NONPROFITS

3 Ways to Find the Right Donors

Written by Sam Minneti

Read time: 7 minutes

If you only have 30 seconds:

  • You won't be all things to all people. You're not Geico. 
  • Find your tribe: potential donors who already believe what you believe. 
  • Donors are far more willing to give if they understand how their donation will impact the community.
There are over 100 nonprofits in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. In fact, we’re one of the most densely populated nonprofit hubs in the country: Colorado is home to one nonprofit for every 245 people. With so many worthy nonprofits to choose from, how do you find the right donors who already believe what you believe?

Accept that you won’t be all things to all people.

You’re not Geico.

Geico’s audience is truly anyone who has or needs insurance. That could be car insurance, home insurance, log cabin insurance – the list goes on. That means their marketing efforts have to be wide-reaching. On any given day, you can spot Geico in tv spots, social posts, magazines, bus benches and on the back of taxis. Their audience is practically infinite and so is their marketing budget.

As a nonprofit, your marketing budget likely can’t compete with Geico’s $1 billion per year spend. (But we can dream, right?)

Ranger Hat Tip: That’s okay! Chances are, your audience isn’t “everyone.” You may be targeting donors who are passionate about mental health, or love dogs, or have enough disposable income to make a huge impact on your organization. 

For the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region’s Better Together Campaign, we wanted to tap into the “animal lover tribe.” Each concept speaks to the special bond between a pet and their human.
NAMI Colorado Springs partnered with the Big Dog Brag Mud Run to promote NAMI’s youth support programs. The campaign’s audience was specific: exercise enthusiasts who believe in NAMI’s mission. 

Find your tribe.

If you’ve accepted that you won’t be all things to all people, you’ve still got to be something to someone, right? 

With limited marketing dollars, it’s important you use them efficiently and focus on people who already believe what you believe. A “cat person” may never give to your dog shelter. And a couple without kids may not be interested in your youth program. 

At the end of the day, marketing is simply: saying the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, in the right way. Your job: find the right people. There are people in your community who are already excited about your mission and eager to help, even if you haven’t identified them yet. 

Create a profile of your ideal donor – and be specific! Answer questions like:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What other nonprofits do they give to? 
  • Where do they shop?
  • How involved are they in your community?
  • Why are they passionate about your mission?
Marketing is simply: saying the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, in the right way. 

Help donors understand their impact.

You probably know the financials, how much you need to raise at your next event and which kinds of donors give the most. Donors may not need that much context, but they do want to understand how their gift helps. With so many nonprofits to give to, how can you show donors that their gift to your organization has the greatest impact?

Care and Share Food Bank does a great job showing impact and helping donors understand that even a little bit can go a long way. 

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