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!
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!
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.
Many nonprofits leverage fundraising events to raise large sums of money to reach financial goals. A nonprofit organization can generate considerable funding for its mission with the right strategy. Since event preparation and planning can take time, we created this list to help you plan a remarkable fundraiser.
What we’ll cover
- Identifying a goal
- Assemble a planning team
- Pinpoint your ideal audience
- Set a budget
- Choose the event type
- Create the event’s specifics
- Create the follow-up plan
Benefits of Successful Nonprofit Event Planning
There are several benefits to successful nonprofit event planning in addition to raising funds – it’s really about relationships. Whether it’s creating new connections or strengthening existing ones, here are a few reasons to create a terrific event:
Generate awareness about your organization and its mission: Large organizations like the American Red Cross are strategic about audience education and spreading the word about their mission. Fundraisers offer an opportunity to have current and potential donors learn about you while simultaneously inviting them to participate financially.
Connect with new donors and volunteers: It’s typical to attend an event before donating their money, talents or time. Events offer an opportunity to demonstrate your nonprofit’s culture and create a relationship.
Enhance brand recognition: Name recognition is equally valuable for nonprofits and businesses. Can you imagine the benefits of your organization being a household name like the Susan G. Komen foundation or Coca-Cola? The more people know of and engage with your nonprofit, the more people they’ll tell.
Finding corporate sponsors: Inviting a business to sponsor an event is more straightforward than a company thinking about it and reaching out to you on its own. Fundraisers help build community and donor trust and find more sponsors if it’s done well.
iConnectX has tips on cultivating nonprofit-business relationships – check them out here.
How to successfully plan a nonprofit event
With so many details to successful event planning, it can get overwhelming. However, the proper organization makes it feasible to make the process less stressful. Here is iConnectX’s guide to creating a plan for a successful event. We want to help you reach your goals!
- Specify your goal
Yes, the goal is to raise money. Before you jump in and plan, take time to identify your goals and your vision.
Do you know what you want to accomplish with the money you raise? Consider whether the funds are for an internal need like facilities or an external one, like working on a particular cause. Think about other event goals – do you want to acknowledge and thank your volunteers and donors? Connect with new donors? Inform people of your mission?
These are all worthy goals, so identify them ahead of time to properly plan.
- Build your planning team
Many organizations use committees to perform most of an event’s planning and execution. A well-run committee owns the whole planning process from behind the scenes, marketing, entertainment and operations. We recommend building your team four to six months before the event.
- Find your target audience
Fundraisers can target and draw in several demographics. This step is to determine precisely which audience characteristics you’re looking for and plan the event to reflect those traits. For example, if you want to reach new supporters, you can plan your event around education and cause awareness. If you’re going to strengthen existing donor relationships, your event could honor successes around your mission.
Create a budget to invest resources judiciously; this helps you get an optimal return (ROI). Many nonprofits use the Return on Objective (ROO) metric. This flexible measurement tracks the event’s total benefits, not only the financial ones.
- Brand awareness
- Donor acquisitions
- Relationships with established supporters
- Volunteer participation
- Sponsorships and corporate engagement
Using the ROI and ROO metrics helps determine the full scope of your event’s success.
- Choose the event category
Once you understand your goals, target audience and budget, it’s time to get to the meat of your event plan. Consider what kind of events are appropriate to your organization and its goals – this helps your branding and helps your audience understand your mission.
- Dial-in event specifics
Now that you have a strong foundation for your nonprofit’s event, it’s time to arrange the event itself. There are a lot of details to work out, but with your first-rate event planning team, you can distribute the workload.
Here are essential details to help you get started:
- Set an event date four to six months out to allow enough planning time
- Book a venue. If your event is virtual or hybrid, set up an event hosting platform like iConnectX
- Obtain any necessary permits or licenses
- Choose a theme and create marketing materials
- Put sponsorship packages together and round up corporate or individual sponsors
- Find guest speakers or book entertainment, if necessary
- Promote the event on social media. Include the event’s details in all communications with potential and existing donors; send personal invitations if it’s feasible
- Make a custom online donation event page for audience members who cannot attend but want to contribute. A nonprofit fundraising platform like iConnectX offers customized landing pages and a secure donation portal
- Offer tickets online whether the event is free or tickets are for sale. When attendees register online, you’ll collect valuable guest data.
