Why is it important for fundraising and marketing communications to align?
How can you raise money for your cause if no one knows about the good work you’re doing?
Successful fundraising is founded on making a strong case for your cause. In fact, recent data shows that when an organization’s communications strategies are clear and focused, its fundraising dollars increase substantially.
How marketing communications supports your fundraising activities:
- Strong communications help you build awareness for your organization and cause. This foundation builds a pipeline for fundraising activities and facilitates the “ask.”
- Clear, consistent and targeted messaging gives your staff and board the tools they need to create fundraising programs that get results.
- A strong brand identity helps your organization speak with a single voice, delivering a clear message that resonates with current and future donors.
- A clear call to action ensures that your target audiences know what to do after being motivated by your message.
When communications and fundraising are in sync, one supports the other through simple, consistent, compelling messages, delivered in a way that builds trust. Trust makes people want to get involved, support your cause and donate dollars.
Effective communications for fundraising is transparent, delivers on your brand promise and always reflects your organizational identity. This ensures messaging is believable and memorable, helping you to build trust among new donors and loyalty among donors you already have.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Tie communications to fundraising initiatives. Ensure messages are in sync with fundraising goals. Determine what you want to achieve and when. Use tools and vehicles that target the audience, clearly communicate what you want people to do, and always tie back to your brand.
- Use stories to support your efforts. Stories make your cause personal. They touch donor emotions and “show” your audience the difference you’re making. They can also be used over a period of time to draw an audience in and keep them coming back for more.
- Release good news as soon as it happens. Keep your audience informed and excited about your cause. All staff should be looking for good news stories. Try using press releases and case studies on your website and in email communications to get the word out about the work you’re doing before the information gets old. Need help? The Center for Civic Partnerships has compiled a variety of free resources to help nonprofits develop their media and public relations efforts (.civicpartnerships.org, click on “tools and resources”).