10 Fundraising Facts You Need to Know

  1. According to AARP’s October 2016 issue, people over 60 years-of-age account for more than half of all donations to charity.  And on average, millennials give $481 per year so when you customize your ask amounts for different demographic groups, donation participation jumps from 8% to 17%!  That can make a big difference for your bottom line so segment your marketing pitch accordingly.
  2. Organizations with a compelling video on their home pages receive 62% more funding than those without videos.
  3. A corporate grant to a nonprofit organization is a gift that entitles the company to a degree of tax-exemption.  On the other hand, a corporate sponsorship is more of a marketing tool, most often prominently featuring the corporation’s logo at organizational events and in publications.  Because it generates income, corporate sponsorship is subject to UBIT–unrelated business income tax.  Now aren’t you glad you know that?

    Fundraising
    10 Fundraising Facts
  4. GuideStar (https://www.guidestar.org) is not only a fabulous marketing tool where nonprofits can show off their successful programs and tout their expertise to potential funders, but also is a super snooping tool that allows nonprofit organizations to find out lots and lots of useful information about foundations, such as their mission and priority funding areas, names of organizations that have received donations from the foundations and the amount of those awards; the names and addresses of the foundations’ individual board of directors who can then be approached by your own board members; the foundations’ income and assets; the geographic area they serve; phone numbers and address; and a whole lot more!  Don’t be intimidated by that long and windy 990 tax form–it’s well worth paging through if your organization is a good match to funders’ areas.
  5. What do you do when you win a coveted grant award? Say “Thank You!” enthusiastically and often.  Invite your donor to see your programs in action and be sure to communicate the impact of the donor’s gift.  Your organization’s good work on a first grant is often followed by one or more subsequent grants so keep the communication with your funders going.
  6. The expression “peer-to-peer” has nothing to do with sailboat racing, “pier-to-pier.”  It’s all about fundraising among the same age and cultural demographic. Nonprofit organizations need multi-channel campaigns so include peer-to-peer, look for donors who work for companies with matching donation programs, use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked-In, email “blasts,” direct mail campaigns, sports events, and gala fundraisers with a theme.  Just as with your 401 K, diversification is the name of the game in fundraising.
  7. Crowdfunding is still à la mode in fundraising.  Check out Indiegogo and Kickstarter, which are both very popular platforms.
  8. Number eight is often a sticky wicket, but you must set your board of directors in motion.  Board members need to know what is expected of them both as investors in your nonprofit cause and ambassadors for that cause.  This is what is meant by setting a give/get amount.  Your board members should know the donation amount they are expected to give to the organization annually and the amount they are expected to raise for the organization.  And try to make it easy for them by making their donations payable in installments and helping them to learn how to make major gift solicitations. Not everyone is comfortable asking for donations to a cause, so consider pairing up a new board member with your development officer (or executive director) to meet, greet, and cultivate potential donors.
  9. The “pitch deck.” Aww! You didn’t really expect us to give you all the answers did you?  It’s time to go to Google School for this one.
  10. Finally, never forget this axiom: It’s all about the donor.  People don’t give just because they like you or they like your organization.  They give because they believe that they can make a change for the better, so while talk of gloom and doom has its place, potential donors have to believe that they can make a difference.  The best of fundraising approaches, in the end, empowers the donor to make the world just a little bit better.  To quote the grandaddy of nonprofit management, Peter Drucker, “The product of a nonprofit organization is a changed person.”