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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Disc Golf 

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.

  1. Summer Concert

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.

  1. Golf Outing

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.

  1. Film Screening

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. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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
  1. 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.

  1. 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!

Expenses

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.

Revenue

Your event should bring in revenue from several sources:

  • Ticket sales
  • Sponsorships
  • Silent and live auction
  • Games
  1. 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.

  1. 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
  1. More games

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.

  1. Secure sponsors

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.

  1. Promotion

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!

Invitations

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!

  1. 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.

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.

Major gifts

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.

Virtual fundraising

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.

The board

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?

The Wrap

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!

  1. Peer-to-peer fundraising

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Virtual gala

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. Livestreaming

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:

  1. A livestream should be relatively short
  2. It should include many opportunities for engagement. Here are a few ideas:
  • Panel discussions
  • Educational or breakout sessions
  • Virtual tours
  • Webinars

    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.

  1. Crowdfunding

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
  • Services
  • Cultural improvements
  • Community support
  1. 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.

  1. 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.  

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “change is the only constant in life.”

The fundraising sphere is changing — auctions, the traditional cornerstone for fundraising, are now often held online. If your organization is looking for a new fundraising approach or transitioning to online events, virtual auctions and fundraisers are a simple alternative to conventional in-person events.

Online auctions open more opportunities for nonprofits – new supporters, remote supporters, and extended fundraising options. Online auctions offer many benefits like supporters can participate from any location. It lowers overhead costs since there is no need for a physical venue, which often includes several kinds of fees.

Let’s explore how to fundraise and host auctions online in fourteen steps:

Step 1: Plan

The first step is to outline everything that goes into the event itself, much of which we will cover in further detail further down in the blog.

Here are examples:

  • Budget
  • Theme – more on this next in the article
  • Who is responsible for what – tickets, item procurement, technical needs and marketing — create teams based on these lists
  • Fundraising goals
  • Ticket sale dates
  • The start and end dates for accepting bids
  • How many volunteers you will need
  • Choose your event planning and hosting software

Step 2: Decide on a Theme

Data from previous events can help you plan a themed auction tailored to your audience’s tastes. With your theme set, you can procure items aligned to the theme and create an event finale based on the theme, too. For example, if art is the theme of your event, you can procure paintings or other creative works of art and invite an artist to speak at the finale.

Step 3: Create Teams

An online auction involves multiple tasks such as procurement of items on auction, promotion of the event, and more. We recommend you identify specific tasks create teams dedicated to those responsibilities. Hold regular team meetings and follow a timeline to ensure all groups are on the right track.

Step 4: Leverage the Power of Your Data

Collect data from previous events to give you an idea of donor behavior from the prior fundraisers. The feedback from earlier events will help you create an engaging online auction. A data-driven event makes it easier to achieve your engagement and financial goals.

Step 5: Procurement of Items

Align the items you offer at auction according to the theme. Based on your data, request that the procurement team collect items customized to your audience’s needs.

A helpful item procurement technique is to solicit corporate sponsorships. Businesses provide auction items in exchange for positive PR; this is a win-win relationship.

Step 6: Set Up the Online Auction Site

For hosting an online auction, you will need a platform like iConnectx that includes all features that will support the event. You’ll need a digital venue in the cloud to host all your fantastic auction items. Once you’ve picked your fundraising platform, it’s time to start creating your auction site.

Make sure your auction platform has the following features:

  • It should be cloud-based to access your planning tools and data at anytime and anywhere
  • A flexible design so you can customize your auction site
  • Make sure it is mobile optimized so donors can use their smartphones
  • Enable participants to place bids
  • Item management to track, handle and package auction items
  • Online bidding capabilities with robust features
  • Must-have tech features that support texting, email, live event alerts, and donor recognition
  • Secure payment and registration
  • Social media integration to maximize your reach so you can communicate your cause
  • Reporting and analytics – gather and analyze fundraising data

The site is your fundraiser’s HQ. Prepare for your online auction with bidder pre-registration. Make sure to request an address to ship items to the winning bidders. Remember to share the registration link in a couple of weeks to generate momentum and bids.

Step 7: The Ramp Up: Promote, Promote, Promote

Here are a few tips to help you publicize your event:

  • Share the link to your fundraising site via social media and email
  • Place your item catalog and fixed price items like raffles and merchandise on your site
  • If your event has a peer-to-peer element, request your supporters promote their fundraising pages and share links on social media
  • Leverage your support: consider who your loyal supporters, donors, volunteers, and staff are and make them ambassadors
  • Maximize the power of social media – it’s your event’s closest ally. It is free and has a global reach – it’s the top way to engage and connect with your supporters
  • Offer incentives — if the online auction is a paid event, offer early bird discounts for the first 100 people who register. Alternatively, you can provide special offers to participants.
  • Your website — announce the event on your website to increase awareness
  • Offer a sneak peek – provide registrants an early look at the items up for bids

Step 8: Bidding

Opening Bids: On your auction start date, it’s time to open for item bidding. Online auctions are flexible – you can extend the bidding period for more extended periods than any in-person event. Ensure to interact with your supporters throughout the auction’s duration by reminding supporters about your organization’s mission, sharing impact stories and text messages, updates on popular items.

One more note about bids: each auction item needs a starting bid amount to dictate the minimum amount the first bidder pays to kick off bidding on that item. Industry standards recommend setting the minimum at 40-50% of its Fair Market Value (FMV).

