The nonprofit event management landscape has undergone a major transformation in the recent past. While several nonprofits were still contemplating to what extent they need to adapt to technology, in came the pandemic and left them with no choice! In today’s virtual world, nonprofits must adopt technological innovations to offer their audience a better experience. Organizing virtual fundraising events is one technology-based migration that nonprofits cannot afford to ignore!

Let me guide you on everything you want to know about virtual nonprofit events-what they are, how to create an event virtually, what virtual event platforms are, how to choose one, and many more!

What are online events?

An online event is hosted virtually. In other words, there is no direct/physical interaction between attendees, they meet virtually on a digital platform. Some common online virtual events that we have grown familiar with in the past year and a half are Zoom meetings, webinars, live events on Facebook, Instagram, etc.

With the COVID norms putting a stop to physical events, virtual events have become extremely popular among people of all age groups across the globe.

Why are virtual events becoming so popular?

They allow an opportunity for people who are stuck indoors to interact with like-minded people from the convenience of their homes.

Virtual events have facilitated bringing together a global audience.

Live events offer an opportunity for the members of the audience to interact by posting their comments to which usually the hosts respond. Unlike traditional events, such events provide a means for the audience to directly interact with the host, who might be a celebrity in some cases.

Virtual events like Zoom Meetings, etc. have come as a convenient means to replace meetings held in an official set-up. Zoom has been extremely popular for hosting family meetings as well. Well-structured Zoom meetings allow an opportunity for all members to participate and make their voices heard.

Webinars have also become popular among both the audience and the hosts.

You may be aware of such virtual events and may have even participated in some of them, however, you might still be wondering, “How do I host a virtual nonprofit event?”

Using similar concepts, it is possible to host virtual charity events such as online auctions, peer-to-peer fundraising, crowdfunding, and many more.

In fact, virtual events offer certain advantages over physical events:

Less Expensive

This is because in a virtual event you do incur costs such as that of a venue, arranging food and beverages, making travel or accommodation arrangements for guests in certain cases, etc. All this reduces a lot of money that is invested in organizing a physical event.

Convenient

Since the audience can attend it, it is convenient for them and most of them are likely to attend.

Wider Reach

Virtual events open doors to a global audience. You can leverage virtual events to spread the word about your nonprofit to people in different countries. This will help attract donations from remote corners of the world.

Besides these, there are several other benefits that virtual online events offer to both the hosts and the attendees.

However, keeping your audience engaged in a virtual event for the entire duration can be an uphill task. It requires a lot of creativity to organize events that engage your audience.

How to Create an Event Virtually?

Step 1: Establish your goals for the event. When you have a clear goal that you wish to achieve through your event, it gives a direction to your planning.

Step 2: Choose an appropriate event hosting platform. Event hosting platforms simplify the process of event management by offering tools and features that take care of all aspects of event planning and hosting.

Step 3: Decide on the date and time for the event. Make sure that you choose the timing that will be convenient for maximum attendees.

Step 4: Promote your event extensively through various online and offline channels.

Step 5: Develop an agenda for the event and share it with your attendees.

Step 6: Make sure that you have someone who moderates the proceedings during the event. This will help keep the proceedings in a focused direction.

Step 7: Make sure to include strategies that encourage audience participation.

Step 8: Ensure that you have a backup plan, it may be a backup platform in case of any issues with the existing platform.

Step 9: Conduct a post-event follow-up to gather information about how the experience of the audience was. This will help you while planning your future events.

How do I host a virtual nonprofit event?

The same concept can be extended for a nonprofit event. Nonprofit events are usually organized to raise funds. So, when you establish your goals for the event, you can set a target of the total funds you propose to raise through the event.

You could also consider using a fundraising thermometer with regular updates funds updated. This will attract your audience(especially existing donors) and motivate them to donate. Make sure that you use fundraising platforms that integrate digital marketing tools for social media marketing, email marketing, etc.

Hosting virtual nonprofit events has become easier thanks to the virtual event platforms!

What are virtual event platforms?

A virtual event platform offers you several tools that help streamline the event planning process. Virtual event platforms have multiple features that help manage different aspects of an event in a single platform.

Some features that virtual event management platforms include are:

  • Attendee registration
  • Payment processing
  • Event marketing
  • Attendee engagement, and many more!

There are different types of event management platforms with distinct features. Some platforms offer end-to-end event management tools as well. Therefore it is recommended that you compare the features of different platforms before choosing one for your event.

Next, we come to the question of “How do I choose a virtual event platform?”

While comparing different event management platforms, always look for platforms that are scalable and offer flexibility for hosting a variety of events. Another factor to be borne in mind is that you select platforms that are well-suited for hosting nonprofit fundraising events.

When you are looking for event management platforms, you need to ensure that they have some essential features required for hosting fundraisers.

Here’s a list of some basic features that any event management platform must have:

  • The platform should facilitate creating an event-specific web page or portal.
  • It must provide customizable forms and payment processing features for attendees and exhibitor registration.
  • It must facilitate easy viewing and management of attendee lists.
  • Must include promotional features such as branded event websites, social media integration, email marketing, and attendee satisfaction surveys.

Event management platforms offer a combination of the following software:

  • Event registration and ticketing software.
  • Event Planning Software
  • Event Marketing Software
  • Mobile Event Apps
  • Lead Retrieval Software
  • Conference Intelligence Software
  • Audience Response Software

The pricing of the platform depends on the blend of features it includes. However, it is recommended that you choose the platform that offers the features best suited to the needs of your nonprofit.

One of the best platforms for hosting a virtual nonprofit event is iConnectX. This is because iConnectX has a long history of being a platform associated with nonprofits for fundraising and other purposes. Hence, the company is aware of all the features required to organize a nonprofit event. iConnectX is an all-in-one event platform that facilitates seamless event planning and organizing of nonprofit events.

This platform is user-friendly and is easy to use. You can host any type of fundraising event using this platform. It can easily be integrated with your nonprofit. It includes all the tools that simplify the process of organizing nonprofit events.

iConnectX is a platform that is easy to navigate and customize according to the needs of your nonprofit.

Call us Now to Take your Nonprofit Event Global!

Build and manage your own fundraisers. Don’t stop at collecting donations, add in auctions, events with tickets, even donated time sold to support your fundraiser!

Last year has soared to be a year of adjustments, and for nonprofits as well. One of the most obvious ways? Fundraising! Nonprofits are now shifting their fundraising strategy towards virtual and online fundraising instead of traditional fundraising.

If your nonprofit is shifting towards online fundraising platforms, you need the right fundraising platform for nonprofits to succeed.

That means finding the right tool that is best for your nonprofit. To make your online fundraising easier, we have listed the online fundraising way that we think might be a good fit for your nonprofit to raise funds.

We have simplified the online donation process for individuals to raise funds for charities of any level. Individuals are required to visit the homepage and browse the nonprofit they select to donate. Click on the Donate button and enter donating amount and other details to complete the process with or without registering on the platform.

