Consider pledge drives and direct mail campaigns
Events are not the only way to raise funds for your organization. Consider other options including pledge drives, direct mail campaigns and e-mail blasts asking for donors support. If you send a newsletter out each month, consider adding a plug for donations at the bottom of it. You can also work with local employers who allow their employees to make donations to charities directly out of their payroll. These companies also often match employee gifts. The easier you can make it for your donor to give you money, the more likely he/she will be to do so. Consider the following options:
1. Pledge Forms
Pledge forms provide the opportunity for someone to make donations by credit card. Contributions can be made one time only or set up to be billed on the same day every month for the same amount. At events or through mailings, you can pass these forms out to your constituents as they arrive or leave them on a table for them to pick up.
2. Self Addressed Envelopes
Give the envelopes to people who are unable to make a donation at the time of your solicitation. This will save your donors time in the future and work as a reminder. Keep in mind that you do not always need to be the person making the ask. Once you establish a strong network of supporters – be they board members, donors or constituents – engage them to assist with the fundraising – and think about offering incentives.
3. Direct Mail Campaigns
A direct mail campaign will mail to one or both of the following.
- Acquisition: This is mailing to an "acquired" list of names that are not currently in your organizations donor base. You will most likely pay for these names, which can be costly and you have no assurance that your contacts are going to respond with a donation. Response rates for acquisition typically range from .5% to 2.5%, which is pretty low. However, with acquisition, your objective is more about getting your contacts familiar with your organization over the longer term. If they do make a donation, you can then work to bring them to a regular pattern of donating.
- Renewal: This is mailing to your existing donor base. The response rates are higher than acquisition and typically start at 5% or more. With renewal, the objective is to increase or maintain the frequency of their gifts while also trying to increase the average gift amount.