It seems like new causes and pleas for donations pop up every day – some legitimate and some not. Add to that the appearance of online crowdfunding tools like gofundme.com or fundly.com, and the competition for donated dollars gets even stiffer.
If you are a legitimate non-profit or a university looking to grow your donor base, it’s important to understand how potential donors see you, i.e., do you look credible? what value will they get from supporting your cause?
We recommend stepping back on a regular basis to take an honest look at your organization. Do some research and find out if your perception is the same as potential donors, clients and volunteers outside the organization. Here are a few things to consider:
- Ask different stakeholder groups what value they see in donating. If you aren’t sure you’ll get an honest answer (or just aren’t comfortable asking), hire an independent third party to survey the groups and compile the data for review. (Our Perception vs Reality research tool does just this.)
- Listen to employees and volunteers. They often get feedback from clients and others outside the organization that is not always shared with management. In addition, they may have some great ideas on ways to shake things up (positively, of course!) but simply be unsure of how to approach management with their suggestions.
- What’s happening in the marketplace? What are your competitors doing? Are there other organizations or businesses that are not direct competitors using techniques that would work for you? Are there new technologies that you take advantage of?
- Dig into the data you’re capturing and look for trends. Where are donations coming from? Are the same people donating each time? What percentage of donations come from donors new to your organization? What channel is being used for donations?
Take what you learn from this investigation and review your brand and your strategy. You may find a few simple adjustments can make a big difference in how your cause is perceived and, ultimately, result in increased donations. Need help with your marketing strategy? Contact vitalink to see how we might help.