Finding donors for your nonprofit organization or political campaign can seem daunting if you don’t know where to start.
The world is full of people who want to give to worthy causes, your job is to find them and show them why your cause is worthwhile.
In this post, we’re going to look at how to find donors and sponsors for your nonprofit.
How To Find Donors For Your Nonprofit
There are many ways to go about finding people willing to give to your cause.
However, here are the 10 methods we’d recommend trying first:
- Leverage your relationships
- Research potential donors
- Host fundraising events
- Turn website visitors into donors
- Grow a community on social media
- Run ads on social media
- Ask for referrals
- Rent or buy mailing lists
- Network at local business events
- Turn one-time givers into regular donors
Each of these fundraising methods can work for your charity, nonprofit, or political campaign.
Let’s look at each of these options in more detail.
1. Leverage your relationships
The best place to start looking for donors and sponsors is by tapping into your existing relationships.
People who know, like, and trust you are likely to donate and ultimately recommend your cause to their own network of donors.
The secret to leveraging your own relationships is not overdoing it.
Constantly asking for donations might hurt your relationships, so be mindful of when and how you use your network for fundraising.
2. Research potential donors
Look into similar nonprofit organizations like yours, and identify who’s already giving to those causes.
With some effort, you can find contacts of individual donors or larger contributors to target.
Here’s how to find out who donated to a nonprofit:
- Looking at their website for clues
- Get more information by subscribing to their newsletters
- Attending their networking events
- Looking at their publicly available annual reports
You can then compile a list of donors to reach out to for contributions to your cause.
3. Host fundraising events
A great way of finding willing donors is to host events or cultivation parties.
If you have strong relationships with existing donors, get those with good networks to host fundraising events and invite their friends to attend.
Use the opportunity to network with possible donors, and take a moment during the event to stand up and talk about your cause.
Ideally, you should ask your host to say a few words about why they support you and why they believe their friends should too.
Make sure you’re gathering as many contact details as possible using a guest book or by simply grabbing their business cards, so you can contact them the following day about donating to your nonprofit.
4. Turn your website visitors into donors
Your website is also a great way of finding donors online.
Use call-to-actions like contact forms or pop-ups to grab your visitor’s attention.
Ask visitors to exchange their contact details (email address) for a free resource, so you can add them to your mailing list.
When they’re on your mailing list you can keep reaching out to them with interesting information about your nonprofit, and success stories to get them excited about donating.
Try not to ask for donations too often and cause unsubscribes, but rather show donors what their contributions are allowing your organization to do.
5. Grow a community on social media
Another way of finding donors online is by using social media like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, or even LinkedIn.
Most people now use social media to some extent, and growing an audience of supportive followers who want to share your message can grow your list of donors very quickly.
Your goal is to get more followers and then “de-platforming” those followers by getting them onto your mailing list using free giveaways and resources.
If a social media platform goes down or you’re locked out of your account for some reason, you don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t communicate with donors.
Remember, growing your mailing list should always be your main priority.
6. Run ads on social media
If you want to accelerate the growth of your donor community on social media, you can run ads.
Depending on which social media you’re using, ads can be extremely cheap and they’re a great way of generating interest in your cause.
Fundraising using ads on platforms like Facebook or TikTok will give you a lot more reach than depending on organic growth alone.
You can even bypass asking them to join your community on the platform and send them straight to a call-to-action where they’re asked to give their email address for a free give-away.
Also, consider running social ads if you’re trying to organize an in-person fundraising event because you can target donors based on their geographic locations too.
7. Ask for referrals
Using your existing list of contributors as a way of finding new donors for your nonprofit works very well.
People who already give to your cause want to see you succeed, so ask them to spread the word.
You can do this using a short introductory email and asking existing donors to forward it to their network.
From your intro email, link to a purpose-built page on your website where you can get new donors to sign up.
Referrals are perfect for growing social proof and will increase the chances of new donors coming on board.
8. Rent or buy mailing lists
If you have the budget, renting or buying mailing lists from reputable brokers can accelerate your donor recruitment process. A broker who can send your message using their own domain is the best strategy.
Keep in mind, that sending cold emails to prospective donors may be considered spam, so always be mindful of how you reach out.
Rather than immediately asking for donations in your emails, talk about the good things your nonprofit is doing.
Highlighting successful projects will increase the likelihood of getting people interested in your cause.
You may need to run a sequence of multiple emails since most campaigns achieve the best results after about the 5th outbound email.
9. Network at local business events
Most communities will have local business events for networking.
These networking events are great for connecting with successful business people who might be interested in your cause.
Either by donating themselves or by getting their businesses involved.
Here are a few places to find local networking events:
- BNI (Business Networking International)
- Rotary Club International
- LinkedIn Groups
- Local chamber of commerce
- Facebook Groups for local businesses
Rather than simply asking for donations at these events (which might be seen in a negative light), use the opportunity to add value to the group by connecting people and being a useful part of the community.
You’re more likely to see success this way.
10. Turn one-time givers into regular donors
The best way to find donors for your cause is by encouraging people to donate again.
If they donated in the past, they’ve shown their interest and willingness to give to your cause.
If you do a good job at growing and maintaining an active email list of donors, turning one-time donors into repeat donors is much easier.
Keep your donors informed about new projects you’re working on, and show them how you’ve successfully used their donations in the past.
Finding donors for any cause can be tricky.
If you use the fundraising methods mentioned in this article, you’ll reach your goal a lot quicker.
Always remember, your main goal is to be growing your mailing list.
If everything else fails, you want to ensure you can get in touch with your donors without any problems.
Now choose 2-3 of these methods and get started today.