For non-profits, mastering the basics can go a long way toward building a successful donor solicitation program. It provides a foundation you can build on to get the word out about your cause and nurture life-long champions. With that in mind, here are four of our favorite high-impact, easy-to-accomplish strategies you can focus on now. If you already have them in place, congrats! If you see an opportunity, we strongly encourage you to implement these strategies in 2021.
Like any winning team, your content strategy works better when multiple media touch points pull together toward an overall goal. So even if email or mailings are your top-performing channels, don’t give up on event collateral, banner ads, apparel and other touch points. Plan a continuous stream of communications that keep your non-profit top of mind in donors’ eyes.

Supporters may not choose to send financial support at the time you’re interacting with them, but your message helps create the positive vibe that puts you in the running when the moment to give arises.

The decision to give is an emotional one. Hopefully, your solicitations have that reality baked into the messaging. But does your website? Make sure the images and graphics on your site reflect your primary goal, relate to your audience and are prominently displayed throughout. Quality photos and graphics aren’t just nice to have. For non-profits, they’re a must.

Speaking about your audience, you should be gathering hard data on what triggers their donations. Is it personal moments such as interacting with a caregiver, events such as a natural disaster, or something else? When you understand the “why” you can tie your message into the emotion driving the action.

Stories of need, people overcoming challenges and how giving changes lives are the keystone to connecting with donors. So make sure you have a system in place for developing and sharing them. Rather than gathering stories haphazardly, have a plan for reaching out to people, building a library of images and content (long form and short form) and sharing these powerful snippets.

Stories can be leveraged in virtually any channel: websites, digital ads, mailings, posters and more. Make sure you’re using them to good effect.

When supporters open your mailing or visit your website, do they instantly recognize your brand? They should. Your logo and brand colors ought to lead off your emails and web pages — top left or center. Link the logo in your emails to your website too so people can quickly and easily find additional information. Buttons should be in your primary colors and double-check that the fonts you’re using fit with your style guide.

A study from Constant Contact showed that emails with 1 to 3 high-quality images result in more clicks. When people open your email, they need to see an image that supports your cause, draws them into the story and sets the stage for a response.

For more ways to fine-tune your organization’s communication strategy, including a free website review and recommendations, contact Creative Shoebox. We deliver the perspectives, ideas, and hard-working communications that come from working with agency pros who know what works — and what doesn’t.

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