Fundraising & Development

Pitching new donors on your nonprofit

February 1, 2021 Nonprofits Decoded Team

Pitching is a delicate art form that relies on both charismatic skill and an understanding of your audience. There are quite a few things that you can bear in mind when pitching to new donors that you hope to land for your nonprofit organization, and we’re going to go over the most crucial elements today.

If you’ve always wondered why you struggle to get new donors for your nonprofit then hopefully this article will shed some light on that question for you. Without further adieu, here’s our guide on pitching new donors to your nonprofit.

Be a good listener

We’re sure at one point or another you’ve had a “conversation” with someone who talks without any punctuation and won’t let anyone else share their thoughts. This is quite annoying even at events like dinner parties, so just imagine how awful it would be if someone acted this way while insisting that you should donate your hard-earned cash to their cause? If you want to get more supporters for your nonprofit then you should be a good listener.

Talk to your donors, not at them. Leave some silence in between each point you make, not just so they can process all the information — as this too is important — but also so that they can ask you any questions that they might have. While it may seem like a rude interruption of your well-planned speech, questions are actually a good thing as they show you that the donor is paying attention to what you’re saying and wants to learn more about the cause.

It won’t help your train of thought chug along faster, but answering questions could seal the deal and land you new donors that will stick with your cause for the rest of their lives. If someone asks a question in between your pauses then politely answer their question at a reasonable depth then move onto the next point. Ensure that they don’t have further questions before you move on though, otherwise, you’ll run the risk of offending them and making the potential donor feel unimportant in your eyes.

Talk about the benefits

Potential donors already know that you’re there to get them to take their wallets out and support your cause in a financial manner. The thing is, there are countless other people out there who are trying to raise money for their own causes. If you want to truly stand out in the eyes of potential donors then you can’t focus solely on what they can do for your cause.

You should talk about some ways that your cause can serve their needs. For instance, if your potential donor is a high-profile personality such as an entrepreneur or celebrity then you can talk about the PR benefits of them supporting your cause. If your nonprofit has a website with a list of donors then you can remind them that their name will be listed on there if they make a donation.

You could also talk about how supporting a cause will boost their brand loyalty and thus increase their bottom line. This is especially true for business people who look at supporting a nonprofit as a business investment. While they may very well genuinely want to make the world a better place, they’d prefer to do so while getting something in return.

Of course, different donors will have different needs and thus you should alter your pitch accordingly. Donors who wish to remain anonymous won’t care too much for things like good PR or getting listed on your website, and thus you’ll need to find some other ways that your nonprofit benefits them if you hope to seal the deal.

Be the solution, not the problem

While it can be easy to rely on problems as your main narrative, it isn’t the best way to get donations from people. Most donors are pretty smart. That being the case, they likely already know all about the problems that our world has including water shortages, lack of healthcare, and the like. If you want to truly stand out and get more donors for your nonprofit then you should be focusing on the solutions that your organization can provide rather than the problems that it’s trying to solve.

This is the same approach the charity: water takes. The organization is led by Scott Harrison who used to work on Wall Street — which is why his marketing prowess shouldn’t come as a surprise. Rather than talking solely about the problems associated with the global water crisis, they highlight all the solutions that they use through the donations that they receive. Wells, filters, and other sustainable solutions all feature on the pages of their website.

Focusing exclusively on the problems will depress your potential donors and make them less likely to get onboard while talking about exciting new solutions will practically have them throw their wallets at you. If you want to raise more funds for your cause then talk about how their donation could make a difference, what that difference is, and how long that difference will last.

If the donations to your charity make a lasting change in the lives of many then talk about just how it does that. If you remember all these key points then you should be able to significantly increase the amount of money that you get through new donors.

What’s next?

If you factor in these three tips when you work on your donor outreach and advocacy, you’ll be surprised at how fast you can get more support for your cause – whether through an annual appeal, a fundraiser event or even a website donation. Being a good listener is the first tip that we talked about. While it may seem obvious, there’s elegance in simplicity. If you make your new donors feel important then they’ll care more about you in return.

Talking about the benefits that you can provide to your donors is the second tip we covered and is of particular importance if you’re pitching to entrepreneurs. Lastly, focusing on solutions is the final tip that you should take to heart. Utilize all three and you’ll be on your way. Happy fundraising!