Father’s Day is big business – it’s a popular shopping day with consumer spending in the billions in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Father’s Day in History
How did Father’s Day begin? It began in Southern Europe on the Feast Day of Saint Joseph; today, Father’s Day is celebrated throughout Europe’s Catholic countries on March 19. In the United States, the first Father’s Day took place on July 5, 1908. It was a planned service to commemorate the worst mining accident in the U.S., where hundreds of men lost their lives. In 1972, the U.S. Congress passed an act making Father’s Day a national holiday celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June.
A Fundraising Opportunity
Can you imagine if some of Father’s Day’s spending was directed toward nonprofits? There are many options for your nonprofit to expand its coffers this year. We have engaging ideas to get started on your Father’s Day fundraising – let’s go!
Father’s Day Fundraisers
A drive for self-care kits
Collect daily care items for people in need – razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, sunscreen, soap, etc. If your nonprofit is in human services, this is a winning idea. Many corporations will pledge items in a “one-for-one” element. This means companies, such as hotels or airlines, contribute kits; you receive a donation from the public, and the company gives a match. Another option is to partner with a local business to obtain items.
Father’s Day is about family, and food is a great way to get loved ones together. It’s an opportunity to create a product that will bring people together and make your organization money.
We recommend a social media campaign to send out requests for people to submit their favorite recipes. Also, we suggest you create multiple categories, so you don’t end up with the same kind of dishes in the book. Appetizers, desserts, drinks, entrees – make sure you have a specific submission form for each.
Google forms is an easy way to collect information, and it’s free. Also, you can offer people the option to remain anonymous or have their names in the book. If you have anonymous contributions, make sure they give their names and email addresses so you can thank them properly. Lastly, create a Google form for ordering the cookbooks, so your organization knows how many books to purchase. You can even include “teaser” recipes as part of your social media campaign! Once you have your recipes, you can reach out to graphic designers in your area who may do pro bono work; Canva is also a free option for you to create your own design. If you decide not to print with Canva, many cost-effective options are available on the internet.
Poker night or poker run
Poker nights are an entertaining way to fundraise. Nonprofit poker nights on Father’s Day are an excellent activity for the whole family to enjoy if you promote and plan it as a family-friendly event. First, research local laws and regulations to make sure it is legal to host a gambling-related event.
Consider whether you want to charge a flat ticket price that includes a specific number of poker chips and whatever food and beverages you’ll have available for participants – you can even get them donated by community partners!
Suggestion: Create a crowdfunding campaign for your fundraiser. You may have a tight deadline, and crowdfunding will help you raise money quickly. In your promotions, explain why you’re hosting a poker night and how it can be fun for the whole family. Also, be sure to mention that the proceeds will benefit the local community.
Donation drive in honor of fathers
Contributions are the lifeblood of every nonprofit, especially now considering the current state of the economy. You can create a unique Father’s Day campaign where people make donations in honor of someone close to them, especially Dad. When people feel emotionally connected to a cause, they’re more likely to contribute to your nonprofit in the future. If you gain recurring donors, that’s a win!
A platform like iConnectX makes it easy for supporters to donate, with social media integration, custom landing pages, Text-to-Give, custom donation amounts, etc.
Father’s Day golf outing
Golf outings are a proven way for nonprofits to raise funds. Tee Time Magazine reported that in the U.S. alone, there are over 1 million golf outings every year, with an average event raising $5000 net. iConnectX has an eight-step guide to organizing a successful golf outing.
Say “thank you” to Dad
Giving back to the fathers and father figures who have supported us is essential. Hosting a Father’s Day fundraiser offers unique opportunities; it’s often an overlooked fundraising holiday.
The final word – iConnectX can help
iConnectX is here to help you plan and manage your fundraisers as seamlessly as possible. Our event ticketing and fundraising solutions are simple to set up for both businesses that fundraise and for nonprofits.
Utilizing iConnectX has multiple benefits:
· Single-use – no long-term commitment
· Easy setup
· Custom URL and landing page
· Virtual option
· Sponsorship solicitation and branding
· Ticketing, including multi-level and early bird
· Email ticketing with code
· Works on your browser or mobile
· Full reporting
· Donation receipts for nonprofits
· Social media sharing
· Software support
· Secure payment processing
· File generation for CRM input
Everyone here at iConnectX is excited for summer, with outdoor activities, parties, and grilling. Why not leverage the joys of summer for fundraising? So, grab hold of summer anticipation and start planning those fundraisers.
We hope you use these concepts to raise top dollars, reinforce supporter relationships, have a good time and make a difference.
Are you ready for some summer fundraising inspiration? Let’s go!
BBQ Dinner or Cooking Competition
This is a fundraiser that demands hungry attendants! Your organization can rent or find donated equipment to host a BBQ dinner in your organization’s parking lot, a local park, or a local venue. Sell meal tickets and have participants pay to compete for the best ‘Q in the area. Suppose your group wants to go the competition route. In that case, you could gather chefs and local restaurants to compete against one another, then sell tickets so guests can taste and vote for their favorites.
Fourth of July Party
Our nation’s independence is a great occasion to throw a party. You can host a BBQ in someone’s yard or at a local park and ask your supporters to bring friends for this fundraiser. Consider charging an entry fee to pay for food and drinks and receive donations at the entrance. If your nonprofit hosts your fundraiser in a public space, ensure you have proper permits and a cleanup crew.
