresses

This may not seem like an important group to highlight in your mailing list, but figuring out who you have the wrong or incomplete address for might just save you a ton of money. Because most marketing automation platforms charge you per record, sending an email to an incorrect address only to have it bounce back will be a waste of money. This is true for mailing addresses as well – don’t spend money to send a package to a wrong or incorrect address!

Using Donor Management Software To Organize Your Contact List

When it comes to keeping track of your growing contact list and donor base, it’s critical to stay organized. A good donor management system will make it easy for you to pull reports on lapsed donors, prospective donors, periodic donors, and contacts with invalid addresses. Not sure if it’s worth it? Here are 7 other benefits to investing in good donation software.

7 Benefits Of A Donor Management Platform »

Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.

Filed Under:   Fundraising