Arizona Gives Day is an incredible event that brings together people and nonprofits to create a stronger spirit of philanthropy. This day of giving, run by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum, has raised over $40 million for nonprofits statewide since its inception in 2013. It is the state's largest day of giving, and it has made a significant impact on the nonprofit sector.
However, Arizona Gives Day is just one example of a larger trend in philanthropy. Giving days have become increasingly popular nationwide, with events like Giving Tuesday taking place annually. These events are important because they help to raise awareness for important causes and bring people together to support them.
But while email fundraising is an essential part of any nonprofit's fundraising strategy, it is not the only way to engage donors. As someone who received over 500,000 emails on Arizona Gives Day, I know firsthand that it can be easy for donors to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of solicitations they receive.
So, how can nonprofits engage their donors beyond email fundraising?
Here are eight ways to create more meaningful connections with your supporters:
Pick up the phone. While email is a convenient way to reach many people, it can also be impersonal. Consider contacting your donors by phone to thank them for their support and update them on your organization's progress.
Bring people together. Events are a great way to bring people together and build a sense of community around your cause. Consider hosting a fundraising event or a volunteer day to engage your supporters and create a lasting impact.
Create personalized content. While mass emails can be effective, personalized content can be even more impactful. Consider sending donors personalized thank-you notes or sharing stories of the people or communities that your organization serves.
Host virtual events. With the pandemic still affecting in-person events, virtual events can be an effective way to engage donors and build community.
Send personalized letters. Personalized letters or cards can be a great way to show donors that you appreciate their support and value their contributions.
Create video content. Videos can be an effective way to tell your organization's story and connect with donors on a deeper level.
Hold phone-a-thons. Phone-a-thons can be a powerful way to reach donors and thank them for their support.
Offer donor perks. Consider offering exclusive perks to donors, such as behind-the-scenes access to your organization or special merchandise.
Don’t forget to thank your donors. Yes - you guessed it - beyond a general thank you email.
Thanking donors is crucial to building strong relationships and encouraging continued support for nonprofit organizations. On special giving days, like Arizona Gives Day and Giving Tuesday, it's even more important to express gratitude to donors who choose to support your cause. Not only does thanking donors make them feel appreciated, but it also helps them understand the impact of their contributions. By clearly sharing how their donations have helped, donors can see the tangible results of their support and feel more connected to the mission and work of the organization. This can lead to increased engagement, continued giving, and even word-of-mouth promotion to other potential donors.
Giving days like Arizona Gives Day and Giving Tuesday are incredibly important for the nonprofit sector. They provide an opportunity to raise awareness for important causes and engage a wider audience of supporters. However, it is important for nonprofits to remember that email fundraising is not the only way to engage donors.
Get out and fundraise!