Create a Nonprofit Fundraising Growth Engine That Drives Sustainable Success

Create a Nonprofit Fundraising Growth Engine That Drives Sustainable Success

by Morgan Falor
September 29, 2023

Introduced by Karl Benz in 1885, the automobile is a testament to what happens when many disparate parts function together for a collective purpose. Likewise, a nonprofit organization can harness the power of another type of engine — a system that combines technology, processes and people to attract and retain donors and drive sustainable growth.

Acquiring and growing donors requires both care and consistency, but it can be easy to lose focus or assume that your strategy is fine on autopilot. Without a deliberate plan for each component of growth, your organization may eventually run out of gas.

Below we look under the hood to learn how to increase engagement with your current donor base and propel your new donor acquisition processes with efficiency and effectiveness.

Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.
- James Cash Penney, Founder of JCPenney

Understand What Drives Your Donors

If you focus all your communications on fundraising, you could lose newsletter subscribers or hurt your public image. Sending meaningful communications eases plea fatigue, enhances the donor user experience and puts your donor engagement strategy on cruise control.

But exactly how do you do this for your nonprofit?

It requires accurate data and begins with implementing customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) technology that gives you true visibility into who your donor base is and what motivates them to give. (Of course, these systems are only as good as the data you load into them.)

By deeply analyzing your organization’s donor base, you can gain insights into your supporters’ behaviors — with intelligence drawn from facts, not gut feelings or guesses. Collecting this information allows you to:

  • Understand past giving patterns
  • Create donor segments
  • Map a donor engagement strategy

Ultimately, data analysis and reporting can give your nonprofit the responsive performance of a sports car. With this increased agility, you can quickly pivot to allocate resources, time and talent to the marketing tactics that will drive the highest rate of return.

Gaining a clear view of what has and hasn’t worked in the past can help you reimagine your marketing strategy to drive more donor engagement, improve your donor acquisition and overcome fundraising obstacles. While analyzing historical data won’t change past outcomes, these reports give meaningful insights into the factors that impact donor giving.

Because your donor database is your most valuable asset, technology plays a key role in donor engagement. After analyzing your past donor performance, a nonprofit CRM can not only store your key donor data, it can also help you segment, target and measure donor communications. Selecting a scalable CRM that will fit your current and future needs is critical to your success, as is determining which attributes to track and having a process to feed that data into your system.

Attract New Donors With the Power of Your Ideal Donor Profile

New donor acquisition is the fuel that keeps your organization operating and growing. That’s why it’s important to establish systems that help you gain new supporters and make these processes an ongoing business function.

The first step to expanding your supporter network is identifying your ideal donor profile (IDP). These are your people, your fans. To craft messaging that truly resonates with them, you must understand them and know what they read, watch and listen to.

When you focus solely on your IDP in your communications, you can provide potential donors with the ongoing content stream that encourages them to give. For example, this may include transformational stories on the impact of past gifts, motivating passive followers to become active supporters.

Tailored content is just the beginning of your journey. Once you have a historical lens and IDP, you can deploy digital marketing tactics and continue to refine your growth strategy to build engagement and revenue.

From initial cause awareness to advocacy and deeper involvement with your group, you can fuel IDP engagement and organizational growth through:

  • SEO-optimized website landing pages
  • Segmented email campaigns that drive higher open rates
  • Enhanced social media presence that engages your audience
  • Targeted, effective paid advertising

Armed with the IDP, your marketing team can better monitor and adjust your digital marketing spend and create content that motivates your donors to take action.

Ready to Rev Your Fundraising Growth Engine?

Getting the systems and strategy in place to fuel fundraising success can seem like a tall order, but you don’t have to go it alone. Armanino has helped hundreds of nonprofits implement the right planning, processes and software to drive sustainable growth. Reach out to our nonprofit strategy experts to learn more about how to attract and retain your ideal donors and achieve your ongoing fundraising goals.

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