Summer Field Day Fundraiser
This is not only a great fundraising idea. It’s a bonus for parents – they get a chance to wear out their kids! Request small donations, and include events like a wheelbarrow race, sack race, water balloon toss and tug-o-war. Field day is fun for adults, too! Consider utilizing team-based registrations for old-school-themed events that incorporate 1970s or 1980s-style gym clothes.
A Run, Swim or Bike-a-thon
Think about offering optional routes for different skill levels for this kind of event. Of course, fundraising is not a requirement; however, you can inspire participants to collect various amounts before the event by offering a variety of incentives. For example, participants who raise $100 can earn a T-shirt, and people who collect $500 can receive sports gear, like water bottles.
Sometimes called Frisbee golf, this is a popular sport. There are courses all over the country — so chances are you can host a disc golf fundraiser in your area.
We suggest coordinating with area venues and music acts to create a lineup and sell tickets. Also, consider offering swag bags to those who raise $500 or more.
Golf tournament fundraisers are an excellent way for nonprofits to raise money. According to Phil Immordino of Tee Times Magazine, over 1 million golf outings occur in the US each year, with the average event raising $5,000 net. Check out iConnectX’s ultimate planning guide to golf fundraisers here.
This is fun twist on summer movie nights. You can host a movie viewing in a public park or coordinate with area businesses to host it in a large enough area for a drive-in. You can sell tickets and refreshments and ask for donations at the entrance. Summer movie ideas include: Jurassic Park, The Avengers, or classic summer blockbuster flicks like Ghostbusters and National Lampoon’s European Vacation.
Summer Fun Scavenger Hunt
This fundraiser may take more planning than expected, but you can make it memorable. Consider partnering with area businesses to create an “Amazing Race” style scavenger hunt. Leave clues and challenges around town for contestants to locate and complete. Request that people register as teams and have a minimum amount to raise to enter.
Food & Drink Festival
Your nonprofit can host its own version of the many famous beer, wine and food festivals around the country. If there’s a kind of food or drink your region is renowned for, you can highlight that. Arrange sponsorships with area beverage distributors, supermarkets, restaurants, breweries and restaurants, then sell tickets in advance.
The Final Word
iConnectX can get you started on planning your summer fundraiser, including online ticketing, RSVP and guest list management, landing pages, social media integration, text-to-give and secure payments.
We are here to help your nonprofit succeed!
Golf tournament fundraisers are an excellent way for nonprofits to raise money. According to Phil Immordino of Tee Times Magazine, over 1 million golf outings occur in the US each year, with the average event raising $5,000 net. The amount you raise will depend on the size of your organization – some events raise $100,000 to $500,000, but that takes unique ingredients. Generally speaking, supporters who attend golf outing fundraisers can and will spend the money participating in golf events. These events can be reasonably easy for an organization to manage.
While planning your fundraiser, you can include all or a few of the ideas we mention in this article. People who golf love to golf, and we believe you will have an incredible turnout for your outing. Read on for eight tips to get your own golf fundraiser going and some added elements to raise more money for your organization.
Here you’ll learn:
- Choose the date and location
- Set your fundraising goal
- Enlist volunteers
- Design a theme
- Pick other fundraising events to play at the outing
- Secure sponsors
- Market your event
- Select a photographer
Choose the date and location
The first task is to pick your date and where to have your golf outing. Many event planners suggest setting fundraising goals and a budget before arranging the date and site. However, golf tournaments are different due to the cost of golf course time. Also, the location may determine the number of foursomes you can include and how much money you will raise.
To determine your event location, it’s critical to find a golf course that will make your event ticket price affordable for your donors. Check out your donor database to figure out how much people were willing to donate to your nonprofit in the past. This helps determine your ticket price.
Consider whether golfers will want to play your course of choice since golfers are discerning about where they play. Holding your outing at a private club that many folks can’t use, you may be able to attract high-income donors. Keep in mind that many nonprofits have golf fundraisers, which means there’s a lot of competition – so you might not get a venue discount if you ask for it.
Lastly, it’s beneficial to research nearby nonprofits to scope out when they’re having their golf fundraisers to not duplicate the date.
Set a fundraising goal
After you have your location set, create a realistic fundraising goal and a budget. Your development office can help you determine how much you need to raise. In further steps, your team will play a more prominent role in figuring out how to fundraise.
Your past fundraising accomplishments and failures can assist you in determining how much a golf outing fundraiser will benefit your nonprofit. There’s a better chance of success if you have a set of donors who love golf and have participated in past silent and live auctions.
Tip: Once you’ve set your goal, add a progress meter to your fundraiser page. A progress meter is a great way to ensure that your fundraiser is focused on your target. It keeps your team encouraged, and shares progress with donors, sponsors and prospective donors. Furthermore, it creates a sense of urgency!
Consider what your expenses will be after the golf course fee, like food, drinks and signage. Think about adding signage at each hole to promote your organization’s mission and acquire sponsorships. Further costs include tickets, advertising and prizes. Also, many golf tournaments include a dinner or a lunch. The location you’ve chosen will likely have room rental costs available for this part of your event and food since golf clubs won’t allow outside food and caterers. An event platform like iConnectX offers social media integration, customizable landing pages, online event ticketing and event marketing best practices to share.