Minimum Raise: Set a rule that each bid must top the previous offer by the minimum raise amount to become the new top bidder. Set the minimum raise between 10-15% of the FMV.

Here are a few variables to think about when setting bid increments:

  • High-priced, low popularity – expensive items that are not in demand by your guests may need a lower minimum bid increment
  • Items that failed to perform in the past – if these items did not meet expectations in prior auctions, you may want to lower the minimum bid increment
  • Items that trigger bidding wars – popular items require a higher minimum raise to maximize your auction proceeds

Use Buy Now and Maximum Bidding – These are two excellent values of online auctions. A maximum bid is a feature that allows a bidder to choose a “not to exceed” amount and lets the platform bid on their behalf. “Buy now” will enable one to set the top price of an item for immediate purchase. We suggest you place a buy now price 20-30% over market value.

Step 9: Live Auction Day 

Open your auction a few days early for maximum revenue and follow up with a live virtual event on the official start date. The live event is your opportunity to recreate elements of an in-person auction by live-streaming a small group of people sharing and interacting with viewers. Services like iConnectX, WeInvite, and social media channels offer reliable live streaming capabilities.

Step 10: Follow Up

Follow up with your auction’s attendees by promptly and securely shipping items to the lucky winners. Also, thank all of your attendees through personalized thank you messages whether they won an item or not.

Collect feedback from attendees and volunteers about your auction – what worked, what they liked – there are free survey platforms available. After that, collect and analyze the data provided by your auction software – all of your compiled data assists in planning the next fundraiser.

The Wrap

An online auction requires innovative ideas and strategies to be effective. It also requires robust and dependable software. iConnectx offers an affordable suite of online fundraising solutions to ensure your auction’s success:

  • Industry leading ticketing capabilities  
  • Easy to use administrative pages 
  • Virtual platform: host up to 1,000 participants in a standard or webinar format 
  • Custom URL and landing page to promote your event 
  • Live support 
  • Secure payments and checkout 
  • Item watch and auto-bid 
  • Text and email notifications for supporters and admins 
  • Full data reporting on RSVPs, attendance, and more 
  • Tex-to-give capabilities 

Whatever solution you need, iConnectX can help. We offer single-use technology up to full service in affordable packages. Call or email our consultants to choose the solution that is right for you:

Phone: 248-904-1740

Email: support@iconnectx.com

If you run a nonprofit, you understand the importance of donor retention. The key to keeping supporters coming back is strong donor relationships, and the foundation of that is solid communication.  

Donor retention depends mainly on engaging your existing donors; engagement is key to retention – a high retention rate demonstrates that a nonprofit has a healthy support system. 

Recurring giving is important because it indicates that a nonprofit has a healthy support system. Donor acquisition costs are high; this is reason enough to focus on donor retention. Nonprofit Quarterly states that it takes about 18-24 months to recoup the costs of recruiting new donors since most first-time gifts are two to three times less than the marketing cost.  

Your existing donors require your attention. In other words, you need to develop donor retention strategies, so your current donors remain loyal to you, continue to participate in fundraising events, and contribute to your organization. Retaining your supporters deepens donor-nonprofit relationships and creates opportunities for donors to increase their gifts over time.  

Here are 10 Tips for Donor Retention: 

  1. Know Your Current Retention Rates 

Take stock of what you currently have – this means having a thorough understanding of retention rates. Calculate the number of donors you retained from the previous year and determine the number of donors who gave more than once, year after year.  

To calculate your donor retention rate one year over another: 

Divide the number of year two donors by the number of year one donors, then multiply by 100. Here is an example:  

  • A nonprofit had 250 donors in 2020, and 100 of them gave again in 2021 
  • 100/250 = 0.4 (40% retained) 

According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, the average retention rate for nonprofits was 43.6% in 2020, which means a 30.8% retention rate is low, and the nonprofit will need to work hard to get new donors.  

  1.  Create a monthly giving program

In the world of nonprofit fundraising, recurring giving is at the top of the list. Large donations are valuable and are worth pursuing, yet recurring gifts offer a reliable income stream. Benefits to the nonprofit include:  

  • More dollars: according to Network for Good, “the average recurring donor will give 42% more in one year than those who give one-time gifts.” Also, monthly donors have a more considerable lifetime revenue per donor.  
  • Higher retention rate: while new donor rates of retention average less than 23%, monthly programs have rates over 80% the first year and 95% after five years (Donorbox).  
  • It’s easier for donors: once a donor signs up for recurring donations, gifts are made automatically and at a frequency of their choosing.  
  • It’s predictable: recurring donors will likely stay regular donors. When a supporter enrolls in monthly giving, that shows they invest and care about your cause. 
  1. 2. Thank your Donors

Etiquette and appreciation matter. A sincere message of gratitude demonstrates that you appreciate and care about your donors. Many software programs allow for automatic thank you emails. These automated messages are helpful to thank multiple donors in bulk. We recommend adding a personal touch to your messages — address the recipient by his name and acknowledge the exact amount donated by them.  

FYI: a great thank you is more than a tax receipt with “Thank You” printed on it. However – do send a receipt immediately after a supporter makes a gift.  

