9 Fundraising mistakes your team could be making!

It’s been an amazing privilege to be able to work closely and engage with so many different fundraising teams and Nonprofits. Talking with organisations – whether that be in client discovery meetings, or just in the goodie-bag cue at the latest Salesforce conference – has driven home some common traps many fundraising teams have fallen into.


1. Not knowing your donors

What are your donors’ median age? What media channels are they mostly on? How do they feel about coriander? These are all important questions that heavily inform how you and your team will go about planning and marketing your fundraising campaigns. People are bombarded with so much information within the social sphere. What makes your cause so special? Knowing something as simple as the location of your main donors could cause a huge strategy shift in effectively targeting potential donors.

2. Not targeting your campaign’s channel

Spending hours planning and designing your fundraising campaigns – only to have your core audience tune out is a waste of resources and your team’s valuable effort. It’s not enough to just use the donor knowledge you have acquired. You need to think about the marketing channels themselves. Best time to launch? Best asset to include? The capability of engagement. These are all important factors that unfortunately, many NFPs are dismissing – and therefore having their hard work fall through the content cracks.

3. Not diversifying your content around your fundraising

So you’ve got your email template? Quick, easy, reliable…but is it? Far too often approaches to fundraising can become complacent, the mindset of “this worked last time” truly is your biggest enemy. By not diversifying your fundraising content there is the potential to miss hundreds if not thousands of possible leads who would rather key into a 30-second video than read the same template they were emailed last year. Internet marketing is a dynamic landscape and to stay ahead requires consistent, and measured experimentation.

4. Not making use of templates to fast track legality and brand compliance

Now, there are some instances in which a template is, in fact, your best friend. Things like welcome letters, thank you pieces and simple journeys for existing donors can effectively be pre-mapped and templated, cutting your team’s work-time in half! Making room for more important and demanding projects.

5. Not reporting on data and adjusting tactics accordingly

You’re sitting there, waiting to launch your first EDM that will set off the fundraising call – you feel a little nervous. Campaign marketing can sometimes feel like you’re flying a little blind, but it shouldn’t. In fact, having the confidence to know your strategy is the best it can be should be your team’s priority.
Data is key! Analysing engagement data, and allowing your strategy to pivot to align with your findings to better reach your targets is paramount.

6. Still relying largely on manual processes

Too many NFPs, particularly smaller models waste manpower and creative energy on tasks that can be automated. This is due to the common issue of using multiple databases (both electronic and paper). It’s worth looking into data flow programs, automation, and cloud based CRM capabilities when it comes to your fundraising to streamline processes, increase flexibility. Improving productivity and the work environment.

7. Confusing or non-integrated financial / donation systems

Siloed and disparate information can be a huge obstacle for your team, especially when it comes issuing receipts, and documenting the financial aspects of your ogranisation. Ensuring a proper integrated financial and donation system is in place could make or break the business back end.

8. Not re-engaging with cooling leads

A potential gold mine is your own backlogs, you already have a foot in the door with these contacts, why not take advantage of it? Creating re-engagement nurture paths could be something of a low-risk high return.

9. Not using your content to further educate donors and continue them on a journey even after they donate

So you’ve acquired a new donor, great! But does your relationship with this individual end here? Do they continue to receive the same content as before and your team hopes that whatever inspired them to donate the first time will be triggered once again? The final mistake your team may be making is not acknowledging your donor’s path will change and grow – and your contact with them will have to reflect this to better manage to sustain a fruitful relationship. Will they be ushered into a repeat donor role? Or shown the possibilities of volunteering?

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