Donations are the livelihood of your organization.  And fundraising can be challenging.  It’s both an art and a science.  In order to unlock the best practices out there, you need to find out what is making fundraising and research campaigns successful and, frankly, what’s not.  Here are five best practices for successful fundraising:

  1.  Capture Ticketing Data to Identify Donor Potential
    Arts and Culture organizations have a unique pool of individuals – their ticket purchasers – who already demonstrate a genuine interest in the mission and work of their organization. These ticket buyers already contribute to your organization’s revenue stream and represent a natural prospect pool. Once these individuals have purchased tickets and walked through your doors, you are presented with a far greater advantage—they are engaged and interested in the offerings of your organization. Now they must be cultivated while their interest level is high.  ​High performing organizations usually have a strategy to harness the information collected during ticketing. Information can be captured through online ticket purchases, surveys, and visitor kiosks placed at entrances.
     
  2. Leverage Membership to Fuel Your Donor Pipeline
    Your donors like to feel involved with your organization.  The benefits of membership are to regularly engage people in the mission of your organization and then to encourage them to support it financially.  By paying quality attention to this membership group, your organization can get a lively pipeline of  donors ready to be nurtured and promoted to the next donation tier. Benefits could include: discounts, valet parking, special events, backstage tours, post-performance receptions, event privileges, gift store discounts, educational seminars, magazine subscriptions, and free admission. 
     
  3. Leverage Your Board to Build an Inner Circle
    While some organizations see active fundraising participation from their board and volunteers, others wish theirs were more active and involved.  The model board candidate has a circle of friends that show a similar giving capacity and inclination toward the Arts.  You want your board members to reach out to these friends and help the development team cultivate with a personal touch, ultimately strengthening your organization’s major gift pipeline.
     
  4. Invest in Screening
    Upgrading current donors and identifying new prospects are challenges for arts organizations.  Invest in a screening of your donors and prospects to determine who has the capacity, propensity, and affinity to donate to your organization.  Screening can help you fill in the gaps and deepen your data records so you can better segment and prioritize. 
     
  5. Manage Your Data Proactively
    The recording and updating of donor records is a must in successful fundraising.  Properly run Donor Management Systems (DMS) secure accurate and easy to follow-up results from research and wealth screenings. A well-managed DMS and solid implementation plan is indispensable. One of the most significant ways to increase the value of the data from your wealth screening is to integrate the results into your DMS. The DMS allows your team to compile information on all donors including their contact information, giving history, special event attendance, ticketing history and other interactions with the organization.

Fundraising as an arts organization poses its own set of challenges. Don’t let these challenges derail your fundraising. Use these tips to set your organization up for success.  

Do you have a story to share about successful fundraising in your arts organization? Share in the comments below.

 

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