Increasing recurring donations with relational fundraising

A retiree over the age of 65, writing a check and mailing it in: this is the profile of the average nonprofit donor in America. This has become a serious problem for nonprofits over the last 10 years, as mail-in donations drop by more than 25% since 2010. Acquiring new supporters, earning that first donation and building a base of young recurring donors is now an existential crisis threatening the very existence of nonprofit organizations.

Research has shown that people are up to 25x more likely to respond positively to asks that come from someone they know. What if nonprofits and advocacy groups could tap into their existing communities of volunteers and turn them into powerhouse fundraisers on their behalf?

Organizations, now more than ever, are increasingly looking into applying relational outreach tactics to revitalize small grassroots fundraising. Relational fundraising is a way to recruit and retain new donors through existing volunteers and supporters’ network. We advise organizations to ask themselves these questions to understand how relational outreach to help your fundraising efforts:

  1. Awareness—Are you communicating clearly to donors how grassroots donations are being spent? Are you communicating the funding urgency to your community?
  2. Exploration—What do your ideal donors look like? 
  3. Expansion—Are you looking to convert one-time donors into recurring donors? 

The truth is, people are likely overwhelmed by asks from organizations, especially as we head closer to the election. But as votes have been casted and counted, nonprofits still have to worry about securing enough financial support to plan their 2021 programs. Your strongest volunteers can help you close the fundraising gap. Using Team’s Friend-to-Friend relational outreach tool, organizations can match lists of one-time donors with their most active volunteers’ networks and guide them through having conversations about making a monthly donation to support their 2021 programs. When positioning a fundraising ask as a show of support for the work a loved one is doing, donors are able to put a familiar face to an organization that they might not be too familiar with. Depending on the relationship between the volunteer and donor, this would be the right time to make the recruitment ask as well, as the pandemic may have impacted some people’s ability to make charitable contributions. 

As we head into the Giving Season, it’s more important than ever for organizations to rely on their most engaged volunteers to reach the fundraising goals. With social distancing continues to limit the opportunities for organizations to get in front of donors, look no further than your strongest volunteers to close your fundraising gap and convert one-time donors into recurring donors. Just make sure to show them your appreciation this holiday season!

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