Here are a few tips for thank you messages:  

  • Personalize: generic thank you notes and form letters don’t carry much weight. Personalized emails help donors feel included in your mission by addressing supporters by name and mentioning their donation history to remind them of their contribution and what your organization accomplished thanks to their involvement.  
  • Include visuals: visual elements make emails engaging while showing appreciation. We suggest sharing your organization’s achievements, volunteers, and donors themselves. Videos are also a great way to share your stories.  
  • Offer something tangible: giving something physical is memorable in our digital world. If possible, send out handwritten thank you notes with photographs of your organization’s success, statistics, and relevant numbers relating to donations.   
  • Social media shout out (if anonymity is not an issue) 
  • Phone call 

A thank you for a tip: make sure your donor doesn’t forget you — request a second gift sooner than you think is necessary. Some data shows that donor retention is 23% compared to 60% after the second gift.  

  1.  Involve Your Donors

Donors derive a sense of satisfaction when they feel like they are part of what you do. Rather than focusing solely on monetary contributions, encourage supporters to participate in events as volunteers. Donors will probably share information about your events on their social media. Another way to engage your donors is to involve them in peer-to-peer fundraising. 

Asking for feedback is a lesser-known suggestion to nonprofits — you can accomplish this with surveys. There is a myriad of questions you can ask. For example, you could ask supporters why they are interested in your organization, what they’d like to see in the future in terms of your targets and goals, or about the donation process itself.  

Donor engagement takes many forms, such as: 

  • Advocating for your cause 
  • Volunteering 
  • Serve on the board 
  • Connect you with others interested in your mission 
  • Networking  
  • Fundraising 
  1. 2 Inspire and Inform

Like donor involvement, your supporters need to feel like part of your organization. A fundamental way to guarantee their investment is to create a real relationship that gains trust. Be straightforward when you engage patrons directly. Don’t tiptoe around the subject – no one wants to feel tricked.   

Here are a few suggestions to employ when engaging through communication channels like email, social media, and your webpage:  

  • Share successes 
  • Share challenges 
  • Show donor dollars at work
  1. Indicate the Impact of Gifts Made by Donors

This item ties directly to number three. To put it bluntly, donors participate in fundraising activities because they want to make a difference. Nonprofits should make donors aware of how their contributions have helped the cause by sharing statistics and personal stories of their impact through emails, mail, social media, and website updates. Consistent communication goes a long way toward building trust.  

  1. Matching Gifts

A matching gift is a fundraising method where businesses encourage their employees to donate by making donations themselves. If an employee donates “x” amount, their employer donates an equivalent amount. Some organizations have a 2:1 or 3:1 giving also wherein organizations make two to three times the contribution made by the employee. Many businesses organizations look for philanthropic opportunities.  

Did you know corporations donated a whopping $20 billion to charities last year? (Source: https://doublethedonation.com/tips/matching-grant-resources/nonprofit-fundraising-statistics/)

  1. Simplify Recurring Giving

Donors might be turned off if they need to fill out lengthy forms each time they donate. We suggest you create donor accounts to help store their data in the nonprofit’s database, so the donor is not required to re-enter their information every time they donate. Donors can use their accounts to track their recurring donations, scheduled donations, or alter their preferences while donating. Ensure your organization uses a secure software platform to safeguard your supporters’ sensitive financial data. iConnectX offers a safe option for nonprofits to enable recurring deposits from donors. 

  1. Facilitate Mobile Giving

Get to know mobile-friendly donation options. Smartphone users will reach 7.5 billion by 2026 (Statista, 2021). Donors look for quick and easy ways to donate. If you offer simple donation options like text-to-give and text-to-donate, more people will be inclined to contribute to your nonprofit. 

  1. Segment Your Supporters

Customize campaigns tailored to a specific type of donor. You probably have long email lists with plenty of subscribers. But do all of them connect to nonprofits in the same way? In other words, you will need to find out how many subscribers respond to your emails and how many passive subscribers you have, then create customized email campaigns for each type of subscriber. 

Some donor categories are:

  • New donors 
  • Donors who make infrequent donations 
  • Recurring donors  
  • Lapsed donors 

Each donor category is essential and warrants different kinds of messages and emails. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach for email campaigns, we recommend creating a separate campaign for each category and sending specific messages and letters to each corresponding donor segment.  

Donor segmentation provides valuable insights into donor behavior. It is good to communicate directly with lapsed donors to determine why they lost interest in your organization. We also suggest you send messages and emails to donors making infrequent donations with information about the benefits of recurring donations and how they can make them.  

  1. Don’t Miss out on the Year-end Donors

The end of the calendar year is when many donors contribute to various charities. Giving Tuesday and Christmas are examples of when nonprofits maximize revenue. Most year-end donors are one-time donors — make sure to collect their details and connect with them after making that donation.  

  1. Host Engaging Events

The primary source of income for nonprofits is fundraising events. Whether you host an in-person or an online event, you must ensure that your events engage your donors. Try hosting interactive events where donors can participate — this will give them a great experience, and they likely will look forward to upcoming events, too.  

The Wrap 

Donor retention streamlines with fundraising platforms. Find a platform that includes all of the features to attract new donors, retain existing donors, plan and host events. 

iConnectx is a comprehensive fundraising event management platform with many features, like online events and social media and email marketing campaigns. iConnectx also offers valuable donor data and insights so you can customize nonprofit marketing and promotions. 

iConnectX’s solutions and features include:  

  • Online auctions    
  • Event ticketing      
  • Text-to-give            
  • Secure Donations 
  • Secure payments 
                                                 

The iConnectX platform is free for nonprofits. Our mission is to provide innovative, powerful tools for charities to maximize fundraising efforts, and our technology is available on the web and through a mobile app.  

