We’ve re-branded from Legacy Leaders to Donor Compass. Learn more.

Skip to main content

Love at First Sight: 5 Secrets to Attract New Donors


Do you remember the last time you went out on a first date? It probably took you hours to get ready — from picking the perfect outfit, to styling your hair, and perhaps preparing some discussion topics. Because as cliché as it sounds, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. Attracting new donors is the same.

You want new donors to fall love with your organization at first sight. But attracting new donors isn’t always as easy as choosing the right outfit to wear or hairstyle to sport. So below, we’ve listed five effective ways to catch the hearts of new donors.


5 Secrets to Attract New Donors


1.       Social media is an impactful communication tool

According to the 2020 Global Trends in Giving Report, social media is the most impactful communication tool. Social media inspires about 25% of donors worldwide to give. The same report also shows that Facebook and Instagram are the most effective platforms for attracting new donors.

With almost everyone having active accounts on multiple platforms, you can leverage the power of social media to connect and engage with a wider audience. Be active in different social media networks. Flex your projects and accomplishments, show how much support you need, and give recognition to your current donors. Create content that has the potential to go viral to increase your online visibility.


2.       Paid promotions do pay off

Investing in paid promotions can deliver high returns to an organization. This is why 6 out of 10 nonprofits spend on ads and have a specific budget for them.

Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and paid collaborations with influencers offer cost-effective ways to meet your fundraising goals. They give you an edge by putting you at the top of search rankings and social media feeds. They help increase visibility and create brand awareness that helps attract new donors.

Generally, it’s suggested that about 5% to 15% of your operating budget is allocated to paid promotions. Just like when you’re on a date, you want to spend to impress, but you don’t want to go totally broke. Set a budget that works for your organization and maximize it.


3.       More donors are ready to go back to attending in-person events

Virtual events have gained popularity in recent years, but there’s really nothing better at fostering deeper connections than in-person events. As restrictions are lifted, you can opt to start getting back out into the community to meet new potential donors.

A survey indicates that 76% of donors would feel comfortable attending in-person events by the end of 2021. So, start planning in-person fundraisers. Consider an outdoor event held in an area with lots of open space. This allows you to get some face-to-face time with donors, while allowing them to feel safe and comfortable.


4.       Local partnerships are mutually beneficial

For smaller and more localized nonprofits, partnering with local establishments leads to mutually beneficial relationships.

Consumers today prefer supporting socially responsible businesses. In fact, a consumer trends report by GWI shows that around 40% of consumers want brands to put more focus on supporting social causes. So, as local establishments partner with you, they build their reputation and gain more customers. On your end, you gain a steady source of funds for your advocacy.

When the partnership is in the form of corporate giving, the establishment can use their donation for tax deductions. When it’s in the form of cause marketing, they gain a boost in popularity as a supporter of a good cause, and you gain passive income over time.


5.       Peer-to-peer campaigning spreads the love faster

Approximately 13% of donors create online peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. This percentage may seem a bit small, but it effectively widens your donor base without you doing any leg work.

In lieu of gifts for birthdays and celebrations, many people today are requesting donations to the nonprofits they support. These fundraising campaigns are particularly popular among the Gen X, Millennial, and Gen Z generations. Your existing donors can easily invite family and friends to donate by simply sharing the link for donation.

By creating your own P2P program, you make it easier for your existing donors to reach out to their network and attract new donors. All donors feel fulfilled, and you reach your goals to help more beneficiaries. Everyone shares the love.


Follow Up and Engage

Don’t leave your new donors hanging. Donor acquisition, like finding a date, is actually the easy part. Creating a lasting relationship that can handle the bumpy road of life is the challenge. Ensure you have a good donor retention strategy, so you can build strong relationships with your donors. Follow up and engage the new donors personally. For relationship-focused fundraising campaigns, get expert advice from Donor Compass™.