An online auction is one of the most engaging fundraising ways where a bidder competes with other bidders by setting increasingly higher bidding amount on a web or mobile-based platform. Online auctions have made the world a smaller place by allowing bidders from any part of the world to participate in an auction. It has opened the door for both nonprofits and participants. Online auctions are also popular among nonprofits for fundraising because they enable charities to reach a wider audience across the globe without any time limit.

Text Giving is a monetary donation process using mobile device texting function. Text giving simplifies the donating process to happen anytime and anywhere within a few clicks. The text-to-give process enables nonprofits of all sizes to make it easier for their supporters to donate by providing modern & trending methods to help them increase fundraising.

Ticketed events are in many ways a combination of events and fundraisers. They allow nonprofits to sell tickets to an event you may be having, such as a gala, a concert, or a screening.

Like events, ticketed events have dates and times, optional locations and maps, a discussion board where purchasers and the host can keep in contact with each other, automatic 24-hour reminders, and the like.

What do the donors want?

  • Information about the nonprofit before they donate.
  • They want simple and secure donation methods.
  • They want to feel a part of a charity initiative.
  • There are some who also want their act of philanthropy to be in the public eye.

Fundraising platforms are the best solution for nonprofits to cope with the ever-changing demands of the audience.

An online fundraising platform offers a central source to manage different aspects of online fundraising. It helps manage multiple donors, organize campaigns, offer forms, facilitate credit card donations and many more.

This is a brief overview of how you can choose the best online fundraising platform for your nonprofit.

One of the best fundraising platforms for a nonprofit is iConnectX. This platform has all the features to support end-to-end event management, secure donations, forms, etc. iConnectX is a platform that has a long history in the field of philanthropy. It has been a part of several nonprofit initiatives over the years supporting both offline and online nonprofit events. The proven track record of iConnectX makes it an ideal fundraising platform for nonprofits. This platform supports a myriad of online fundraising strategies such as online auctions, crowdfunding, and many more.

iConnectX is a platform that has evolved over the years adapting to changing circumstances adopting innovative technologies. It has kept pace with technology to ensure that it offers its users the best experience while participating in philanthropic activities. It is a technologically advanced platform with regular updates to offer users the best features.

Solicit Donations and More!

Set up and manage your fundraiser on iConnectX. Tell your story, add pictures, set your goal, and start collecting. To make more of an impact, add in auction items, event tickets, and iBridges (donated time).

Promote your fundraiser in the iConnectX Marketplace as well as on your social pages and in emails to your colleagues.

Features

  • Easy set up
  • Set up a fundraiser for your nonprofit or select from one of the 1.7 Million IRS approved 501c organizations
  • Have your members or sponsors set up fundraisers on your behalf
  • Tell your story
  • Add a picture
  • Set a goal
  • Add auction items, events with tickets and iBridges
  • Promote your fundraiser in the iConnectX Marketplace, available to the community on browsers and in the mobile app
  • Funds collected are sent to your nonprofit weekly

The first cell phone came into being just 30 years ago. Our cell phones have been able to connect to the Internet for just 15 years. And just within the past 2 years, mobile giving has passed fundraising through desktop – we are online on our phones more than we are on our computers. That is a lot of technological change in a very short amount of time. Of course, nonprofits must adapt to keep up. If you didn’t grow up around technology like the millennial generation, how can you adopt the latest technology trends to help nonprofit organizations more efficiently?

Online fundraising accumulates millions of dollars every year using various online fundraising methods like online donationsticketed events, text giving, or mobile giving.

To make the donation process easy for you, here are some features and methods of the iConnectX online donation process. iConnectX tool is easy for donors to use for all levels of nonprofit fundraising. There are several fundraising sites available for both individuals and nonprofits. iConnectX has made it possible for both.

iConnectX’s user-friendly platform enables anyone to set up a fundraising page to raise funds for the cause you are passionate about.

iConnectX has set itself as a platform for nonprofit fundraising to help nonprofits reach their goals.

Support Your Cause

Promote donations from your advocacy site in iConnectX, your fundraisers and events. Any collected monies are sent to your nonprofit weekly.

Increase Your Donations

Solicit donations on your advocacy page within iConnectX, also on your fundraisers and in your event pages. We make it easy by integrating the payment form from a single click button. Payments are sent to your nonprofit directly.

Fundraising Tool to Watch

iConnectX has features a new set of online fundraising tools that are timely and relevant for the year to come. This year’s tools tap into fundraising trends that have emerged because of the COVID19 pandemic, from text giving or mobile giving to virtual events to online donations for nonprofits.

In this guide, we will deep dive to understand the online donations process, new fundraising trends and more. Nonprofits are not immune to the new changes and COVID19 has forced many nonprofits cancel their fundraising events resulting loss of revenue to support the cause.

Turning one-time donors into recurring donors remains one of the major challenges for nonprofits. The benefits of recurring donations are obvious – more funds and the ability to plan more events and programs. Due to the cancelation of nonprofit events, nonprofits losing the funds.

iConnectX, a fundraising tool for nonprofits, offering a platform for millions of 501c charities to create virtual events, online auctions, ticketed events, online donations for charities and more. In this guide, we will deep dive to understand the iConnectX’s Online Donation process.

How to Accept Donations Online

  • Select the nonprofits based on City or Industry to make online donation
  • Go to the nonprofit page and click on Donate button
  • Choose the option to donate with or without registering on iConnectX
  • Enter the amount to donate and other details
  • Save your details for future recurring donations
  • Receive the receipt on your registered mail for your donation

What Are the Best Nonprofits to Make Donations?

Once if you have decided that you want to support a cause based on your interest. The next process is to find the best nonprofits based on industry or city that will use your fund to make impact on the community. If you are making donations then it should not be hard, iConnectX have brought you more than 250 onboarded charities and 1.5 million non-boarded charities to donate to on our platform. Whether you are looking for charities supporting coronavirus programs or charities doing educational work – iConnectX has listed nonprofit for every cause. Find the list of best charities to donate to.

Easy to set up, web and mobile apps for bidding, notifications for bidders if they are the highest bidder or if they are out-bid, and of course, full reporting of bids and dollars raised.

So whether you are holding a silent auction at a golfing event, looking to turn those donated items into dollars through an online event, or holding a gala with elegant prizes, iConnectX has the solution for you.

Event cancelation, postponement or pandemic situation and alike force traditional events to cancel those results to loss of revenue for nonprofits. This is not a story of one or two nonprofits, but many nonprofits find themselves in the same situation. Traditional events, fundraisers, and programs are off the table for now, but that does not mean nonprofits cannot raise funds. Now, nonprofits are shifting their focus from traditional auctions to online auctions.

Online auctions are a great way to bring in revenue, build networks, social interactions, receive donations, and more.

Here, we will dive deep to understand what an online auction is, the advantages of the online auction, how to set up an online auction in iConnectX, and alike.

What is an online auction?

An online auction is one of the most engaging fundraising events where a bidder competes with other bidders by setting increasingly higher bidding amount on a web or mobile-based platform.