Reach out to us to explore your options and to schedule a free demonstration.  

There are occasions organizations, and individuals alike need fundraising inspiration to spark a campaign, inject life into an existing campaign, or funds for an emergency.

The nonprofit fundraising landscape changed remarkably in 2020, and fundraising techniques adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to stay. For over a year, virtual events replaced in-person ones. For the past decade-plus, the preference for online donating increased. While virtual events are likely to stay, many nonprofit supporters want a return to in-person engagements; a mix of traditional and virtual fundraising will attract donors and increase more funds.

We’ve curated a list of twenty engaging fundraising ideas for in-person and virtual engagements we know you, donors, and sponsors will love. Ready? Read on!

Twenty effective and engaging fundraising event ideas for nonprofits and charities:

  1. Online Auctions

Always an effective and popular in-person event, online auctions are an option, too. Like an in-person auction, attendees bid on items through an online auction platform. The nonprofit invites item bids, sets bid minimums and processes payments online. A key benefit of online auctions is the potential for global reach. This makes the auction more competitive than an in-person event. A wider audience brings in a more significant amount of support. Furthermore, the nonprofit saves money on venue charges, refreshments, and other overhead expenses.

  1. Mobile Fundraising

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide use smartphones – so nonprofits cannot afford to miss out on such a broad user base. Whether by app, text, or mobile-

optimized website, mobile giving is simple to use. Besides, it’s a straightforward way for donors to support while on the go; also, mobile giving encourages impulse donations.

How mobile phones are used for fundraising:

  • Responsive websites: To be effective and to keep up with the millions of screens out there, a site with responsive design delivers optimal user experience, whether they’re on a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or desktop; they should also be easy to navigate with an intuitive interface and a prominent “donate” call to action.
  • Text Messages: Text messages are effective for fundraising, and they are fast — they are performed within seconds
  • Text-to-give: Text-to-give is one of the simplest methods that a nonprofit can offer donors to contribute to charities. The donor needs to message a keyword provided by the nonprofit to a short code, with the donated amount charged to the phone bill. The nonprofit collects donation from the mobile service provider.
  • Text-to-donate: The donor texts the keyword to a short code in this method. They are directed to a form to furnish contact and payment information.
  • Scan to give: This is a method where donors scan a QR code provided by the nonprofit to donate.
  1. Peer-to-peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is when your volunteers and supporters promote your fundraiser among their social circle for raising funds, thereby increasing the user base. The digital age ushered in an expedient way for supporters to spread the word about your nonprofit causes on social media. Also, peer-to-peer social media promotions are free!

  1. Encourage Recurring Donations

Recurring donations are convenient for donors on a fixed budget or who desire to plan their giving. Erica Waasdorp, author of Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant and contributor to NonproitPRO, says that “donors typically give four times more than donors who only make on-time gifts.”

  1. Matching Gifts

Matching gifts are donations companies make to nonprofits to match an employee donation, usually at a 1:1 ratio or higher. We recommend charities select organizations whose mission is aligned to your nonprofit.

Now, let’s look at ways to utilize events to garner support for your nonprofit:

  1. Fundraising Events:

In-person fundraising events are back on the scene, and supporters look forward to gathering with other like-minded folks. Suppose your organization or your supporters are looking for a virtual or hybrid event; iConnectX can help you set it up and manage it. IConnectX offers Zoom and other conferencing technology integration as well.

Events can be held in-person, virtually, or hybrid. One option is to schedule your event around a holiday or a specific time of year.

Ideas include:

  • December holidays
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Summer holidays — a summer white party is always a popular adult option, Independence Day barbecues, Memorial Day, Labor Day
  • Fall tailgates
  • Costume parties around Halloween
  • March Madness
  • Super Bowl
  • College bowl games
  • World Cup
  • NHL playoffs and Stanley Cup Championship
  • Major League Baseball games
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Patrick’s Day
  • Anniversary galas
  1. Concerts

An engaging event is a live music concert where local, regional, and nationally recognized musicians perform live and in-person or virtual. The nonprofit receives the net amount of funds after any operating, venue, and artists fees.

  1. Virtual Parties

Host a virtual theme party any time of year! Most of the events we’ve listed here can be held virtually; we suggest timing the event around a meal so everyone is joined together at the same time.

  1. Educational and Informative Events

You can organize events focused entirely on your nonprofit’s mission. Subject experts from your organization, supporters, sponsors, scholars, and more to provide insightful presentations. It’s also a wise idea to invite people who’ve benefitted from your organization’s help as testimonials to your work.

  1. Organize Classes

Classes like cooking or yoga classes are popular options. Choose a chef or Yoga instructor to lead the class virtually, in-person or hybrid. Contributions are made when supporters sign up for the class. Often, organizations will offer an option for an additional donation upon registration.

  1. 5k events, Running Events, and Walk-a-thons

Active events like these are back! Many supporters form teams of friends and family. These teams often have coordinated outfits or tee shirts, solicit sponsorship, and host pre or post-event gatherings to raise team fellowship and additional money. The Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure® and is arguably one of the best-performing and well-known nonprofit events in history. If you know of a nonprofit that’s held an event similar to the one you would like to organize, visit their website to create an event blueprint for your own organization.

