You need to play by THEIR rules if you want more donors or members for your nonprofit.

They’re in control.  Not you. 

Therefore if you want to acquire AND retain supporters, you need to consider why they wouldn’t support you.  No offense, but there are plenty of good reasons why people DO NOT GIVE or DO NOT JOIN. 

You may not be able to imagine what sort of cold, heartless soul could ignore donating to help a child with cancer.  You may not be able to imagine what kind of selfish, live-for-today person could refuse to donate to your save the wetlands campaign.  And you may not be able to imagine how anyone could be so stupid as to not see the wisdom of joining your association.

But the reality is that most people who decline are deeply compassionate, care about the environment and our future, and are quite intelligent.  They simply can’t support everyone regardless of their personal wealth.

In order to be their nonprofit of choice, you need to play by their rules. 

◊  Give them reasons why your organization is THE organization.  Show the VALUE of what you do.  And for goodness sake, don’t assume it’s obvious what that value is. 

  Overcome their objections to giving or joining in your appeal letter / email.  You can’t expect 100% positive response!  But why not take away reasons to say “no” and increase the odds of getting a “yes?”  To be clear, you will get more yes responses with this approach.

◊  Write and act like an everyday human.  Be personable, friendly, warm, and approachable.  Maybe include a head shot of the letter signer.

  Build the trust they have in your charity or association.

  Remember that EVERYTHING YOU DO IS CULTIVATION, stewardship, and nurturing your relationship with donors and members.  Website, emails, social networks, text messages, letters, advertisements, phone conversations, posters and billboards and flyers, live events, news articles, and so forth.  Be clear.  Be kind.  Put the donor first.

Make it worth their while to be part of your organization.  You owe them a great experience.  They owe you nothing.

To acquire and retain more donors and members you need to play by their rules.  And those rules aren’t bad.  It’s a whole new world.

Related posts to this topic:

Hidden objections to giving or “Buyer’s remorse for nonprofits

8 fundamentals to boost acquisition and retention … Holy Acquisition Batman

Raise money with appeal letters that are appealing