August 7, 2014
Just as there are best practices for factory safety and financial recordkeeping, these concepts also exist when it comes to nonprofit fundraising efforts. While steps to getting better results when soliciting donors aren't enshrined in Occupational Safety and Health Administration handbooks or commerce laws, they can prove to be extremely powerful for charitable groups. When looking to make stronger connections with potential contributors or receive a larger gift from proven donors, adding components that improve the overall appeal of a campaign can certainly help.
A Small Change, a blog for nonprofit fundraising, recently presented these fundraising best practices that prove to be beneficial when soliciting donations: acknowledging previous involvement or gifts, telling the story of the organization, asking for what you want, listening for a response, reviewing the outcomes and creating a follow-up plan. These steps, when used together as a timeline or schedule to inform the path a fundraiser takes with a potential contributor, can lead to some impressive results. By using this process repeatedly, both experienced fundraisers and other employees helping out in the process may have better results.
The Nonprofit Expert blog points out that board members need to be involved in fundraising as well, as the responsibility for a nonprofit's success or failure ultimately falls on the heads of its executive board. While it's not productive to have a board perform regular, on-the-ground fundraising, the personal touch of having an organization's leader reach out to a longtime or high-level donor can have a significant positive impact. In these situations, it's extremely important for board members to follow the major steps of outreach to produce the best outcome possible.
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