Want to Build a Strong Fundraising Foundation? Get Started With These Steps

In December 2018, Kindful sent out a survey to its database, which was completed by more than 1,200 nonprofit professionals from across the country. Their responses offered insightful looks into their organizations’ budgets, fundraising efforts, and goals for 2019.

The results inspired us. With their needs in mind, we created “Online Fundraising That Works, a guide to website, email, and social media for nonprofits.” You can download the guide for free here.

Before you can start taking advantage of the tools and tips included in the guide, however, you have to understand what shape your fundraising ecosystem is in as it stands today. Once you know where you are, you’ll know what steps you need to take to get to where you want to be.

Here are four steps you can take today to get a better understanding of your foundation and feel confident building on it.

Step 1: Run an Audit of Your Tools

Because technology is always changing, it’s important to continually assess what’s working for you, what isn’t, and what new tools may now exist to help you reach your fundraising goals.

Once you know what tools are at your disposal, it’s time to think about integrating them.

Did you know your tools can talk to each other?

You can make this happen by setting up integrations that allow your tools to interact with each other in a way that is consistent, gather your data in one place, and automatically update your donors’ profiles as information comes in.

So ask yourself: Do my tools talk to each other? What integrations are in place and which ones can I set up this year?

Have questions? Schedule a demo with us. We’d love to show you what we mean.

ACTION: Download the Kindful Data Audit Checklist.

Step 2: Understand the Donor Journey

If you’re not thinking about a donor’s interaction with your organization, you may be losing sight of your donor and what their experience is like.

People want to feel seen and understand, and understanding the donor journey is a way to ensure you keep that front of mind when creating your giving pathways.

ACTION: Create your donor journey with this worksheet from Kindful.
One of the hardest but most important steps you can take is to question old beliefs. What patterns are you repeating because you think they’re accurate? If you’re not interrogating where you are and what information you’re operating with, you might be moving in the wrong direction without realizing it.

ACTION: We recommend asking yourself and your team questions like:

  • How do we think about in-person versus digital donations?
  • How do we view the relationship between fundraising and marketing?
  • Do we consider that older donors are just as likely as younger donors to contribute online or have we been operating from the belief that the only/best way to reach older demographics is through traditional means?

Write down a list of the stories you’re telling yourself about what your donors want and how they think and see if any of these stories still hold true or if you need to reframe those narratives.

Step 4: Determine Capacity

Another question to ask is, “Whose job is it anyway?”

A strategy is only as strong as its ability to be implemented. You should be looking for the person who is best positioned to take on certain roles. Once you find them, ask what they’ll need to accomplish the goals your organization has set.

For example, just because someone manages your finances doesn’t mean they’re the best person to communicate with donors via email. Keeping people aligned with their unique abilities, as much as possible, will serve your organization well.

ACTION: As you’re thinking all of this through, determine who has the capacity to handle the responsibility of integrating, managing, and improving the different aspects of your fundraising ecosystem. As always, we’re here to help make 2019 your most successful fundraising year yet. Once you take these steps and review the guide we put together for you, we’d love to hear about your experience! Just send an email to hi@kindful.com

Download our latest ebook, Online Fundraising That Works, a guide to website, email, and social media for nonprofits today!