2022 is off and running, and nonprofits are already looking for the best tips, tricks, and trends to elevate their fundraising strategies. And you’ve come to the right place—we’ve written this guide to aid organizations in doing just that.
In this post, we’ll cover the following critical fundraising practices and how to leverage these ideas to benefit your mission:
- Leverage digital marketing initiatives
- Host an online day (or season) of giving
- Encourage corporate matching gifts
- Provide engaging calls to action
Incorporate these tried-and-true tips into your organization’s overall fundraising strategy and set your team up for ongoing success. Not only can you begin collecting more much-needed funding than ever before, but you can also engage with your supporters and provide an optimized donor experience like no other.
Ready to jump into the new year—and this helpful guide—with practical fundraising tips? Let’s get started.
1. Leverage digital marketing initiatives
While many organizations continue to see positive outcomes from traditional marketing strategies, more and more nonprofit fundraisers are increasing their emphasis on mature digital marketing tactics. Not only do digital marketing efforts allow organizers to increase their reach and engage with new audiences, but they also enable strategic targeting and personalized experiences for prospective supporters.
Let’s explore a few of our favorite types and examples of online marketing for nonprofits and how they can help with nonprofit fundraising:
- Social media allows people from all over the world to be exposed to your fundraising messaging—and many sites even have built-in donation tools. Plus, its shareability enables existing supporters to take a proactive approach for your organization, interacting with your posts and encouraging their own networks to participate in your fundraising campaigns. To get started, choose a few platforms to focus your efforts (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok). Then, begin producing and sharing valuable and engaging content to your profiles while directing supporters to give.
- Email marketing is another popular tactic that takes a personalized, communicative approach to nonprofit marketing. Plus, it’s significantly more cost-effective than its traditional counterpart, direct mail. Organizations seeking to raise money through email marketing typically craft customizable digital fundraising letters (for example, addressing each individual by name and acknowledging any previous support). Fundraising emails should also incorporate a brief background on your nonprofit, your current fundraising need, and how to support your efforts online.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) enables an organization to drive larger quantities of qualified search traffic to their website through online searches of Google and other top search engines by targeting specific, relevant keywords. Users typically choose to explore the highest-ranking sites from Google’s search engine results page, so ensuring your site falls into one of the top spots is essential. For example, if you work for an environmentally-focused group, you’ll want your organization to rank highly for terms like “environmental nonprofit near me.” This way, prospective supporters will be more likely to navigate to your website over other alternatives. This provides people with an opportunity to interact with your content and ultimately give to your cause.
And this is by no means an exhaustive list of strategies, either. One of the best benefits of digital marketing tactics like these is that many opportunities are available at low or no cost—which ultimately means a higher return on investment and more dollars going toward your mission.
2. Host an online day (or season) of giving
If you’re looking for a way to drive a ton of revenue for your cause in a limited amount of time, organizing an online day of giving is a fantastic choice. After all, online giving days are some of our favorite fundraising ideas because they help rally supporters while increasing funding and awareness for charitable nonprofit causes.
Plus, incorporating a deadline for participation (e.g., a 24-hour giving day window) can develop a sense of urgency that helps drive gifts—especially for individuals who might have been on the fence about giving or stuck in the mindset of “I’ll do that later.”
While the most highly engaged example of an online giving day is Giving Tuesday, many organizations are rolling out their own unique fundraising days as well.
Taking things a few steps further than a giving day are nonprofit giving seasons. These go beyond a single calendar date, often ranging from one week to a month, and might be based on a holiday, current event or time period.
Once you’ve nailed down the date(s) of your giving day or season, make sure to communicate the upcoming opportunity to your donors. Then, ask supporters to donate to participate in your day of giving or to take things to the next level by incorporating peer-to-peer fundraising efforts as well.
3. Encourage corporate matching gifts
Thousands of for-profit businesses offer matching gift programs in which they agree to match charitable donations that their employees make to eligible nonprofit causes. This is a popular form of corporate philanthropy, which allows companies to make a positive difference in the world while improving their relations with consumers and employees alike.
Here’s how the process typically works:
- An individual makes a donation to a nonprofit organization.
- The donor is prompted to research whether their employer will match charitable gifts.
- If applicable, the donor submits a matching gift request to the company and provides their donation receipt and nonprofit information.
- The employer reviews the request, determines whether it falls within their company match guidelines, and verifies the initial donation made with the nonprofit.
- The company approves the corporate gift request and cuts their matching check.
Matching gifts are a win-win-win opportunity for everyone involved. Not only does the nonprofit receiving the corporate funding benefit from what is essentially a “buy one, get one free” sale on charitable donations, but studies show that individual donors are both more likely to give in the first place and more likely to give in larger amounts!
When you highlight these fantastic (but severely underutilized) opportunities alongside all of your other fundraising efforts, you can effectively double donations and do more for your mission.
4. Provide engaging calls to action
So you got your newest fundraising message out to a ton of existing and prospective supporters—now what?
While the call-to-action will likely depend on your organization’s particular fundraising goals, here are a few examples of things you might ask supporters to do to get further engaged in your cause:
- Make a donation
- Submit a matching gift request
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Become a volunteer
- Start a fundraiser
- Contact to learn more
Regardless of the specific action requested of supporters through your fundraising efforts, it’s vital that you make it clear what you’re asking each individual to do to support your cause. This might include a prominently displayed and eye-catching button in an email or your website or a link directing supporters to take the next steps within a social media post.
What you don’t want is a bunch of eager supporters who read your fundraising materials, are excited to participate, and then lose motivation when it’s not effectively communicated what is being asked of them to support your cause.
When you make it explicitly clear how each person can get involved, on the other hand, you’re likely to see significantly higher levels of engagement and more dollars toward your goal.
Going into the new fundraising season with a well-thought-out plan can be exactly what your organization needs to drive awareness for your efforts, maximize donation revenue, and improve supporter relations overall.
We’ve seen best practices like effective digital marketing, online giving days, corporate matching gifts, and strategically chosen calls to action offer great success to a wide range of organizations. By incorporating these tips and tricks into your own fundraising efforts, you’re sure to reap the benefits in no time. Good luck!