Grow Your Donor Base for Your Cause
Get People Behind Your Mission!
Identifying new supporters and growing your donor base can be challenging. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and successful. Remember, part of fundraising is FUN. And what better way to grow your org’s base of friends than through a series of fun and informative FRIENDraising events?
Host a Friendraiser
A friendraiser is an informal, low-pressure event, designed to educate your guests about the great work you do. It’s NOT a fundraiser – you’re not asking for money. (Not yet!) Friend-raisers are all about relationship building.
Here are some ways you can utilize this effective method of donor development.
Call on Your Peeps
This is a proven method for utilizing board members, volunteers, and key donors: They bring their friends to an event simply to learn more about you without the added pressure of being asked for a gift. The idea behind friendraising is to connect your mission with as many new folks as you can. When you have potential donors in the room, you’ll find all kinds of ways to encourage their involvement – like attending your next big event!
Smaller, more intimate gatherings work particularly well for this format. Think summer BBQ party, cocktail hour at your org’s office, dinner with wine pairings at a board member’s house. Carve out some time during the event to share an overview of your work. Consider inviting a service recipient to say a few words about how the work you do transformed their life. Wrap things up by providing your attendees with information about how to get involved. Above all, make it easy for them to get involved!
Nurture New Relationships
Always follow up with guests and thank them for coming (and ask the person who invited them to call to say thank you). Ask them if they have any questions about your organization and what you do. Get to know them and what their values, desires and talents are. Now you’re ready to invite them to tour your space, visit a program to see your work in action firsthand, or offer up their services as a volunteer. Maybe the next step is grabbing coffee or lunch with your new potential donor.
Creating a series of fun, informative, low-pressure events throughout the calendar year ensures that your team has a steady stream of potential new supporters to cultivate. The result? A greater pool of potential donors for your next big fundraising event.
Make it Easy
Another benefit is that you’ll find that your board, staff, and existing donors find it much easier to ask folks to attend a friend-raising event, than to ask them for money. Once you get to know them a little better, the ask won’t be as awkward.
Keep Donors In The Know
A natural follow-up to a friend-raising event is sharing more information about your org with your donors. You can do this via a newsletter or an email blast. Detail new programs you’re launching (or hoping to launch with their financial support). Share what’s going on and keep your donors in the know. This will keep them engaged and feeling connected with your org and the work that you do. Regular communication that’s educational, impactful and demonstrates your value is a great way to turn potential donors into new donors. OR – even better – turning new donors into recurring donors!