Charity Organizations must consider installing a Donor Recognition Wall at their facilities.
For years, many charitable organizations avoided the term ‘marketing’. There was a prevalent feeling that it was at best, something for the corporate sector or at worst, somehow dirty or manipulative. Times have changed and now a solid marketing strategy is critical to achieve success and sustainability. Still, developing new marketing plans often presents challenges to non-profit and charitable organizations.
Set Goals and Objectives
Before you prepare a marketing plan, you have to be clear on exactly what it is you wish to achieve. If you find you have several competing goals, such as increasing the average gift amount from existing donors, expanding your donor base, getting more volunteers and informing the public about the work you do; you may need to break those up into several marketing plans with their own specific objectives. Unless you have the resources to tackle all of them at once, it would probably be best to start with the highest priority. For many organizations, that objective is to increase revenues, particularly in uncertain economic times like these. So for our purposes today, we will work with that objective, but the tips presented here can be applied to marketing plans with different goals and objectives.
Before you draw a map of where you want to go, you must first know exactly where you are. If you’re looking at increasing your organization’s revenues, you must look at your current sources of revenue. Examine your current donor base. Evaluate revenue from individuals versus corporate donors; revenues from fundraising events, estates and all other sources of revenue. Consider how many of your donors have given repeatedly, be that on a monthly, annual or irregular basis.
Get To Know Your Donors
Gaining an understanding your donors, as well as other persons and corporations that value philanthropy and may not be currently supporting you will be a key to your success. When you call existing donors to express your appreciation for their gift, ask them why they chose your organization. You can also take the opportunity to find out which method of recognition would be most meaningful to them, including some methods you may not currently be using. Most donors, particularly corporate donors, will find recognition in an interactive donor wall to be very appealing. Similarly, when you are making prospecting calls, if the opportunity is presented, ask what motivates them in the philanthropic choices. Before you know it, you will have a photographic picture of your ideal donor. You will have a fuller understanding of who they are, what is important to them, what motivates them to give and how they like to be recognized and stewarded.
The Competitive Landscape
Check out the competitive landscape. What other nonprofit fundraising organizations might be competing with you for the philanthropic gifts of donors in your area. Chances are, you can do some excellent competitive analysis simply by consulting their website or their annual report. These will give you an indication of how they raise funds and how much revenue they generate.
A Direction Begins To Emerge
As you do this analysis, some opportunities may begin to surface. You may see areas where your organization has a distinct advantage over other charities. You may discover a segment of potential donors who have previously been overlooked. Or, you may see a strategy that has been successful for others that could be applied in your organization.
Once you have thoroughly done this kind of analysis, you should have a much clearer direction for your marketing plan. You will find that your approach can be far more strategic, targeted and, as a result, more cost-effective than if you tried implementing a marketing plan that casts a very wide net by just trying to all things to all people.