Online auctions have made the world a smaller place by allowing bidders from any part of the world to participate in an auction. This has opened the door for both nonprofits and participants.

Online auctions are also popular among nonprofits for fundraising because they enable charities to reach a wider audience across the globe without any time limit.

How do you set up an online auction?

So, whether you are holding a silent auction at a golfing event, looking to turn those donated items into dollars via an online auction, or holding a gala with elegant prizes, iConnectX has the auction solution for you.

It is easy to set up on both web and mobile app for bidding, notifications for bidders if they are the highest bidder, outbid or a winner, and of course, full reporting of bids and dollars raised.

  • Go to iconnectx.com and register your nonprofit
  • Add your items
  • Add a description of your nonprofit
  • Add current programs with a link back to your website
  • Add volunteer opportunities, plus capture necessary information through an online form
  • Take in donations
  • Add events, auctions, and fundraisers
  • Post stories and activities to the “Feed”
  • Manage your admin users
  • View reports of all activities
  • Promote all activities in the iConnectX Marketplace
  • Take advantage of upgrading your subscription and receive advertising on social media, on the site, and our login page

Here are advantages of online auctions:

Online auctions are a widely accepted fundraising method for the below reasons:

Convenience:

It is easy to hold online auctions for nonprofits, they can sign up here to complete the registration process to be eligible for online auctions on iConnectX. Nonprofits can easily set up online auctions from anywhere anytime, and at the same time bidders can enter the bidding process from anywhere anytime.

No Interruption:

COVID19 pandemic or similar situations has forced many nonprofits to cancel or postponed spring fundraisers indefinitely. Unlike traditional auctions, no pandemic can force to cancel or postponed online auctions as it happens over the internet.

Wider Reach:

Online auctions are an increasingly popular way to help expand not only the auction reach for a different range of products to auction, and it wider the reach of the audience. The physical presence of the bidder is not mandatory in such auctions, so they can bid or outbid the items from any part of the world.

Time Efficiency:

Online auctions not only increase the reach of auctioneers, but it saves time too. Bidding on an online auction saves time as you do not need to have at the location of the auction. On the contrary, you can bid online at a convenient time, monitor auctions in real-time.

Economical Too:

Since the online auctions happen online and not a physical location is required for the auction. So, bidders can save traveling expenses as they do not have to be required to travel to the location of the auction, instead of participating online.

Compare Prices:

In online auctions, bidders get a facility to check the price of items up in a online auction online before making the bid, and this enables bidders to place accurate bids.

No Time Restrictions:

Bidding for the auction item can be done anytime according to the convenience time of bidders, unlike traditional auctions. The only thing the bidders need to mind is the last day of entering the auction.

Social Interactions:

Online bidding encourages social interactions.

Generate Funds:

Online auctions include many bidders participating in the online auction that helps generate more funds.

What items put on online auctions for nonprofits

In this article, we have discussed how to set up a successful online auction, but what about the type of items need to auction. The nonprofits must avoid auctioning any gambling or illegal items.

With a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge platform, iConnectX undoubtedly emerging as one of the fastest growing online auction platforms that help nonprofits raise funds by auctioning the items received in a donation.

Today, iConnectX is one of the most reliable online auction platforms for nonprofits as it offers the safest marketplace platform for both nonprofits and bidders alike.

Additionally, iConnectX has many interesting features that are easy to use and easily customizable.

iConnectX sharing the item need to put in an online auction:

iConnectX has a wide variety of categories. In fact, whatever bidders want can usually be found here ranging from signed memorabilia to electronics to travel package.

You can bid for a wide range of listing namely:

  • Travel package
  • Signed memorabilia
  • Collectibles and custom artworks
  • Gift basket
  • Sporting goods
  • Free Training
  • Books or Novels
  • Fashion

Find all the auction items on iConnectX here.

Add an Online Live Auction to Your Online Auction Fundraiser:

Online auctions work in the following steps:

  • The nonprofits need to register their organization
  • List the auction items on the website
  • Enter the minimum bidding amount to enter in an online live auction
  • Bidders register and bid for the items
  • Receive notifications on bidding, outbidding, and winning the auction
  • The highest bidder wins the items
  • The winning items are delivered to the winner through the mail, doorstep service, or collect from the nonprofit
  • The funds generated through online auction go to charity

What makes iConnectX one of the best online auction sites?

  • Easy to set up on both web and mobile platform
  • Notifications for bidders if they are the highest bidder, outbid, or a winner
  • Full reporting of bids and funds raised
  • Easy to turn donated items into dollars through an online event
  • Manage your admin users easily
  • No platform fee for bidders to enter an online auction
  • Build online presence for nonprofit

We are living in the era of smartphones where we prefer to do almost all our transactions on our mobiles. Most businesses had no option but to create mobile-friendly websites and apps so that they can cater to their audience. Nonprofits also needed to adapt to the smartphone era and introduce mobile-friendly techniques to connect to their audience. Text-to-give was a concept introduced to make it easier for donors to contribute to charities with their smartphones.

What is text giving?

Text-to-give or text to donate is a technique where donors text a specific keyword and an amount they wish to donate to a predetermined number. Donors can contribute to a fundraising campaign of a charity to the annual fund.

Let’s now understand how the text giving process works:

  • The nonprofit will need to choose a text-giving platform to set up the text-to-give.
  • Once the text-to-give system is set up, the nonprofit will need to raise awareness towards it using different promotional strategies.
  • Donors will need to type in a keyword specified by the nonprofit and the amount they wish to donate and send the text to a number specified by the nonprofit.
  • Once the donor texts, he will receive an acknowledgment and be guided to a responsive donation form. He can fill in the details in the form to donate.
  • The nonprofit will send an acknowledgment of receipt of donation to the donor.

It is a straightforward donation process for both, the donors and the nonprofit. Mobile giving has become a popular method of donating because of the rising number of mobile users worldwide.

Besides this there are several other reasons why nonprofits use text giving:

  • Text giving has emerged as the simplest method to donate in current times when the pandemic has made it difficult for nonprofits to hold fundraisers.
  • It is one of the fastest methods to donate because of the simplicity of the process. The simplicity and speed of the process make it a popular choice among donors.
  • Text giving makes it easier for donors to donate on the move. They can donate from anywhere at a time of their convenience. This helps attract more donors.
  • This method helps nonprofits build a better relationship with donors because it offers a method of direct communication. The donors can donate directly and receive an acknowledgment instantly for their donations. This builds trust and confidence in the minds of the donors for the nonprofit.
  • Nonprofits that offer mobile giving as a method for donating can reach a larger audience because the number of mobile users is large and is constantly growing.
  • With effective promotional strategies, nonprofits can reach a wide audience across different age groups and ethnicity.
  • Donors who may be hesitant to donate in case they want to donate small amounts find this method a great option.
  • Mobile giving also encourages donors to make multiple donations because of the simplicity of the process.
  • Text giving is a cost-effective method of donation. This method reduces the costs involved in setting up the donation process. The major cost involved is that of investing in a text-giving platform. Choosing a platform that works in a hassle-free manner and is easy to set up streamlines the mobile giving process for the nonprofit and the donors. iConnectX is one of the best text-to-give platforms that covers all aspects of mobile giving.

