No matter what you do or why you do it, you need the right tools for the job! A chef needs a knife. A carpenter needs a hammer. And you need the right fundraising tools for your school if you want to achieve your goals and advance your mission.
Raising money for your independent school or college is a challenge. But equipping yourself with the right tools can make your job much easier.
Imagine if a gardener didn’t have the right tools for their job. Trimming hedges with safety scissors instead of a hedge trimmer will waste a lot of time and effort. But the right tools would enable them to complete more jobs in less time with better results and thus, make more money.
So, don’t make your job as a fundraiser harder than it needs to be! These important fundraising tools for your school can make a world of difference in your ability to raise money and advance your mission.
Use personalized landing pages.
You know that reaching donors with a personal and relevant message is key for any successful fundraising program. And you can use personalized landing pages, or PURLs, to extend the personalized experience beyond your appeal letters, postcards, and emails.
Instead of directing everyone to the same landing page, myschool.org/donate, you’ll present a unique URL for each recipient, like support.myschool.org/JaneSmith.
They allow you to greet supporters by name, as you would on a mailer or email subject. And you can reinforce the impact of someone’s past giving by mentioning past gifts or programs they’ve supported specifically.
And this tool will help you determine how much of your online giving is driven by direct mail. Printing PURLs on your direct mail pieces gives you better insight into how many supporters and who went online to give after receiving your mailer than directing everyone to the same landing page.
So, if you’re not already, start using this important fundraising tool in your school’s outreach!
Create a digital annual report.
Your supporters want to understand the impact their donations make. And fundraising professionals at independent schools know that producing an annual report each year is a big piece of the puzzle.
They allow you to recognize your key donors and explain how your school puts your fundraising dollars to work in a highly visual booklet. But it takes a lot of work to create a truly engaging annual report. And yes, “annual” implies you need to do it every year.
That’s why digital annual reports are such an important tool for your school’s fundraising efforts! So, think about what your printed annual report might look like if you redesigned it more like a website.
Digital annual reports help you share the same information and visuals with your audience in a more engaging way. And it’s easier to make updates each year and swap individual elements than it is to design, produce, and print a new report every year.
And you can easily include a link to view or download your digital annual report in your emails and on your website. This makes your report more available to anyone who is interested at any time!
Launch a campaign microsite.
Is your school planning a big fundraising initiative, like a capital campaign, in addition to your annual fund and other activities? Then a campaign microsite can be a helpful tool for your school!
You know you can’t overwhelm donors with too much information on your donation page. And asking donors to select from a dropdown menu to select which campaign they want to give to can result in choice overload, bring down your conversion rate, and limit your fundraising potential.
The world is a noisy place as is. You don’t need your campaigns competing against one another for someone’s attention!
And launching a separate microsite for capital campaigns and other one-off initiatives can help keep your supporters focused on the task at hand. It allows you to speak more specifically about a campaign and the impact someone can make without dividing attention.
A successful microsite will strengthen the identity of a campaign and explain what set’s it apart from your other initiatives. Think of it as a living brochure or case for support with a donation form!
What’s in your toolbox?
This should go without saying. But you need the right tools to be a successful fundraiser.
What would it be like if the teachers at your school didn’t have the tools to educate and inspire their students? What if they refused to adopt new technologies and strategies that could make teaching easier and improve the quality of a student’s experience?
It’s hard to imagine such a world! Yet, development and advancement professionals live their version of it daily when they don’t expand their toolbox.
A mechanic without wrenches will have a hard time fixing cars. A paramedic without an ambulance won’t arrive on time or have the equipment to save lives. And a cleaning service without the proper chemicals won’t land many contracts.
And fundraising professionals are no exception! So, if you’re not using these tools for your school’s outreach, it’s time to get started!