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
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!
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.
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!
You can find us on:
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!
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.
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 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-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.
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.”
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.
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
Let’s circle back to digital marketing and outline ways to boost online presence.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
As the Christmas of 2021 beckons, are you ready with your fundraising ideas for donations for your cause on Christmas?
Year-end is the time when Giving features in most people’s minds. And, this is the best time for nonprofits to think of fundraising ideas to encourage donors.
Have you geared up for Christmas and thought about how you will collect donations for your cause?
Get Festive with these 15 powerful Christmas Fundraising Ideas for your Nonprofit:
Choose a Good Cause
Nonprofits always raise funds for important causes. However, when the spirit of Christmas is in the air, make sure to choose a cause that donors feel connected to and are motivated to give. For instance, it is a good idea to raise funds for donating to the underprivileged section of society. Donors are more likely to contribute where they can uplift someone during Christmas!
Make your Christmas Themed Fundraiser
Create a fundraiser where you tell the donors that they are gifting someone during Christmas.
Share Christmas-themed creatives to promote your fundraiser on social media and your website.
You can include a fundraising thermometer with a deadline of Christmas day to create urgency among donors.
Promote your Fundraiser on Online and Offline Platforms
Christmas is a time when people are on the move, preparing for the festivities, buying gifts, or meeting people.
Make sure to promote your fundraiser extensively on online platforms and on prominent places, billboards, etc. where passers-by cannot miss it.
Make it Easy to Donate
You do not want to miss out on donations because your donors find it cumbersome to donate.
Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and donors can easily reach the Donate Now button.
Responsive websites are a must to make it easy for donors on the move.
Ensure that your forms are not too complicated and offer hassle-free registrations.
Include donation buttons on social media pages.
Send personalized emails to your subscribers informing them about your fundraiser and encouraging them to donate.
These methods encourage donors to give when they see a hoarding or flyer about your fundraiser at any time from anywhere. These methods encourage impulse giving and you don’t want to miss out on these.
Gifting is the highlight of the Christmas season. Matching gifts is a way to raise funds where corporates donate an amount equal to the amount a nonprofit has generated.
You can contact the HR representatives of corporates and tell them about your cause and ask for donations. Many nonprofits miss out on the matching gifts option for fundraising.
Christmas is the best time to approach corporates for matching gifts.
Organize a Gift Wrapping Party
Wondering what a gift wrapping party is?
Everyone is short on time during Christmas with too much on their hands. Gift Wrapping is among the many things to be accomplished during the festive season. So, why not take this task off their list?
Here’s what you can do:
- Organize a team of volunteers to do the gift wrapping for people in the community.
- Designate a specific day close to Christmas day for gift wrapping.
- Host a gift wrapping party where you decorate the venue according to the Christmas theme. Invite all volunteers for wrapping the gifts together.
- You can have Christmas-themed dressing for the party.
- Make it a fun event by playing Christmas carols in the background.
- Offer Christmas treats to everyone at the party. You can get these treats as a donation from bakers/chefs, etc.
- You can reduce the expense of gift wrapping by procuring all wrapping material as a donation.
- You raise funds for your cause by charging an amount for the gift wrapping service you provide.
The party can be an offline or a virtual one depending on the COVID protocols at that time. In case of a virtual event, you can get everyone to dress according to the Christmas theme and join the event over a Zoom call. Volunteers can wrap the gifts from their homes and interact with others virtually.
Fundraising can be done by offering Christmas treats. You can partner with some local chefs and ask each one of them to make a different Christmas treat. You can also indicate the exact quantity of the treat. Display all these treats on your website by creating a special page for them. When someone orders a specific item from your website, you can inform the concerned baker and ask them to arrange the delivery. The partner bakers will increase the visibility of their products and services. The nonprofit raises funds from the amount collected when people purchase these treats from the website.
Make sure to clearly display the items and their prices. Offer a secure and simple payment method. Promote this offer on online platforms and through emails to your subscribers.
Donating Christmas is another great way of generating funds during Christmas. The concept of donating Christmas is similar to donating Birthdays where you ask people to donate to your charity instead of purchasing Christmas gifts.
You can reach donors by:
Promoting the fundraiser on your website and social media pages.
Sending emails to all subscribers requesting them to spread the word in their network.