Your event should bring in revenue from several sources:
- Ticket sales
- Silent and live auction
Enlist plenty of volunteers
A golf outing needs plenty of volunteers. Build a fundraising team of volunteers to assist with planning and managing your event. You can choose from several different directions to go in for your golf outing. Still, we recommend having at least five people to help plan your event and put them in charge of specific planning areas.
Besides the planning committee, you’ll require more volunteers on the golf outing day. You’ll need volunteers to run the games at each hole, assist golfers and manage the fundraising dinner and auction. You may be able to find businesses that offer volunteers for a big event like a golf outing. Please remember it will take quite a bit of time to recruit plenty of volunteers to assist in planning and running the tournament.
Tip: Speak with your board members first to see who would like to join the planning committee. Your board has connections to fellow community leaders. Thanks to these connections, your board members can help procure sponsorships, sell tickets and attain auction items.
Design a theme
We’ve mentioned there are plenty of golf tournaments out there – make yours stand out with a memorable, cool theme.
Here are a few ideas:
- Wine tastings with a professional sommelier
- Whiskey/Bourbon or Martinis and Cigars
- Great Gatsby
- Kentucky Derby (in early May)
- Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s in warm climates
Since ticket sales only cover the food and golf course costs, you’ll want to have other games. Have a live or silent auction if your outing includes a lunch or dinner. Auctions add hundreds or thousands of dollars to nonprofit coffers, depending on the items for bid. Make a list of things for your fundraising team to secure that will have the most significant opportunity of raising money.
Tip: Golfers love private clubs. If you hold your event at a private club, request a foursome donation to include in the auction. You can also ask other area clubs too.
Make it easy: a fundraising platform like iConnectX offers live and silent auction tools with secure bidding and payment features.
Raising funds via sponsors is a time-tested development method. Business partnerships must be tailored for each organization contacted. Suppose a big company is willing to assist your organization with a sizable contribution. In that case, you may want to offer them a naming sponsorship. Example: the iConnectX Golf Tournament for ______ Nonprofit.
You can offer hole sponsorships for a few hundred dollars in exchange for a company name and logo on signage at a specific course hole. Many companies will pay more to sponsor holes at a putting contest or hole-in-one holes. We strongly recommend finding different sponsors for each hole. You may want to offer each sponsor an opportunity to set up a table at their location to share swag.
Check out our article on the mutually beneficial relationships between nonprofits and business.
Online ticket sales
While promoting your golf outing, create an email campaign to encourage ticket sales. Include a link to an online landing page with a signup form where tickets can be purchased, and people can make donations. Another great way to promote your event is on social media with regular updates. Create and share posts every time you get a new sponsor or receive great auction items.
iConnectX does all the heavy lifting when it comes to landing pages, crowdfunding and online ticketing – you can manage your RSVPs and promote in one place.
About crowdfunding – it’s an effective way to promote ticket sales. A crowdfunding platform offers a simple donation form, a tab for updates, a donor wall, a progress meter, etc. All of these features help get more registrations!
If your fundraising team and your board help sell foursomes, you’ll likely sell all your tickets. Word of mouth is always the optimal way to promote. They can accomplish this by email and social media!
Hire a photographer
A golf tournament is ripe with photo opportunities, and this is even more relevant if attendees are dressed up. When donors are having a good time, your nonprofit promotes its mission, and sponsors advertise on the golf course, great pictures are made. Make sure you use these pics on social media accounts and your website and offer them to your sponsors to use on their own sites.
The iConnectX Difference
iConnectX is a comprehensive, fun-to-use and straightforward fundraising platform. We have you covered from online ticketing, RSVP and guest list management, social media integration, auction tools, secure bidding, and payments. Also, our platform is free for nonprofits to use; the only cost is a payment processing fee.
Nonprofit fundraising often involves many events and campaigns that have no connection. However, digital fundraising has become a lifeline in the last two years. With it came opportunities to reach new and larger audiences, the ability to integrate and automate campaigns with stewardship practices. This enabled new means to find new audiences, nurture new donor relationships and create stronger relationships with current donors.
Here we will review why digital fundraising is necessary for nonprofits and strategies to improve your organization’s donor base and funding.
Here are six great digital fundraising strategies for nonprofits:
- Create a branded donation page
- Launch a crowdfunding campaign
- Focus on local SEO
- Run a text-to-give campaign
- Form a strategic partnership
- Up your social media game
Before we take a deeper dive into these strategies, let us review digital fundraising and why it is valuable for nonprofits.
What is digital fundraising?
Digital fundraising incorporates online fundraising tactics and applications to reach a wider audience, nurture relationships with new donors, and build relationships with the current donor base. It is an ongoing process that begins with online outreach using emails, websites and social media. Following a donor’s first donation, a nonprofit can craft an automatic reply for your organization to steward their gift. As your nonprofit maintains a relationship with that donor, continue to reach out to that donor; watch how their actions change to build a deeper connection. The goal is to develop a long-lasting donor relationship that benefits your organization in the long term.
Why is digital fundraising critical for nonprofits?
It used to take a significant amount of time and work to build donor relationships. Many smaller nonprofits have smaller staff and volunteers to maintain donor relationships and connect with them personally. Digital fundraising makes outreach and stewardship easier for these smaller nonprofits.
