Fundraising Consultants: 3 Benefits of Bringing One on Board
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
By Aly Sterling, Founder and President of Aly Sterling Philanthropy
When you’re facing a fundraising dry spell, it can be hard for any nonprofit to step up old donation strategies.
Luckily, that’s where a fundraising consultant can come into play. These nonprofit allies are always ready to help your development team regroup by setting new fundraising plans in motion for years to come.
That being said, many nonprofits still fall victim to pride or hesitation when it comes to reaching out for professional fundraising assistance.
That’s why it’s important for your nonprofit to be aware of all the ways a fundraising consultant can jumpstart your donation needs, especially with these essential tactics:
- Restructure your fundraising strategies.
- Initiate new forms of donor engagement.
- Revamp your capital campaign.
Overall, don’t let ineffective strategies hold back your nonprofit’s fundraising potential. Get your donation goals back on track by connecting with an experienced fundraising expert ASAP!
1. Restructure Your Fundraising Strategies
As you may have expected, the key to strengthening your fundraising strategies often lies in rebuilding them altogether.
Fundraising consultants are well-versed in everything that goes into forming a top donation game plan including: investigating new fundraising outlets, identifying donor prospects and honing executive leadership.
Let’s kick things off by breaking down these necessary factors in nonprofit fundraising.
Explore New Fundraising Opportunities
No matter if you’re a small or large nonprofit, sometimes all it takes to elevate your donation outreach is to try out a few new fundraising ideas.
A nonprofit consultant can help mix up your fundraising operations by helping you implement fresh and creative donation strategies guaranteed to get you a bigger donor response.
Some profitable fundraising avenues to consider may include:
- Crowdfunding Campaign — Use an online landing page to solicit donations for a specific or time-based project. You can even add impact levels that showcase how different contributions affect your cause.
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising — Encourage supporters to fundraise on your behalf with individual donation pages that engage family and friends.
- Mobile Giving Initiatives — Connect with on-the-go donors with convenient mobile giving techniques like text-to-give or mobile bidding.
- Event Fundraising — Get to know your donors by organizing a large-scale fundraising event that reflects your cause. You can even tie an event fundraiser onto a crowdfunding or peer-to-peer campaign.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more personalized fundraising approach, a consultant can help you target your nonprofit’s donor demographic with a themed fundraiser.
For example, if your nonprofit wanted to raise funds for breast cancer awareness, you could organize an active event like bowling for breast cancer or a pink-themed luncheon for your loyal women supporters.
Develop Fundraising Executive Leadership
However, a killer fundraising idea will only get your nonprofit so far without a knowledgeable fundraising team in place to see it through.
That’s why instead of just providing fundraising suggestions, a consultant’s primary goal is to give your nonprofit the necessary tools and executive leadership you need to champion your fundraising.
For instance, these experts could work with your nonprofit’s major gift officer to narrow down ideal donor prospects and foster meaningful relationships.
In fact, some top identifiers for major giving prospects usually include:
- Past giving or volunteer work with your organization.
- Real estate or stock ownership.
- Political contributions.
Many fundraising consultants also offer workshops, webinars and downloadable resources designed to educate your development team on fundraising best practices.
Finally, a fundraising consultant can assist your nonprofit with executive search by helping you detail your exact fundraising needs and conceptualize, interview and hire the right positions to fulfil them.
For a list of exceptional fundraising consultants to fulfill your nonprofit’s needs, check DonorSearch’s top recommendations!
Takeaway: A professional fundraising consultant can coach your fund development team and experiment with impactful donation strategies.
2. Initiate New Forms of Donor Engagement
When it comes to building lasting relationships with key donors, it’s crucial that your nonprofit take into consideration ways to attract new donors as well as maintain your current ones.
Fundraising consultants can help you utilize top digital marketing and donor thank-you strategies tailormade for your nonprofit’s outreach. Let’s take a look!
Take Advantage of Online Marketing Methods
The brilliance behind digital marketing is that it allows your nonprofit to connect with large groups of donors as easily and frequently as you want.
What’s more, it also allows you to track fundraising and donor outreach progress in real time using analytics and nonprofit tech like CRM software and donor databases.
Whether your nonprofit is just now entering the virtual community or looking to enhance your online presence, a fundraising consultant can help you develop strategic solutions for the following outlets:
- Social Media Marketing — Learn social media best practices for how to make the most of every platform’s tailored virtual engagement (think: Instagram for pictures and YouTube for video).
