The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

4 Essential Steps to Donor Acquisition

4 Essential Steps to Donor Acquisition

Planning a donor acquisition strategy is similar to planning any other campaign. Start off by reviewing your previous efforts and results. What worked? What didn’t? Your data is a great guide to determining new donor goals.

Step 1: Review your current data.

Use your donor management system to track information on your current donors and what campaigns attracted their attention and inspired them to give. Find ways to adapt that messaging to reach people unfamiliar with your organization.

Look at both your quantitative and qualitative donor data. What trends and patterns do you see? Where did your current donors come from? What motivates them to give? Seek out similar people to grow your donor base.

Pro Tip: If you don’t know why your current donors contribute, you may want to hit pause on your acquisition campaign and focus on donor cultivation and retention instead. No point finding new donors only to lose the ones you already have.

Step 2: Make a plan based on your findings.

Once you’ve reviewed your data, develop a strategy that integrates your development and communications departments. Three essential questions to answer as you plan your approach:

  • How will you research prospects?
  • What’s the best way to approach them?
  • How will you track progress and measure success?

An integrated communications strategy involves direct mail, email blasts, social media, and even advertising if it’s in your budget. The purpose is to increase brand awareness and recognition. That way, prospects will recognize you across channels.

Step 3: Perform targeted outreach.

Now it’s time to get the word out. An awareness campaign is the first touch in donor prospecting. People can’t give to your organization if they don’t know you exist.

Amplify awareness by harnessing the power of search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your positioning in online search results.

Google AdWords and social media ad campaigns are great ways to capture active donors and amplify awareness online for a small fee. Promote an individual tweet or boost a Facebook post to increase followers or website traffic.

Step 4: Keep it simple.

It may seem obvious but make it easy to donate. Incorporate these key methods into your online donation process.

  • Feature a donation button prominently on your website.
  • Make your online donation page visually appealing and easy to find and navigate.
  • Clearly identify various donor levels and their respective benefits.
  • Highlight a suggested giving level on your donation page.
  • Encourage monthly giving.
  • Make sure your donation page is secure and mobile-friendly.
  • Include your Charity Navigator or GuideStar rating for additional credibility.
  • Begin engaging donors immediately following their donation with a thank you message on your online donation confirmation page.
  • Invite donors to share their support on social media and join your email list.

Incorporate these steps into your next acquisition campaign and see the difference for yourself. For a deeper dive into acquiring new donors, download our eGuide, New Donors: Getting the Ungettable Get.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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