In addition to that, digital fundraising:
Raises awareness – digital fundraising helps organizations reach more people through social media and online fundraising. Nonprofits can create exciting fundraisers that grab donors’ attention and boost their involvement; examples include crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising. When a donor becomes increasingly involved in fundraising campaigns, their community learns about the organization and will probably act on its behalf.
Nonprofits use digital fundraising methods beyond crowdfunding and peer-to-peer campaigns to improve donor retention. To improve donor involvement and retention, digital fundraising techniques like text-to-give, recurring donations and matching gifts are ways donors can support a nonprofit easily. The convenience of these methods encourages donors to remain involved and keep giving.
Reduces the workload – thanks to technology, automated online fundraising and donor management are simpler and more affordable than before. With fundraising platforms like iConnectX, nonprofits can send automatic gift acknowledgments and track donations.
Increases donations – donors are grateful for the convenience of digital fundraising – it helps them feel like valued contributors.
Top Digital Fundraising Strategies for Nonprofits
Digital fundraising boosts nonprofits’ efforts by increasing revenue. It may be overwhelming with many types and means of online/digital fundraising. Here we’ll cover techniques to allow for understanding digital fundraising.
Create a branded donation page
Everything begins with the website. Branding makes an organization memorable; consider large corporations like Nike or nonprofits like the Susan G. Komen Foundation (think: pink ribbon.) It may seem like nonprofits could face a challenge branding in such a manner, but they can! Digital fundraising platforms like iConnectX offer branding capabilities on landing and donation pages. Branding builds trust and awareness.
Donors want to feel appreciated and valuable. Crowdfunding campaigns allow organizations to fundraise for specific programs by reaching out to donors who take a particular interest in said programs. There are several crowdfunding options available. iConnectX offers such an option that offers social media integration and email updates for donors.
Some small nonprofits consider Google ads out of their price range. However, Google recently created Google Grants. With Google Grants, nonprofits have an opportunity to receive $10,000 worth of Google advertising. This is a massive opportunity for nonprofits to reach wider audiences than ever, and it’s often the only way to rank close to the top of the Google search results.
Increase social media activity
Social media provides many people with news and connections to the world. It’s an error for nonprofits to ignore this fact – social media offers an opportunity to reach broad and outlying audiences. Using social channels gives nonprofits the chance to connect with donors and the community through social sharing.
Focus on SEO
Many nonprofits are small and medium-sized local organizations that directly benefit the community near them. Sometimes, crowdfunding may not make sense for these groups. Rather than crowdfunding, small-sized, locally-focused nonprofits may want to focus on SEO tactics that target their local area. Keyword use and digital applications that connect nonprofits with area donors help these nonprofits reach online audiences.
Create a text-to-give campaign
Text to give campaigns grow increasingly popular thanks to the number of platforms that offer them. These campaigns give nonprofits a chance to receive donations by text in only a few steps:
- Set up a text campaign and gets a unique campaign ID
- Share that ID and text number across online platforms
- Donors text that campaign ID to the phone number or short code; they receive a link to the donation page
This is an easy campaign to run, and it’s convenient for donors. iConnectX offers text-to-give – it is simple to set up and easy for donors to use.
The Final Word
Investing in a solid digital fundraising platform is key to success. iConnectX is free for nonprofits to use – the only charges incurred are transaction fees. With iConnectX, nonprofits can plan and manage live, online and hybrid events, handle online ticketing, hold auctions, etc. We are here to help you raise more funds for your mission!
Mother’s Day is less than a month away. The holiday offers opportunities for nonprofits to raise money and celebrate the mothers in their lives. Read on to learn about five engaging fundraising ideas for Mother’s Day.
iConnectX’s Top Mother’s Day Fundraisers
Mother’s Day Brunch
You can elect to host a brunch fundraiser at your site, restaurant, or winery. This is also an opportunity to involve sponsors, like local vendors, allowing for co-branding on all marketing content. Depending on the venue, you can ask local food trucks if they will park outside of the site on the event day. You will probably want to reach out to potential vendors and sponsors right away since Mother’s Day is soon.
Some moms would like to take the day off – so rather than asking them to put on makeup and dress up for brunch, you can deliver the party to your supporters. Organizations like Giving Bean and Grounds for Change offer coffee fundraising options with high-quality coffee, are easy to start and coordinate, provide custom labels and have no minimum fees. Often, organizations earn up to 40% profit. This is a great fundraiser to market on social media – don’t forget to employ peer-to-peer marketing!
Mother’s Day Cards
Since Mother’s Day is one of the most significant days for greeting card sales behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day. This is an opportunity for your nonprofit’s marketing and development teams to team up and create unique greeting cards to sell. If your team has a graphic designer, have them incorporate your logo into the design and a heartfelt message for moms.
Do you know women with impactful stories? How about board members, volunteers and donors? Request they share their stories on video for a marketing campaign and why they work with your nonprofit.
Storytelling is at the heart of your nonprofit. To fundraise, it’s important to share updates, impact stories and news consistently with your followers. During this campaign, request donations of specific amounts and explain why you set the goal. Is it to fund a particular program? Be specific. Also, choose comprehensive fundraising software with secure and versatile donation options like the ones we offer on iConnectX.