You can also leverage peer-to-peer fundraising to reach a wider donor base. Ask your donors and supporters to ask people in their network to donate to your charity. Donors and supporters can share the details of the fundraiser on their social media pages to reach their network.
Share on Partner’s Social Media
This is a fundraising strategy where you connect with corporates, etc., and use their social media pages to promote your fundraiser. This helps you promote the fundraiser directly to their network and increases the funds raised.
Christmas Decorating Services
Everyone wants to decorate their homes during Christmas and have a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree at home. You can offer Christmas decoration services at a fee that will add to the funds raised.
Provide Christmas Trees
Buy Christmas trees wholesale and sell them at a profit. You can create your own Christmas tree outlet if you have the space. Decorate the outlet with Christmas decorations and lights. Play carols in the background to give a festive fervor.
Christmas Gift Boxes
Create Christmas gift baskets or gift boxes with assorted items. Collect items of different price ranges to create differently priced baskets to suit all budgets.
Display gift baskets/boxes on your website. Nonprofits generate funds when these gift items are purchased. Make sure that you clearly indicate the contents of the gift box/basket so that buyers can choose their gifts easily.
Promote these Christmas gifts on the various online message that buyers will be giving a “double gift” if they purchase from you. The first gift is when they gift the purchased item to someone and the second gift is the cause they will support with funds raised through the sale. Provide a simple and secure method of payment to donors.
Living in an online world, we are inclined to send ecards to our friends and family. But, did you know that there is a huge market for handmade cards?
You can have a team of volunteers make handmade cards and sell them to raise funds.
Get a group of supporters to sing carols at an event or they can go door to door and sing. You can set up a crowdfunding campaign with your supporters so that they can share their personal funding pages with their social groups and family.
Engage the audience by offering customization of the playlist according to their choice of songs.
Here’s how you can facilitate it:
Members of the audience can be asked to text a keyword to a number.
When they do so, they will be guided to a mobile-friendly form in which they can furnish their details and add the song of their choice.
Christmas Gala Dinner
The festive season is a time for dinners and galas. Your nonprofit can organize a Christmas Gala Dinner. The gala may be an offline one or a virtual one. Fundraising can be done by charging an entry fee for the event. Use all your creativity to host an event that your audience will remember!
These are some ideas for raising funds during Christmas. Put on your thinking caps and make fundraising an incredible experience for your audience!
Make sure to keep track of your fundraising goals so that you raise enough to make the Christmas of the disadvantaged section of society worthwhile!
iConnectx offers a platform to streamline all your fundraising efforts!
We are at the end of 2021! And year-end is the time when nonprofits need to perk up to attract donors! Innovative fundraising ideas are needed by nonprofits to make them stand out in the highly competitive market!
This period is not just for hosting fundraisers but also for the time to acknowledge donors and express gratitude to them.
One of the main highlights of the holiday season in the United States is giving back to the community. Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November and ushers in the holiday season in the United States.
And, what better time to thank donors than on Thanksgiving?
Here are some interesting trivia about Thanksgiving!
Did you know that Thanksgiving started in the year 1620? Here’s a brief history of Thanksgiving! In 1620 a small ship by the name Mayflower carrying 120 pilgrims set out from England looking for a place where these pilgrims could practice their faith in peace.
Mayflower found its destination in America, then called the New World. The first-ever Thanksgiving was celebrated when the Wampanoag native Americans and these colonists shared an autumn harvest feast. The harvest was the outcome of their joint efforts and so they celebrated together in Plymouth, which is known as Massachusetts today.
And, the tradition of expressing gratitude and celebrating has carried on for years. Food is the chief focus area of Thanksgiving with roast/fried Turkey being the special dish. There is a lot of fun and fervor during Thanksgiving and fun activities like parades, etc. are organized during Thanksgiving.
So, before we get into ideas to raise funds or attract donors, let us start the festive season traditionally by thanking them!
Thanking your donors makes them feel special. They feel connected and know that they are cared for. This helps build loyalty to your brand.
Although you must be sending them automated emails to thank them for their donations, you need to add a personal touch!
Here are some ways of thanking your donors on Thanksgiving:
- The senior executives such as the directors, etc. in your nonprofit can make personal phone calls to donors to speak to them and thank them.
