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4 Connected Fundraising Strategies that Actually Work

By August 4, 2017

It’s not easy to raise resources for your cause these days. Fundraising strategies evolve with the times, but the rate of change seems to be speeding up every year. Previous generations of larger, check-writing donors are being replaced by smaller individual donors and new ways of giving, like online crowdfunding and corporate matching.

Thousands of nonprofits recently participated in’s annual survey and shared results they’ve achieved using Salesforce for fundraising. They shared major improvements in their fundraising metrics, but the question is: how did they do it? Here are 4 strategies from nonprofits who have achieved some big results.

Flip through this Slideshare to read more about these strategies and see them in action:

Cultivate Constituents with Personalized Communications

Effective development leaders know that every person who cares about your mission, or knows someone who cares, is a potential donor or fundraiser. They also realize collaboration with their marketing counterparts is critical to reaching these groups, which is why they:

  • Agree on ideal donors, and then “match” potential donors to this profile.
  • Automate dynamic emails and content, and assign points based on opens/actions.
  • Assign tasks to development teams for cultivation once donors reach a point level.

Nonprofit Salesforce users on average believe implementing engagement and fundraising processes like these can produce a 26% increase in donor lead volume and 20% increase in new donors acquired.

One nonprofit who has seen success is Project Lead the Way, which provides transformative learning experiences for millions of K-12 students, their parents, teachers, and schools. PLTW uses Pardot for email communications and was able to achieve a 375% increase in leads collected, along with a 110% increase in opportunities generated.

Data-Driven Fundraising: Faster, Smarter, and Lower Cost

Building a fundraising machine that continues to drive more revenue at a lower cost will help you grow your mission faster. With collaborative moves management, your organization can implement data-driven fundraising and plans to engage donors across anyone on your team, from development staff to board members.

  • Assign donors to levels based on donations, amounts, volunteer hours, etc.
  • Engage major donors and grant applications with tailored engagement plans.
  • Leverage real-time program impact data and donation reports in fundraising.

According to survey respondents, effective fundraising strategies can increase funds raised by 28%, with an average 17% decrease in cost per dollar raised.

Breakthrough New York works with youth in underserved areas with a 10-year program from 6th grade through college. 96% of their students going on to college, compared to the national average of 52%. Leveraging NPSP and donor levels, they were able to hit very aggressive 3-year fundraising goals with just 2 development staff.

Deliver faster, more effective campaigns and appeals

Regardless of whether your next campaign is proactive, reactive to a disaster, or through distributed partners, on-point communications and timing are of the utmost importance. How efficiently and effectively you create a compelling narrative will determine success.

  • Create a consistent yet tailored journey with a tailored communications.
  • Engage constituents across all channels (email, web, social, paid promotion)
  • Reward and badge levels in this journey to keep them interested.

Nonprofits using Salesforce for appeals say they deploy campaigns 35% faster, with 23% Increase in campaign ROI.

UNHCR protects and assists refugees around the world, beginning by helping refugees post World War II. They were able to drop cancellation and unsubscribe rate on campaigns by 2.5% (that would translate to $50K of savings on a $2M fundraising campaign).

Improve donor engagement and retention

Creating an “active” donor base across donor types, volunteers, alumni, and chapters cultivates donors and ensures you don’t lose your recurring donors to another cause or lack of understanding. The challenge is thinking holistically about your different constituent journeys, and how you can bring them closer to your mission.

  • Tailor your donor database to match donors, programs, partners, etc.
  • Implement an integrated platform that syncs with external systems and apps.
  • Provide reporting across donors, campaigns, constituents, and programs.

Nonprofits using Salesforce say they increase donor engagement by 36%, with a 24% Increase in donors retained.

Camp Kesem provides camps or chapters to supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. They are able to better segment constituents as they progress through the world of Kesem, leverage all constituents as fundraisers, and achieved a 445% growth in funds raised in just 4 years.

Forward-looking nonprofits know they can no longer lean on a few good relationships with major donors and outdated donor database technology to get the resources they need. They realize the importance of keeping pace with new approaches, technologies, communication channels, and processes.

We were proud to see the results of our survey this year and see that these organizations are raising the resources that fund their mission with a little help from our technology.