Breakfast in Bed
Hopefully, your organization has strong connections with local restaurants. This is an opportunity to make the most of these connections to get some Mother’s Day breakfast in bed boxes. Contact a restaurant in your community and ask them to donate (or sell for a reasonable price) a limited quantity of breakfast or brunch boxes. Social media is a great platform to leverage for marketing this event and offer to deliver the packages with a personal touch. Ask staff and volunteers to assist in delivering the boxes on Mother’s Day and have extra boxes available for your volunteers.
The Final Word
Use these easy fundraising ideas to celebrate moms and help your cause. Plan as far in advance as possible and get the word out. If your timing is right, you have the right tools and ideas, and you can make your fundraiser successful.
iConnectX is a comprehensive fundraising platform that offers everything you need to plan, manage and host fundraisers. We offer text-to-give, and we have an app that makes it easy for you and your supporters to participate from wherever they are. Reach out to us today to get started!
Now that we’re in the second quarter of 2022, it may be time to review your nonprofit’s list of strategies and plans. A review ensures your organization is where it needs to be to successfully carry out its mission. The truth is many charities have to do more work with less funding. It’s a challenge, and there’s no miracle formula to instantaneously make everything perfect.
There are many valid principles, tested strategies, and best practices to count on in terms of resource development. As your nonprofits plans for the rest of the year, be firm in your belief that your organization can effectively promote its mission by relying on fundraising.
Here are steps to put your nonprofit on a path to compelling storytelling, cultivating donor relationships, and raising money.
Look at the mission, vision, and values
Constant change is a certainty. Meet with management, staff and key stakeholders together to discuss your organization’s values, vision and mission. Your discussion’s results serve as markers for your plans going forward.
Mission, vision and values should be reviewed continuously. Remember, donors face choices regarding how to spend their (often) limited resources and time. Supporters aren’t choosing between good and evil; it’s between good and good. Take time to honestly assess your organization’s pros and cons.
Questions to consider include:
- How is your organization unique?
- How does your nonprofit improve quality of life in a way that other nonprofit organizations cannot?
The charity world is competitive, and now is the time to ensure your key messages empower you to succeed.
Foundations and corporations are lovely, yet your potential donor lists should primarily be of individuals. According to Charitable Giving Statistics, donations from individuals made up 80% of U.S. annual giving (BalancingEverything.com.) Also, individuals make giving decisions quicker than foundations and businesses, so individual philanthropists are worth pursuing. Of course, the bigger the prospect, the harder they’ll be to reach either in person or virtually.
The keys to sustainable virtual development are cultivating and nurturing genuine relationships because it’s critical for your donor prospects to trust you and your organization. One way to accomplish this trust is through video conferencing. Video conferences create inclusion opportunities for people whose schedules and geographic location prohibit them from participating otherwise.
Learning how to communicate directly and create an emotional connection via video requires discipline and practice. Consider aspects of your videoconferences like audio, lighting, background and video quality. It’s best to avoid cost-cutting measures for video meetings and conferences. Furthermore, we suggest you take the time to make sure your donor prospect is comfortable with the technology. A fundraising platform like iConnectX offers a full suite of features to help you create great virtual, hybrid and even live events.
Suppose you’re already part of a nonprofit. In that case, you’re aware that board members are responsible for the organization’s financial well-being. There are many ways for board members to contribute to fundraising without having to request the gifts themselves. A couple of ways board members can participate in fundraising is by identifying potential donors in their personal and professional networks. Moreover, board members can make introductions to those connections. Lastly, you could ask board members to manage fundraiser “thank yous.” Even if it means leaving a voicemail, board member involvement makes a great impression.
Promote monthly giving
This is a win-win. Donors who give monthly tend to be great advocates for nonprofits amongst their peers. These donors cost less on average to retain. There’s better news: a new or repeat donor who converts to monthly giving has a 90% average retention rate (classy.com).
Promote stock and equities as gifts
Many donors hold appreciated assets; if they donate these assets to nonprofits, they can avoid expensive capital gains taxes. Think of it this way: 98% of U.S. wealth is held in real estate and stock assets, not cash (Pew Research.) It may be surprising to learn who has multi-million-dollar portfolios; it could be your neighbor who appears to live a modest lifestyle.
Highlight donor-advised funds (DAFs)
DAFs are a dynamic piece of U.S. philanthropy. For example, Fidelity Charitable donors recommended more than $10.3 billion in grants during 2022– and this is just one fund that helped over 187,000 charities (Fidelity Charitable.) DAFs will grow in impact and relevance, so ensure you promote DAFs on your website, in marketing materials and during gift solicitations.
Start at home
What’s the best way for a nonprofit’s staff, management and board members to have credibility when soliciting gifts? They establish credibility by making personally significant gifts. “Personally significant” means different things to different people, but there should be an element of sacrifice there. Consider: why should the public donate if the ones inside do not?
Trust that it’s possible to do more. Effective fundraisers have big goals, and nonprofit managers believe their programs and people deserve the best. It’s important to remember that enthusiasm is contagious; it’s the passion that connects major donors to charities.
How iConnectX can help
iConnectX ensures nonprofits maximize their fundraising efforts with innovative technology. Our powerful platform helps organizations plan, host and manage fundraisers. Reach out to us to explore your options and schedule a free demonstration today!
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.
