Attract individual donors as supporters

Individual donors can be an important resource for your organizations. There are many organizations that have implemented large projects 100% through this donor group. Private donors mean an expansion of your support network – not only in monetary terms, but also with other support services. See them as important multipliers for your good cause. Private donations can also be earmarked, but you can communicate other needs that are not covered, for example, by traditional funding through public funds or foundations.

Here you will learn how to recognize the interests of individual donors and how to get them excited about your project.

Who are individual donors?

Individual donors can potentially be anyone who can identify with your vision or feel addressed by your appeal for donations.

A person who is not financially strong is less likely to donate money. Nevertheless, they can be important supporters, e.g. about increasing your awareness or supporting you with voluntary work. A small contribution from many can also make a big difference. According to the motto: If now each of our fans on e.g. Facebook donates one euro …

People donate for a variety of reasons:

  • they want to do something good and feel good
  • they are touched by your topic because they feel pity or because they agree with your social / political demand
  • they find the effect that you want to achieve important and want to participate
  • they want to initiate social change in their immediate neighborhood
  • they know someone who has benefited from your offer
  • they know someone who supports you
  • they themselves once benefited from an offer like yours
  • they want to participate

Some donors support the organization once, others become regular supporters of the organization. Regular support has the advantage that it can be planned to a certain extent. A fundraising goal can be to increase the number of donors and / or to bind donors to you and to win them for regular support.

Do you know the motives of your donors? With which message did you win them as supporters?

A database in which all your donors are noted as well as further information, such as Your last contact with them is an important working material in fundraising.

* If you set up such a database, you should pay attention to the current data protection regulations. *

Here you find a template that you can add to

What is important to individual donors?

In addition to the individual motives for donating, all donors have in common that they want to be recognized for their commitment. Every donation should be promptly followed by a personal thank you. This can be by e-mail, post or phone – depending on the amount of the donation and the contact details you received from the person.

How about a little video message for your donors? Or a GIF in the header of the email? A meaningful photo of your project? A personally written postcard? Or a call from your board?

There are many possibilities. Most important is: It should suit your target group and of course the identity of your organization.

And what else should we pay attention to? Here are some hints on what is important to individual donors.

How to reach individual donors?

In principle, you can reach potential donors online

  • Via donation platforms
  • Crowdfunding platforms
  • Your website
  • Social media
  • Online magazines / newspapers / blogs
  • Online groups (from your neighborhood, on your topic)

And offline too, of course

  • At events (organized by yourself or by others)
  • Press (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
  • Letters (e.g. donation letters)

And simply in life …

In order to specifically ask people for donations / support, you should first have asked yourself the following question:


Who is our target group? Who will potentially want to support our vision? Who has supported us in the past? What did these people have in common?

Take a look at the Successful Communication module. There you can find out more about how to communicate your needs in a target group-oriented manner.

If you know your target group, you can next ask yourself: How do I reach them? Are they connected online or are they more traditionally accessible by letter? What are other places, networks or events where I could meet my donor target group? Do you already have supporters from this group? Well! How can they support you to pass your message on to their network

Retaining donors

Have you already received donations from people? Congratulation! But it should not stop at one-off donations. The art of fundraising is to turn first-time donors into permanent donors. This starts with an appropriate expression of thanks for the donation.

You can find out more steps here:

Done! You have worked on all topics from Module 2.


All right? Test your knowledge and your progress