Individual giving is a key factor in the success of a non-profit organization. Even if you have grants funding your programs, you will still likely incur expenses that are outside of the guidelines of those grants. For this reason, if you want to stabilize and eventually expand your programs, you need to build up an emotional, positive connection with donors. Discover what it takes to effectively reach your donors using engaging elements like 3D popup cards.
What is the Donor Cultivation Cycle?
Essentially, the donor cultivation cycle is the five-step process that helps your non-profit organization get the donors you need.
Identification: Find the prospective doors that you need to network with. Ask yourself who already shares in your mission, or may otherwise be interested in it. This is something that everyone in your non-profit team can participate in.
Qualification: Once your list of prospective donors has been curated, you need to prioritize them. Pay attention to whether they have the ability to donate and how interested they might be in your mission. Qualifying is key so that you do not end up with an endless list of dead-ends.
Cultivation: Now is the time to actually reach your donors. Your team should come up with some talking points for when this communication occurs. This can include answers to any commonly asked questions about your organization.
Solicitation: Through your communicative efforts, you should have warmed up your prospective donors. As you are going into the donation pitch, consider using direct mail. 3D popup cards are a memorable way to share your hopes for your budding relationship.
Stewardship: After you have successfully acquired donors, you must execute ways to retain them. This is a matter of regularly thanking them for their contributions to your cause. By acknowledging donors immediately after they make donations, they feel valued.
Why Should You Measure Donor Engagement?
Donor engagement includes all of the ways that a donor interacts with your non-profit. It goes hand-in-hand with donor retention. This is because the more engaged your donors are, the more likely they will support your non-profit. Engagement includes event attendance, volunteering, and online interactions (social media, emails, questionnaires, and more). When you measure donor engagement, you are able to predict future habits. With these habits in mind, your team can plan accordingly in the next quarter. You won’t have to spend as much time communicating with those who are less interested in contributing, not just their money but also their time.
What are Some Donor Engagement Strategies?
You need to nurture your donors. Keep your cause at the top of their minds by finding interesting ways to engage. By establishing a good donor relationship, you encourage longer-lasting relationships, which is ultimately great for the continuation of your efforts. Follow these three effective strategies to build that necessary connection.
Host Events to Thank Donors
Many organizations and businesses alike are known to have holiday parties at the end of the year. This is a great time to bring all of your stakeholders together. Invite them to your chosen venue with 3D holiday cards. Of course, the holidays aren’t the only time when you can host interactive events with donors. If your non-profit has a big milestone coming up, you should all celebrate together. After all, your donors are the ones who have made this milestone possible. By hosting appreciation events, you will strengthen your bond with your supporters.
Feature Donors in Your Newsletter
Email is a commonly used way for non-profits to reach their audience. It is easy to send out a regular newsletter, detailing what your team has been up to recently. But you need to take some time to craft newsletters that are not generic and full of jargon. Getting personalized is key. Part of this means letting the public know who your supporters are! Donors will take notice when you go above and beyond to highlight them. A public “thank you” for a generous contribution encourages others to similarly donate to your cause.
Invest in Direct Mail Marketing
Now, while you should be using email, it is nowhere near as personal as direct mail. Even if you are segmenting your list, several people will still be receiving the same message. For that reason, you should put more stock into creative mailpieces. 3D popup cards, for instance, can make a real statement. At less than the price of a cup of coffee, these cards are a highly affordable way to market your organization. Build up your mailing list over time so that you can reach donors right at their mailbox.
Examples of 3D Popup Cards for Non-Profits
How does your non-profit organization want to come across? This is something that you must consider when developing your branding. Branding is what helps you stand out from other similar groups, and you should utilize it in all of your direct mail marketing efforts. To draw some inspiration on how to creatively display your brand, here are four 3D popup cards created by Awesome 3D Cards on behalf of non-profit customers.
Pink Polar Bear Foundation
The Pink Polar Bear Foundation is an initiative by Greenland Ruby, a sustainably-sourced rubies and pink sapphires company. This initiative was built around supporting the polar regions, educating the public, and implementing technology solutions for low carbon emissions. Awesome 3D Cards worked with this non-profit organization on their stylized popup pink polar bear card. This unique 3D holiday card was sent out to their stakeholders to both wish them a happy start to the new year and serve as a reminder of their cause. It has a very elegant design, and offers plenty of room to write personalized messages on the interior.
Caring for Cambodia
Caring for Cambodia’s mission is to educate today’s generation of Cambodian children. The organization aims to make a difference by training teachers, providing tools, and removing barriers to learning. When creating their customized 3D popup card with Awesome 3D Cards, Caring for Cambodia wanted to represent their country. This meant displaying the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia, which is a historical, UNESCO-protected piece of architecture. With its detailed, gold popup on the inside, this card is a unique and eye-catching way to thank donors.
With a goal to eliminate damage to member facilities and promote public safety, OHIO811 puts a big emphasis on communication and education. This non-profit wants to help you keep the homes of Ohio residents safe in the process of planting greenery or building on your property. Alongside Awesome 3D Cards, OHIO811 designed a 3D popup card that was sure to increase attendance for their anniversary event. For the big 50th-year milestone, the organization opted for a fireworks-themed card. The bursts of gold and white stars lean into the feeling of celebration.
Neill-Cochran House Museum
Located in the heart of Austin, Texas, the Neill-Cochran House Museum has 167 years of history. One of the city’s oldest historic residences, it is today owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in Texas. Awesome 3D Cards not only brought this beautiful piece of architecture to life through the art of kirigami, but also the state flower—bluebonnets. The Neill-Cochran House Museum offers bluebonnet 3D popup cards in their gift shop. They also use them to thank their donors. What better way to reach local non-profit donors than with a symbol of Texas?
You need a way to capture the attention of donors, old and new. And the best option is with the micro-experience of 3D popup cards created by Awesome 3D Cards in Austin, Texas! Have a design in mind that you would like to see come to life in a 3D popup card? You can schedule your consultation now to get started. Our President and Founder, Harlow Russell, looks forward to chatting with you about how to improve your donor relations.