For more than 25 years, the Berkeley Herbal Center’s nonprofit fundraisers were solely on the shoulders of the founder. She was responsible for maintaining donor relationships and staying connected with folks to secure their individual donor funds. When the founder transitioned to retirement, she took that information with her.
In the three years we worked with BHC, we helped them operate several fundraising events. We we granted the privilege to understand how BHC has historically run their fundraisers, and to make it more efficient for the school. But something bothered us: each event was a one-off. The donor base had no specific communication about the funds they gave and there was no follow up after the events. Every time we created a new fundraiser event, we had to start the donor acquisition process over again because there was no list of past donors. We saw the opportunity for deeper connections and long-term donor relationships, so we stepped up and made a fundraising system.
Why We Make Repeatable Nonprofit Fundraiser Systems
When it comes to setting up events, products, content, and fundraisers, we create systems that are repeatable and teachable. This allows our clients to attract unrestricted funds that help them keep their organizations functional over time.
The number one thing that we hear from our clients when they want to start fundraising but haven’t yet? The time commitment!
It isn’t just setting up the tools and logistics for operating the fundraiser (which is enough as it is). The strategies and tasks around ongoing communication can feel daunting and stressful. When we operate our fundraiser system, we remove the stress around timing completely.
Then we let our clients fly! We love being the communication backbone for the people we work with, but sometimes the goal is to bring the work in-house. Because our system is repeatable and we did the work to ensure the communication is tailored to your audience, the time commitment is MUCH less daunting!
Improves Donor Retention
Donors who attend events and give once are the most likely people to donate again. Having a system increases donor retention by allowing you to set donor expectations. We set it up so that you’re communicating consistently about project goals and future needs. This way your donors know what you’re working on and what is coming in the future.
A repeatable nonprofit fundraiser system is teachable. Very often, nonprofits operate with a skeleton crew and an all volunteer staff. This leads to high turnover and inconsistency in marketing. Having a teachable system in place helps a nonprofit stay consistent in your communication AND in your event timing.
Why We Put Emphasis on Email Marketing
When we build any type of fundraising event, email is a priority. It’s personal without being annoying, it’s easy to find for someone that is searching their inbox, and it helps you to set expectations with donors and potential donors.
Donor Communication is Vital
Like we said before, people are more likely to donate to a cause they have already donated to. We use email marketing to keep your previous donors close so that they know what is happening at the nonprofit. Communicating with your donors allows you to focus on year-round fundraising, which takes the pressure off single events.
Build Trust Over Time
Email marketing builds trust over time because it gives you the opportunity to share valuable information with your donors. It will help them understand you and your altruistic mission. And when you communicate your nonprofit’s goals, ambitions, and project needs in a way that makes your donors feel part of your team, they’re likely to go to bat for you.
Get to Know Your Donors
Email marketing gives you some of the best information about what your donors value about your nonprofit. This is a pretty exclusive group of people and there are definitely more people like your donors in the world – you just need to find them. Using email communications with your donors as a data gathering tool to understand what they care about will give you a chance to grow your donor nest using other tools in a holistic marketing tool belt.
Create a “Nest” for the Future
Creating an email list specifically for people who have shared donations helps you create a nest for the future because you have a direct line to the people who are most engaged with your nonprofit. When you have bi-yearly digital fundraising events you can count on them to share your cause. Additionally, when you need help urgently, you will be in the best-shape possible to ask for it.
Interested in your own nonprofit fundraiser system?
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