Income from fundraising is the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations – flowing through the organization and bringing life to all of the various projects, platforms, and causes that they support and promote.
Without a steady, reliable stream of income from donors and patrons, nonprofit charities and organizations would be rendered incapable of continuing their important work.
There are many reasons why people give to charities.
- have a personal connection to your cause
- want to give back to their community
- are incentivised by an income tax deduction
…the key to tapping into those reasons is making the choice to give a simple one.
Taking the time to plan exciting and effective nonprofit fundraising online campaigns will help your organization to maximize the amount of money that’s coming in. And help you to do more of the projects that are important to you!
Start With the Basics
It’s easy to get overwhelmed while trying to figure out how best to reach your fundraising goals.
But it doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
A little bit of research, a basic understanding of your target audience, and a few fresh ideas will help your organization to get started.
When it comes time to find new benefactors and spread the word about a nonprofit’s goals, there are 4 main goals that need to be accomplished:
- Stand Out From the Crowd
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States as of 2018. With so many voices in the space competing for donor attention, money, and support, it’s easy for a single nonprofit organization to get lost in the shuffle.
Making the most of nonprofit fundraising online can help your cause to capture the attention of potential patrons more easily – leaving you more time and energy to commit to what truly matters.
- Convey the Importance of Your Cause
In order to convince people to donate their hard-earned income to a nonprofit organization, it’s essential to connect with those individuals.
Show them why your cause is so important, like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does on their donation page.
Explain what changes you are trying to bring about, who or what you are supporting, and how their donations can make a difference. These are the first steps you need to take on the path to winning them over.
- Create Lifelong Supporters
As I’m sure you’d agree, a one time donation is always appreciated. But the true force behind a successful nonprofit is an array of lifelong supporters.
These individuals (or often businesses) are as passionate about your cause as you are. And because of that they help to spread the word about new fundraising opportunities and initiatives. They choose to make recurring donations to your nonprofit because they truly believe in and support your platform.
Deploying a well planned strategy centered around nonprofit fundraising online can help you to successfully convert those one time donors into lifelong patrons of your cause.
- Make Giving As Simple As Possible
Over-complicating the giving process is a surefire way to lose potential donors.
When your website is hard to navigate or the donation button isn’t easily visible, you are setting yourself up to fall short of your nonprofit online fundraising goals.
Fundraising campaigns should be exciting, energized…and easy to understand. A simple giving process increases your potential for recurring donations because those donors will remember how easy it is to do good by donating to your cause.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Before you begin nonprofit fundraising online, it is important to have all of your ducks in a row when it comes to your web presence and social media platforms.
Double check to make sure that your nonprofit’s information is accurate on all of your social media profiles, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. If you’re unsure how to maintain these platforms, we’re happy to help!
Using social platforms to build a network of people who are already interested in your cause will be an advantage to your organization in the long run. So it is worth your time to post regularly and provide knowledge, entertainment, and value to your followers on those platforms as well.
Another key component to success with nonprofit fundraising online is a website design that is easy to navigate and provides all of the information anyone who visits your page might be looking for.
We provide SEO services for nonprofits so you can can optimize your web page to be listed higher on search engine rankings, such as Google. This will give your nonprofit more visibility online to help you be found by users with a simple search.
Taking these steps to ensure that your organization is set up for success before online fundraising efforts begin will help to guarantee that you earn as much money as possible.
Which Idea for Nonprofit Fundraising Online Works Best For You?
Once you’ve put in the work to make sure that your online presence is expansive and consistent, it’s time to launch a fundraising campaign and start bringing in those donations!
When choosing which direction to take to begin fundraising, be sure to take the following into consideration:
- the size of your network
- what social media platforms your network is most active on
- what times of the day and week they are online
Note: most social media platforms can show you insights into all of these type of statistics.
It’s also important to establish clear fundraising goals. Sometimes you will want to share these goals with your potential donors, and sometimes it is more useful to keep them internally.
But knowing what you’re aiming for will help you decide the best way to reach those goals. Your goals can be a monetary amount you want to raise, a project that you want to fully fund, or even the number of donors you’d like to gain.
After establishing your goals as an organization, it’s time to decide the best type of fundraiser for achieving them.
There are an endless number of ideas and ways to raise funds online for a nonprofit organization. And we’ve gathered up a few of the most successful, exciting, tried-and-true options that are sure to make your nonprofit fundraising online a complete and total success.
Give one of these ideas a shot next time you’re looking to raise funds online!
Nonprofit Fundraising Online Ideas
Donation-based crowdfunding campaigns work by asking your network of donors to give money to a cause. And these can sometimes offer a reward or perk for different levels of donation.
Crowdfunding is especially good for nonprofit fundraising online because it allows you to make the most of your hard earned network of supporters.
By using social media, your nonprofit organization can tap into all of your followers, friends, family, and coworkers easily and give them all the essential information about your project in one convenient place.
In this scenario, a strong social media presence is a huge advantage! So I’m sure you can see how putting in the work to establish a strong online audience ahead of time will be helpful to having a successful crowdfunding campaign.
There are a ton of options for hosting a crowdfunding campaign online.