- Establish your volunteers’ roles and responsibilities; this mitigates the risk of missing important details
- Make a plan to follow up
When your event is over, the job isn’t finished. This is the time to send thank you notes, obtain guest feedback and build new relationships with potential donors and sponsors.
Many nonprofits add an event survey to get feedback from attendees to learn what guests enjoyed if they can recommend improvements and other feedback. Also, make sure to get the input of your volunteers and sponsors — feedback is critical to making every event better than the last.
The final word
Nonprofit event and fundraiser planning might seem overwhelming; this is why we recommend having enough lead time, like four to six months. A platform like iConnectX helps take the technical workload off your shoulders with features like:
- Customized landing pages with a unique URL
- Online ticketing
- Auction features, like secure bidding and payment portal
- Online and hybrid event hosting
- RSVP and guest management
- And much more!
We hope these steps help you and your team get your event rolling – iConnectX is here to help!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
- Serve on the board
- Connect you with others interested in your mission
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
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.
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/)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Giving Tuesday is the global day of giving fueled by social media, teamwork, and advocacy. Founded in 2012, #GivingTuesday grew out of the 92nd Street Y’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact and is now a global charitable movement.
Some statistics say that 14.2 billion social media impressions and over 110 community coalitions were generated because of #GivingTuesday in 2018, indicating that supporters were contributing and connecting with organizations online.
If you’ve worked in the nonprofit sector for a long time, you’re aware of the significance of Giving Tuesday for nonprofits and why to make the most of it. The widely publicized day encourages people to donate, connect across social networks, and kicks off the year’s fundraising efforts.
Every day, iConnectX helps nonprofit NGOs make the most of their fundraising efforts with comprehensive and effective technologies. Here we will go through the best Giving Tuesday ideas, tips, and tactics we’ve gathered from our study and expertise.
7 Ideas for Successful Fundraising
1] Videos are Essential
Video is one of the most effective fundraising techniques available for Giving Tuesday. According to Nonprofits Source, crowdsourcing campaigns that include personal videos raise 150 percent more money than those without. Additionally, tweets with videos receive 10 times the interaction as tweets without videos.
Images and video testimonies provide a clear picture of a problem or opportunity. Rather than reading about how far someone must go to obtain clean water, they can view the experience themselves. Viewers become emotionally involved and comprehend what their money or effort will achieve right away.
Videos for campaigns don’t have to be lengthy; they can be anything from thirty to sixty seconds in length. For effective storytelling, use compelling visuals and express the next step clearly.
2] Set up Online Fundraising Page
A successful fundraising campaign requires a fundraising website, a critical element on the Giving Tuesday to-do list. An effective website is necessary since the day is mainly driven by social media and internet donations.
To make donating easier for supporters, create a unique donation landing page for #GivingTuesday. Ensure that the page is responsive, quick to load, well-designed, and easy to understand.
The donor should locate the donation link – usually a button — within a few seconds of the page appearing. The optimal position for the link is on the page header, near the top navigation. Use a vibrant and eye-catching color to draw attention to the linked button.
3] Leverage #GivingTuesday to Increase Contributions and Recurring Donations
#GivingTuesday doesn’t have to be a one-day giving event; it may also catalyze a long-term commitment to generosity.
One of the best #GivingTuesday ideas to help you stand out and generate more donations year-round is to run a continuous fundraising drive or a “donate now pay later” campaign. This option breaks large gifts down into payments made over a set period, usually completed within a year.
4] Make it Multichannel
To acquire the most attention for your donation campaign, send a single message across numerous channels since multichannel campaigns lay the foundation for a successful Giving Tuesday.
