4 Donor Acquisition Strategies for your Year-End Fundraising

Isn’t it hard to believe that the year is almost over? Before you know it, we’ll all be ringing in the new year and working hard to keep our resolutions.


One of your nonprofit’s New Year’s resolutions should be to work on your donor acquisition strategies!


But why wait until January to put those tactics in place? You can get a jump start on the new year and work toward perfecting your donor acquisition strategies before this year ends.


Take a look at these four donor acquisition tips before January 1st comes around!


And for great donor acquisition advice year round, check out IMPACTism’s comprehensive list of acquisition strategies.


1. Start close to home.


If your nonprofit has struggled with donor acquisition in the past, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to reel it in and evaluate your techniques. One of the easiest ways to improve your donor acquisition is to start from within.


Your most invested supporters are your:


  • Board members and other leadership
  • Employees
  • Volunteers


Just like your board members can be instrumental in assisting you when it comes to foundation grants, they can also be helpful when it comes to donor acquisition.


Many of your board members, employees, and volunteers have extensive networks of similarly philanthropic family members and friends. Encourage those individuals to speak to their contacts and ask them to support your organization.


This strategy is particularly effective during the end of the year since many of the people closest to your organization will be getting together with friends and family for the holidays. Everyone is usually in a more charitable mood during the holidays as well.


Soon, you will have expanded your network and gained more donors!


2. Communicate well and through different channels.


Prospects respond differently to various communication methods. Some supporters prefer to be contacted by direct mail while others check their email on a more-than-daily basis.


However you decide to split up your communication methods, make sure that you’re communicating in the most effective way.


This means you should:


  • Be personal. Include first and last names on all communications.
  • Be sincere. Donors can spot ingenuity a mile away. Make sure that you are being authentic in your appeals.
  • Be specific. People like to know what their money is going toward. Give examples of past projects and future endeavors that donors’ dollars will support within your appeals.


You already know that good communication is essential for effective grant writing. Apply those same principles to year-end acquisition, and you’ll be on the road to success!


3. Improve your event fundraising techniques.


Many nonprofits throw some kind of end-of-year fundraiser to help bring in those last minute donations. Make sure that your event fundraising strategies are top-notch so you can make the most of the gala, auction, or other event and acquire new donors in the process.


Some general tips to follow include:


  • Plan, plan, plan. Your fundraiser will fall flat if you don’t properly chart out the details of the event. New donors will spot the disorganization and be more hesitant to make that initial contribution.
  • Offer different ways to give at the event. Some individuals prefer credit card giving while others like writing checks. Make those options available so that your new donors are able to make contributions in as many different ways as possible.
  • Follow up. Engage new donors in different ways after their first donation. Invite them to future events and encourage them to volunteer with your organization.
  • Track your fundraising metrics. Keeping track of the success of your events and other fundraising strategies is crucial. It will allow you to see which donor acquisition strategies are working and which ones you need to tweak.


These general tips will help your next fundraising event raise more money and allow you to bring in more new donors!


4. Attend a conference.


One of the best ways to brush up on your donor acquisition strategies is to attend a nonprofit conference! While you may not be able to get to one before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, you can start planning for one of the many conferences coming up next year.


You can succeed at your next conference by:


  • Doing research beforehand to make the most of your time during the events.
  • Being attentive and engaged.
  • Effectively networking with speakers and other attendees.


There is a conference for every aspect of the nonprofit world. You can ramp up your donor acquisition techniques by attending one of these conferences and gaining new insights from the industry’s top thought leaders and experts


Donor acquisition doesn’t have to be a complicated endeavor. Your nonprofit can make the most of these four strategies before the year runs out and succeed in the donor acquisition game!


This article contributed by Jack Karako of IMPACTism: Jack has 30 years’ experience within the charitable and philanthropic industry that he brings to the forefront with IMPACTism. Jack has been a major gifts fundraiser and senior organizational executive working with or consulting to nonprofit and advocacy organizations.  A generous community and civic leader who has served on several nonprofit boards, Jack has a unique perspective as a donor, benefactor, and as an industry thought leader.  Working closely with senior leadership in strategic planning, Jack has personally raised over $50 million in annual and deferred gifts.  Jack has a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, Florida), Master of Arts (M.A.) degree from American University (Washington, D.C), and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from State University of New York at Geneseo.

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1 Comment

  • Avatar for Howard Gottlieb

    Howard Gottlieb

    06.12.2016 at 07:09 Reply

    Over the 15 years we’ve been involved with fundraising we can say with certainty that groups that use a personalized approach based on prior data including donation patterns are always the most successful.

    If you aren’t collecting usable data shame on you.

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