  1. Competitions

When it comes to in-person fundraisers, competitions and contests are fun ways to engage supporters. Cooking, baking, road rallies, recreational sports – anything you think is competitive. An entry fee can serve as the primary means to raise funds.

  1. Karaoke

A time-honored and engaging event, karaoke brings out the performer in everybody. This event can be done in-person or virtually; raise funds by charging entrance fees and offering sponsorships.

  1. Talent Shows

Talent shows are engaging events that can be held online or offline. Invite donors, sponsors, the community (local comedians, dancers, musicians, and singers). Funds can be raised through the entry fee for the event, and if your event is in person, you can sell t-shirts, souvenirs, and concessions throughout the show.

  1. Raise Funds by Selling Used Books

Collect used books from local libraries, revitalizing their stacks, local bookstores, colleges, and supporters. Sell these books through your website or social media pages; this is a valuable way to recycle books and raise funds for a cause.

  1. Garage or White Elephant Sales

Encourage your supporters and volunteers to host their own sales and donate proceeds to your organization or have supporters sell simultaneously in the same venue. Funds are raised through ticket sales, concessions, and item sales.

To make your event manageable and to ensure a seamless flow, a fundraising platform like iConnectX can make it easy for you to host fundraisers for your nonprofit. iConnectX enables nonprofits to organize and promote events with ticket sale capabilities, customizable URLs and landing pages, guest list and RSVP management, and secure payment processing.

  1. Seasonal Product Sales

Product sales engage the community at large and supporters. Here are a few ideas for seasonal products:

  • Hand-knit sweaters in the wintertime
  • December wreath, garland, and Christmas tree sales
  • Spring flowers (Mother’s Day!)
  • Candles (around Christmas time or anytime)
  • Pumpkins
  1. Multi-Channel Engagement

For example, connect with donors through multiple channels, like social media, email marketing, and online fundraising page. Make sure that you have a solid online presence because this is where your donors will connect with your nonprofit and one another, which builds communities and supporter networks.

  1. Effective Communication

Communicate with your existing and potential donors through different digital channels: text messages, emails, social media posts, and online newsletters, for example. Video messages on social networks, including YouTube, are highly effective in attracting donations. We suggest you overcome shyness and show the world your and your organization’s personality!

  1. Competitive Tasks

Have a timed task for your supporters to complete and post videos to a social media channel of your choosing. This is a prime occasion to use hashtags and tagging to grow awareness of your organization. This type of outreach and promotion helps attract website visitors, find volunteers, and increase cause awareness.

Ideas for competitive tasks include:

  • Soapbox derby cars – arrange to hold the race at a future date for even more fundraising and promotional opportunities
  • Christmas tree decorating
  • Sport-related challenges for individuals, like “most shots on the net in 60 seconds” for hockey and soccer, for example
  • Activities like the Ice Bucket Challenge

The Takeaway

A heartfelt mission with dedicated staff and volunteers can accomplish a lot no matter what you decide to do. iConnectX helps simplify and streamline event management so your organization can engage with supporters and run events rather than being tied to administrative duties.

Our platform offers:

  • Dedicated URLs and customizable landing pages
  • Ticket sales
  • Invitations
  • RSVP management
  • Guestlist communication
  • Virtual hosting capabilities
  • Secure payment processing
  • Recurring donation capabilities
  • Auctions
  • And much more!

We hope you find some from encouragement this list! If you did finds inspiration, tried any of these ideas, or wat to share your own, please share with us by commenting below or reaching out on social media. We’d love to hear from you!

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The new year beckons and nonprofits watch marketing trends to step up their presence and marketing game.  Keeping abreast of changes while creating a marketing plan is crucial to achieving desired results.

We’ve collected a list of nonprofit marketing trends that nonprofits must watch for and plan around next year, marketing goal setting, strategies, and tools to help you have a successful year. Are you excited to move into 2022? Let’s go!

Trends:

Event management and fundraising platforms

Technology stays at the forefront of nonprofit management, marketing, fundraising, and events. A platform like iConnectX assists with:

  • Auction and event ticketing
  • Secure checkout and payments
  • Easy to use administrative pages
  • Customizable event and campaign webpages
  • Virtual event capabilities

The platform you chose should make commitment requirements, payment processing and subscription fees clear upfront

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI’s presence in nonprofits will expand with a shift toward automation, primarily focused on routine administrative tasks and customer service – think chatbots.

Digital Marketing

A well-planned digital strategy is a key to achieving goals. An online presence is required to reach the maximum amount of people in the shortest amount of time. According to Statista, over 223 million Americans – that’s more than 70 percent of the U.S. population — held a social media account in 2020. The number of social media users is expected to increase to 243 million by 2025.  Video fundraising and marketing on the web are also essential considerations in digital marketing, which leads us to look at them independently.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is flourishing in 2021 and will continue to grow next year. Video is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy, nonprofits included. It is a primary channel for many nonprofits to achieve outreach and fundraising goals, and video often garners more engagements and donations than any other social media content. You can find free and inexpensive tools to help create compelling and shareable videos.

 Mobile Applications

Mobile-friendly marketing, apps and mobile donating improve access by allowing supporters and sponsors to contribute and access information quickly. Considering that the number of smartphone users in the U.S. is expected to reach over 271 million people, this is a trend that will grow.

