When your campaign isn’t bringing in the donations you need, it’s time to look at some new fundraising solutions.

Fundraising can be one of those glorious times in a campaign when you connect with your audience and supporters. They’re glad to contribute and help you continue your mission. Fundraising can also be challenging; sometimes, things just aren’t working. The donations dry up, you never reach your supporters, and it seems like you’re just going through the motions with phone calls and mailings. This is the time to look at new fundraising solutions. 

What are your options, though? What can you do beyond making more calls and trying harder to connect with supporters? Before the panic sets in, let’s take a few deep breaths and look at some of the ways your fundraising campaign can bring in more donations. 

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fundraising solutions

The 5 fundraising solutions your campaign needs to put in place today

1. Review your goal. You do have a goal, right? And it’s a reasonable and achievable goal? The people working on your campaign need something to aim for. There’s no incentive when the goal is to “bring in lots of donations.” Likewise, you can’t expect people to feel successful when the goal is clearly not achievable. Set an overall goal, and then break it down into smaller goals. Can your team get $500 in the next hour? Can they reach 10 people in the next 30 minutes who will pledge any amount to your fundraiser? Goals like this are specific and achievable and inject some competition into the mix. 

2. Share your goal. It’s one thing to have an internal goal, but why not get your donors involved? This is one of those fundraising solutions you hear on public radio, and it works. Tell them you’re trying to get 10 donations of any amount in the next 30 minutes and ask for their help. Tell them you’re only $100 away from your $500 goal for this hour. 

3. Train your team. A lot of nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers when fundraising time rolls around. Unfortunately, a lot of organizations also give volunteers a 5-minute orientation and a script and send them on their way, hoping for the best. You don’t want to waste volunteer time, but it’s worth spending a little effort training them in the best practices of phone banking and fundraising calls. You don’t need to go as in-depth as you might for a salesperson or professional fundraiser, but even some basic tips can do wonders. 

4. Review your CTA. Your CTA is your call to action. This is what you’re hoping people will do. Forget the wishy-washy “can you contribute?” Your call to action has to be specific. Share your ultimate goal. “Our goal is to raise $25,000 to support scholarships for students. We’re currently halfway there. Can you donate and help us reach that goal?” You might even ask for a specific amount of $50 or $25 or whatever seems appropriate. The risk is that if you ask for too much, you may alienate people who want to give less. And on the other hand, you might have someone willing to donate $100, but only give $50 since that’s what you asked for. You might also share the average donation. “Our average contribution is $30, but any amount is appreciated.” That leaves your ask somewhat open-ended for any contribution amount. 

5. Say thank you. This is a bonus on the list of fundraising solutions because it won’t help you right now, but it will help you in the future. A month or so after your fundraising campaign, call every single person that donated and thank them. Tell them what you can accomplish thanks to their donations. For example, if you’re fundraising for a community college, maybe you raised enough to support full scholarships for 100 new students. Or maybe you raised enough to feed 75 families for Thanksgiving. It’s not always about what you’re doing with the funds, although that’s part of it. Your donors will love knowing specifically how their funds helped, and that thank you will set your donors up to be more receptive to contributing next time you make a fundraising call. 

If your fundraising campaign is falling flat, try these tips. Getting more buy in from your team and from your potential donors is always helpful, if not right away, then certainly down the line.

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