It is because of these reasons that text giving is being offered by most nonprofits extensively as a method to make donations. Since it is widely used by several nonprofits, you will need to make special efforts to stand out in the crowd!

You will need to put on your thinking caps and create text-giving campaigns that reach a wide audience and engage them.

Here are some best text giving practices that help you create successful campaigns:

1. Establish your Fundraising Goals

Determine what you wish to achieve through the text to give the campaign. Establish clear fundraising goals and the metrics against which you can measure your goals.

2. Keep Short Code Simple

Shortcode is the alphanumeric code that donors will need to type while donating.

Each text-giving platform has certain specifications to be adhered to while creating the shortcode. Make sure that you find out these specifications before creating your code.

These are details like the number of characters in the code, if the code is case-sensitive, etc.

Creating the shortcode will require some out-of-the-box thinking.

The code must indicate the type of charity it is being used for. For instance, if the charity works for environmental protection, it can have words like GREEN or ENVIRO, etc.

Make sure that you keep the code simple so that is easy to type and remember. Avoid using such a combination of letters which can lead to typographical errors. Complex codes may even discourage donors.

3. Make Forms Straightforward

After the donor texts the shortcode, he will be directed to a donor form. These forms must be simple and straightforward. It is recommended that you do not ask donors for too many details. Create a simple form that does not take too long to fill. However, the form must be designed such that it provides you all the essential information about the donors.

4. Promote Text Giving Campaign

To reach a wider audience across different demographics you must use multichannel marketing strategies.

You will need to create promotional strategies that reach a wide audience. Digital marketing techniques like social media marketing, email marketing, etc. can help you spread the word about your campaign. You could consider using promotional tee-shirts, etc.

Your website is a great platform where you can communicate to your audience details about your campaign. You can promote your campaign with print and online advertising.

It is best to allocate a fixed marketing budget and strategize according to the funds in your kitty. Based on your budget you can choose the right mix of promotional strategies to increase the visibility of your campaign.

5. Instruct Supporters

Once you have promoted your campaign, you will have many supporters who will want to participate in your fundraiser.

It is recommended that you help your supporters by instructing them on how to use mobile giving. Although some of these donors may know how it works, it might be a new concept for others. So, make the process easy for your donors by guiding them.

You can do this by sharing step-wise instructions of how it works in the form of infographics, videos, pictures, etc. These can be shared on your website, social media, and other channels. You can also share it in your newsletters with your email subscribers.

In addition to this, you could consider sharing this information in flyers that can be distributed. Another effective method is holding live sessions where you can explain the process to your attendees.

6. Offer Multiple Donation Option

It is recommended that you do not indicate a preset amount for donation. The reason is that this could discourage many donors who may not be able to donate that amount.

Even if you include options of specific amounts to be donated in the form, ensure that you add a custom field where donors can donate an amount of their choice. This approach encourages more donors to contribute.

In addition to this, you can offer an option for recurring donations wherein the donors contribute a fixed amount to the charity monthly. Recurring donations are especially popular among small donors. A recurring donor is also beneficial for the nonprofit.

Hence, it is a good strategy to offer flexible donation options to your donors.

7. Thank you Donors

The best way to build a long-term relationship with your donors is through clear communication. One of the starting points of building a communication channel is by sending personal thank you messages to your donors. Personal communication with your donors helps build trust and confidence. So, make sure that you acknowledge the contributions of your donors by thanking them for their donations. You can thank your donors by sending emails with thank you messages.

8. Review Donors

Once the campaign is over, you will need to check its efficacy based on the funds raised. You can assess your performance based on the data collected.

You can compare the results of your current campaign with your previous fundraisers. You can also check the success of different marketing strategies used, etc.

You can also check whether you have reached the desired goals.

In addition to this, you can conduct an online survey to get feedback from your donors on their experience.

These insights will help you create your future campaigns.

In Conclusion

Nonprofits need to change their online fundraising strategies from time to time based on the changing needs of their audience. With the rising number of smartphone users across the globe, mobile giving is no longer an option but a must for nonprofits.

What is Charitable Giving and Its Different Types?

Ever since the world came into existence, there has been a clear divide between the “haves and the have-nots.” We have a world in which the rich and poor, strong and weak co-exist. Charitable Giving is the act of giving to help those in need to enhance their quality of life.

It is altruistic giving when you give without expecting anything in return. It is an act that shows the compassion and empathy of the giver.

Most of us are bogged down by the demands of our everyday lives. We are so busy sorting out our own troubles that we become oblivious to the needs of others. Charitable giving takes place when an individual is able to rise above his personal problems and donate to the needy. It is an act of kindness that helps society at large.

Many people think that charity and giving are things done by the affluent people in society. However, charitable giving is not about what or how much you give, it is more about the attitude of giving.

Charitable giving need not always be monetary donations, you can give in other ways too! You can “give” your time and efforts while working as a volunteer for a cause.

It is said that “Charity begins at home.” However, it originates in the heart when an individual feels the urge to give despite his circumstances!

What is the Purpose of Charitable Giving?

The purpose of charitable giving is a public benefit. It is done to provide support and assistance to people across the globe who find it difficult to meet their basic needs.

Charities donate to victims of wars or natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. Non-profits and charitable organizations also raise funds to support those in need of medical aid, food, shelter, and other fundamental needs. Charities also help weaker sections of the society, orphans, and many others.

During the pandemic situation, several charities have come forward and collected donations in cash and kind to help those in need.

In the US charitable giving is encouraged by the government also by offering tax-saving incentives to donors based on the type of charitable giving they participate in.

Let’s take a deeper look at the tax deductions associated with charitable giving:

If you are looking for tax savings through charitable giving, you must ensure that the recipient of your donation must qualify for the tax-exempt status according to the tax code as determined by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

For a certain type of donation, the deductible amount is calculated based on the donation. For instance, in the “quid pro quo” type of donations, the donor receives an economic benefit every time he donates a gift to a charity.

You can get a tax deduction even when you donate items like old clothes, vehicles, household items, etc. However, the donated items must be in good/running condition. Such items are usually donated to charities like the Salvation Army, etc. The tax deducted depends on the fair market value of the item being donated at the time of donation.

Tax codes may change and higher ceilings may be applicable for specific situations, for instance, recovery from a disaster, etc. In the wake of the pandemic, the ceiling for deductions for cash contributions has been increased for 2020. However, this higher ceiling is not applicable for non-cash donations.

These are some of the basic rules that can help you choose the best types of charitable giving. There are several ways in which you can donate with the tax advantage.

Here’s a List of Popular Strategies for Tax Saving Charitable Giving:

Cash Donations: It is the most straightforward way to contribute to a charity. You need to bear in mind that cash donations can get you tax deductions so make sure that you collect a receipt for your donation. Some charitable organizations may ask the donor for financial documentation like a bank statement or a canceled check. Hence, ensure that you have all the required documentation handy before you donate.

