Top 3 Best Practices in Fundraising

By: Rachel Sylvester

What constitutes effective fundraising practices? The answer can vary among nonprofit organizations, and strategies can include soliciting donations, volunteer outreach, or selecting the optimal fundraising tools. Each of these strategies contributes to the set of best practices in fundraising for nonprofit organizations, and if you had to take away just three, these would be our top! We believe these best practices are essential for nonprofits of all sizes to consider in their fundraising efforts.

1. You must have information on your donors.

Having a dedicated platform to manage your donor information is like having a treasure map. This map doesn’t just lead you to treasure; it’s filled with crucial details about your donors—where they are, what they care about, their donation history, and their preferred ways to stay in touch. Keeping all this information neatly organized on a platform simplifies communicating with your supporters, making each interaction more meaningful and personalized. But it’s not just about making things easier. This platform also acts as a financial compass, helping you precisely navigate your fundraising efforts. And there’s more—it’s like having a history book at your fingertips. Looking back at past campaigns through the data stored on this platform allows you to understand what worked and what didn’t and how you can enhance your future fundraising strategies. So, in essence, this isn’t just about keeping track of details; it’s about building a foundation for growth, learning from the past, and charting a course for more successful fundraising campaigns ahead. Take a look at some of the donor platforms we have used with our clients. While this isn’t an official endorsement, these are platforms that we believe can get the job done with some dedication and commitment.


Bonterra (formerly Network for Good)


2. You must have a plan.

A nonprofit’s financial progress hinges on a well-crafted fundraising plan, offering an approach to achieving financial targets and ensuring activities align with the organization’s overarching goals. It’s about being prepared for any challenges, optimizing resources, and engaging with supporters effectively. Composing a compelling narrative through a well-thought-out communication plan is equally important, ensuring your mission and impact resonate across all channels. This consistent and engaging approach builds strong relationships, enhancing support and advocacy for your cause. Together, these plans are the cornerstones of success, blending strategy and storytelling to navigate your nonprofit toward its objectives.

3. You must show your donors some love.

Donor stewardship is like tending a garden; the flowers are your cherished relationships with donors. It’s about consistently nurturing these connections, ensuring they flourish over time. It’s crucial to remember that reaching out to donors shouldn’t just be a seasonal activity, done only when you need to plant new seeds (or, in this case, seek donations). Acknowledging their significance to your organization goes a long way in strengthening those bonds. Share the journey of their contributions, showing how each gift impacts your campaign. Keep them in the loop with regular updates on your fundraising efforts, making them feel involved and valued, and never underestimate the power of a thank you note. By investing in these gestures, you’re not just maintaining a portfolio of donors—you’re creating a community of supporters dedicated to your cause.

Successful fundraising is multifaceted and involves planning, strategic communication, and stewardship. These practices are tailored to fit each organization’s unique needs and mission, and best of all, they can be done on any budget. You just have to commit to doing them. Remember, the journey to effective fundraising is ongoing, and each step taken with intention and care brings your nonprofit closer to achieving its goals.

If you need help setting up a donor-management platform, creating a plan, or exploring ways to develop a donor stewardship program, reach out to our team. We have lots of ideas that can help your nonprofit.