Non-profit organizations have generally found Facebook to be an indispensable social medium to reach their donor base and engage them into their fundraising activities. However, most of these charities may not be aware that the wealthiest online donors – those with a household income over $200,000 and donate an average of close to $5,000 per year – are generally not to be found on Facebook. Only 3% of this group uses Facebook on a regular basis, leaving the other 97% “out of reach of your outreach!” Here are the top five tips to get your online message to the heavy-duty donors who can make an enormous difference between surpassing your fundraising goals and coming up short.
1. Rely on Email
The main online channel to rely upon in order to reach the wealthy individual or corporate donor has always been and continues to be email newsletters. Keeping your top donors informed as to the current status of your advocacy and outreach programs combined with clear call to action solicitations for funding has proven repeatedly to be not only the most cost-effective way to raise money online, but the single most powerful method available.
3. Reassure Them that Your Organization Maintains Online Security
It is also a major concern of the majority of wealthy donors that your email may be a fraudulent phishing attempt designed to steal bank or other passwords, or even install a keylogger. Each day well over 57,000 phishing websites are created in attempts to obtain personal customer data: passwords, user names, credit card and payment service details, by establishing a “lookalike site” that can often be an exact duplicate of the original one. The criminals will lure the unguarded donor to the site with an email informing them that they need to re-establish credentials or some other similar ruse. The data is captured immediately and by the time the user realizes that they’ve been duped, it’s too late. The Anti-Phishing Working Group is the primary online storehouse of resources your organization can apply to stop criminals from targeting your donors. This will reassure your constituents that you take their security very seriously.
4. Establish Your Legitimacy
The establishment of your accountability and legitimacy is a necessary prerequisite to securing large donations from wealthy individuals, so your organization should take full advantage of the services offered by Guidestar, Charity Navigator and even the traditional standby of the Better Business Bureau. These charity evaluators can provide hard evidence to prospective donors that your organization is 100% licit and that their funding will be used for the specific purposes that you advocate.
5. Shun Cross-Promotion
Cross-promoting another non-profit organization with similar goals can seem at first glance to be a good idea. After all, proposing a united front for your advocacy programs can help to convince donors that the cause is not only serious but has other organizations dedicated to it, thus helping to advance the “bandwagon effect.” This approach generally falls flat with wealthy donors, who do not look lightly upon the prospect of funding a variety of charities they may know nothing about. Your organization is best off to focus on your own fundraising goals exclusively and making the most powerful case you can about obtaining donations for what you do, not what half a dozen other charities are trying to achieve.
Comprehending the preferences of your wealthy donors can help your non-profit secure those big “bread and butter” donations that make the wheels of your organization go round!