Donor-Advised Funds: In this type of giving, the donor needs to create a donor-advised fund through which he can allocate funds to charities of his choice. Donor-advised funds offer the maximum tax benefits.

Real Estate: Donating real estate to charity brings in sizable tax benefits. A donor has the option to donate his existing home to charity after his death, where the deed is transferred to the charity after the death of the donor. The estate tax for the property gets lowered by an amount equal to the value of the property.

Securities: You can consider donating appreciated securities like stocks to charities as well. This helps you save on the capitals gains tax. If you donate stocks that are over a year old and if their cost has increased, you are eligible for a deduction by an amount equivalent to their full market value.

Donating Assets: Tangible assets like art, jewelry, etc. can also be donated. Even with these donations, the donor is eligible for a tax deduction. You will need to get an independent appraisal of your assets worth $5000 and above. You qualify for a higher tax deduction when you donate an asset that is relevant to the charity. For instance, when you donate assets like relics to a historical museum, you can get a higher deduction in your taxes.

You have several options for asset donation with different types of tax benefits. For instance, donating your life insurance policy or retirement accounts, not only gets you an income tax deduction but also avoids tax liability of tax-deferred accounts. These donations can reduce your estate tax as well.

Charitable Trusts: You can establish a Charitable Lead Trust(CLT) and donate funds from the trust to a charity annually for a specified period. The tax deduction you can get for a CLT is assessed based on the income stream you generate for the charity.

Pooled Income Fund: A group of people can pool funds and securities to create a corpus. All members of the group receive cash and securities as income from this pool periodically. A specific amount is set aside for donations later. In case of the death of any member of the group, the remaining funds are donated to a charity of the donor’s choice. In this type of charitable giving, the individual is eligible for a tax deduction equivalent to the amount the recipient of charity receives.

Private Foundation: A private foundation is usually set up by people with significant assets. They may establish a charitable trust or corporation to contribute to a charity they are passionate about. It helps them establish a legacy with which their families can associate for generations. There stringent regulations for running private foundations, but the owners have complete control over how the funds are utilized. Private foundations can use funds as grants for individuals, international grants, scholarships, program investments, and many more.

If you are considering year-end strategies for charitable giving, you could itemize your deductions, and opt for any of the above charitable contributions to reduce your tax bills.

Tips to plan your charitable giving:

  • Donate Long-term appreciated securities instead of cash.
  • Bunching your donations is beneficial. Bunching implies concentrating all your deductions in one year and then skipping one or two years.
  • Maximize your tax deductions with donor-advised funds.
  • Offset tax costs involved in converting traditional IRA to a Roth IRA by choosing charitable donations.
  • Asset donations help increase tax deductions.

Another important aspect of charitable giving for tax deduction is documentation.

Some of the paperwork required to be done is:

  • IRS Form 1040 needs to be filed by individual taxpayers to claim tax benefits.
  • IRS Form 8283 must be filed along with tax returns in case of noncash donations above $500.
  • Taxpayers need to maintain a detailed record as documentary evidence for their charitable contributions throughout the year.
  • Donors claiming tax deductions against cash donations are required to provide a written record, canceled check, or a bank/payroll debit.
  • For contributions over $250 in cash or kind, the donor will need an acknowledgment from the recipient charity. This acknowledgment must include details such as the amount donated if any goods or services were provided to the donor along with their fair market value.
  • If you are donating property or assets like art, etc. independent appraisal of their worth is mandatory.

In addition to these, other documents are required which an expert can guide you through.

So, if you are looking for ways of donating to charities while saving on your taxes, you could consider one or more of these options. It is recommended that you consult legal, tax, and financial experts.

You can make an impact with your charitable giving while enjoying some tax benefits. Choose your charities and strategist your giving so that you benefit and make a difference to the society!

Auctions have been one of the most effective fundraising strategies. Traditionally live auctions were organized by nonprofits where the donors were invited to the venue where the auctions were held. As the internet became a predominant aspect of our lives, online auctions made a foray into the world of charity auctions. Virtual auctions were slowly and steadily making a place for themselves. And, when the pandemic struck, they became the only way to hold charity auctions.

The nonprofits that had already adopted online auctions were able to adapt to the changing ways of working in 2020.

What is an online auction?

An online auction is held virtually. The items for auction are displayed on a website with the starting bid prices. The bidders can send in their bids through the website. The nonprofit holds a virtual meeting with all the bidders after the last date of the bids. The winners are announced in this meeting and the items are delivered to them.

Online auctions offer several benefits over traditional auctions. These auctions can attract bidders across the globe, unlike the physical auctions where participants were restricted because of their geographical locations. Also, it is easier to maintain the confidentiality of the bids. Online auctions also reduce the efforts required in terms of setting up the logistics such as finding the venue, arranging food, beverages, etc. for the event.

If these are not required, then what is required to create an online auction? is the first question that comes to mind.

The building blocks of an online auction are:

Auction Website

These are websites that are created specifically for hosting online auctions. There are several auction websites listed on the internet. It is recommended that you compare all sites and choose the one that best meets your fundraising goals.

Remember to choose an auction website that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The choice of the website will also depend on the type of products you want to auction.

Auction Articles

When organizing an online auction, make sure that you select the items you want to auction carefully. Do your research to find out the type of articles donors will be interested to bid for. Finding out what items are listed on competitor websites will give you a fair idea of the type of items you could consider listing.

Customized Retail Store

You will need to set up a retail store on the auction website that is customized according to your brand. In other words, the retail store must include your brand’s logo and color scheme. Make sure to post high-quality pictures of the original products on the site. Include descriptions and details about the product on the site. Create an attractive store that is easy to navigate and bid. Ensure that you include a secure payment gateway that can be used by donors from any country.

Let’s now delve into how to create an Online Auction?

Step 1: Establish your Fundraising Goals

The chief objective behind organizing an online auction is generating funds for charity. Therefore, you will need to determine exactly how much amount you expect to generate through the auction.

Step 2: Determine your Budget

Decide exactly how much you propose to invest in the online auction and allocate specific amounts for different activities. This helps to keep a check on the expenses incurred in organizing the event.

Step 3: Select and Procure the Items you want to Auction

Find out what type of items your donors will be interested in bidding for and choose them. Procure the items from vendors/sponsors.

In an online auction, you will need to work out the logistics for the delivery of products. Delivery is easier if the products can be transferred electronically or through the mail.

However, the choice of the items for auction will depend largely on the purpose of the fundraiser, the interests of the donors, etc. Your focus should be on quality and not quantity while choosing the articles.

Step 4: Choose a Cloud-Based Auction Website

Auction websites like iConnectX are a perfect choice for creating an online auction. This is because they offer a single platform for all stakeholders to collaborate.

iConnectX is a platform that implies the process of planning, managing, and processing both in-person and online events. This platform streamlines the process of hosting an online auction.