- You can send them letters highlighting their contribution to the charity. For instance, you can explain the total funds raised for cause the donor might have contributed towards and how significant their donation was. And, send a personal thank you note for that.
- Ever since digital media made a huge impact on our lives, sending physical letters and cards seems to have become a thing of the past. But a personalized, handwritten Thank you card or a letter has a more lasting impact on an individual. So, you can send personalized Thank you cards to your donors on Thanksgiving to acknowledge their contributions.
- Thanksgiving is a good time to acknowledge the efforts of your volunteers as well. Some ideas for this are sending them discount coupons, gift vouchers, etc.
- Another idea is to celebrate Thanksgiving with your donors, volunteers and all is by throwing a party! You could think of a virtual party over a Zoom meeting. Usually, nonprofits organize parties for fundraising purposes but hosting a party to thank the donors will make them feel really special.
- You can also thank your donors on social media. Different social media channels have a large user base. So, acknowledging donors on social media platforms means giving them a shout-out in a public forum and this can be really exciting for them.
Close on the heels of Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday which falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Giving Tuesday came into existence in 2012 when 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together and decided to specify a day to celebrate the generosity of Giving, a great American Tradition.
Giving Tuesday is celebrated each year to encourage individuals, families, corporates, institutions, schools, etc. to donate to the less privileged members of society. Giving Tuesday is celebrated with great gusto when donations are made not only in the form of funds but also in other ways. For instance, blood donation drives, donating food from homes to local pantries, and more.
It comes as no surprise then that it is this part of the year when maximum donations are received by nonprofits. Data reveals that 25% or more of the annual giving in the US takes place during the last 3 months of the year! (Source: https://donorbox.org/nonprofit-blog/thanksgiving-fundraising-ideas/)
So, now that it is that time of the year when people are motivated to give, nonprofits can create fundraisers where donors can easily donate.
Here are 10 Simple but Powerful Thanksgiving Fundraising Ideas:
Organize a Thanksgiving Themed Giveaway on Social Media
Create a buzz on social media and encourage donors to give with a giveaway. You can partner with a local business and offer a gift card or discount coupon for every donation made. This is a win-win situation for all parties. The nonprofit encourages donors and is likely to receive more donations. The donors receive something in exchange for the donations they make. And, the business sponsoring the gift voucher, etc. gets an opportunity to reach a wider audience and foster partnerships.
This is a day to celebrate the generosity of Americans. You will not want to miss out on this opportunity to raise funds for your nonprofit.
Make sure that your website loads quickly and offers a seamless user experience on both desktop and mobile devices.
Ensure that the website is easy to navigate and the donation buttons are easy to locate.
Offer an exclusive Giving Tuesday donation button on your website.
Facilitate online donations through simple and secure methods like text-to-give/donate, scan to give, etc.
Send regular emails just before Giving Tuesday to your subscribers to let them know what you are planning for the day and how they can participate.
Create urgency for donating. Specify a deadline within which donors need to contribute to a specific charity.
Host a Thanksgiving Raffle
Thanksgiving is a time for fun and celebrations and off-course giving. You can hold online raffles and give exciting rewards to the winners such as an exotic holiday to a tropical island, etc.
Organize Thanksgiving Marathon
Host a 5k or 10k marathon to raise funds during Thanksgiving. Integrate crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising into this. Ask the participants to collect donations for the event through their peer-to-peer fundraising pages. This will not only increase participation but also the funds generated.
Host a Thanksgiving Themed Bake Sale
Depending on the circumstances and the number of donors, you can decide on a physical or a virtual thanksgiving themed bake sale.
Here’s how it works:
- Make a list of Thanksgiving favorites like apple pie or pumpkin treats, etc.
- Onboard bakers who can bake Thanksgiving treats. Get the bakers to commit to baking specific treats and the number of items they will prepare.
- Create a dedicated page on your website that includes a list of items with relevant images, prices, and donation links.
- Promote the page on social media and direct your audience to the above page. Once the donor chooses specific items from the list, send the order details to the baker.
- The baker delivers the ordered items to the donor.
