The Contributor is a newspaper about and for the homeless of Nashville, Tennessee. Sarah Lehner, of The Contributor's development department, says that the paper "provides a diversity of perspectives and information on homelessness while highlighting the contributions of homeless and formerly homeless individuals". The organization started using Network for Good's DonateNow service in May 2011 and their fundraising results in the first six months were steady at around $6,000. After Network for Good’s Fundraising Basics strategy session and making a few tweaks in their fundraising plan, they dramatically increased their donations by more than three times, raising over $19,000 from December 2011 to May 2012.
Image Source: The Contributor Photo Credit: Erika Chambers
In the beginning, The Contributor had an all-volunteer staff but they have been able to graduate to paid staff members. Sarah shared that this success stemmed from reaching out and engaging their donor and potential donor audiences through multiple channels including events, emailing, social media and public speaking. The Contributor also takes supporter segmentation to a new level by even hosting separate events for different audiences. For example, their high-dollar donor event was held at an upscale venue, while a more casual event for the younger and socially-engaged audience was held at their office location.
The organization does an amazing job of storytelling by featuring interviews with their newspaper vendors (current and formerly homeless individuals) on their website. This helps bring a face to the people they are helping and inspires a stronger connection between supporters and The Contributor's mission. Check out their latest featured vendor story to see how powerful these interviews are!
The Contributor staff takes advantage of social media to help round out their outreach. They use Facebook for getting information out to the community at large and take to Twitter for sharing news and updates.
- Use a variety of channels to engage your audiences: events, email, social media, your website and speaking engagements.
- Find ways to strategically segment your audience to personalize your message and experience for specific groups.
- To connect with supporters and potential donors, tell compelling stories of the people you impact
- Take advantage of social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to further connect with your audience and share information that they can spread to their friends.
We at Network for Good salute The Contributor for their smart fundraising approach and for the good work they are doing in and around the Nashville community!
Want to raise more money this year? See what a custom DonateNow page and Network for Good's expertise in all things online fundraising can do for you. Find out more about DonateNow or contact us to learn more about online fundraising today!