This platform facilitates:

  • Setting up an auction website
  • Listing items for auction
  • Mobile Bidding
  • Offers a secure and integrated payment platform.

iConnectX is a user-friendly platform that can be used easily for hosting different types of online events like peer-to-peer fundraising, etc. It also makes it easier for different stakeholders to collaborate.

Step 5: List the Items on your Retail Store on the Auction Website

Listing the items on the website entails posting quality pictures of the products, their descriptions, and minimum bidding prices.

Make sure that you post HD pictures of the actual product instead of similar products. The description of the product must be precise and must include details of the products. The description must be written in a manner that engages the audience. A catchy headline for the product helps attract donors.

Step 6: Promote the Auction

You will need to create awareness and generate the interest of your audience for the online event. Digital marketing strategies are the most effective in connecting with your niche audience.

Optimize your website with relevant keywords so that it has good exposure and ranks high on searches. This makes it easy to attract traffic to your brand when someone types in search phrases like “online auction sites near me” or “free auctions near me”, etc.

Make sure that your website clearly communicates the mission and vision of your brand. Besides, it should be easy to bid for the listed items on the site. It is recommended that you include a section on “how to bid in an online auction site” to make the task easier for your bidders.

Create a buzz on social media to connect with your audience. Make sure that you post regularly on social media to engage your users. Use social media campaigns to tell the story of your brand to your audience. Connect with your audience to build trust. Social media campaigns also help you build a sense of urgency about the event. Posts like, “last few days left, etc.” are quite effective for lead conversions.

Email marketing is another effective strategy that helps you build a personal bond with your subscribers. You can communicate effectively through emails to generate interest in the event.

Step 7: Host the Online Auction

Host your online auction on an auction website like iConnectX.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create auction sites on iConnectX:

  • Register your nonprofit on iConnectX.
  • Upload a description of your nonprofit on iConnectX platform.
  • List the items on auction with high-quality pictures, descriptions, and the minimum bidding amount.
  • Add the event(online auction) with a link that drives the audience to your website.
  • Include forms on your site to gather necessary data about your visitors.
  • Post updates about your event on iConnectX platform.
  • Take advantage of the iConnectX follower list by promoting your online auction to millions of followers in the iConnectX marketplace.
  • iConnectX also provides you a comprehensive report of the bids and the funds raised.

Here’s how it works for bidders:

  • A bidder can search for an auction website by typing relevant phrases like, “online auctions near me” or “live auctions near me.”
  • The search engine will display a list of online auction websites. Bidders can select a website that is aligned with their ideas of donating.
  • Bidders will view the list of items on the site.
  • They can make their bids using any device of their choice. There is no platform fee for making a bid.
  • They will receive automated notifications regarding their bids, outbidding, and winning the auction, etc.
  • Winners receive the articles they have won via mail or doorstep service or can pick it up from the nonprofit.
  • The funds generated are used by the nonprofit to support charities.

This is an overview of how nonprofits can create successful online charities to raise funds for charities.

Are you using a fundraising thermometer for your nonprofit? Did you know that they are the easiest way to track your fundraising goal? Besides, they offer complete transparency about your nonprofit to your donors!

Most nonprofits are already using fundraising thermometers for managing their fundraising. If you have not started using one, it’s time you did too!

Here’s a quick overview of the fundraising thermometer:

What is a fundraising thermometer?

We know that a thermometer checks the temperature of something. On the same lines, a fundraising thermometer indicates how “hot” your fundraising campaign is! Simply put, a fundraising thermometer indicates the amount of funds your fundraising campaign has generated. It is essentially like a fundraising goal tracker that helps you assess how close or far you are from your fundraising goals.

It is a way of displaying to the audience using the symbol of a thermometer with the analogy of temperature rise. As the temperature in the fundraising thermometer moves from cold to hot, it indicates that the donations are getting closer to the target goal. So, the hottest temperature is reached when the fundraiser reaches its goal.

Fundraising thermometers are known by different names fundraising meter, donation thermometer, or goal thermometer.

Why must you use a fundraising thermometer?

1. Visual Confirmation of Donation

When a donor contributes to a fundraising campaign and he sees the rise in the reading on the fundraising goal thermometer, he gets a visual confirmation of his donation. It is an established fact that visuals have a greater impact on people.

This helps the nonprofit offer complete transparency to its donors. This goes on to build trust and loyalty among the donors.

2. Encourage Donations

When donors see the reading on the thermometer slowly inching towards its fundraising goal, they are motivated to donate more to speed up the process.

A fundraising thermometer is extremely effective in encouraging donors to help the nonprofit reach its goals.

When the nonprofit reach its goals, the donors feel good because they can see that they have played a part in this endeavor. It boosts the donor morale to know that they have done their bit for society.

This builds brand loyalty towards your nonprofit.

3. Effective in Engaging Niche Audience

When donors participate in a fundraising campaign and receive instant gratification for what they have done through the fundraising thermometer, they get a sense of fulfillment.

This is how it works. People like to see any task they take up getting completed. So, when they watch the fundraising thermometer proceed towards its goals, it fills them with excitement to track the progress. This engages them until the end of the campaign. Besides, when they feel that the thermometer is not progressing at the speed it should, they might even go an extra mile and add more to hasten the process.

Once the fundraising goal is reached, the donors feel a sense of personal achievement. They get a feeling of accomplishment on reaching a milestone. This also helps in building the community as donors feel that they have achieved something together, as a community.

4. Team Crowdfunding Thermometers Encourage Peer to Peer Fundraising

By using the team crowdfunding thermometer, you can ask your peer-to-peer fundraisers to set goals on their page. And, the progress on pages of different team members can be consolidated to indicate the overall progress of the fundraising campaign on your campaign page.

Fundraising thermometers are dynamic, in the words, they give live updates on the progress of the fundraising donations towards its goals. These real-time updates can be displayed on large screens at outdoor events for the participants to watch.

Live fundraising thermometers can also be integrated with devices such as tablets, mobiles, desktops, etc. for the convenience of the donors, staff, and others involved with the fundraising campaign.

Several brands create and market fundraising thermometers with different features. Besides these ready-to-use platforms, there are several DIY templates available that can be used to develop a nonprofit donation platform.

Here’s a guide to the features you need for your nonprofit’s fundraising thermometer:

  • Choose a fundraising goal tracker that can be customized with your brand logo and colors.
  • Optionally, you can choose a template that is aligned with the cause your nonprofit is supporting. This sends a reminder to your donors about the mission of your nonprofit and how their donations are going to be used.
  • Ensure that the fundraising meter tracks donations with live updates in real-time.
  • Check if the fundraising meter includes a “donor roll.” A donor roll displays new donations as and when they are added.
  • It is recommended that you choose a donation tracker in which the anonymity of the donors is maintained.
  • The fundraising thermometer must include the Text-to-donate code in addition to the campaign-specific code.

In case, you are looking for fundraising thermometer alternatives to offer something different to your donors, you could try the visual fundraising tracking option.

A fundraising thermometer essentially tracks the progress of the fundraising campaign in terms of the funds generated as it heads towards its ultimate goal. In visual fundraising tracking the basic concept is the same aka indicating the progress of a fundraiser but it is depicted through imagery. An image is created which gets filled up as donations are added.

