How to effectively use fundraising as part of your association’s non-dues revenue plan.

Many associations are turning to fundraising as part of their non-dues revenue-generating plan. Here are some tips for easier, more effective fundraising for your association.

Generating non-dues revenue is an important aspect of any association’s financial health. It gives associations a revenue stream outside of membership dues. This allows them to smooth out fluctuations in the economic cycle, and in turn maintain budgets and continue to provide members with the levels of service they expect.

Many associations are turning to fundraising as part of their non-dues revenue-generating plan. Here are four tips to make fundraising easier and more effective for your association:

1. Manage donor data.

To fundraise effectively, it’s important to be able to think about your members as donors. Make sure you have a donor profile for each of your members that includes a comprehensive view of the communications, touch points, interests, giving history, and past campaigns that have inspired giving.

PRO TIP: While your association management software helps you track contact information, engagement history, and other details about your members, it’s important that it also helps you track and report on donor information. NetForum® allows associations to manage donor data, offering a clear 360-degree view of campaigns, donors, and fundraising events.

To fundraise effectively, it’s important to be able to think about your members as donors.

2. Monitor donor health and target donor communications with precision.

Fundraising requires the ability to measure the engagement levels of each of your members so you can understand which have given before and which are likely to give again. Once members have given, it’s also important to identify where they are in the fundraising lifecycle – prospective donors, one-time donors, monthly/repeat donors – and manage their movement forward with targeted communications based on their stage in the fundraising lifecycle.

PRO TIP: Industry-leading A-Score™ functionality within NetForum offers engagement scoring capabilities that allows you to simplify the lifecycle of prospects to donors and lifetime donors with your own modeling. NetForum also includes the ability to specify suggested donation ask amounts that are calculated based on a donor’s historical giving patterns. In addition, it includes built-in analytics and the ability to easily build custom queries so you can build and view the reports you need for insights into your donor members.

3. Host fundraising events.

When you host your annual event, consider incorporating a fundraising event such as a golf tournament or a gala; you can also add a silent auction or another form of fundraising activity.

PRO TIP: NetForum helps you raise more funds with less stress by easily managing and tracking every aspect of your events. Individuals and groups can easily register online.

4. Process gifts like a modern fundraiser.

Fundraising may not be your association’s primary activity, but you still need to be able to provide the type of modern giving experience your members expect. For example, you should be able to do things like:

  • Allow members to set up monthly donations (In fact, an industry report, The State of Modern Philanthropy, found that recurring donors donate 440 percent more over their lifetime than one-time donors. So, the easier you can make monthly donations, the more likely you will drive up your revenue.)
  • Split recurring gifts across funds (for example, a member could donate a $100 monthly gift and direct $60 to Fund A and $40 to Fund B).
  • Soft credit a member of a household so you can have combined family/couple giving totals on the household.
  • Link a matching gift to the gift that generated the match.
  • Personalize gift acknowledgement emails.
Once members have given, it’s also important to identify where they are in the fundraising lifecycle…

PRO TIP: NetForum provides functionality for all of the capabilities listed above and more. It also allows your donor members to manage their own profiles, recurring gifts, and saved payment methods via an online donor portal, giving them the modern online experience they expect.

As you think about fundraising as part of your non-dues revenue-generating plan, be sure to put in place fundraising tools to manage and engage your members as donors, analyze and score relationships, and increase development effectiveness. Find out more about how NetForum can help your organization deepen relationships with your donors and members and increase donations.

Learn more about NetForum’s fundraising capabilities for associations and nonprofits.