We examine the best ways to maximise donation from both the public and grant-giving organisations
Cold calling is no longer in fashion.
Digital offers a more acceptable alternative to some of the charity sector’s most divisive fundraising strategies. In this digital age, connections are being made by social media and outreach campaigns. The journey of transitioning supporters into donors begins with your marketing and communications strategy. We offer some practical tips on how to target donors by taking a closer look at existing audiences.
A data-driven digital strategy makes the best use out of available information to achieve charity goals. The strategy can uncover who in your supporter base is likely to become a donor. The approach entails collecting data around audiences.
Examples of data include demographics, preferences, geography, income, volunteering, and other details. Constituent management relationship (CRM) systems help charities collect and make sense of the information.
The point of gathering supporter data is to be able to group audiences together. The process of grouping people together is called audience segmentation. Audience segmentation builds a picture of potential donors and what their preferences are. That kind of information is valuable when targeting donors.
Donors come in all shapes and sizes. Getting the basics right is important. Differentiating between individual and institutional or foundation donors is a start.
Organisations and individual donors are addressed in different ways. Individual donors can be targeted through social media channels.
Charities also accept funds from institutions and foundations. In the form of grants, these funds are more restrictive in how charities spend the money.
Personalisation is a great strategy for soliciting donations from the general public. At its crux, personalisation is about building that one-to-one connection. Digital communications help build that relationship through customised marketing.
The NCVO offers tips and tricks to create that personal effect for video fundraising content. Marie Curie and Manifesto devised a personalised digital campaign to increase fundraising. The team collected insight from previous donors and built-in improvements. Nurses and volunteers were brought to the fore during the campaign to make that deeper connection.
Tapping into personalisation, a video with added text was sent to donors to thank them for their support. Of those who received a personalised video, 52% shared it on social media, helping the charity spread the good word.
JustGiving supported the London Marathon’s fundraising campaign on an even larger scale. JustGiving produced over 30,000 personalised videos for each participant to share on their social media pages. Each video had text added from JustGiving’s contact database. To prove that personalisation works, the campaign raised double the target amount for charity.
Digital transparency and authenticity are key aspects of targeting large donors. They need to know where funds are being directed.
The National Philanthropic Trust says that the top UK foundations gave away most of their budgets to charitable causes. Collectively they had nearly £4.9 billion to spend. These types of donors make a significant fraction of charity income.
A large proportion of Shelter Scotland’s income comes from charitable foundations. The Mercer Charitable Foundation supports Shelter’s flagship programme helping ex-offenders. Looking at the foundation’s reporting requirements, they include:
Large donors have strict reporting requirements, so charity recipients need to show how money is spent. When targeting organisations, highlighting how money is used and what the outcomes are helps get them on board. Donor management and CRM systems come in handy to track funding.
Charities who have digital data to hand can really show off their impact. Charities with a strong focus on data are well positioned to target large donors. Charities using key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure impact have an advantage. They already collect information that shows the impact of charity work.
Securing the first donation doesn’t mean the job is done. Keeping audiences engaged with digital content helps maintain fundraising momentum.
Social media works for both the general public and larger donors.
Engaging with audiences on social media means keeping your target donors updated on what you’re working on. To make your voice heard, getting a social media ambassador can boost engagement and target new donors.
Mind’s top ambassador Stephen Fry has helped the charity increase its public profile and cause. The charity’s video featuring Mr Fry boosted fundraising efforts from the general public. Leveraging his celebrity appeal, the charity targets donors through a personal message. This keeps audiences updated on the work the charity has done, and why they should donate.
Use formal networks to keep larger donors engaged. LinkedIn works for both donors and recipients. The platform lets professional audiences know what you’re up to. Many foundations use LinkedIn to advertise when grants are available. If you’re targeting these types of funding, make sure you are following your target donor.