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How to Attract New Donors for Your Cause

The task of acquiring new donors requires much more than just slapping a “Donate” button on your website. With so many causes and so much clutter in today’s fast-paced world, it takes discipline, know-how, patience and creativity to get through to new people so they can hear about, become interested in and donate to your cause.

Learn It
A book to remember

Shereen – not usually one to grab a book from the fantasy section – could barely put this new title down. Reflecting on how she happened to pick this particular book, Shereen realized the seed had been sown when she noticed the Two Doors cover in bookshops and in advertisements around town. She then noticed several of her friends on Facebook talking about its creative exploration of a second-generation immigrant experience. This piqued her interest, which grew a few weeks later when she heard the author interviewed on the radio about his culture’s mythology about dragons as gatekeepers. Then Shereen noticed a local book club was hosting a discussion about Two Doors later that month. The combination of an emotional connection to the topic, the recommendations from friends, and hearing about the book in other places, all led to her handing over her cash for a new favorite read.

It can be useful to think about a similar process when attracting new supporters to your cause. For your cause to catch the eye of prospective donors, it is vital to consistently making your work visible in the community. Creating opportunities for your supporters to invite others to attend events and engage in brief campaigns can also help introduce new people through trusted sources. PR, media and other third party mentions can tap into people’s desire to be involved in something successful, sometimes called “social proof.”

Keep in mind: An old marketing adage says that it takes seven ‘touches’ before someone will act – people need to hear your message seven times before they buy in.

Own It
Identifying your key audience

Follow the three steps to encourage active and continuing support for your cause:

1. Proactively be seen and heard.

2. Enlist friends as trusted sources that can help spread the word.

3. Use “social proof” from third parties to help reinforce your message.

Do It
Download the worksheet to go through the process for your cause.