With spring finally here, your organization is likely looking for ways to boost your fundraising efforts to reach new supporters and fund projects crucial to your mission.
Whether you’re an experienced fundraiser or are new to the game, you can always use some inspiration to refresh your fundraising ideas and come up with new ways to raise money.
That’s why in this article, we’ll look at five popular fundraising ideas to help your nonprofit grow:
- Improve your online giving outlets.
- Organize a spring fundraising event.
- Sell merchandise at fundraising events and online.
- Promote matching gift programs.
- Launch a crowdfunding campaign.
These are tried-and-true fundraisers that can work for a wide range of organizations, big and small. We’ll look at how you can incorporate these fundraising ideas to meet your needs.
Let’s get started!
1. Improve your online giving outlets.
Why Improving Your Online Giving Works
Spring is the time to start fresh. What better time to improve your online giving outlets?
Making the giving experience more convenient and more enjoyable for donors can actually increase the amount of funds you receive.
- A more efficient donation process can decrease your nonprofit’s donor abandonment rate.
- Preset donation buttons can encourage donors to give more because people are less likely to enter a custom amount.
- Mobile-friendly donation pages allow organizations to reach more donors on the devices they use every day.
Additionally, trends and best practices are constantly changing, and organizations that make improvements to their online donation process can stay in the know about how to encourage more donations via online methods.
How to Get Started
If you’re looking to refresh your online donation pages, the first thing you’ll need to do is develop a plan of action.
Your team will need to determine what type of improvements are needed. In addition to the improvements you want to make, ask your donors for feedback on your online donations.
Getting insights from your donors may help you catch aspects of your donation process that even you didn’t notice. Plus, listening to your donors shows them that you care about their feedback. A donor that feels appreciated is much more likely to give in the future.
Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, it’s time to make your changes. Depending on your resources you might be able to complete all the improvements in-house using your existing software.
Alternatively, for enhancements that are more extensive, you might need custom solutions or more comprehensive fundraising software.
If the thought of re-hauling your online donation pages feels daunting, then why not consider working with a technology consultant? They’ll work with your nonprofit to create custom fundraising solutions for your organization.
You can learn more advice on how to work with a technology consultant by reading DNL OmniMedia’s tips.
Remember: Improving your online donation methods can help you reach a wider group of supporters and increase the average gift size.
2. Organize a spring fundraising event.
Why Fundraising Events Work
It’s no surprise that fundraising events are effective at raising funds and engaging donors.
Spring is especially a great time to have a fundraising event because you can host more outdoor activities, such as:
- Walkathons, marathons, and 5Ks
- Team sporting events
- Field days
- Themed races
For even more fundraisers that are perfect for the spring and summer months, check out Salsa Labs’ top fundraising event ideas.
Fundraising events give you the opportunity to bring your supporters together to learn more about your cause and develop stronger relationships with your staff.
While fundraising events do require a lot of planning and funds, when done successfully, your organization has the potential to raise a lot of money for your cause.
How to Get Started
Ultimately, every event is different. And how you plan for each event will vary depending on the type of fundraiser you’re hosting.
For example, if you wanted to host a golf tournament, you may need to recruit sponsors to help you fund the event or supply the venue.
However, every organization should account for the following steps:
- Setting a date and location for your event.
- Creating a fundraising goal and measurable objectives to help report on your progress.
- Crafting a communications plan that details when and how you’ll reach out to donors about your event.
- Sending out thank-you letters and following up with attendees after the event.
Planning an event can take several weeks if not months. Therefore, it's important to schedule your event well in advance so that you can secure a venue, recruit volunteers, and promote your fundraiser.
Remember: You can always combine fundraising events to increase your ROI. For instance, if you wanted to host a walk-and-paw-a-thon, you could launch a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign leading up to your event to raise additional funds.
3. Sell merchandise at fundraising events and online.
Why Selling Merchandise Works
More and more organizations are using branded products to help raise money for their cause. From t-shirts and hats to mugs and water bottles, there are endless products that your nonprofit can sell.
With branded merchandise, your organization is able to raise both money and awareness for your cause.
Most importantly, donors can contribute to your cause and receive an item in return. This incentive reminds them of your mission so that your organization is front of mind. Additionally, whenever a supporter uses your item, they’re sharing their cause with everyone around.
