The giving season is only 6 weeks away, and for Development Directors it’s the busiest and most stressful time of year. RightGift can add incremental donors, bringing in companies and individuals who might not have given to you before, as well as re-engaging donors who may have lapsed.
In short, RightGift could be the ticket to unlocking new - or reinvigorating old - donor relationships.
Here are 3 reasons why…
- Trust and transparency are more important to donors than ever
- Efficiency and convenience are vital to our every-day lives
- Storytelling is crucial to differentiating yourself and engaging donors
The age of trust & transparency
Trust in our institutions to do what they say they’re going to do has never been more fragile. Be it universities, religious organizations, governments, and company after company after company, we come across a seemingly endless stream of stories detailing some new abuse of our trust.
What does that mean to a nonprofit? Even if you do everything right, if every decision you make puts total value on maintaining the highest standards, you have been cast in league with those who haven’t.
We, as a platform that facilitates giving, hear it from companies and donors every day. They share their mistrust for the nonprofit world in broad strokes. They question where to find organizations that still have a moral compass. And although many of them continue to express interest in giving, it’s to the beneficiaries of a cause that they direct their attention, begrudgingly looping in the organization’s overhead with their contribution.
Are there still plenty of donors willing to write checks? Absolutely. But there are also many who have given up, or at least placed a moratorium on their donations.
RightGift allows you to say to a donor, “Here is a new way you can help us help the community.”
A wish list is more than just a vehicle for receiving things, it’s a bridge for building trust with donors. In 2019, those are two things on which every individual places a huge premium.
Efficiency & convenience are an expectation
Trust and transparency are only the first barrier to building donor relationships. Once you have overcome that hurdle, next up is convenience. We live in a world where every aspect of our lives feels like it is influenced by incredibly fast and easy-to-use technology. Fundraising is no different. The demands of both individual and corporate donors have never been higher.
Here’s a statement we consistently hear from donors on RightGift: “It was great knowing exactly where my money was going. And it was so easy to use.”
As we said before, there are certainly many donors who understand the challenges of running a nonprofit and are completely fine writing a check. But for every one of those there’s another that demands to know how their money is being spent, and clearly understanding the impact they make should be no more cumbersome than ordering an Uber.
Don’t ignore this segment of the population. Embrace it, and do more than just say, “$50 fulfills the holiday wishes of 5 children.” Many donors demand more than that, and they want a way to contribute that’s both transparent AND simple. Instead say something like, “'We’re supporting 20 families this Christmas who need bikes for their kids. You can be one of the first donors to purchase and donate a bike.”
Tell us your story
A RightGift wish list is not just a list of stuff you want. It is a story ... YOUR story ... of need, response, impact and hope. What story do you want to tell?
One of our customers, Alternatives For Girls in Detroit, built a wish list last year to reward the young women in their program that were 1 month into the new school year with beauty supplies. The purpose of the beauty supplies was to give the girls encouragement to carry on with their studies.
That story goes well beyond a simple list of lipstick and makeup. It conjures images of young women who have been shortchanged in life, and who are doing their best to improve their situations. As donors the picture is incredibly clear all around: we know what Alternatives For Girls, as an organization, stands for, and how we can help.
There are people who would read a similar story on your website or social media feed and immediately pull out their wallets to send you money, but there are equally as many, or more, who wouldn’t for fear their money doesn’t end up in the place they want it to. Again, don’t ignore that population, embrace it.
RightGift wish lists give you the tools to tell your own version of that story, building a deeper connection with donors.
Wrapping it up for the holidays
Every nonprofit needs a RightGift wish list. We are not like some mega-retail website wish list where you don't know who gave, when to expect donations, can't thank the donors, etc. RightGift was designed to meet the needs of both nonprofits and givers. How great is that?
And that is the key point to take away from this post as you think about your holiday strategy. You have the short term goal of raising money for 2020, but also the long term goal of running a sustainable organization. And for many donors that word - sustainability - is enormously important in their decision to give to you.
Creating a relationship with as many donors as possible, even if it isn’t through a cash gift, will strengthen you for the long haul. As RightGift is 100% free to use and allows you to access donor information, even 1 incremental gift would be worth your while. It just might be the donor who falls in love with your cause and helps you get over the hump when you’re back at it again for 2021.