Giving to Causes Instead of Candidates

By Kate Huber

With 2016 being a year of a presidential election, it’s a concern for nonprofits to continue successfully fundraiurlsing while competing against political candidates. Is there a secret formula to continuing connecting with donors while their attention is being swayed by presidential campaigns? How do nonprofits stand out against candidates who are raising money for their campaigns?

Vice President of Communications and Content at Network for Good, Caryn Stein, simplified how your nonprofit can stand out in an election year with four easy steps. Referring to nonprofit advisor Joan Garry, Stein states that keeping the attention of donors during an election year takes more common sense than magic.

Plan consistent, compelling communication

Create a meaningful dialogue with your donors to give your nonprofit a chance to be first in line for a charitable gift. Regular outreach that evokes the reasons why your supporters care about your work will help build a relationship that will pay off for future outreach.

Get the right message to the right donors

If your campaigns feel generic or lack individualism, create a basic marketing strategy for each segment of donors based on why, when and where they give. The more personalized and tailored a message, the more it will stand out among the sea of mass communications. This is always important, but will be even more so in 2016.

Focus on the impact a donor’s gift has-and will have

Keep your donors at the heart of how the mission of your nonprofit is accomplished. Consider the variety of ways you can highlight how your donors make a difference for your cause and your community.

Help donors see themselves in your work and let them feel like part of your team

Political campaigns use this tactic, so why shouldn’t you? Making your donors feel part of your nonprofit community can provide the relationship every donor desires with a nonprofit they care about.


Kate Huber is currently a junior at the University of Iowa pursuing in degree in Communication Studies, a minor in Human Relations and a certificate in Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication. Kate is an avid sports fan, lover of reading and peanut butter enthusiast.


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