Donor Metrics are statistics used to measure fundraising, marketing, and donor management. Many CRMs and donor management systems regularly update this data, giving nonprofits up-to-date information. Monitoring metrics is second-best to having personal conversations with donors, a cumbersome and unrealistic task.
Attention to performance metrics lets you know where your nonprofit stands concerning your goals. Your organization can plan your fundraising roadmap and adjust the data changes by monitoring a few statistics.
Leverage the data from your donor metrics to gauge your fundraising performance, identify victories and plan needed improvements. iConnectX is here to help you plan and manage your fundraising efforts at every level, so let’s get started on essential donor metrics to monitor.
Your nonprofit’s impact is one of the top metrics you should measure. A nonprofit should evaluate its investments in data and research that verify if its programs are making a difference and addressing issues – this evaluation will justify its existence. A nonprofit’s mission and programs must be measurable. Goals need to be specific to honestly measure performance every month.
Donor Retention Rate
The donor retention rate is the number of donors who gave last year and this year, divided by your total number of donors.
A donor’s first gift is a nonprofit’s most costly and difficult donation; the second gift is probably the most important. According to fundraising consultants at the Ostara Group, three out of four donors do not donate a second time. However, 60% of second-tine donors will continue to contribute.
The objective is to reach the highest retention rate possible – this means that your organization is doing a great job of getting donors and engaging them in your mission. It’s also much less expensive to maintain existing donor relationships than make new ones.
Donors are the essence of the mission. They are the fuel and the most critical promotions team you have at your disposal. If your donors are unhappy and feel disconnected, they probably won’t promote your organization. It’s simple to find out if your donors are happy through phone and email surveys.
Donor Acquisition Cost
The donor acquisition cost is the amount of money spent on attracting new donors is divided by the number of supporters acquired.
Attracting new donors is critical to fundraising, and it is an ongoing process. As mentioned above, it costs more to bring in new donors than retain current ones. Therefore, you must know what it costs your organization to bring in each donor. Knowing your donor acquisition cost helps you distribute resources and identify where you need improvement.
Here is an example: a social media campaign costs $1,000. It brings in 500 new donors; your donor acquisition cost is $2 per donor. If the average donation is $10 per donor, that is a high return on your investment. The overall goal is to make sure each new donor becomes a loyal supporter and a recurring donor.
Donor Lifetime Value
The donor lifetime value is the average donation amount multiplied by the average of years the donor stays involved with your nonprofit. Once you know the financial value of each donor, your organization can find ways to increase that value and adjust decision-making when it comes to allocating resources.
Event Conversion Rate
Your event conversion rate is the percentage of people who become new donors or increase their support after attending one of your events.
While data like the cost per dollar raised or ROI are valuable, the event conversion rate shows how your fundraising team performs on engagement and follow-up activities. In addition to performance, your conversion rate shows how well you are taking advantage of interactions at an event and making those interactions a genuine relationship. People want to invest their time and money in an organization that makes them feel valued.
The Number of Donors Who Increased Their Giving
What you’re measuring: when a donor gives more in the current year than in the previous year. This number lets you know you’re engaging your donors successfully; they trust you, and they approve of the work you’re doing.
Monthly & Yearly Donor Development
It is critical to keep track of your organization’s donor growth, both monthly and annually. Tracking donor growth helps you understand where you are in terms of your fundraising goals, and it demonstrates your year-over-year growth.
Consider the following questions as you track donor growth:
- The number of new donors
- The number of new donors compared to last year
- The amount of money raised and how that amount compares to this time last year
Recurring Gift Percentage
Tracking this metric is valuable information – it’s data that reflects recurring donations from your supporters. It’s a helpful statistic to have when you want to predict how much of your current revenue your organization will receive going forward.
Tracking the percentage of your donations that are recurring gifts from supporters who give throughout the year is very helpful. This statistic can help you predict how much of your current revenue you can confidently expect to receive going forward.
Many nonprofits also leverage this information to help them create targeted campaigns to increase those gift amounts or the frequency of giving. Other nonprofits use this metric to help them improve the number of recurring donors overall.
New Contact & Donor Acquisition by Source
If you look at the donor lifecycle, consider the importance of gathering new contacts in addition to new donors. In an ideal situation, new connections become donors. Collecting contact information offers you several opportunities to nurture them into recurring donors.
New contacts come from events, social media, or email subscribers. Place these contacts into a nurturing funnel where they can learn about your organization, like receiving newsletters and appeals.
So, what about measurement? Calculating the acquisition of new contact information and donors by source offers insight into what mediums your audience engages with. A “source” can be website traffic, social media engagement, event registrations, product purchases, or peer-to-peer campaigns.
Using data to track your fundraising performance is essential to success; think of it as watching the odometer when you’re driving down the highway. When you measure donor metrics, you gauge the success of your marketing efforts and gain insight into donor segmentation.
The metrics we mentioned here are not the only ones you can track; here are a few more you may want to add:
- Donor growth
- Gifts received
- Conversion rates by channel
- Number of upgraded donors
- Days until the first gift from initial contact
Whichever metrics you measure, keep track of them throughout the year; it’s key to understanding your donor base.
How iConnectX can help:
iConnectX is the ultimate technology platform for auctions, nonprofit event ticketing and fundraising. It offers donor and fundraising metrics, it’s easy to use, and offers social media integration for easy donor tracking. Reach out to us to learn how we can help you reach your fundraising goals!
