Raise awareness of community needs

To truly engage donors as long-time partners and investors, nonprofits need to shine a spotlight on the issues they address.

That means explaining community problems in a way that is clear, concise and compelling.

What are the underlying causes of the problem? Who does it affect? What are its human, social and environmental costs?

It also is important to help people understand effective solutions to address the problem. What strategies and partnerships are working? What difference are they making?

In addition to raising awareness about the needs you address, you also should work hard to get to know your donors and prospective donors. What issues are near and deaer to their heart? How do they want to be remembered? What family issues do they face?

And help them see how getting involved with your organization will address critical community needs while also advancing the causes they care about.

Too many nonprofits treat fundraising as a business “transaction” with donors. They expect support simply because their cause is worthy. And they expect instant gratification once they ask for support.

Nonprofits that are smart about fundraising will make the long-term investment needed to raise awareness about community needs. They will take time to truly get to know their donors and prospective donors. And they will help donors understand their work and the difference they make.

Fundraising is the end result, not the starting point, of investment in more informed and engaged communication to build long-term relationships with donors by helping them understand community problems and get involved in fixing them.

Want professional help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or toddcohen49@gmail.com.

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