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Community-Based Nonprofits have a Fundraising Superpower

If you are a community-based nonprofit, you have a fundraising superpower that you may not realize you have.

Relationships are at the heart of successful fundraising. People give to people they know. And what better place to find all those people who know each other than in your own community?

A community is filled with individuals who share an intimacy that comes from common experiences, where everybody knows somebody and if they don't, then it’s easy to strike up a conversation just by virtue of living in proximity to one another.

A nonprofit board needs to be in the community-building business because creating community is at the heart of building financial support.

Getting to know your donors on a first name basis is the world’s easiest way to raise money for your nonprofit. It has nothing to do with asking for money. You are engaging them, acknowledging them, and celebrating them. That’s it.

How does this play out in real life?

  1. An individual donates.

  2. A board member is identified who knows them, has a friend in common, sends their kids to the same school or lives in the same cul-de-sac.

  3. Board member reaches out (via phone/email/text): “Hey, I’m on the Board of Beloved Community Organization (BCO) and I saw that you made a donation. Wow, thank you so much! We live in the same area and I just wanted to introduce myself and find out more about what attracted you to our organization.”

  4. Delightfully warm conversation ensures.

  5. “Well, I hope to see you around town or at our next event. It’s been so great to connect with you. If you ever have any questions about BCO, please feel free to get in touch with me.

  6. Donor feels awesome – seen, heard, and connected.

  7. Annual campaign mailing goes out later in the year. Individual donates again, and likely more than the first time.

And voila! You have a repeat donor. Do this again a few more times and you have a loyal donor.

Who wants to be in the “asking for money” business. If you’re a community-based organization, be in the community-building business. It’s so much more fun.

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