If your nonprofit is on the fence about mobile giving, take a look at this data from the fundraising statistics firm, Double the Donation:

  • Online donation pages had an average conversion rate of 8% on mobile devices last year, but the number of transactions completed through mobile devices increased by 50%.
  • The number of donations completed through desktop browsers decreased by 10%.
  • Half of all nonprofit website traffic last year came from mobile and tablet users. The share of desktop-based traffic decreased by 9% over the previous year.
  • The average gift by mobile users is $79, while tablet users give $96, and desktop users give $118.

Monthly Donations

Recurring donations provide a consistent revenue stream, make budgeting and planning a little more flexible, and builds long-term relationships with donors that may lead to planned gifts. According to a 2020 M+R Benchmarks study, monthly giving amounts to “about 17 percent of all online revenue in one calendar year.”

Crypto Giving

The total number of cryptocurrency users is impossible to define, but estimates range from 120 to 220 people worldwide.  The Giving Block, a provider of a nonprofit cryptocurrency ecosystem, projects $1 billion in crypto donations will be processed in 2022.

Hybrid Events

Online and virtual events will continue to grow in the coming years. Remote working tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and other platforms that allow attendees to participate virtually took hold during the global pandemic and will never leave. Nonprofits discovered the potential donor reach and cost benefits of online events; a hybrid event allows attendees to participate in-person or online. Creating a hybrid event makes it affordable, flexible, agile, and reaches more supporters and broader audiences. iConnectX is a platform that provides nonprofits with all the tools needed for an online, hybrid, or in-person event, including ticketing, landing pages, auctions, and more.

Establish Your Goals

There are two types of goals to establish for every period: long-term and short-term. The objectives define the roadmap your strategies need for direction. Consider the time-testing goal setting method, SMART objectives:

  • (S) Smart
  • (M) Measurable
  • (A) Achievable
  • (R) Realistic
  • (T) Timely

All stakeholders should be clear as to the following:

  • What your nonprofit expects to achieve and the timeline
  • Who is responsible for what goal
  • How the goals relate to your nonprofit’s vision
  • Budgets

Tactics

Let’s circle back to digital marketing and outline ways to boost online presence.

Website Design

A helpful and well-designed website makes a solid first impression in the nonprofit world. User-friendly navigation and intuitive design are critical to maintaining an online presence. Optimize your pages for maximum load speeds, mobile-friendly, and accessible to everyone. Optimization includes SEO, content creation, graphic design, and user experience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

We mentioned this as a part of website design. SEO is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic (user-generated) search results. Because organic search is the most prominent way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. Publishing high-quality and relevant content ensures users will stay on your site for longer times and increase engagement.

Social Media Marketing

We mentioned this above in trends. Social media marketing is more than getting “likes.” Yes, likes are a key performance indicator, yet there are more pieces to the puzzle than that.

Social platforms and social listening tools help organizations succeed. Social sites and apps let users create, share and network quickly and inexpensively. Social media allows an organization to tell its story, engage with supporters, get and retain attention, increase awareness, and fundraise. Your organization should integrate a social strategy with your nonprofit’s goals and the target audience.

Designate specific staff, interns or volunteers to keep up with social media and interact with your audience – frequent posts and interactions boost visibility and community engagement. With creativity and a little humor, you can create a dialogue with supporters that help them feel like part of your cause rather than like a cash machine.

Email Marketing

We suggest continuing to use email marketing. It’s still relevant, and it is a highly effective fundraising tool. Many donors prefer to receive emails over postal mail, and these emails can inspire donors to give again. Email marketing is a cost-effective, proven strategy that builds relationships with supporters and helps convert one-time donors into recurring donors. A platform like iConnectX can help you connect the dots between promotion, campaign, emails, and your donor database.

Data Analysis Tools

Nonprofits are like any other business in that they actively use data and analytics tools. Analytics help nonprofits streamline their operations, enhance donations, effectively utilize resources, and optimize outreach.

Next Steps

Of course, the key to leveraging marketing trends is a solid marketing foundation — dial-in on your organization’s personality to find its voice. Telling your organization’s story in its unique voice creates a distinct presence that will shine through and resonate with your audience.

The last year and a half demonstrated we all need to remain flexible. Flexibility is a great strategy – agile organizations can navigate challenging times and adapt to changing circumstances. All of this allows an organization to stay stable in the long run.

iConnectX is a tool your organization can leverage to stay on top of goals with features like:

  • Auctions – hybrid, in-person and virtual. iConnectX auction management includes ticketing, online bidding and secure payments
  • AI – iConnectX offers a text-to-give donation feature that’s easy to use and convenient for donors
  • A custom event or campaign landing page with a unique URL
  • Event invitation, guest list and donor messaging capabilities

Reach out to iConnectX today and let us show you how to make the most of your events and fundraising efforts!

As the year ends, it’s time to level-set, review successes and analyze our challenges. It’s also the end of the year, which means it’s giving season for nonprofits. Charities are pushing for end-of-year donations as many supporters feel particularly generous during the holidays – and look for yearly tax breaks.

The pandemic gained traction in many places and that means nonprofits will continue to find creative ways to engage with donors and host events. One thing we know for sure is that virtual events are here to stay. What else is in store for

The nonprofit sector has adapted quite well to the pandemic situation in the past two years implementing changes like virtual events, non-contact payment options, etc.

Here’s an overview of the Top Fundraising Trends for 2022:

  1. Virtual Events are Here to Stay

In 2020, many nonprofits started utilizing virtual and digital fundraising. From online auctions to peer-to-peer fundraising, online strategies dominate. Nonprofits have found these fundraising strategies effective, as have donors. Online and virtual fundraising is no longer a novel concept – it’s the norm – and supporters expect it.

