For instance, some families may allocate $100 per month for charitable causes. However, that $100 may have to be split in a few different ways, to accomodate all of the groups they wish to support.
One family’s priority list may look like this:
Homeless Shelter- $25
Humane Society- $25
Kids’ School- $25
Kids’ Sports team- $12.50
Meals on Wheels- $12.50
Another family’s list might be:
Kids’ school- $25
Women’s Resource Center- $10
Public Radio pledge- $5
Misc. – $10
Every family establishes different priorities according to their values and beliefs.
I think if a family has a commitment to giving, they will always find a way to make some kind of a contribution, but the actual amount of the gift may fluctuate.
So, in this scenario, which non-profits will get cut? Will it be your group that is left out in the cold?
Here are five suggestions that every non-profit should follow to make it harder for a family to cut your group out of their funding priority list. I’m be ensuring you are doing these things, you are putting yourselves in a better position than if had done nothing at all.
2. Second, in your e-Updates, show your supporters direct examples of how your organization is helping the lives of other people. You don’t have to give out the names of your clients, but you can give general anecdotes that show how vital you are in their lives. The underlying message is that if your group wasn’t around, those people would be without any kind of support system. This might serve as a powerful message to your supporters and make them think twice before eliminate you from their giving priority list.
3. Third, turn your clients into stars. In other words, you should be recognizing your supporters for all the great things that they do. Put their pictures on the wall or on your website. Create a handful of monthly awards that you publicize. Even take random, candid photos and put them on a bulletin board. The more a person sees him- or herself up on a picture board, the more they’re going to feel important and a part of the group. That will keep them giving.
4. Forth, make sure the things you are raising money for will be popular and interesting to your potential supporters. Whenever you ask for money, be sure that your supporters will want to get behind it. No one wants to pay for plumbing repairs or insurance premiums, but they will want to support buying new equipment that the groups clients will be able to use, for instance. Just look at your budget and pick some things that you know will be fun and easy to sell. It’s the group that asks for donations to the “general fund” that struggle for support.
5. Fifth, always have excellent customer service. The families who need to cut their monthly giving allowance will be looking for any excuse to help them make their decision. A rude or unprofessional phone conversation is plenty of reason to cut your funding off entirely.
As non-profit professionals, we know that the last few years have been rough for many families. Giving has become more of a judicial decision within family units. We have always had to present our best case in order to deserve the trust of our supporters. But, as more and more families have to make hard decisions, we have to continually be at the top of our game.
Do you have any suggestions on how to stay on a families’ giving list? Please share your thoughts in our comment section!
Photo by: financialfellow1