Creative Online Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits
Posted on March 24, 2022
As online fundraising grows, it’s the ideal time to revise your fundraising strategy. According to M+R Benchmarks, online giving increased by 32% in 2020 and will continue to rise. If your nonprofit doesn’t have a digital fundraising plan, it’s time to create one.
We’ve collected ten top online fundraising ideas for you to consider – let’s get started!
Did you know that peer-to-peer fundraising accounts for ⅓ of online donations? It’s one of the best fundraising strategies available to nonprofits. Promote the idea across your networks and encourage them to create personal fundraising pages. Peer-to-peer fundraising works exceptionally well for any fundraising event, whether online, hybrid or in person. Your supporters can fundraise by completing a task or challenge, hosting an event, or concluding with an in-person event.
A single-day email or social media sharing fundraiser
Fundraising via email constitutes about ⅓ of online donations. So even if your organization held an email fundraising campaign this year, we suggest you consider a one-day email fundraising blitz. Think about naming your campaign with a charming or intriguing moniker.
On the day of your email campaign, send out a series of emails requesting donations. Your emails should include a story that speaks to your supporters’ emotions, suitable images and an urgent call to action.
Don’t forget to set a dollar amount goal and provide updates throughout the day, so your supporters will know how close you are to your goal. You may also want to tie the single-day campaign in with end-of-the-year giving; it’s a great way to add urgency. Single-day campaigns work very well on Giving Tuesday.
Matching donation drive
Maximize the one-day email fundraiser by obtaining a match from a business or significant donor, then advertise that match in your email campaign. Donors enjoy knowing their support was leveraged with matching gifts.
Also, matching gifts are an excellent way to increase donations mid-campaign. If your donations taper off in the middle of the day, introduce a matching gift to increase momentum. Matching contributions can be promoted through regular communication channels like email, social media and newsletters.
When you want to secure a matching gift, begin with your immediate supporters – your board of directors. Request that they contribute a matching gift or leverage their business relationships. Another tip: leverage current matching donations from supporters’ employers. It’s a snap to add these into your virtual fundraising campaign on iConnectX.
While we see more in-person events, large gatherings are still a way off – this is where a virtual gala comes in. You can create a virtual gala by following a few steps:
- Assess what you typically do – look at your typical event plan. Which segments can
move online? Which ones will bring in a great ROI? Now you can decide which parts to keep and which ones to dismiss.
- Create a peer-to-peer campaign: since in-person galas have tables, a virtual gala will have virtual ones, which are peer-to-peer. An example of this would be a fundraiser with teams or one like the Ice Bucket Challenge.
- Sponsors: sponsors are significant funders of in-person galas, so make sure you don’t leave them out of a virtual one. A virtual event format offers much flexibility to make sponsors happy – you can add logos, names and links to your fundraising page on iConnectX.
- Create a program: your virtual event needs to be seamless for the livestream. At an in-person event, there are guest speakers, entertainment, food and décor at the venue. You may want to highlight the peer-to-peer fundraisers and mention your goals in real-time for your online event.
- Auctions: if your organization is committed to a silent auction, iConnectX offers a full suite of features to help you run your auction online. The key things to remember are sharing item images and having them well-organized. It’s also good to highlight auction items on your social media profiles.
5. A tournament
Game tournaments bring energy and fun competition to fundraising with challenges that test team skills and aptitude. For your match, consider incorporating local businesses to sponsor prizes. Consider using a site like Gamefly to rent games; it works like old-school Netflix. Gamefly mails the game to participants, and they send it back. Services like Twitch stream games and services like Discord have video chat so participants can game together.
A livestream fundraiser is a great way to attract, cultivate and convert your audience. A nonprofit fundraising platform like iConnectX lets your livestream your events, just like Facebook Live, but better. Livestreaming is a powerful tool to share personal stories and videos, and there are a few points to consider when you’re planning your event:
- A livestream should be relatively short
- It should include many opportunities for engagement. Here are a few ideas:
- Panel discussions
- Educational or breakout sessions
- Virtual tours
7. A recurring giving event
Recurring donation campaigns are among the top fundraisers; repeat donors give about 42% more for one year than a single-time donors. Encourage your supporters to provide regular monthly or quarterly gifts through a planned giving email blitz.
One way to make your campaign effective is to focus on donation tiers. iConnectX offers nonprofits the opportunity to raise more through a custom donation page rather than using a generic PayPal form. We suggest you keep your tier list to about four to six levels and remember to connect your tiers to their impact.
Crowdfunding has an important place in the fundraising world. When it comes to crowdfunding, consider what needs you must meet. For example, if your income fell during COVID, think about what your organization needs to pay for to return in person, rebuild, and provide programs safely.
Writing your crowdfunding appeal should include a sense of urgency, a relatable story, and a call to action. When it’s time to share your request, try a livestream where you ask followers to share it on their own social media. You can even incentivize them to share with swag like tee shirts, hats and tote bags.
Crowdfunding options include:
- Costs to rehire staff
- Cultural improvements
- Community support
Social media takeovers
Social media takeovers are an exciting, momentum-building way to fundraise. You can coordinate a takeover by asking a corporate sponsor or a community partner to “give” their social media accounts to your organization one day per year.
During a takeover, your team members can post social content during the day to bring visitors to your organization’s social media pages and webpage. Social media takeovers are an approach to building brand visibility – it’s a great way to promote your campaigns and your nonprofit.
Birthday and holiday fundraisers
Facebook is the most widely used social network; you’ve likely seen birthday fundraisers on the platform many times. Facebook offers a straightforward way to fundraise, and you don’t have to limit fundraising to birthdays.
You can ask your networks to create a birthday or holiday fundraiser. Instead of gifts, they can set up a personal fundraising page where supporters leave donations. You can use iConnectX to create DIY fundraising pages for supporters to personalize birthday and holiday fundraisers.
How iConnectX can help
iConnectX helps nonprofits fundraise; our comprehensive, straightforward platform offers many features to help you reach and exceed your goals. Our powerful platform makes it easy to reach current and prospective donors, increase audience reach and drive engagement.
Our robust, secure technology is here for you to raise more funds with less effort from online auctions, event ticketing, and peer-to-peer fundraising.
Sign up to create your online fundraiser for free on iConnectX.