As a nonprofit dedicated to animal welfare, your cause is noble and important. However, without proper funding, it can be difficult to better the lives of animals in need.
That’s where donors come in. Individuals who are willing and able to give are the key to any nonprofit’s success. But how do you find these donors and convince them to support your specific cause?
In this guide, we’ll explore five strategies for reaching donors who are passionate about animal-related missions like yours. Whether you run an animal shelter, rescue group, or rehabilitation center, these insights will help you secure the funding the animals in your care deserve. Let’s get started!
1. Build an Engaging Online Presence
Having a strong online presence allows you to expand your nonprofit’s reach and attract donors who may not have previously been aware of your work.
To get started, create a digital marketing strategy that includes the following channels:
- Social media: Social media is ideal for sharing heartwarming rescue images, behind-the-scenes videos, and important updates. To increase visibility, NXUnite recommends reaching out to influencers in the space and asking them to share your content with their networks.
- Website: Your nonprofit’s website should have a user-friendly design and provide valuable information about your mission, programs, and impact. It should also feature a designated donation page where visitors can lend their support.
- Email: Use email newsletters to regularly communicate with supporters, sharing updates on rescued animals, success stories, upcoming events, and donation appeals. Use compelling subject lines to stand out from the crowd and improve your open rates.
If your marketing team is spread thin, consider using a tool like Gingr’s pet business software to automate outreach. With their easy-to-use tools, you can spend less time managing menial tasks like personalizing and sending emails, and more time focusing on what matters most: the animals.
2. Cultivate Relationships with Existing Donors
Your existing donors are the backbone of your organization. Show them that their support is valued through:
- Personalized communications: Send personalized thank-you letters or emails that acknowledge their support and provide specific updates on the impact of their donations. For example, you might say, “Thanks in part to your $50 contribution, Maisy the beagle is now wagging her tail again.”
- Donor stewardship events: Organize exclusive events such as donor appreciation dinners, behind-the-scenes tours of your facilities, and special meet-and-greets with rescued animals. These events allow donors to connect with your nonprofit’s mission, staff, and other supporters, fostering a greater sense of belonging.
- Impact reporting: Provide financial reports, progress reports, or impact stories that highlight the tangible outcomes made possible through donations. This demonstrates accountability and builds trust, helping reinforce donors’ belief in your work.
When donors are made to feel involved through efforts like these, they are more likely to continue their support and advocate on your behalf.
3. Host Community-Wide Fundraising Events
If you’re looking to bring people together in support of your cause, consider hosting a community-wide fundraising event. Events are an opportunity to network and showcase your value to businesses, donors, and key stakeholders in the area.
Here are some popular animal-related fundraising events to guide your planning process:
- Bark in the Park: Organize a dog-friendly event at a local park or outdoor space. For a registration fee, donors can participate in fun activities like a dog walkathon, pet costume contest, or agility demonstration.
- Paws for a Cause Gala: Host an elegant fundraising gala that celebrates your organization’s mission. To generate revenue, the event could feature an auction with pet-themed items and live entertainment.
- Pet Adoption Fair: Collaborate with other local animal shelters and rescue organizations to organize a pet adoption fair. Set up booths where attendees can donate and adopt animals in need of a forever home.
Regardless of the event you choose, be sure to thank donors for their support, attendance, and commitment to your cause. Doing so will cultivate meaningful relationships that last long after the event ends.
4. Leverage Corporate Sponsorships
Corporate sponsorships are partnerships between a nonprofit and a company, in which the company provides financial support in exchange for benefits like increased brand exposure and positive public relations.
To ensure your partnerships are a success, follow these steps:
- Network. Attend networking events, industry conferences, or corporate social responsibility forums to connect with potential partners. Introduce them to your mission and explain your need for a sponsor.
- Target businesses with similar values to your own. Reach out to businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to social responsibility and have a natural connection to animal welfare. For instance, if you run an animal shelter, a dog boarding business would be an ideal match, since you share similar target audiences and services.
- Create a compelling proposal. Explain how the partnership will be a mutually beneficial venture. For instance, let’s say you’re asking a dog boarding business to donate to your upcoming fundraising campaign. In return, you will shout out the business on social media and mention them in a speech at your next event, thereby introducing the business to a new client base.
After securing a corporate sponsor, maintain open communication throughout the partnership, providing regular updates on the impact of their investment and seeking feedback on how the partnership can continue to be beneficial for both parties. Additionally, ask the sponsor to share your information with their employees and clients, as they may also be eager to give.
5. Use the Google Ad Grant
The Google Ad Grant provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 in monthly ad credits to promote their websites through Google Ads. When you create a Google Ad, your organization appears at the top of the search engine results page for your chosen keyword, encouraging interested users to get involved.
If your organization is eligible, it’s easy to apply for the program. Once Google accepts your application, you’ll be able to market your nonprofit and reach new donors by following these tips:
- Choose relevant keywords. The funds you receive through the Google Ad Grant go towards bidding on keywords. These are words that users interested in your cause may search for, and by bidding on them, you can show up first for relevant searches. For example, your organization may choose “animal shelter donations” or “animal rescue group contributions” in order for potential donors to find your site.
- Include a call to action. When people see your Google Ads, make it clear what action you’d like them to take. In this case, it’s donating to your cause. Include “Donate Now!” or “Help An Animal In Need Today!” in the copy of your Google Ad to encourage people to contribute.
- Measure your success. The Google Ad Grant program gives you access to Google Analytics, where you can track your campaign success. See how many conversions, or donations, your ads inspired, and take note of which campaigns performed best so you know which keywords and copy to focus on for next time.
Adding the Google Ad Grant to your donor outreach strategy comes at no additional cost to your organization and can help you gain new support. If you’d like help applying for or managing your Google Ad Grant, consider reaching out to a Google Ad Grant agency.
By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to effectively connect with donors. Remember to always stay true to your organization’s values, maintain transparency with your supporters, and continuously seek out new opportunities for engagement. With persistence, you can build a strong donor base and make a meaningful difference in the world of animal welfare.