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5 Essentials to Nonprofit Fundraising Mastery

Within the busy and meaningful work of a nonprofit organization, developing fundraising mastery is a common goal to help achieve the collective mission.

With information derived from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), here are 5 essential areas that nonprofits must master in order to be successful fundraisers:

1. A Culture of Philanthropy

Having an established culture of philanthropy within an organization is a must-have for any nonprofit aiming to reach their true fundraising potential and mastery.  You must envelope what you wish to see from others or “be the change you wish to see in the world”, so if you’re looking for generosity from the outside, you best be honing it on the inside first!

ACTION:  Set forth an organizational mantra that says something like, “the more you give, the more you get” or even “be the change you wish to see in the world”, and strive to adhere to that message in everything you do as an organization.

Read Creating a Culture of Philanthropy within your Organization.

2. Social Fundraising

In the past 5 years, 1 in 5 adults donated to nonprofits online and the data shows that over 50% of people who engage with nonprofits via social media take an action (i.e., liking and sharing their content OR making a donation (59% of those engaged)!).

ACTION:  Share donor-centered content that’s visual and enticing through your social media channels, stay engaged with how your supporters are reacting to your content, and when things aren’t working experiment with new ways to increase that engagement.

Read the Strategic Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits.

3. Major Gift Fundraising

You can inspire major donors to give by uplifting them with your messaging opposed to simply “hitting them up” for some money. ACTION STEPS:

  • Define your major gift amount
  • Identify, screen, segment and qualify your prospects
  • Craft a compelling and passionate story that inspires giving
  • Get your board involved with outreach

4. Engaged Content Marketing

Engaged or social content marketing is all about creating meaningful, informative, and visual content that is tailored to your donors or that uses donor-centered language.  You’re giving them the credit for the success of your mission and highlighting how incredibly important they are – opposed to you-you-you!

Keep in mind that posts with images/visuals get 94% more views and are shared 40X more on social media!  And if you don’t have your own images, use free ones from

ACTION:  Create attractive and useful content, distribute it in the way your donors would prefer to receive it – be it through social media, within a newsletter, or whatever way works for your particular set of supporters.

Read more about nonprofit marketing.

5. Donor Retention

You can’t be a successful nonprofit if you’re unable to retain donors.  New donor acquisition is costly and difficult, so finding a way to delight your donors and keep them coming back is key to your fundraising success.

Your donors need to feel that their help is necessary for your survival, that it’s highly appreciated, and that their identity is enhanced by their involvement with your mission.

Work on amplifying these 5 areas of your nonprofit and become the fundraising master you were destined to be!

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