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Tirrah Switzer Tirrah Switzer, Product Marketing Manager, Community Brands

For any membership organization, non-dues revenue is essential to their success. Many associations have been forced to re-evaluate their non-due revenue streams with cancelled events and social distancing. Fundraising is becoming more important for many organizations. But, how do you ask your members when people are cautious about spending extra money during these uncertain times  

Fundraising should connect members to your association’s mission. Check out these four simple steps to help you connect members and industry supporters to your mission and turn them into donors 

Decide on the ask

First, consider what your member base is experiencing at the moment and how can they help move your profession and industry forward. Be clear on what you are raising funds for and how the funds will be used for. Are you raising funds so that members can attend educational course at no fee, a scholarship program or general operating funds? Although general operating funds are great for an organization, our friends at GiveSmart by Community Brands, suggests asking for a specific campaign. That is where they have seen organizations have the most fundraising success.

Tip: Don’t forget to walk a mile in your members shoes. How is your audience being affected by today’s climate? Use this information to help guide your ask and messaging. You don’t want to appear tone-deaf in your ask.

Segment your database

Just like with member marketing, segmenting your database is key to successful fundraising. You want your potential donor to feel like you are talking to them. Segment your database and develop different communications for each segment. You’ll speak to your past donors differently than those who have never donated.

And, don’t forget your non-members. Membership isn’t for everyone, but past event or education attendees know first-hand the impact your association makes. You should include them in your fundraising campaign.

How will you ask each of your segments? Some tactics include:

  • Email campaign
  • Personal ask
  • Direct mail
  • Social media campaign

Tip: Email campaign management functionality in YourMembership association management software allows you to quickly and easily create email lists and target email content based on a variety of member information, including membership level, donations, etc.

Donor-focused messaging

With so many organizations looking for donor dollars, you need to draw in your potential donor immediately. Make it personal. Focus your message on the prospective donor, not the association. What will the donor help achieve with their support? And, how will the support help the profession and industry?

Consider sharing a different success story with each segment. Great way to draw in your potential donors is with video. Showcase donors on why they support the initiative or highlight the program that will benefit from the fundraising campaign.

Tip: Don’t ask your potential donors for everything at once. Consider separating your membership renewal campaign and fundraising ask.

Make the act of giving easy

You’ve connected them with your mission, and they are ready to give. Great job! Now, it has to be easy for the donor to give. Your website should be easy to navigate and donate now button front and center of the page. And, of course your donation process must be mobile-responsive.

Recurring donations are an easy way for donors to give larger amounts over a period of time. Asking for smaller donations like $10 or $25 a month will keep funds coming in while not feeling like a large ask from the donor.

Tip: Take advantage of modern membership management technology which allows you to easily accept recurring donations.

Peer to peer fundraising is a great easy way to spread your fundraising efforts. By accessing the power of your supporter’s networks, you can raise more money and reach more industry professionals and leaders.

Turning your members (and non-members) into donors can seem like a feat under the best of circumstances. But the efforts will pay off. Generating non-dues revenue through fundraising is essential to your furthering your mission, profession and industry.

Ready to turn your members into donors? Learn more about YourMembership association management software can help you generate more non-dues revenue.

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