Nonprofit organizations already face many challenges when it comes to raising money. So, it’s unfortunate that numerous charities must now deal with a fresh, difficult situation.
In a recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, reporter Rebecca Koenig explains:
Charities always find it difficult to capture attention, but some nonprofits fear that their donors are distracted by President Trump’s policies. ‘Backlash philanthropy,’ the trend of donating money to express frustration with the new administration, has benefited select organizations like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union but not necessarily nonprofits as a whole.”
If Trump Administration policies directly affect your organization’s mission, fundraising can be relatively easy. Indeed, some charities have benefitted from record philanthropy since Election Day. However, what can you do if your organization’s mission has little or nothing to do with the debates capturing media attention?
Koenig’s report provides great tips, insights from nonprofit professionals, and helpful detail. If you’re a Chronicle subscriber, you can find the article by clicking here. I thank Koenig for interviewing me for her article. If you’re not a subscriber, fear not. I’m about to share some highlights with you.
As I told the Chronicle:
The most important advice I could give an organization not directly impacted by the current political environment is to embrace fundamental practice and keep moving forward.”
So, in that spirit, here are five tips to help guide you along with my comments, in quotations, from the article:
Tip 1: Avoid obvious attempts to connect your organization to causes that don’t relate to your mission.
“If it’s a stretch, then the recipient of the appeal is going to see through it and see it as a gimmick, It’s not going to be particularly effective.” Instead, think of what has been motivating your donors all along, and continue to tap into those feelings.
Tip 2: Maintain good relationships with current donors.
Steadily declining donor-retention rates over the past several years suggest that the nonprofit sector has been doing a terrible job of building relationships with donors. Now, perhaps more than ever, it’s essential for charities to do a better job in this area. This is particularly true for organizations over-shadowed by news events. You can search this site for donor relations to find posts with helpful advice. However, here’s one useful idea: Report to donors how their contributions have been and will be used.
“The more specific an organization can be with a donor, the more that donor will feel like they’re making a difference, If a donor feels he or she is bringing about change, this will help drive further philanthropy to that organization.”