Year-end, or what’s known as the giving season, is the time when a nonprofit attracts maximum donors. From Giving Tuesday to the end of the year, people are generous with charitable donations. However, you miss an opportunity if you do not have a strategy to convert these donors to long-term donors.
In most cases, year-end donors are one-time donors. Once the new year starts, they are back into their routine and may not think much about your nonprofit. But you need to catch their attention and remind them about your work. To accomplish this, you will need a customized donor engagement strategy to let the donors know that they matter to your nonprofit. You will need to attract them, engage and retain them.
Here are some donor engagement tips to creatively engage them after the giving season:
First Impressions Matter
Donor experience during the giving season is a critical factor in determining whether your donors will come back to you or not.
Your site’s user experience sets the tone of a donor’s journey. Create written content that is engaging and easy to understand. Your organization is a brand with a personality archetype – most nonprofits are the Caregiver archetype, particularly nonprofits that help people and animals. Speaking to potential supporters in your brand’s unique voice taps into a site visitor’s internal motivation and separates your nonprofit from others. Be clear and direct with your organization’s mission, what it does, and why your potential donor wants to help.
Also, ensure the site is easy to navigate with direct calls to action (CTA). The donation page should be accessible and prominent, such as a “donate” button near your home page navigation menu. In addition, optimize your website for mobile phones so potential donors can access it on the go.
Your donation process also makes an impression. Ensure that you offer a simple and secure payment method and multiple payment options such as PayPal, credit cards, Apple Pay, etc. You can also provide mobile giving options like scan to give, text to give, etc. The ease of donating is a significant factor in attracting donors. Even if you have a great website and a worthy cause, but your donation process is overly complicated, donors will shift to other nonprofits to avoid the hassle.
Donors generally have one of these (or all) reasons for a positive donation experience:
- A nonprofit clearly explains a donation’s impact
- The ability to choose from multiple payment options, including automated bank transfers (ACH), credit cards, ApplePay, Venmo, PayPal, or cryptocurrency
- The chance to cover transaction fees to ensure 100 percent of the donation goes to the cause
Thank Your Donors
If you want to make an excellent first impression on new donors, make sure to send a personalized thank you message. Fundraising platforms like iConnectx send automated thank you messages to donors each time a donation is received. Add a personal touch to the messages you send to develop a bond with your donors.
Donors contribute to charities to make a difference, and they want to know their gift’s impact.
Many nonprofits stop sending a thank you message after the first donation. If you want to win donor loyalty, it pays to go beyond a simple thank you note. Consider sending personalized messages with details like how their contribution helped your cause. This makes them feel appreciated.
Host Events to Appreciate Your Donors
To build a long-term relationship with your donors, consider hosting donor appreciation events. This creates a donor-nonprofit bond, a valuable tool for engagement.
Come up with strategies to widely promote your events, consider incorporating hybrid events, and how you can create buzz before event registration.
Leverage Social Media to Engage Donors Organically
Social media is a critical platform for audience reach. People spend a significant amount of time on social media, browsing and engaging with people and organizations.
Develop social media campaigns to remain relevant to the platform you want to use. Use your nonprofit’s brand voice to reach potential donors’ hearts and include posts that covey the work you do and how it benefits those you serve.
You can achieve this by:
- Effective, frequent updates – take advantage of impactful images and storytelling to remind people why you do what you do and why you need support. Consider the impact of a testimonial video from a cancer patient who received support or teams of volunteers in action. Visuals like these are powerful ways to remind your audience that your organization helps real people rather than philosophical ideas.
- Timely CTAs — Just like with email campaigns and webpages include a well-timed CTA – use the updated link feature on Instagram stories. Include the link on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts (or whichever social platform is best for your organization.) Be careful not to overwhelm donors with too many options; add a link that provides the easiest donation path.
Also, give a shoutout to your donors on social media channels to let them know that they matter. When communicating on social media, the key points are honesty and impact.
Facilitate Recurring Giving
Offer your donors the option of recurring donations and let them specify the dollar amount of monthly/quarterly/yearly contributions. Through automation, their gift is automatically applied. The iConnectX platform makes it easy for donors to make secure recurring gifts.
Recurring donors are often motivated by the affordability of breaking gifts up over time, physical swag, and exclusive access to events.
Segment Your Email Lists
Regular email newsletters go a long way in building relationships. We suggest you avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. There are different audience segments in your subscription list — Create email messages that speak directly to each segment’s mindset.
Consider donor segments like:
- First-time donors
- Return giving season or Giving Tuesday donors
- Major gift donors
Other data points can help you segment your lists, including:
- The donor’s location
- Gift amount
- The program they supported
Involve Your Donors
If your donor has made a one-time donation during the holiday season, make sure to stay in touch with them with messages and emails. Invite them to participate in fundraisers, offer volunteering opportunities, etc. Let them know about early-bird discounts on event tickets and encourage them to participate. Keeping donors in the loop makes them feel like they are a part of the nonprofit and more inclined to participate.
An effective nonprofit fundraising strategy is peer-to-peer fundraising. This is when your audience shares details about your nonprofit and fundraisers on their social accounts to generate interest and attract donors. Encourage your first-time donors to become a part of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. This will help create a bond with them, and they feel like a part of your nonprofit community.
