Thursday, September 20, 2012

Boosting The Effectiveness Of Your Nonprofit's Annual Funds

There is no question that annual giving from donors is the lifeblood of a nonprofit's fiscal health, so it would seem to make no sense to try and improve on it. But according to Aileen Meyer, there are plenty of ways you can boost the effectiveness of an organization's annual funds.

Speaking at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Conference in Chicago, Meyer, director of development at Lourdes College, recommended three tips that will take your annual funds to the next level:

  • Using data and analytics, nonprofits can help you tangibly understand where to focus the efforts of your annual fund program. Some key areas to focus in are, your return on investment (ROI), donor segment trends, retention trends, gifting levels, gift source and stewardship.
  • Increasing the size of your annual fund would not be possible without acquisition efforts. Costly as it might be, doing acquisition is a surefire way to take your annual fund to the next level. When locating acquisition donors, Meyer said that your organization should pinpoint who to ask, locate the correct solicitation method, estimate an appropriate entry-level ask amount and use giving likelihood scores to indentify the best prospects for donor acquisition. 
  • Finally, to convert these donors to repeat donors nonprofits should steward creatively by reporting the use of their gift immediately and enrolling them in a First Time Donor Program. By building on these interests and connections, nonprofits can form a relationship with these donors and fold them into their annual funding file. 

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