As 2023 hurtles toward Dec. 31, your nonprofit probably is fully engrossed in last-minute fundraising. After all, taxpayers who itemize will be able to deduct qualified charitable contributions on their 2023 tax returns.
As you make last-minute pitches, don’t forget to deploy the personal touch. Many studies have shown that people are more willing to donate if a friend, family member or coworker is doing the asking. At this time — and into the new year — rely on board members to reach out to their networks.
All of your organization’s stakeholders can promote your nonprofit and request support from their contacts. But development staffers aside, board members generally make the most effective fundraisers because they’re knowledgeable about your organization, passionate about your mission and typically have a wide range of contacts in business and philanthropic circles.
Support their efforts by making sure they have the proper information and training. Equip them with a wish list of specific items or services your nonprofit needs. Keep in mind that not all of their contacts may be in a position to make a monetary donation. However, some people may be able to contribute in-kind goods or services.
When making a personal appeal to prospective donors, your board members should, when possible, meet in person. Email can save time, but face-to-face appeals are more effective. Personal appeals can also be effective if your nonprofit offers donors something, such as coffee or lunch, in exchange for their attention.
When board members meet with prospective donors, they must humanize your cause. Say that your nonprofit raises money for cancer treatment. If board members have been affected by the disease, they might relate their personal experiences as a means of illustrating why they support your organization’s work.
Even when appealing to potential donors’ philanthropic instincts, it’s critical to mention other possible benefits. For example, if your nonprofit is trying to encourage business owners to buy ad space in your newsletter, board members could explain that your supporters are a desirable demographic, both in terms of spending power and an eagerness to “buy local.”
Into the New Year
The clock is winding down on 2023, but you should plan to use these fundraising strategies in the new year. Start planning more small gatherings where board members can interact with major donors. In the meantime, contact us to discuss your nonprofit’s financial health and ways to boost it.