- Email Marketing — Establish an email strategy for reaching out and following up with significant nonprofit donors and prospects.
- Online Donation Forms — Make your online donation forms visually inviting, mobile-friendly and open to different giving options.
- E-Newsletters — Get into the practice of sending a weekly e-newsletter to update your constituents on nonprofit news, fundraising and volunteer opportunities.
In addition, chances are your donors’ first impression of your nonprofit will likely come from visiting your website. Therefore, make sure your web design reflects favorably on your nonprofit by paying close attention to these online elements:
- Clean and visually appealing layout.
- Easy-to-navigate and mobile-responsive webpages.
- Prominently displayed donation buttons and social media icons.
- Downloadable fundraising resources and professional blog.
By mastering these ways to connect with digital supporters, your nonprofit can skyrocket online donations and constituent involvement in no time.
Thank Your Supporters in Memorable Ways
While thanking your donors should be a standard practice at all nonprofits, not everyone utilizes this opportunity to engage, entertain and, above all, stand out to your supporters.
A fundraising consultant can aid your nonprofit in implementing unique and memorable thank-you strategies that not only acknowledge donors, but keep them coming back.
For instance, it’s always smart to include a personalized (and sometimes multimedia) component with your donor thank-yous such as:
- A tailored email with a link to a video message from your fundraising team.
- E-newsletters or postcards featuring photos of your staff hard at work.
- Online or mailed invitations to tour your facility or attend a free event.
- Social media shoutouts for specific donors’ contributions and stories.
Also, keep in mind that your donor thank-yous should have a quick turnaround. This lets your donors know in a prompt and polite fashion how much their support means to your nonprofit.
Takeaway: A fundraising consultant can alert your nonprofit of modern, digital practices to better engage and thank your donors.
3. Revamp Your Capital Campaign
Arguably, one of the most vital reasons why a nonprofit should consider recruiting a fundraising consultant is to enhance their capital campaign.
In fact, many fundraising consultants specialize in helping nonprofits conduct feasibility studies and manage capital campaign development and leadership.
Let’s start at the heart of all successful capital campaigns: the feasibility study.
Conduct Valuable Feasibility Studies
Before your nonprofit embarks on a life-changing capital campaign, you should always put time and energy first into coordinating an effective feasibility study.
A fundraising consultant can provide third-party expertise and perspective to your feasibility study interviews and help you rework campaign areas in need of improvement.
As opposed to an in-house representative who may have personal ties with interviewees, a fundraising consultant can facilitate an open and honest discussion about your capital campaign’s strengths and weaknesses.
As a result, your nonprofit can secure the results you need to move forward with your campaign or create an alternative fundraising plan.
Not to mention, a fundraising consultant’s years of experience will no doubt come in handy for addressing potential capital campaign challenges and developing long-term solutions.
Learn more about conducting a killer feasibility study with Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s must-know tips!
Establish Capital Campaign Leadership Roles and Best Practices
Managing every element that goes into a lucrative capital campaign can be overwhelming for any nonprofit.
A fundraising consultant can guide your nonprofit through each and every critical step in this daunting process to ensure your capital campaign is the best that it can possibly be.
In particular, your nonprofit’s capital campaign consultant can help you identify and train a solid leadership team to carry your campaign in promising new directions.
Some of these influential team members usually include:
- Board members.
- Fundraising staff and volunteers.
- A campaign chair.
- A planning committee.
- A steering committee.
Furthermore, a prime fundraising consultant will also fill your nonprofit in on essential best practices for organizing your capital campaign such as:
- Creating a thorough and effective case for support.
- Offering incentives for major gift donors.
- Utilizing fundraising software to track and manage your progress.
- Rallying together and thanking your supporters.
- Hosting an event to celebrate your capital campaign’s success.
No matter the extent of your fundraising ambitions, by the end of your capital campaign, your nonprofit will wonder how you ever managed without a fundraising consultant.
Takeaway: A fundraising consultant will give your nonprofit the helping hand you need to prepare and execute a rewarding capital campaign.
Above all, the need for a steady flow of funds is a constant struggle that nearly every nonprofit can relate to on some level.
That being said, don’t neglect the assistance you need! A fundraising consultant will always be within reach to not only boost your fundraising goals, but exceed them altogether.