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Fundraising Fundamentals premium training

3 Ways to Reach the Right People

One of the big mistakes nonprofits often make is to try to reach too many people, with the wrong message. For your year-end fundraising efforts to be truly successful, you need to focus on your target audience. Focusing on a defined group of people helps to improve your odds by allowing you to tailor your message to those who are most likely to care about -- and act on -- your message. Keep these three key points in mind as you plan your year-end fundraising campaign.


1. Treat Your Donors Differently. Your email list is probably comprised of both existing donors and prospects. You should think of these two groups as separate audiences. While you should give both a compelling case for giving, it is important to note their differences.

Donors probably have a greater affinity for you. They’re sold. They just need VIP treatment (e.g. special donor cultivation including how his or her donation has made a difference) and a compelling reason to give again.

On the other hand, prospects are on the fence about whether or not to give to you. Assure them with third-party testimonials and badges that reflect your efficiency (high Charity Navigator ratings work great).


2. Think about your total reach. The widest reach of your target audience is your email list + visitors to your website + social network followers + people who might receive forwards from the above. While your email list is a fundraising workhorse, it’s key that you make your fundraising message heard across all the other channels with which you can reach your audience.


3. Get to know your audience. What you know about who is coming and why can offer critical clues for fashioning a powerful narrative for year-end fundraising appeals. Have you surveyed your email list, your web visitors or your social media fans to find out more about who they are and why they care about you? Dust off that survey data or consider creating a new one. Your goal is to create a powerful year-end campaign narrative based on the information you gather.

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