Some examples of imagery used in visual fundraising tracking are using an image of a night sky that fills up with stars with each donation received. Optionally, an image of a tree can be used where a flower blooms each time a donation is added.

Imagery can be used in innovative ways to choose images that are aligned with the cause supported by the nonprofit. For instance, if your nonprofit is working on saving rainforests, you could use an image of a ground in which a plant/tree sprouts up every time a donation is made.

This concept is also effective in engaging the audience as it clearly indicates their participation in the fundraising campaign. The main advantage of this method is that it does not indicate the exact amount donated. This encourages participation by donors who are hesitant in donating small amounts. This is because they can view their donation in a symbolic form like a star or a flower without the exact amount being displayed.

Visual fundraising is able to attract more small donors. This approach gives the donors the satisfaction of having participated in a philanthropic venture even if they are unable to donate large sums of money.

However, this method suffers from the drawback that it lacks the transparency that fundraising thermometer offers. Also, in a fundraising thermometer the donors can view in numeric value the exact amount reached and how close or further the fundraising goal amount is!

Whether you choose a conventional fundraising thermometer or a visual fundraiser tracking, here are some tools that can simplify your task of creating the platform:

  • Canva
  • Venngage
  • Microsoft Word
  • Certain CRMs include built-in features that enable you to create fundraising thermometers.

In addition to these, you have the option of using an online fundraising platform like iConnectX.

Online platforms offer several benefits:

  • These pre-designed platforms are ready to use. So, you can get started right away without investing time and effort in designing one.
  • Online platforms are automated. Hence, they update the progress of your fundraiser automatically.
  • These platforms can sync with multiple fundraising campaigns enabling you to track the progress on all of them.
  • Online fundraising thermometers can be easily embedded on your website providing live updates to visitors on your website.

In Conclusion

Fundraising thermometers are the best way to build the trust and confidence of your donors. They encourage donations and help in community building. With healthy growth in philanthropy and giving worldwide, it is a good idea to invest in a fundraising thermometer for your nonprofit, if you aren’t already using one!

Connect with the Experts at iConnectX for more on fundraising thermometers to track your fundraising goals!

Charity events like auctions, 5km runs, etc. were the mainstay of nonprofit fundraising till the end of 2019. In 2020, when the COVID 19 pandemic struck, nonprofits were left stranded!

How to organize fundraising events?How to connect with donors?How to raise brand awareness?

These were some of the questions that cropped up and needed to be addressed.While the nonprofits were struggling with these aspects, people in general and businesses had other issues to face! The economic downturn, health and safety issues were just the tip of the iceberg.

People across the globe were struggling with health issues, financial losses, loss of jobs, new norms of living, etc. In this tumultuous scenario, it is heartening to observe that the attitude of “giving” among people continued.

This implied that the onus was now on the nonprofits to connect with those who were willing to donate. And, this is where several nonprofits struggled initially!

Unfortunately due to the challenging circumstances, several nonprofits were forced to close down. However, some nonprofits adapted better to the changes and planned effective strategies to cope with the situation.

As we progress into 2021 several nonprofits have now learned to thrive in the new normal. One of the main takeaways from 2020 was that fundraising events are going to be virtual until the situation improves.

Virtual events have certain drawbacks. For instance, there is no physical interaction between participants, nonprofit organizations and participants need to familiarize themselves with technology, online fundraising strategies will have to be planned, etc.

However, looking on the brighter side, virtual events have a much wider reach. A nonprofit can connect with the audience from different countries. Besides, nonprofits now have an opportunity to engage a much larger audience. Also, the investment for engaging the audience virtually is much lower than that for a physical event.

So, if virtual is the only way, nonprofits need to think out of the box and organize creative events that can engage the audience.

Some of the most popular virtual fundraising events for nonprofits

  • Online Auctions
  • Virtual Galas
  • Online Team Games
  • Crowdfunding
  • Peer-to-peer Fundraising

One of the biggest challenges virtual events face is holding the interest of the audience throughout the entire duration of the event. Event hosts need to pool in the best ideas to organize engaging events.

Some of the best online events include

  • An eminent individual as a keynote speaker.
  • Keep the event duration under an hour.
  • Drive engagement through high-quality content that adds value to the guests.
  • Organize events that offer an opportunity for the attendees to interact through polls, chats, etc.

How do you do a virtual fundraising event?

Establish Your Goal

When organizing a virtual fundraising event, you need to clearly establish your goals. Your goal could be a specific amount of funds you need to generate through the event, or if you are trying to attract new donors or retain old donors, increase your brand awareness. Having clarity of your goals will simplify the process of organizing the event.

Understanding your Audience

Once you have determined the goals of your fundraising event, you need to plan the event so that it engages the audience. Therefore, you need to understand who your audience is and what they like/dislike, what their needs are, etc. This will help you organize the event customized to their needs.

Select the Mode of Online Event

An online event means an interactive zoom meeting or webinar for most people. However, there are different modes of delivering online content in an event.

  • Live Streaming: It is an online event held in real-time with active participation from the attendees. However, live streaming requires technological expertise for successful hosting. Live streams are quite popular and can be fun for the participants.
  • Pre-Recorded: In this case, compelling videos are created and recorded before the actual event. This is best suited for event hosts who are not very tech-savvy.
  • Streaming: This is ideal for one-time events that are available on a specific day and time.
  • On-Demand: The event is available to the audience for a specific time frame. These events can be watched again and again by the interested parties.

You can choose the mode that is best suited to the type of event you are hosting.

Event Checklist:

Before hosting the event make sure that the following aspects are on track:

  • Plan the event well in advance with your team. Take care of all aspects of your event such as logistics, event platform, ticketing, etc.
  • Create a list of attendees and send the invitation emails to them.
  • Ensure that your technology is working seamlessly at least 24 hours before the actual event.
  • Make sure that your linked donation pages, chats, etc. are in order before you start the event.
  • Send reminders to your guests a week, a day, and an hour before the start of the event.

With all the above aspects in order, we come to a vital question, “How do I sell my fundraiser tickets online?”

For the past few years, even before the pandemic struck, most nonprofits had started using online methods for selling tickets for events. Several event ticketing platforms are available for nonprofits to streamline the ticketing process.

Here are some best online tickets sales practices for nonprofits:

Event Page:

Your online event page is something that informs your audience about your event. Create an attractive event page with an eye-catching image or a video. Make sure that your event page is aligned with your brand and it clearly communicates all details such as the event lineup and sponsors, and other relevant information about the event. This page should provide the contact details of your organization.

The page should be easy to navigate with a clear CTA (Buy Tickets). Make sure that the event page is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on different devices.

Hassle-free Payment Process

It is recommended that you provide your guests a seamless payment process. Using automation simplifies the ticketing process. Several nonprofits are using an automated process wherein a confirmation for the payment and the tickets are emailed as soon as the payment is made. Virtual event platforms like iConnectX include such automation that simplifies the process of selling event tickets.