  1. Online Donations

COVID protocol insists on minimizing contact. Therefore, offering non-contact payment options to donors is mandatory. Non-contact payment is safe and easy way for nonprofit supporters to engage with their cause of choice.

Some of the popular methods for non-contact payment are:

Scan to Give:

In scan-to-give, a nonprofit provides a QR code for donors. This is a fats, simple and secure way to donate since software donation tools employ multiple levels of security.

Text to Give:

Text to give is another effective donation option. In this method, the donor messages a keyword to a short code number. The donation amount is then tacked on to the donor’s monthly mobile phone bill, with the service provider donating to the nonprofit. This popular donation method works well for donors since they do not need to create any new online accounts with their nonprofit of choice.

Text to Donate:

Like text to give, the donor sends a keyword to a short code. Then, the supporter is directed to an online donation to complete the donation.

Cashless Donations:

Cashless donation options like using credit cards and debit cards are far from new, and they’re not going anywhere. Credit cards offer a safe and secure mode of transfer and are suited for recurring donations.

Blockchain:

A convenient contactless method of donating to charities, blockchain facilitates global and secure payments easily. A benefit of a blockchain payment is that the donors do not incur any currency exchange fees when donating internationally. Blockchain technology processes data safely and mitigates fraud.

Cryptocurrency:

Charities can boost donations by accepting payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Stellar. People like using cryptocurrencies because they are easily transferable; however, they do incur securities and can be overly complex compared to other modes of cashless donations.

  1. Social Media Promotions are Necessary

As per Statista 2020, there are currently 3.78 billion daily social media. This amounts to 48% of the total world population and the number of users increases daily. It is critical for nonprofits to leverage the power of social media marketing in order to reach the largest potential audience.

When employing social media marketing, it’s important to pinpoint the social channels used by your  target audience. Social media channels offer users access to statistics like reach, link click, likes, and shares.

Social media campaigns tailored to the target audience and their social media use allow advertisers to reach the right audience at the right time, making it an effective way to reach a wide audience for fundraisers.

Social media pages on Facebook and LinkedIn allow nonprofits to communicate their key messages to supporters (and potential supporters). Creative and strategic brand storytelling on social media helps organizations hit their supporter’s “sweet spot” by addressing their issues and they outcomes donors seek from charitable organizations.

  1. Don’t Miss out on Email Marketing

Today’s customers demand personalized attention. Email Marketing is the best digital marketing strategy to provide a personalized experience to your donors. Build a rapport with your audience with regular emails. Make sure that you acknowledge the donations made and send regular emails in the form of newsletters, etc. to keep your subscribers. Inform your subscribers of any fundraising event you plan to host. You can encourage them to be a part of your fundraiser through peer-to-peer fundraising, etc.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will Make its Presence in the Realms of Nonprofits

Automation is making headway in various sectors to take over routine tasks and offer more time to employees for creative activities. Automation will provide several benefits in the nonprofit sector as well. Nonprofit organizations will have more time for activities other than mundane everyday tasks. This will offer them time for innovative thinking to create more engaging events, etc.

COVID 19 pandemic has created a shortage of staff in various sectors. The nonprofit sector is also experiencing issues with the workforce in terms of shortage of volunteers and others. AI is an inexpensive way of minimizing labor-intensive tasks. Automation works seamlessly to help nonprofits to achieve their goals.

2022 will see more nonprofits using AI to boost their efforts.

  1. Fundraising Platforms

Any digital fundraisers or contactless giving may be hosted using a fundraising platform. These platforms help in organizing virtual events, facilitating different payment modes, organizing social media marketing campaigns, email marketing campaigns, and more.

Each platform has its unique set of features to facilitate organizing various types of events, etc. These platforms are available at different prices.

Make sure to check the features of the platform and select the one that is best suited for nonprofit functions.

iConnectx is a platform that includes all the features required to host any type of fundraising event. It also facilitates secure and quick payment options. iConnectx also includes features for effective marketing campaigns for nonprofits.

iConnectx will take your nonprofit’s fundraising seamlessly to 2022!

2020 and 2021 have been turbulent years for people across the globe. The pandemic has taken its toll on businesses and economies worldwide. The non-profit sector also felt the heat of the disturbing times. Fundraising strategies for nonprofits needed to be changed. Virtual events replaced in-person events. And, nonprofits were forced to take a digital route as far as fundraising was concerned.

Responsive website designs, online donations, mobile giving, were some methods that became popular for donating to charities. Different fundraising strategies adopted by nonprofits bore mixed results.

Here’s a look at some of them:

The FEP released its findings for the trend in Giving in 2020 and 2021. (Source: https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/donors/study-first-quarter-2021-fundraising-beat-2020/)

According to their report:

  • Giving in the first quarter of 2021 grew over that in 2020 by 6%.
  • The number of donors in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 10% over 2020 and the donor retention rate grew by 13.6% in the same period.
  • However, it is important to note that not all nonprofits experienced this increase in the number of donors, or the funds raised. The funds raised by charities associated with religious organizations and Human Services experienced an increase while most other charities were not so fortunate.

We do not know exactly how long the pandemic will last or how much it is going to impact the nonprofit sector. But nonprofits can leverage these insights to plan their fundraising for the future.