Single medium outreach, like on Facebook, may lead to potential supporters missing out on your campaign. Creating multichannel campaigns across social networks and email maximizes donor reach.
The best course of action is to cover all the bases while keeping your request clear and specific. A concise, thorough statement establishes trust and assures donors their contributions will be put to good use. Your organization can leverage iConnectX to ensure your campaign remains multichannel.
5] Showcase Progress
It’s critical to display real-time progress to your donors, especially with short-term campaigns like Giving Tuesday. Consider displaying a graphic like a fundraising thermometer or a meter on your website to demonstrate your success.
Progress trackers offer donors encouragement and feedback as they follow along with the campaign’s progress. The most basic way progress monitors influence donors is through instant fulfillment and social proof.
6] Collaborate with Businesses and Influencers
Partnerships and endorsements provide access to potential contributors as well as providing publicity. Regarding our first idea about videos, collaborations and endorsements are possibly the quickest way to maximize views and engagement.
When choosing a collaborator, consider organizations and personalities that appeal to a similar demographic to yours. For example, if you run a health-related nonprofit that concentrates on women over 40, consider partnering with a vitamin store or grocery store that caters to that demographic.
7] Matching Gifts
Partnering with businesses that offer matching contributions to donations made by employees or the public at large is one of the most successful ways to fundraise on #GivingTuesday and throughout the year. Matching gifts involve sponsors and contributors making contributions up to a given amount for a set period or a specific dollar amount. For example, a sponsor or contributors can pledge to match gifts up to $5000, or they could commit to matching all donations made on #GivingTuesday between 3-6 pm. According to Double the Donation, matching contributions in campaign appeals boost response rates by 71% and raise average donation amounts by 51%. (https://doublethedonation.com/matching-grant-resources/matching-gift-statistics/)
Tips to Ensure a Successful #GivingTuesday Fundraiser
A] Plan and Be Flexible
To ensure your campaign is a success, begin at least 3 – 4 months in advance. Hold a brainstorming session and recap previous campaigns in the initial meeting. Evaluate the theme and elements of your team’s prior year to revamp to succeed the new campaign. Set goals, brand narrative, and plan design elements, and the team needed to complete these tasks. You can use the SMART method to decide on your goals.
Once goals are in place, finalize your campaign’s budget and message and evaluate staffing and volunteer needs. Similarly, identify a pipeline of sponsors for matching your gift campaign and compile a list of donors. Also, think about what has previously worked for your organization and map out how you want to inspire your audience.
Before campaign kickoff, consider including the following elements in your preparations:
- Create a folder to keep track of everything relevant to Giving Tuesday. It should be easily accessible to all parties concerned.
- Craft your fundraising messaging with care — make it clear what you’re attempting to accomplish and why it matters
- Create and assemble campaign assets
- Write content, create visuals, and consider what marketing materials the campaign will need. Also, plan a few social media posts and emails ahead of time.
- Consider logistics – assign the team with clear responsibilities
- Create the campaign’s fundraising landing page where potential donors and supporters can find essential details and make donations
We recommend starting with a soft launch to gather early feedback and build a social presence by requesting early donations. Inform supporters of your objective, the impact of their contributions, any matching gifts campaigns, major sponsors, and inform your audience of special incentives in place when you officially open your campaign.
How iConnectX helps
Find your way to Giving Tuesday campaign success by implementing the basic concepts outlined here. Utilizing a platform like iConnectX streamlines #GivingTuesday events and campaigns any time of year. Our software can increase donations and maximize audience reach; we make it simple to set up and brand your campaign. Additionally, all our forms are conversion-optimized, mobile-optimized, and payment-optimized, ensuring that your site receives more donations.
Let us know how your campaign performs on Giving Tuesday and throughout the year. iConnectX is here to assist!
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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:
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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!
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
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
- RSVP management
- Guestlist communication
- Virtual hosting capabilities
- Secure payment processing
- Recurring donation capabilities
- 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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