4 Tips for Inviting Donors to Increase Their Giving

November 6, 2023

While working for your nonprofit organization, you’ve likely witnessed how individual contributions transform over time. For example, you might have seen a long-time donor get involved with your volunteer program, or been a part of someone’s journey to giving their first major donation

While every supporter is unique, you know how impactful it can be for someone to deepen their investment in your cause—for both the individual who gives and your organization. 

This is why it’s critical to actively invite your donors to increase their giving, whether you’re seeking donations for your annual fund, securing sponsors for an upcoming event, growing your major giving program, or simply asking someone if they’d like to turn their $5 monthly donation into a $10 monthly donation. 

However, it can be difficult to know how to invite increased giving without coming across as pushy or insensitive to your donors’ circumstances or preferences. In this short guide, we’ll help you navigate these conversations by covering four practical tips. Let’s begin. 

Why should you ask your donors to increase their support? 

You may be thinking, “Won’t a donor just decide to increase their giving when they want to?” 

In some cases, yes. A supporter may decide for themselves that they’d like to give more to your organization. This may be because of an improvement in their financial situation or because they’re drawn to a special campaign or project. 

But most of the time, donors will need some encouragement to level up their giving. This may seem a little intimidating, but it will feel more doable if you understand the benefits of increased giving for both your donors and your organization. 

Benefits for Your Donors 

  • Increased personal impact. When donors give more, they’re able to do more for your cause. To ensure your donors experience this benefit, your nonprofit will have to be diligent in communicating donors’ personal impact. 
  • Personal fulfillment. Giving to a cause you believe in can be personally rewarding. When donors take their giving to the next level, they can experience more of that personal fulfillment and satisfaction knowing that they’re doing some good in the world. 
  • Tax benefits. Depending on where your donors live and what their local tax laws are like, they may also experience higher tax deductions when they give more to your nonprofit, giving them potential financial advantages. 

Benefits for Your Nonprofit 

  • Increased revenue. More donations equate to more revenue that your organization can use to provide its services and programming to its beneficiaries.
  • Financial stability. With more revenue comes financial stability. And when your organization has secure financial footing, you’re able to dive into projects or initiatives that were put on the back burner when your organization was operating in financial survival mode.
  • Enhanced impact. The more money you’re able to raise from your supporters, the more you’ll ultimately be able to do for your beneficiaries. Inviting your donors to give more can translate into really moving the needle on your mission. 

There’s also a shared benefit your organization and its donors will experience as you invite increased giving: enhanced relationships. As you work to connect with your donors and be more involved in how they give, and as they increase their contributions, your relationships will become stronger, resulting in long-lasting support.  

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of increased support, let’s dive into our tips for inviting donors to give more!

Tip #1: Acknowledge past support and impact. 

Asking for more support before acknowledging past support and impact will no doubt leave a bad taste in donors’ mouths. Instead, set the right tone for your invitation to increase giving by expressing your genuine gratitude for your donors’ previous contributions. 

There are many ways to do this, from writing a thank-you note or expressing your appreciation in person to making a thank-you video or sending out a personalized impact report. No matter what method you choose, make sure you include the following elements: 

  • Personalization. Make sure you use your donors’ names and acknowledge their specific donation amount and date. 
  • Sincere gratitude. Express your organization’s gratitude for the support. A statement like “We appreciate your support” or “Thank you for this donation” can go a long way in making your donors feel like giving was worth it. 
  • Impact statement. Explain what your organization was able to do as a result of the donor’s gift. For instance, maybe a donor’s gift of $25 allowed your organization to provide medicine to two sick shelter dogs. The more specific you can make your impact statement, the better. 
  • Beneficiary testimonial. If possible, try to include a beneficiary testimonial or statement in your appreciation message. This can put your work into perspective for your donor, illustrating the tangible impact their giving creates.
  • Contact information. Make sure to include your nonprofit’s contact information in your message. Let your donors know that they can reach out to your organization to ask any questions or to seek out further involvement opportunities. 

Your appreciation messages should also be timely. Send a thank-you message within the first 24 hours of receiving a gift and schedule additional calls, thank-you letters, and events throughout the year to recognize your donor’s generosity.

Tip #2: Issue a personalized invitation. 

Ensuring that your donors feel seen and valued for all they’ve given to your organization in the past will set the tone for your invitation to increase their giving. 

Here are some things to remember when it comes time to issue that invitation: 

  • Connect to the individual’s interests and values. There’s a reason that your donors support your nonprofit. Find out what that reason is for each individual and tap into it when issuing your invitation. For example, a donor to your environment-focused nonprofit may care about your work to reduce plastic waste because they love to enjoy the outdoors with their family. Acknowledge this as you invite them to give more!
  • Share your organization’s needs. Explain to the individual why your nonprofit needs more support. You may cite an increased need for your services or the fact that you’re embarking on a new initiative. In some cases, you may be able to share your needs in a more formal way. For example, if your nonprofit is running a capital campaign, you may be able to share your capital campaign case statement with your donor. 
  • Tell the individual why you need their support. To feel inspired to give, your donor needs to see why they, as the unique individuals they are, matter to your nonprofit. You can demonstrate this by acknowledging their past impact or explaining how your organization’s goals align with their vision for a better future.  

The timing of your invitation will be important. Use what you know about your donors and their history of involvement with your organization to time your invitation so that your donor will be as receptive as possible. This will ensure that your donor understands why they’re being invited to give more and will make it more likely that they’ll say “Yes!” 

Tip #3: Present multiple options for giving. 

When it comes to giving, everyone likes to do it in their own unique way. This is why it’s imperative that you present multiple options for donating when you invite someone to level up how much or how frequently they’re giving to your organization. 

Here are a few popular options to present your donors with: 

  • A one-time increase, which can be an easy ask for special campaigns or projects
  • Enrollment in your monthly or recurring donation program, which can allow your nonprofit to pull in more support over time (i.e., $120/year if your donor gives $10/month)
  • Taking advantage of their employer’s donation matching program, which involves your donor checking their eligibility and submitting their gift matching information after they make a donation (and getting more money for your cause without spending another cent)
  • Joining your legacy or planned giving program, meaning they’ll arrange a gift to be given at a future date, usually after they pass away 

These are just a few options you may present to your donors. As always, cater your options to what you know about your donors and what you think they would be most interested in committing to. 

Tip #4: Engage donors beyond giving. 

It’s good when a donor agrees to increase their giving one time. But what’s better? When they continue to enthusiastically support your nonprofit for the long run! 

This means that it’s essential for your nonprofit to engage your donors beyond just monetary giving. Getting Attention asserts that a great engagement strategy will include all types of interactions that will invite your donors to be more invested in and involved with your organization. Here are some examples: 

  • Communicating frequently with donors through channels they use
  • Inviting donors to volunteer 
  • Asking donors to attend events
  • Having donors step into advisory roles 
  • Asking donors for feedback  

No matter what specific strategies your team decides to use to engage your donors, remember that what you’re really doing is inviting your donors to be part of your community. Make them feel welcome, valued, and heard, and you’ll gain their loyalty for the long term!

When donors increase their giving, both you and them benefit from it. Use these four tips to successfully raise more for your mission. 

You may also want to work with a fundraising consultant to examine your donor cultivation and stewardship strategies so that you can find productive ways to invite more giving that work for your specific organization. Happy fundraising! 

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