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More Data = More Donors

mailing-listTo avoid becoming over-reliant on specific sources of income or funding, nonprofits always need to expand their databases with prospective members or donors and market to them accordingly. Technology definitely has a role to play in helping nonprofits diversify their financial models. If the organization uses Salesforce, there is a comprehensive database (data.com) that organizations can license to access new prospects that meet their criteria. As the website promotes, you get the right data at the right moment. Organizations have access to contact information for high-quality leads almost instantly. Social marketing could likely play an important role in opening up new channels for targeting prospects as well. If they use them effectively, nonprofits are finding that social media channels offer an effective venue for recruiting donors and volunteers. For instance, Alec Stern, vice president of strategic market development for Constant Contact, says, “Social media allows nonprofits to interact with their audience on a daily basis. Take advantage of that interaction by informing your audience about your mission.” According to Stern, once you’ve sold them on your mission, your online “followers” and “friends” have a connection with your organization and are more likely to support your cause. And in the process of engaging them online, you’ve gathered important data that will help you to tailor future communications to them. In addition, Stern points out how something as simple as posting links to your volunteer and/or giving opportunities on Facebook and Twitter with brief descriptions could help to build your database of potential members or donors. Forming cooperative relationships with other nonprofits is also essential. Frequently noncompetitive organizations can negotiate list exchanges as one way to expand their access to data about prospective donors. In Kim Klein’s article “Fifty-Three Ways for Board in Members to Raise $1,000” in the Grassroots Funding Journal, she suggests that board members acquire mailing lists for their organizations: “If you belong to another group, perhaps you can set up an exchange, or perhaps you have access to a list of members of some other group.” One or all of the strategies discussed here might work for your organization. It’s clear that you must constantly evaluate and initiate new methods for getting more data for prospecting. In the final analysis, more data equals more donors.
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