warming up your donor audience, list building, donor stewardship

4 ways to start priming your donor audience now

One of the most common mistakes nonprofits make is that they ghost their donor audience and don’t get in touch with them for many months on end...

The problem with that is that when it comes time to ask your donor audience for money, you are essentially asking to a cold audience. And do you know what is more difficult than asking a warm audience for donations? Asking a cold one.

You need to warm them up!

Here are 4 ways you can get started with warming up your donor audience today.

#1: Start reaching out today: Pick a cadence for email (1x/week, bi-weekly, or 1x/month) and social media (2-3x/week at minimum) and stick to it. Seriously, whatever you pick - you need to commit to carrying out that level of communication each and every week.

#2: Provide value: That’s right. Even though you are a nonprofit, it doesn’t mean you can’t give to your donor audience.  Some ideas on how to provide value to your donor audience include:

  • Sharing a story of someone you’ve helped in a transformative way
  • Telling a story of impact - one that includes data and numbers
  • Showing some behind the scenes. Feel free to be candid!
  • Sharing a testimonial from someone you’ve helped, a volunteer, or board member

#3: Reach out in an “out of the blue” way: If you are anything like me, you consume no less than multiple news articles, 2-3 podcasts, and too-many-to-count social media posts per day. If any one of these reminds you of a donor - tell them! Something as simple as a text message or email that says, “Hey - I was just listening/reading about XYZ and you popped in my head based on our last conversation. Here is the link - I thought you might enjoy it too!”

#4: Host a free educational event: We all have something to teach. Take this opportunity to provide value to your donor audience by offering a free educational session on something you are an expert in. Here are some ideas:

  • A dog rescue teaching sit, stay and come techniques
  • An environmental organization teaching how to get started with composting
  • A nonprofit focused on homelessness teaching how to put a hygiene kit together
  • An after school program teaching how to practice mindfulness
  • A job training program teaching resume writing 101

Truly, the possibilities are endless. At the end of the day, you need to give, give, give before you ask. Show up for your donors the way you want them to show up for you.