But some of the most popular ones include GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter. These platforms allow you to set up a page to share a description of your nonprofit and goals, post updates on your project, and add an easy to use “Donate” button to allow for easy giving.
Crowdfunding sites are also made to be easily shareable in social media so that your donors can spread the word! Keep in mind that many of these crowdfunding platforms do charge a fee, usually a percentage of the funds that you raise as well as an amount for each transaction.
A great way to encourage potential donors to give to your campaign and show the importance of your cause is to establish giving levels. These are donation tiers that tell each donor exactly where their money is going.
For example, a nonprofit that raises money for meals for hungry children might establish giving levels that explain how many meals can be provided for a $20 donation or even something as small as a $1 donation.
Providing specifics gives donors a personal connection to their donation and helps to create lifelong loyalty as well. It also helps you reach donors in all demographics – some may be only be financially able to give a small amount but still want to help. Give them that option!
Another strategy for successful crowdfunding is to make sure that your donors can see all the good being done by the donations. Keep your audience up to date on the process of your project through social media or blogging so they can celebrate your successes!
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising is actually a type of crowdfunding that uses a multi-tiered approach to empower your donors to create pages of their own and help spread the word about your fundraiser.
In the same way that crowdfunding taps into your hard-earned social network, peer-to-peer fundraising taps into the social networks of your donors and supporters.
A tactic that has the potential to expand the reach of your nonprofit fundraising online campaign exponentially, gaining access to individuals online that may have never even known about your nonprofit organization otherwise.
This strategy will help your campaign to gain momentum over time instead of all at once. Which means that the campaign has more longevity and won’t have as high of a risk of burning out quickly.
The first step in peer-to-peer fundraising is to identify your core group of supporters and pitch them on your ideas. The more excited and invested in the outcome of your campaign these supporters are, the more energy they will be willing to put towards raising money for your project.
Set your fundraising team up for success by providing whatever tools, training, and marketing materials they might need to help build up a lot of interest in your nonprofit organization.
One of the most valuable benefits of this type of fundraising is the potential for gaining new supporters who are already trusting of your organization because they trust the friend who shared it with them in the first place.
A peer-to-peer campaign can either be ‘rolling’ or ‘time-based’.
Rolling: a campaign that takes place over a long period of time, It is often tied to dates that are important to your supporter (birthdays, holidays, or even athletic events are popular options)
Time-Based: a campaign which takes place during a shorter, limited time period. Time-based campaigns can be trickier to find success with because they are more limited in scope. But doing a lot of extra marketing efforts beforehand can go a long way to making a time-based campaign a complete success.
A popular format for a peer-to-peer campaign revolves around participants asking people in their networks to commit to donate a certain amount of money if they accomplish a task, such as completing a marathon or hiking a specific distance. “Per mile” donations are also fairly common in these sort of campaigns.
At the end of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, not only will you have earned enough money to accomplish all of your goals, but you will also have successfully expanded your network to reach new donors for future fundraising opportunities!
- Tap Into Company Culture
Businesses today are very aware of the fact that both consumers and employees are finding it increasingly more important for the companies that they support to hold the same values as they do.
Use that trend for your next nonprofit fundraising online project by reaching out to businesses that align with the values your nonprofit organization supports and asking if they will team up to make a matching donation to any amount raised by a certain community.
That community can be their own employees or a broader group, depending on what strategy works best for all parties involved.
In addition to the good press that this kind of strategy provides for a business, being active participants in charity events helps to create the type of company culture that employees and patrons value – one where they know that the work they are doing is going towards a worthy cause!
- Keep It Short
Putting a time limit on a fundraising campaign creates a sense of urgency that can often inject a lot of energy into your nonprofit. This strategy takes a lot of planning and requires that everyone involved in the launch process is on the ball. But the payout has the potential to be huge!
Establish the rules for your campaign.
- Define how much money you plan to raise.
- Set the time being allotted to reach that goal.
- Determine what the money raised will be used for.
Build extra hype surrounding your fundraising event by sending an email to your supporters that teases the excitement to come!
Create a hashtag to track the conversations being had about your efforts on social media. Encourage your supporters to use it whenever they talk about your nonprofit organization or your campaign online.
Incentivise your campaign by promising a reward to your followers if they are able to meet your fundraising goals in a certain amount of time!
For example, a business that wants their employees to help raise money for a cause might offer an extra casual dress day, a half day off of work, or a catered lunch if the goal can be met.
These incentives should be desirable to the supporters of your campaign, but not so extravagant as to put a substantial dent in the amount of money being raised for your cause in the first place.
Ready to Get Started?
These ideas are just a few of the many awesome options for nonprofit fundraising online.
Whatever direction you choose to take your fundraising efforts, the LYFE Marketing team is here to help you every step of the way and guarantee that your nonprofit organization has the tools you need for a successful fundraising campaign.
If you’re ready to take the leap into nonprofit fundraising online, visit our nonprofit services page to get started. Or contact us with any questions you might have. Get ready to do nonprofit fundraising online like you never have before with digital marketing backing you up!
We know there are new and creative ideas being thought up every day by nonprofit organizations everywhere. Share yours with us in the comments below!