Nonprofit fundraising can be challenging. A charitable organization must overcome several hurdles to gain a financial contribution from a donor on a one-time or continual basis. A recent article from The Daily News, a publication based in Memphis, Tennessee, outlined several obstacles that can stand in the way of a 501(c)(3) group garnering enough support to achieve its foundational goals.

Arguably, the most difficult challenge is operating in the same sector as another organization, which is problematic for several reasons. The biggest is that a donor may have difficulty deciding where to lend their financial support. When multiple charities are established for causes such as feeding the homeless or providing services for women and children, it can be challenging for contributors to differentiate between them. This confusion can result in an organization receiving no funding, or worse still, donations being so widespread that charities find it difficult to help those in need, The Daily News wrote.

Another challenge listed by the publication is the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the nonprofit when soliciting donors for contributions. Suppose a charity isn’t passionate about serving and helping others and has no sense of urgency associated with its fundraising efforts. In that case, it can be challenging to convince a potential donor to lend their financial support. The Daily News stated that it is essential for a charitable organization to invoke urgency and excitement in all of its communications with donors to encourage them to give. This must be done daily, not just when donations are needed.

The importance of storytelling to overcome fundraising challenges
Individuals donate to a nonprofit for many reasons. Some may have a personal connection to a cause, while others may donate simply because they feel an obligation to do so. However, one of the best ways to increase donations and clear some of the hurdles listed above is to employ good storytelling techniques.

Whether written or visual, it’s essential for a 501(c)(3) organization to give potential donors compelling reasons to give. A recent article from Silicon Prairie News, an outlet based in Omaha, recently broached this topic. One of the suggestions made by the newspaper is for nonprofits to leverage the power of technology to disseminate information to donors. Today, people are more digitally engaged than ever. Digital marketing allows nonprofits to reach a wide range of people with almost minimal effort. For example, social media is a sound strategy to spread a story about why a charity needs financial support. A multichannel approach to fundraising, including social media, is likely to be more successful than direct mail or an email marketing campaign alone.

Nonprofit fundraising may be difficult in the current economic climate, but innovative techniques and outside-the-box thinking can yield tremendous results. Charitable organizations must understand that they have to be savvy in how they solicit donors, as doing so will help formulate a strategy that can be duplicated and deliver consistent results over a long period.