Giving Tuesday is right around the corner, and that means that the season of generosity is kicking off soon. With more than 30% of all donations taking place in December, it is important to have a game plan in place. Here are a few tips on how to ask for donations so you can end 2020 on a high note.

Asking Individuals

It’s no surprise that people like to donate to nonprofits that they feel a connection with – a cause that resonates with their values or an organization that helped their loved ones. And since nearly ¾ of donations come from people, not corporations, it is important to take a look at how and why they give.

How They Donate

Gone are the days of people pulling out their checkbook to hand you their donation. Especially during the pandemic, technology is more important than ever.

So what are the top ways people donate to their favorite causes?

  • Online Donations
  • Text to Give
  • Events (Not this year)

How Donating Benefits Them

Your organization exists to do some good in the world, and their donation helps you have an impact. But make sure you explore the reasons they donate outside of altruism to get a well-rounded view of the benefits for everyone.

Makes them feel good about themselves

Helps them connect to a cause they care about

Provides tax incentives for giving

The Ask for Individuals

Facebook and Other Social Media

If your organization has a strong presence that includes regular content, a complete profile and some activity with followers, then you are in a great position to make an ask over social media!

When creating a post, either organic or sponsored, there are a few key pieces to include:

  • Visual content, like photographs or video
  • A link to your donation page
  • Info about where the donations go
  • Progress toward your goal

Going back to how donating benefits the donor – make sure you are also posting success stories from your organization so they can feel connected to the cause, and also give some public “Thank you’s” to your donors in addition to your regular follow-up.

Bonus! Hopefully many people will donate as they see your post. However, make it easy for those who want to think it over and come back. You can add a Donate Button directly to your Facebook page so they don’t even have to scroll.

Email Marking for Donations

Email is a cost-effective and efficient method of asking for donations. It allows you to make many asks with one click, and it keeps your donors and prospects informed about your progress and outcomes. But before you sit down to start crafting that email, make sure you’re putting your energy where it counts.

First, look at your list. Are you able to break it down into groups so that you can personalize the message? Filtering the list into groups such as “past donors,” “volunteers,” or “prospective donors” allows you to speak directly to their relationship with your nonprofit. Then you can get to the nitty gritty.

The Subject Line

It’s only a few words, but they are the most important. With so many emails going unopened, you gotta grab their attention from the get-go.

The Content

Get to the point. Make the ask and explain the impact. Don’t let their eyes glaze over as they read about every program and service and volunteer opportunity and event and…..

The Link

Make it easy. Instead of hiding a link in the body or stating that there is a donation page, add an obvious button that links right to an updated donation page.

Finally, and as always, make sure you are thanking them. No matter the donation, no matter the method of asking, it is always important to recognize your donors, especially if you want to turn their one-time donation into a recurring monthly donation.

Your Very Own Websites

All roads lead back to your website. Buttons and links and QR codes will be sending people right back to your site. Check out some of the websites we have created, and see if you can spot these features.

Easy Button

Remember those commercials with the “Easy Button” for ordering printer paper? You need that for donations. Put it in your header or menu so that no matter where the visitor is on your site, they can access it.

Pop Ups

Don’t go crazy with this one, but an exit pop-up or one that appears after a couple page clicks can be very effective in making that final ask.

Landing Page

Giving Season is its own holiday. While you likely have a donation page up year round, make sure you are acknowledging their participation in this global event with a dedicated landing page.

For more advice on how to do all this, check out our previous post on how to get your website ready for Giving Tuesday.

Asking Corporations

When looking for donations from your community, don’t overlook all of the businesses that might be willing to rally behind you.

How They Donate

The rules are a little different when the donation comes from a business as opposed to a person. Here are some of the common ways they give back to their community.

  • Corporate Grants
  • Matching Gifts
  • In-kind Donations

How Donating Benefits Them

While a business is not capable of those feel good emotions like people, there are still some benefits they get.

Good for publicity

Expand their corporate social responsibility initiatives

Provides tax incentives for giving

The Ask for Corporations

Because of these differences between individuals and businesses, the ask has to be a little different. Since it is often a larger request, this is more about relationship building.

1

Research

Find out what companies and which person at that business would be best to ask. Local businesses are often invested in their community making them willing to listen to your ask while larger corporations donate larger amounts of money but with more restrictions.
2

Make it Mutual

Think about what you can offer in return. Can you add their business name or logo as a sponsor on a banner? Can you include their name in donor communication? Can you reference their donation in the annual report?
3

Ask

Make the ask on the phone or in an email with a link to a specific landing page for corporate donations. In-person is also a great way to build the relationship, if it is safe for you to do so.

Once you’ve established a corporation to work with, don’t forget BIG thank you’s. This relationship can be mutually beneficial year after year, but only if you express your sincere gratitude for their donation and the immense impact they are having.

Tips & Tricks

Demonstrate the Impact of Donations

Money is tight for a lot of people right now. Providing impact metrics can help people see how much help an organization needs or how little it actually takes for them to make a huge difference.

Celebrate Donors in Real Time

In our socially distanced world, people are looking to connect. With so many ways to connect, make sure to thank your donors in real time – online events, live streams, videos and more can help people feel connected to your cause.

Recommit Supporters to Mission

Don’t think just because your nonprofit isn’t specifically related to current events that your supporters will be unwilling to donate. Show them how your nonprofit has been impacted by the pandemic, and inspire them to help you continue your good work during this difficult time.

Ask for a Specific Donation

When people hear “donation,” they might shy away thinking that they don’t have the option to be generous. However, if you are asking for $5 or $10, it shows that even a small donation can have a huge impact.

We want to hear from you!

We would love to know: How do you ask for donations during giving season?

We are constantly amazed by the nonprofits we work with. Share what has worked for you in the comments below, or email them to us:

Send us your ideas!

Are you looking for help getting your website and landing pages ready for giving season?

Contact Mittun for a free assessment today.

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