Ticket Pricing

Hosting virtual fundraising events is less expensive than a physical event because of the reduced overhead costs. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the price of the tickets for your virtual event on the lower side.

Make Sure your Tickets are Ready at the Initial Stages

As soon as you conceive the event, there will be many supporters of your nonprofit who will be ready to purchase tickets. So, make sure that your tickets are ready as soon as you start planning your event.

Clear Ticket Descriptions

Clearly communicate details of your event on the ticket such as the date, timings, login, password, dress code, if any, etc. It is a good idea to communicate how the funds raised will be used. Be creative and write a concise description that covers all aspects.

Email Campaigns

Email drip campaigns are extremely effective in creating awareness about the event and driving sales.

Social Media Campaigns

Make sure that you leverage different social media channels to spread the word about the event. Create social media campaigns tailored to different platforms to create a buzz about the event.

Incentivize through Pricing

You can increase your ticket sales by offering “early bird discounts.” You can use the data on the tickets sold for creating urgency among your audience for ticket purchase. You can send messages on social media and other channels like, “X” number of tickets left! Buy before they get sold out!

A little creativity and out-of-the-box thinking can help you organize engaging fundraising events. The success of a virtual event depends to a large extent on the technology used. Several event management platforms with different features are available for hosting nonprofit events to choose from.

iConnectX is one of the best platforms for hosting nonprofit events! This platform includes all the features required for an efficient virtual event planner!

The past few years have witnessed an increase in giving across the globe. It is encouraging to note that even the pandemic did not disturb those who wanted to donate. This has led to the rise in the number of nonprofits globally.

It is quite easy for your website to get lost in the myriad of nonprofit websites online. Hence, you need to establish your nonprofit brand identity so that your brand stands out amid the online chaos!

What is Brand Identity?

Brand identity relates to the aspects of a brand that the audience identifies with. It could be the colors/logo/imagery or any other that helps the audience identify the brand. For instance, if we think of McDonald’s, we associate it with red and yellow colors or its logo, etc. Similarly, it is easy for people to identify Apple products because of their unique logo.

Hence brand identity can be understood as the “unique ID” of a brand that makes it stand out.

Contrary to the popular belief that only big brands need to have distinguishing colors and logos, having a unique brand identity has become a must for most businesses in the digital world.

Nonprofits also need to create a unique identity for themselves to make it easy for the audience to identify their preferred nonprofits.

If you are still wondering if nonprofits need to invest in branding, here’s why nonprofit branding is important

Nonprofit branding is important because it is the most effective way the nonprofit can communicate its story to its audience. You can establish your nonprofit brand by using colors and visuals to communicate what your brand is about and what exactly you do.

The colors and fonts you use to tell your nonprofit’s story will help your audience identify you in the online world.

So, you must be wondering, “How does one Brand a Nonprofit Organization?”

Before we get into the technical details of nonprofit branding, let’s delve into the basic building blocks for creating the brand:

Know your Audience

Understanding the needs of the target audience is the first step for building a brand identity. This will require some research. You will need to identify your audience and find out what their perception of your nonprofit is, what do they expect from you? This will be a good starting point.

Before you get down to creating your logo or images for your brand, it is vital to understand what your brand means to people around you.

If you have an existing audience, then it is a good idea to interview them and ask them how they describe your brand. You can also ask relevant questions to your email subscribers and use their inputs also to build your brand.

Check out What Others are Doing!

It is something like a competitor analysis where you check out what others in your field are doing. However, it is quite different from a competitor analysis conducted by businesses. This is because nonprofits are not exactly “marketing” similar products/services and competing in the same marketplace.

In the case of nonprofits, the working model of each one is quite different from the other. So, when a nonprofit looks at what others in the field are doing, it is to gain insights on what works/does not work. This will make their job of creating a brand identity easy.

Rebranding

In case you are planning to rebrand your existing nonprofit, it is essential to take your existing donors, volunteers, and supporters into confidence. This is because these entities associate your brand with certain ideologies. And, if you were to make radical changes to your existing brand without keeping them in the loop, they will be confused. The possibility of losing out some loyal supporters due to this confusion cannot be ruled out. This is a risk best avoided!

It can be done easily by keeping all those who are associated with your brand updated about your intent for rebranding.

You can even involve them by asking for suggestions and ideas. This will serve as valuable information because it has come from people who know you and what you stand for.

Let Others Speak for You!

You can get people who support your brand to speak for you in a visual storytelling format. It could be video testimonials or short videos about people talking about your brand. This helps in giving authenticity to your brand and helps connect on an emotional level with your target audience.

After completing the groundwork like finding out about your audience and other relevant data, you are all set to work on the technical aspects of building your brand!

Guide to Effective Nonprofit Branding

Establish what you want your brand to communicate!

Brands tell the story of the organization to the audience! So, you need to find out what story you want to tell through your brand?

How do you want your audience to identify your nonprofit?

This will depend largely on the primary objective of your nonprofit, the charities your nonprofit supports, etc.

The research you have carried out will also help you create a story based on what your audience expects of you!

Your brand’s story will determine the theme of your brand.

Choosing the Right Colors and Fonts

Once you have your brand’s story ready, you can choose the colors and fonts that blend with your story.

While choosing colors for your brand, you need to understand that each color has a different connotation. So, select only those colors that are aligned with your brand’s theme.

Some examples of what different colors indicate are:

White is associated with purity, innocence, goodness, safety, cleanliness, etc.

Blue symbolizes aspects like trust, wisdom, confidence, faith, truth, etc.

The yellow color is used to indicate joy, happiness, energy, and intellect.

Therefore, choosing the right colors for your brand can make or break it! So, make sure that you select those colors that highlight the story of your nonprofit.

The fonts you use for the content also tell a lot about the brand. For instance, fonts that use harsh lines and pointy edges usually indicate a formal tone while those with flowing lines and smooth corners are considered warm.

Logo

Needless to say, the logo of your brand is a critical factor because it symbolizes what your brand stands for. A lot of creativity is required for creating a unique brand logo.

Create a logo using the colors that gel with your brand and depict your brand’s story through an image.

Your logo should be a perfect blend of the color, font, and imagery to define your brand.

Creating a Brand Website

All the aspects of your brand such as the color, font, logo, story, etc. will come together on your website. Your website is the platform that tells your brand’s story to the world.

Use a template that best meets the needs of your brand. However, you must consider the trending website design themes while choosing the template.

Your website should clearly convey the mission statement of your nonprofit. Use the brand colors and fonts selected for designing your website. Identify the relevant “keywords” or search terms that your audience will use to look for your website online. Make sure that you optimize your website with these words.

Make sure to have different versions of your logo that can be used on social media platforms, email newsletters, banners, etc.

Once you have decided on different aspects of your brand such as its color, logo, etc. make sure that you use them consistently wherever you promote your brand.

In Conclusion

The world is becoming digital! For a nonprofit to have a strong presence in an online world, branding is a must. Nonprofits need to establish a brand identity that communicates to the audience what the nonprofit stands for and how the audience can associate with it.