Now, when 2022 is just around the corner, it is time that nonprofits pulled up their socks and planned their fundraising for the coming year!

Looking at the current scenario, virtual fundraising seems to be an effective means in the near future!

Here are 8 Powerful Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits:

  1. Online Donations

Facilitating online donations for donors is no longer a choice but a must for nonprofits. Data reveals that online donations increased by 23% last year over 15% off the previous year. (Source: https://doublethedonation.com/tips/matching-grant-resources/nonprofit-fundraising-statistics/) Hence nonprofits must ensure that they provide easy and simple online methods for donations. Especially in the current scenario when it is difficult for donors to visit specific locations to donate, online donations are necessary to enable donors to contribute.

If donors can relate to a nonprofit and wish to support its cause then online donations make it easy for them to contribute to the charity from any part of the world.

Online donations can be made through the website of the nonprofit. The website should be easy to navigate and the donation page and donation button must be clear and easy to access. Online donations can also be facilitated through the social media pages of the nonprofit.

Non-profits can also offer other means of online donations to make it easy for donors to contribute.

  1. Online Auctions

Charity auctions have been an extremely popular means of fundraising among donors for years. However, in-person auctions had to be stopped in 2020 because of the COVID 19 restrictions. However, many nonprofits have switched to a virtual mode of holding charity auctions. In an online auction, the bidders can view the products on which bids are to be placed online. They can place their bids anonymously. They will get an alert when a higher bid is placed. They can raise their bids as and when they desire. The time limit for the auction is indicated by the nonprofit and all bids need to be sent within the deadline specified. The winning bids are announced in a virtual event where all bidders are present.

The benefits of online auctions to nonprofits are that they cut down on several expenses such as venue costs, hosting costs, transportation costs, etc. Besides, they save on the time, effort, and manpower required for hosting the online event. Nonprofits can also reach a wide audience easily online. People across the globe can participate in an online auction.

The participants of the auction enjoy the benefit of placing the bids from the comfort of their homes at a time of their convenience.

However, hosting a successful auction requires an event management platform to facilitate it. The software available for hosting such events can be expensive. Therefore the cost of the platform must be budgeted for while organizing an online auction.

  1. Virtual Events

Virtual events have become the alternative to in-person events when the pandemic has forced us all indoors. Nonprofits have created innovative virtual events to attract donors for their fundraisers.

Virtual events are facilitated through Zoom calls, webinars, Facebook Live, or Instagram Live events. In the past year, we have seen how these types of events have been successful in attracting a wide audience.

However, virtual events do not provide an opportunity for physical interaction for the audience. Therefore, it becomes challenging for nonprofits to host virtual events that engage their audience for the entire duration of the event.

Nonprofits have offered different ways of engaging their audience through break room chats, Q&As, etc.

Some of the virtual events hosted by nonprofits include online concerts, digital movie nights, virtual races, and more.

  1. Text-to-Give/ Text-to-Donate

Text-to-give and text-to-donate have become extremely popular methods of donation in recent times because of the convenience they offer.

Text-to-give is a method of donating where the donor is required to message a keyword to a shortcode. The amount donated is charged in the cellphone bill of the donor and the mobile service provider remits the amount to the nonprofit.

Text-to-donate is a little different from text to give. In text-to-donate, the donor messages the keyword to a shortcode. He is directed to the registration form of the nonprofit where he furnishes his details and donates the amount directly to the nonprofit.

Text-to-give and text-to-donate are convenient for both donors and nonprofits.

  1. Scan to Give

Scan to give is another method of donating using the smartphone. In this method, the nonprofit shares a QR code that the donor can scan and donate the amount to a charity. This method is popular because the donor can contribute any amount at any time of his convenience. Scanning a QR code is possible for donors even when they are on the go. It is a safe and secure method of fundraising which is also easy for nonprofits to provide to their donors.

  1. Peer to Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is an effective fundraising strategy for nonprofits. In peer-to-peer fundraising supporters of the nonprofit and other individuals create fundraising pages on behalf of the nonprofit. They share the page in their community, among their friends and network to ask for donations.

  1. Social Media Takeover

This is an interesting and effective virtual fundraising strategy. In social media takeover, you can request your corporate partner permission to use their social media accounts for a day.

You can spread the word about your fundraiser on the social media accounts of your partner. Nonprofits can share links to their website, social media pages, their online donation forms, etc. Social media takeover helps increase the visibility of your brand and raises awareness about your cause. It helps you tap into an existing online audience and boosts your reach.

  1. Online Raffle

An online raffle is when participants need to purchase raffle tickets. One lucky winner wins the raffle prize. Raffles have been an effective fundraising strategy in the past and online raffles are also effective in raising funds for a cause.

However, the nonprofit needs to clearly communicate the purpose of the fundraiser and the cause that is being supported to attract donors.

This becomes easier by choosing an event hosting platform like iConnectx which facilitates customizing the event with your brand colors and logo besides making it easy for you to tell your brand’s story to your audience.

Most of the online fundraising strategies require software to organize and host fundraisers. There is a myriad of platforms with specific features available for event management. The non-profit must select a platform that meets all its needs. It is recommended to opt for a platform that helps host different types of fundraisers.

iConnectx is a platform that has all the features that facilitate hosting different types of events and fundraisers for nonprofits. This platform is easy to use and has a team to support the installation and maintenance of the platform. This platform also offers tools for marketing and promotion besides facilitating customization with brand colors and logos.