How to Build a Loyal Donor Base And Raise Funds For Your Organization:
Your donor list should be one of the first things you compile when you start a fundraising campaign for your non-profit organization. Building a list is a major concern for small organizations, but it is not as difficult once you start at it. Start with an accounting of every person or business you have a relationship with. You may choose to start with your holiday card list. Include your partners in this task so you get a list of their personal and business contacts too. It is important to remember the most important principle in building your donor list: the closer you are to people, the more likely they are to give to an organization simply because you ask them. Your mailing list should include neighbors, friends and members of your community centers who know about your non-profit organization. This list will grow and change over time, but the list you build using the tips above will provide a great foundation for your fundraising efforts.
Some organizations attempt to raise funds with purchased or rented mailing lists. This is not recommended because of the expense vs. the campaign results. Your organization will spend thousands of dollars on buying the list, the postage, design and printing of the charity mailing which reaches most recipients trash bin. When sending a mailing to bought lists, you are targeting people and organizations that have no relationship to you or your cause, therefore they are most likely to ignore the mailing even without giving it a glimpse. However, if you target the people you know, or the businesses that you support, your mailing will at least be opened and read and at best it will result in a large donation. So keep your list growing, but based on the people who know you and are familiar with your fundraising projects.
Another great fundraising idea in sending out a mailing is to include in the mailing a custom printed donation box. It can be a desk sized tin donation box, a small magnetic one that can be placed in one's car, a coin pouch which is cost efficient or any donation box you may choose. People don't like to carry around small change, so why not give them a donation box to put the money into? Your next mailing to the same list should be several months later and should include instructions on how to empty the donation box and mail the money to your organization.
Watch the donations come in! Keep track records of the donations coming in response to your mailings and pleas for help. Take the time to analyze trends in donors. What is the typical response time? Are there seasons that people tend to donate more? Are there at times larger donations and other times smaller donations? Study your reports and learn from them optimal targeting so that your charity campaign can be fine-tuned and raise the most money for your organization!