by Kristin Short – HUB International, Senior Consultant
Nike has one of the most recognizable brands in the country. Brand awareness is as important to selling running shoes as it is to fundraising for nonprofit organizations. How does your “brand” or your name recognition hold up? Do people outside of your client community recognize your organization? What is your strategy for gaining new donors?
The 2014 Burk Donor survey asked 23,000 donors to consider the nonprofit they support and identify the factors that persuaded them to start giving. Fifty-eight percent said that their chosen nonprofit’s mission was aligned with their interests. Twenty-nine percent said they had been considering this particular organization for support for some time. Only 11 percent said that they were inspired by a solicitation. (2014 Burk Donor Survey) Therefore, as fundraisers, you cannot rely on an appeal alone.
You will need 5 to 12 contacts with potential donors to inspire a donor to give for the first time. Therefore, it is critical to take steps to build your brand awareness.
The following are some recommendations to gain name recognition:
- Make a strong case for support. State what you do best and why you are worthy of support.
- Have clear and concise messaging. This is especially important when sending email messages. They should have one main message, not a variety of logos and different calls to action.
- Appeal to people’s emotions. Show how your organization changes lives for the better.
- Have a clear call to action ie. Make a gift today, Support scholarships, Register for this event, etc.
- Use stories to support your efforts. Tell success stories that show positive outcomes. Use photos to support your stories —- a picture is worth a thousand words.
- When your organization has good news, share it. Spread positive news to your board, donors, grant funders, clients, staff and the general public. Send out positive press releases regularly to show the good work your organization is doing and the impact it has on the community.
- If you have a marketing team, work together to develop your marketing/fundraising plan and use a consistent message for your organization.
- Create a diverse marketing and communications strategy that appeals to different ages. Gaining the support of younger donors is critical for your organization’s growth. Create a social media engagement plan directed to your younger audience.
Last, but not least, my final recommendation to you would be, “Just Do It!”