Ten Ways to Cultivate Donors For Your Nonprofit Organization

A few years ago while speaking at the African Christian Broadcasting Conference in South Africa, I asked Mary Hutchinson who founded a donor development firm to submit a guest post on a topic that would make a difference for our readers.  After reading my post on How to be a Better Communications or Media Director, she began to consider how ministry staff on the “donor side” of communications could be more effective. It’s great to have a brilliant and effective program, podcast, and website, but what can you do to keep those people engaged and supporting your cause?  Sadly, Mary passed away since that time, but her advice is still worth hearing.  Here’s Mary’s top ten suggestions for cultivating donors for your nonprofit or ministry:

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Why The “Call To Action” Matters For Nonprofits

The Big Question: What Do You Want People to Do?

One of the most surprising problems I see with leaders who are trying to raise money for humanitarian causes, ministry outreaches, or nonprofit organizations, is not calling potential donors to action. In most cases, they are so focused on telling their story, describing all the wonderful things they’re doing, and showcasing the need, they forget about the “ask.” Here’s a few things you need to remember:

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Creativity Matters to Donors

Why Content is Still King

I’ve always been amazed at the number of nonprofit organizations and Christian ministries who do remarkable work, but do such a poor job of telling their story.  I shouldn’t be surprised because after all, they’re experts at doing the work, not talking about it.  But more and more proof is coming in that donors are looking to be engaged with your content.  In fact, when you don’t tell your story well, you could be losing more than

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The Main Thing You Need to Know About Fundraising

So many churches, ministries, and nonprofits struggle with fundraising these days, and there’s no question that in today’s culture, there are many challenges with raising money. So I asked Tim Smith (who’s been involved in donor development for a long time, and today is the Chief Development Officer of The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.) what he considers the “main thing” when it comes to fundraising. Here’s his reply:

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Five Unusual Ways to Express Your Generosity This Christmas

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for unique Christmas gifts.  So I asked my friend Bill High to give me some unusual ideas.  Bill’s an expert on donor development and his personal mission is to change the way people think about the values of family, legacy and generosity – and their practice of them.  Here’s what Bill suggested:

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How To Reach Younger Donors

I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Salvation Army Southern Territory’s Community Relations and Development Conference in Atlanta recently. One of the other speakers was Penelope Burk from Cygnus Applied Research. During her talk, she revealed the results of an extensive survey of younger donors to nonprofit organizations. Since most nonprofit leaders are concerned about developing next generation donors, her findings are important news. Here’s some highlights:

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If You Were Given $10 Million, What Would You Do?

I’ve started asking that question to my friends – particularly those in the ministry and nonprofit world. “If a donor suddenly stepped up and offered you a $10 million donation, what would you do with it?” I’ve been shocked at the number of people – even older, more experienced pastors and leaders – who have no idea. They’ve spent decades in ministry and yet can’t really express what

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