5. Fundraising - Targeting Your Donors
Of course, you want to reach all the donors you can, because the more people you
appeal to for money, the more "yes" responses you are likely to get. For most non-profit
groups, especially the small ones, the very logistics of trying to reach all possible donors are simply
impossible. Advertising in newspapers and on television shows and trying to visit everyone in a city in
a direct appeal is simply a lot of work - and a huge expense. Most non-profit groups can only contact a
limited number of people, so you will want to do one of the following:
1) Contact as many people as is humanly possible using the budget you have.
2) Contact only those people who are likely to support your non-profit
In almost every case, option #2 will result in more "yes" answers while using a smaller budget.
People who are interested in your cause are more likely to support your fundraiser than the general public, so you
need to target these people. If you are targeting only those who are likely to say "yes" to supporting your cause,
then you will get more responses of "yes" from this group rather than the general public.
No matter how you decide to go about fundraising, you are going to get rejections and "no"
responses, and unfortunately the chances are very high that you will get a large number of them. Do not take this
personally. This can be very hard to learn, but it is not you personally that is being rejected, it is the actual
donation to your cause that is being rejected. Remember that these negative responses will lower morale, and
volunteers will begin to wonder whether they are doing any good at all. If you can reduce the chance of a "no"
response, then your volunteers will be happier for longer.
The "no" responses have to be anticipated, and there is no problem with them, except that it has
cost your organization time and money in contacting that person directly to make an appeal. In situation #1, you
will end up educating and raising awareness for you group, but you will receive more "no" responses than if you
appeal to those who are already familiar with your cause.
Advertising can work wonders, but only if it actually reaches its targeted audience. How many
advertisements do you receive through the mail each week from different charities? How many of these do you
actually read? How many go straight into the recycling bin? How successful was their advertising campaign? Were you
a targeted person? Is their appeal successful? Why or why not? You can take all this fundraising campaign
literature and use it to your advantage by seeing what does or does not work for other groups.
There are numerous advertisements in both the local and regional newspapers, but how many people
actually see those ads, let alone respond to them? How many of the ads in a newspaper do you actually see? Unless
you are looking for a particular ad or news item, you have probably programmed yourself not to even see them. I
know I have! And if I did see an ad, the chances of my responding to it are very low.
Now using your volunteers to go door to door can be a very daunting tasks. Many people are not
home at the time it suits your volunteers to call, and not many people want to open their door after dark, so it
means volunteers have to visit on weekends. Even then, if people are home, they may have a policy of not opening
the door to strangers, so this strategy is not always successful these days.
So, if you decide to appeal to a smaller group, but you choose these people carefully, what
Certainly there are disadvantages to this method - you do not raise awareness about your
organization over such a wide segment of the population, and you will still get plenty of "no" responses, and even
before fundraising, you will have to spend lots of time in order to determine who to target for your
Despite this, this group is likely to have a higher ratio of "yes" answers in a much shorter
period of time, because you are appealing to the very people who are most likely to have the inclination and money
to support your cause. The advantages of this second strategy are:
• The people who are asked are more likely to say "yes." Less
convincing is needed and less of a chance of a "no" helps keep volunteer morale high. Plus, donors who have a
built-in reason to support your cause are more likely to donate again (presumably, their reasons for donating
will still be there next time you hold a fundraiser) so this group is already providing the basis for on-going
• By using targeted appeals, your group is able to target people individually. Rather
than having many people walk by a stand or pass over an ad, your volunteers are able to meet face to face with
these targeted groups and the people who are more likely to help you, reducing the chances of a "no"
• By targeting your donors, you have already built an organization structure. You know
who you have to contact and how to appeal to them. There is less risk of overlooking an important donor source
or of asking the same people twice.
• Time and money are saved. Rather than spending lots of time and money on a huge
campaign, your group is able to do some research for free at the library and then appeal directly to groups and
people that are more likely to be interested and supportive of your cause. Interviews with some groups can
easily be set up for free, and government applications and a campus presence would also be inexpensive or free.
Less time is wasted talking to those who have no interest in your project.
It is important to undertake some donor and market research before you start
fundraising as this will reduce time spent targeting a disinterested audience. For example, women are probably going to be more interested in supporting a women's center because they
understand the issues and problems that women face. But in some cases, the donor target
may be less clear.
Next page: 6. Fundraising - Research
Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents
- Fundraising - The Basics
- Fundraising - Terminology
- Fundraising - Money
- Fundraising - Where
to Find Donors and How to Reach Them
- Fundraising - Targeting Your
- Fundraising - Research
- Fundraising - Your Donors'
- Fundraising - Ideas
- Fundraising - Donated
- Fundraising - Bought
- Fundraising - Marathons
- Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles
- Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and
- Fundraising - Fun Events
- Fundraising - Drives
- Fundraising - Services
- Fundraising - Tips for
Choosing a Fundraising Idea
- Fundraising - Your Plan
- Fundraising - Your Team
- Fundraising - Staying
- Fundraising - Communicating With
- Fundraising - Advertising
- Fundraising - Letters
- Fundraising - Emails and
- Fundraising - Person to
- Fundraising - Thank You
- Fundraising - Grant
- Fundraising - Press
- Fundraising - With
- Fundraising - Secrets to
- Fundraising - Problems
- Fundraising - Conclusions
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