Releasing Generosity this Fall

5 Effective Nonprofit Fundraising Strategies

By Lolly Colombo, Chief Client Officer

As the warmth of summer fades, fall colors surround us, sweaters come out and pumpkin spice is at the top of every menu… a powerful opportunity kicks in for charitable organizations’ fundraising efforts – the fall giving season. 

With the cooling of the weather, hearts warm up to opportunities to make a difference for those less fortunate. To harness a spirit of charity, it’s vital that nonprofit organizations employ strategies that will stir the hearts of potential donors. Let’s dive into how your organization can leverage 5 effective fundraising strategies this fall!

Craft Compelling Stories

The fall season stirs up a sense of family, faith and reflection – making it an ideal time to connect with donors emotionally through storytelling. Narratives that depict the impact of donations in real lives are proven to resonate deeply with donors. This includes…  

  • Sharing testimonials from those whose lives have been transformed by the organization’s work. 
  • Painting vivid pictures of the challenges they faced, the solutions provided and the positive outcomes achieved. 

These narratives build a bridge between donors and those served, fostering a personal connection that encourages generous giving. 

Infuse a Sense of Urgency

We all know that urgency is a powerful lever in fundraising. Wield it with care and integrity. 

  • Emphasize time-sensitive opportunities, such as matching gift campaigns or limited-time projects. 
  • Clearly communicate why immediate action is essential and how every donation counts. 
  • Use phrases like “double your impact” or “help us reach our goal before the season ends” to inspire a swift response. 

This sense of urgency will resonate with donors as they contemplate their own blessings, the coming of the year’s end, shorter days and enduring the winter season – compelling donors to take prompt action and make a difference with their charitable dollars.

Leverage Integrated Multi-channel Platforms

Back in the 1930s, the Rule of 7 became a “thing” for marketers. It basically stated that it takes seven impressions of a message in the market for a targeted individual to ultimately take the desired/requested action. 

In today’s omni-channel landscape, donors consume an even broader mix of media than they did almost 100 years ago. Effective fundraising messages must extend across all those channels to reach that media savvy audience. 

From print, to paid digital media, to organic social media, to email campaigns, to traditional broadcast media, to streaming audio and video platforms, to telephone strategies – create a consistent message that reinforces the relevance, the importance and the urgency of the cause. This integration ensures that potential donors encounter your message multiple times, increasing its impact.

Lean into Video

Statisticians say that on average, people retain 95% of what they see in a video versus 10% of what they read in an ad. Visual storytelling vividly conveys an organization’s heart, mission and impact, and introduces the donor to the real people helping and being helped. 

The combination of imagery, music and narrative enables videos to elicit a sense of empathy, compelling viewers to engage and contribute to meaningful causes. Serve up these videos via email and paid and organic social media.

In All Things Give Thanks  

When a heartfelt contribution is made, it’s essential to respond promptly, effusively and genuinely. Time is of the essence. Thank the donors while their emotions about their gift are still high. Responding with a prompt gift acknowledgement not only reinforces the donor’s decision to give but also strengthens the bond between the donor and the cause they support. 

Providing a quick testimony showing the tangible impact of their donation and how it’s making a difference adds an extra layer of connection. A donor’s gifts are far more than a transactional activity – they are transformational – nurturing a sense of community and cultivating a sense of shared commitment to the cause and mission.

Warm up that pumpkin spice latte – the fall giving season is upon us! Make these best practices work hand-in-hand with trust, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, authenticity, hard work, Christmas music, Hallmark movies and gratitude. Enjoy the craziest fundraising season of the year! Spring is just around the corner.

  • Lolly Colombo, Exec VP Client Services

    Lolly Colombo, Chief Client Officer

    With over 30 years of program and agency experience, Lolly Colombo has brought her passion, expertise and heart of service to some of the world’s most beloved charities and faith-based organizations. She has had the pleasure of serving with Food for the Hungry, The Christian Broadcasting Network, Operation Blessing International,TBN, In Touch Ministries, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, The Salvation Army, Gospel Rescue Missions and others.

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