Think about it: If a coworker wears the same “Support the Wildlife” t-shirt to work, you’re much more likely to ask them about the organization and why they support it.
How to Get Started
Traditionally, organizations sell products during fundraising events, but with the influx of online fundraising websites, there’s no limit to where your organization can sell your products!
Moreover, diversifying your outlets can help widen your reach and give donors who can’t attend your events an opportunity to support your cause.
First, your organization will need to find a wholesale provider that can supply products and print your designs. Working with a fundraising website that allows you to sell products online and in bulk can help you save on costs and stock up on enough product to sell in-person.
Organizations should look for a provider that:
- Allows them to customize their products.
- Ships online orders directly to supporters.
- Offers a variety of items as well as style and color options.
Once you have your products and online fundraising page set up, you’re ready to start selling! Encourage donors to share images of your products on social media to generate interest and incorporate your products into your fundraising event marketing strategy.
Remember: The merchandise that you sell should provide some value to your donors and predominantly showcase the impact of your mission.
4. Promote matching gift programs.
Why Promoting Matching Gifts Works
On average, nonprofits have $217,000 worth of matching gift opportunities that are missed because donors don’t submit a request. That’s a lot of money your organization could be missing!
That’s why nonprofits should make it a point to educate donors about these programs.
Promoting matching gifts is an effective fundraising idea because it doesn’t require as much planning and resources as a fundraising event or a new campaign.
By simply marketing matching gifts on social media and via segmented emails, you can encourage more donors to submit a request.
But the benefits don’t just end with your nonprofit. Donors get the opportunity to support your organization without dipping back into their wallets.
How to Get Started
Since so many donors are unaware of corporate matching gift programs, it's up to nonprofits to get donors familiar with these programs and show them how easy it is to submit a request.
Organizations can use several ways to promote matching gifts, including:
- Creating a dedicated page on your website to answer commonly asked questions about matching gifts.
- Incorporating a matching gift search tool into your donation pages, allowing donors to search for their company’s program.
- Mentioning matching gifts in your newsletter (if you have one), acknowledgement emails, and year-end solicitations.
- Posting about matching gifts on your organization’s social media accounts.
No matter how you promote matching gifts, your organization needs to include information that will help encourage donors to submit a request.
If possible, link to a tool where donors can learn more about their company’s matching gift program to determine if their donations are eligible. Once you know where donors work, you can be more targeted about what information you send.
For instance, you can send donors emails reminding them of submission deadlines, lists of organizations that the company matches donations to, and specific guidelines about how to submit a request.
Remember: Make it easy for donors to learn more about matched giving and their specific programs. That way, they have all the information they need when it’s time to submit a request.
5. Launch a crowdfunding campaign.
Why Launching a Crowdfunding Campaign Works
Recently, many organizations have jumped on the crowdfunding bandwagon and have seen positive results.
Crowdfunding is such an effective way to raise money because it allows organizations to tell their story and raise funds through smaller donations from more supporters.
Social media is a large component of crowdfunding because organizations are able to increase their reach by sharing the campaign on Facebook and Twitter and encouraging others to do the same.
What’s more, crowdfunding is a cost-effective fundraising idea that can be used by organizations of all shapes and sizes.
How to Get Started
With just a few simple steps to launch a campaign, many organizations see crowdfunding as a quick and easy way to raise funds — and it is!
However, don’t let its simplicity fool you. Launching a successful crowdfunding campaign takes a lot of hard work and careful preparation.
First, your organization will need to determine what site to launch your campaign on. There are at least 100 crowdfunding websites that organizations can use, so it’s important to choose one with features that provide a great user experience and give you the option to customize your page.
Second, you’ll need to build your crowdfunding page. Take advantage of the description element that many crowdfunding websites offer to tell your organization's story in a compelling way.
You should also use images to show the impact that your nonprofit has made. Evoking strong emotions is a great way to persuade donors to give.
Finally, your organization needs to spread the word about your campaign. Have your team write letters to donors, post about your campaign on social media and your website, and continually post updates to keep your supporters informed.
Remember: A crowdfunding campaign isn’t going to go viral on its own. In addition to sharing your fundraising page, you also need to encourage your supporters to spread the word.
Spring is the perfect time to boost your fundraising efforts! With these proven fundraising ideas, you’re bound to raise more money and gain new and more engaged donors in the process.