Consider offering your audience an opportunity to come up with DIY campaigns. This gets taps into your donors’ creativity and sets them on a path to year-round fundraising on your behalf.
Ask them to join your communities and groups — Facebook groups are an effective way of getting like-minded people together in a community. In these groups, people get to know one another, share their thoughts, and get an opportunity to bond towards a common cause.
Donor Stewardship Program
Consider creating a donor stewardship strategy to build the trust and confidence of your donors – this helps establish long-term relationships. In a donor stewardship program, communicate messages reinforcing your supporters’ enthusiasm, gratitude, and value. This program aims to convey to the donor that they matter and their contributions make a difference.
This list may seem overwhelming if you’re new to marketing and donor retention concepts. Rest assured; it doesn’t have to be – our experts are here to help.
iConnectX enables nonprofits to implement fundraising goals and achieve donor engagement.
It is a platform that includes all the features required to create awareness and build loyalty towards your nonprofit.
Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you maximize your fundraising efforts.
Influencer marketing for nonprofits is an effective marketing tactic – it’s an established strategy with a new home. Celebrities and large nonprofits pair up regularly for good causes often, yet social media transformed the influencer marketing landscape with a network of niches and spheres of influence.
With the right voices and platform, a nonprofit extends its reach to reach a new audience that cares about its mission. Many audiences pay closer attention to recommendations from their favorite influencers than those of prominent celebrities.
There are influential people enthusiastic about advocating for your cause and organization – you need to find them and create a partnership. The internet is full of prominent and talented people who share your values – you only need to find them, connect, and create a partnership.
Benefits of influencer marketing for nonprofits
When you think about influencer marketing, it’s understandable to connect it to industries like fashion and beauty. Networks like Instagram and TikTok serve as platforms for business empires. In an increasingly socially conscious world, influencer marketing works for nonprofits, too.
Tapping into the influencer talent pool can:
- Increase your brand awareness – an influencer gives your organization access to new followers, donors and volunteers
- Reach the right audience – influencers allow you to access an audience that’s already paying attention
- Boost credibility – when an influencer speaks on behalf of your organization, they appeal to the trust of their followers. Influencers shortcut the long process of social proof. Rather than depending on the number of positive mentions, likes and shares, an influencer’s endorsement persuades people you’re trustworthy, too.
Here are five tips for finding the right nonprofit influencers for your organization:
Finding the best influencer for your cause begins with researching nonprofit influencer-marketing trends, your target market, and other benchmarks.
Hashtags are a good starting point for your research. Studying trending nonprofit hashtags helps identify influencers associated with your cause.
A deeper dive will reveal the influencers supporting nonprofits similar to yours, with valuable insights by approaching those nonprofits and finding out how their influencer marketing experience played out. If you find different nonprofits that have hired other influencers, you could compare their experiences. Keep in mind that the success of an influencer for one organization does not mean they will be equally effective for yours.
Influencer databases are accessible through paid services, and tools like iConnectx offer data analytics of previous influencer marketing campaigns.
In-depth research helps establish the roadmap for influencer marketing. It also enables you to identify costs associated with influencer marketing to help you budget.
Identify your Audience
When planning a fundraiser, one of the first steps is to identify your audience –demographics, interests, and the social media channels they use.
Details about your audience help identify the influencers who resonate with your audience. Once you know your audience’s passions, you can find an influencer to make an impact.
Identify the Social Media Channels for Marketing
Influencer marketing is effective on social media platforms. However, one influencer may not be effective on all social media channels because audiences vary from platform to platform. An influencer with many followers on Instagram may not have a similar following or network on LinkedIn.
Choose an influencer who aligns with your mission
You may find several influencers with a vast following — we suggest you select influencers who share your core values.
Three types of influencers
You will likely find several potential candidates ranging from celebrities to micro-influencers. It’s tempting to engage a big name to speak for your brand; however, the cost implications for hiring a big name are much higher than hiring a micro-influencer. Don’t assume that bigger is better when looking for an influencer.
When it’s time to present your candidate with an offer, be clear with what you want – Facebook posts, Instagram posts and stories, video, and so on.)
There are three main types of influencers: top-tier, power middle and micro.
Top tier influencers
Top tier influencers are public figures with a high reach, from 750k to 1M-plus followers across all platforms. These people are noteworthy, recognized, and developed their audience over the years. Generally, these influencers will not work for free, and they have experience working with big brands.
Power middle influencers
This group of influencers has a moderately-sized audience reach of 50k to 250k followers across social media. They are more likely to have acceptable cost agreements or no price at all.
Micro-influencers have less reach, about 10k across social media platforms. It’s important to note that their audiences are highly engaged and accessible to their followers, and their reliability resonates with consumers.
The final word
Beyond your organization’s social media accounts, scan through Instagram and Twitter hashtags related to your cause and use the “suggestion” feature to find similar accounts to theirs.
Follow your influencer candidates on different platforms and engage with them in general. Spend time and energy creating a relationship before you ask them to do something for you.
You could also scan your email subscriber database for influencers; people who signed up for your emails care about your cause and likely share your content.
Whomever you choose, be strategic. Choose quality over quantity.
iConnectX offers a full suite of tools to help nonprofits fundraise, manage and plan events. Our platform provides data and statistics on events and campaigns to help you maximize social media messaging and your influencer campaigns.
Would you like to know more? Reach out to us today!