Grow your own individual donors!

We are here to chime in on everyone’s favorite topic over this past month: POLITICS.

The talk of the town has been Pence’s war on Planned Parenthood (and the subsequent retaliation by donors giving in his name) but what does an administration change mean for other nonprofit organizations?

Every administration change in the United States issues in a change in the type and amount of government grants that are dispersed. The priorities of the Federal government change with each administration, as we see quite clearly contrasting the Obama and upcoming Trump administrations. Of money spent on social issues, one-third is funded by the federal government.

It may seem counter intuitive, but very swift changes of administration occasionally mean more business for us at DSA. Most of this comes as requests for grantwriting services.  One such example was the transition between Clinton and G.W. Bush. Federal funds for AIDS treatment and women’s issues were diminished and organizations needed to find new sources of income, fast. Although we were able to help many of these organizations, expecting a grantwriter to make up your loss in incoming and raise $50,000 in two months is unrealistic.

The key to staying afloat: rely on your individual donors.

If there is ever a time to get your individual donors on board, it is now. They are your best bet to compensate for government cuts or defunding. As we have seen with Rage donations, individual donors will rise to the challenge of fundraising for organizations they truly care about, especially when the current administration does not. Use this election cycle as a catalyst to shift your fundraising strategies; grants won’t always be there, but the people you serve and your supporters will.

How to grow your very own individual donors:

Individual donors are a great resource and should be nurtured. Organizations that take care of their donors:

  • Sow the seeds: Make your ask at an appropriate time, and using appropriate media
  • Provide nutrients: Keep donors abreast of your organizational happenings
  • Get them out of the weeds: Make it easy for donors to give online with visible donate buttons & sites optimized for mobile giving
  • Encourage them to grow: Focus on donor stewardship for donors at all levels

Organizations are usually rewarded for these efforts with a consistent stream of income that is less prone to a fluctuating economy. These donors will become your lifeblood and as we will see in next week’s post, they may also become your friends!

Need help cultivating individual donors? Ask us!
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