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This article comes to us from Eileen Blake, Marketing Manager of AlumniFinder.


After hours of careful effort and planning, your donation campaign has been sent! You can’t wait to sit back and see the donations rolling in, but as they do you start to realize with a sinking feeling that you’re not getting what you expected.

The results of all your hard work are going to be much lower than anticipated.

This is obviously the last thing that any sane person who works in development ever wants to experience. At the heart of any solid fundraising effort, you need to know that you’re going to reach the right people. But, who are the “right” people? Reaching the right group of potential donors who are likely to give is not as tough as it might sound.

Here are five ways to reach this all-important group:

1. Segment your audience.

A database of supporters is a great tool to have at your disposal, but it can get you only so far if you’re sending the wrong messages or sending your messages the wrong way. What we mean by this is that if you have a 26-year-old female millennial donor, reaching out to her is different than targeting a 45-year-old male donor.

It seems like common sense when you see it laid out that way, but many nonprofits still make the classic mistake of treating every single prospective donor in their database the same!

2. Find donors who are donating to organizations like yours!

By doing a simple search, you can find people who are already giving to organizations that are similar to yours. If you are a nonprofit focused on a medical cause, such as cancer, you can find individuals who have already donated to another cancer-focused nonprofit.

Someone who has a connection to the cause of cancer and has donated is likely to donate again. This time, they could be giving to your nonprofit!

3. Clean up your data.

The worst thing in the world is when you spend time (or money) reaching out to people whose contact information is no longer accurate. Bad phone numbers can derail a phone-a-thon, bad email addresses are a waste and can lower your send reputation, and bad mailing addresses cost you money.

In short: bad information is bad for your nonprofit. Take care of your valuable data by maintaining it properly, much like taking your car in for an oil change.

4. Send only to donors who are most likely to give.

One way to further cut down the cost of your donation campaign, especially if you plan to send mail, is by strategically targeting only the supporters in your list who are most likely to respond to the request.

Predictive models can search through an entire database of donors to highlight which ones are most likely to respond to your request and make a donation, taking the guesswork out of your donation campaigns.

5. Stand out in the crowd!

When you have an in-depth understanding of who you are reaching out to, another great thing you can do is personalize your message. Personalized marketing typically generates a better response, so feel free to send an email with your supporter’s name in it. Mail personalization is great too, so pick colors and designs that more closely match the interests of the segment you wish to reach.

Now, imagine that you’ve put in months of effort, and as you sit back you see an outstanding response rate. You know that not only will you achieve your fundraising goal, but you’ll have accomplished it under budget and with a better response than ever before. Wouldn’t that be a great feeling? Make it reality today!


This post was brought in collaboration with Eileen Blake, Marketing Manager of AlumniFinder. AlumniFinder increases fundraising results by efficiently staying in touch with donors, identifying new supporters and keeping your records up to date. Learn more by checking out their website: http://www.alumnifinder.com/

Learn more about reaching your donors with donor data!

5 Ways to Reach Donors Likely to Give