Thanksgiving Gift Baskets
Thanksgiving is all about gifting and gift baskets are a popular choice for gifts. Create gift baskets with assorted items. Make different baskets in different price ranges to suit varying budgets. You can sell these baskets to donors.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Sale
Pumpkins are akin to Thanksgiving. So, host a thanksgiving pumpkin sale by buying pumpkins wholesale from the local market or other sources. Sell pumpkins at a higher price at a farmer’s market or set up your own Thanksgiving-themed marketing outlet.
You can volunteer to give services in exchange for donations. For instance, yards get messy in the fall and it takes a lot of time and effort to get them cleaned. You can offer yard cleanup to your donors in exchange for donations.
Everyone loves parties! Host a physical/virtual party for donors and volunteers. Charge an entry fee for the party and use the money for charity. Donors will be excited to attend the party and they will willingly pay the entry fee if they know it is for supporting a cause.
Partner with different local businesses that offer products relevant to Thanksgiving. Create a catalog of these products. You can also offer services such as yard cleanup, etc. in the catalog. Make an attractive catalog and share it on social media and other online channels. You can raise funds when donors purchase these products/services.
These are some ideas for raising funds during Thanksgiving. You can don your thinking hats and think of some out-of-the-box ideas to make Thanksgiving special for your donors!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The number of smartphone users has increased from 3668 billion users in 2016 to 6378 billion users in 2021. (Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/). Responsive websites and mobile-friendly methods to donate are no longer an option but a must for nonprofits. One of the most convenient ways of donating using a mobile is text-to-give.
Text to give has become a must-have fundraising option for nonprofits in recent times because of the highly increased screen times of smartphone users during COVID 19. In a survey conducted on 1300 consumers, marketers, and businesses in 2021, 61% of the mobile users say that the time they spend on texting has increased significantly due to COVID. (Source: https://simpletexting.com/2021-texting-statistics/). So, if nonprofits are not offering text-to-give as a method for donating, they are missing out on a huge opportunity!
Text-to-give seems to have become a buzzword in recent times. It is known by different names like text giving, mobile giving, text-to-pledge(if donors pledge to donate a specific amount), etc.
What is Text to give?
Text to give is a method of donating to a charity with the help of a simple text message.
Here’s how it works:
The donor is required to send a specified keyword to a short code. The keyword indicates the charity for which the funds are being donated and the short code is a string of numbers which is a shortened mobile number.
The keyword and the shortcode are specified by the nonprofit that is raising the funds.
There are two ways in which the donation is transferred to the nonprofit:
Text to give: The amount to be donated is added to the mobile bill of the donor. The nonprofit receives donations from the mobile services provider. The main drawback of this method is that cellphone providers usually put a cap on the number of funds that can be donated.
Text To donate: In this method, the donors are directed to a donation page when they text the keyword. They will need to register and fill a form furnishing the details required. They can directly donate the amount to the nonprofit.
Each of these methods has its pros and cons. Nonprofits choose either of the methods for fundraising using mobile. A fundraising platform is required to set up and implement text to donate.
Once the nonprofit receives the donation, the donor receives an acknowledgment from the nonprofit, thanking them for the donation.
The average text to donate amount is $107. (Source: https://www.givesmart.com/blog/text-to-donate-fundraising-statistics/)This indicates that text-to-donate has the potential to attract large donations.
Text to give is an effective fundraising strategy for large events wherein the nonprofit is already connected with donors through presentations, videos, etc. Some examples where the text to give is used are events like galas, outdoor fairs, and more.
One of the recent examples of a successful Text to give campaign is by First Responders Children’s Foundation in March 2020. They organized a living room concert hosted by Elton John. In this fundraiser, the donors needed to message the keyword “Thanks” to the short code 76278 to donate. This campaign generated $140000. (Source: https://www.givesmart.com/blog/text-to-donate-fundraising-statistics/).
Another well-known and extremely successful text-to-give campaign is the one organized by American Red Cross for the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. A staggering $21 million was raised during the text-to-give campaign.
Text to give is popular among donors and nonprofits love it too!
Donors like the text to give because it is convenient. Donors can donate easily from anywhere at any time. It is a secure method of donation. Donors can donate any amount without carrying cash.
Why Nonprofits Love Text to Give?
Nonprofits love text to give because of a myriad of benefits this method offers:
Reach a Wide Audience
The number of cell phone users is constantly increasing. In a survey conducted in 2021 on 1300 consumers, business owners, and marketers in the US, it was found that 78% of the consumers check, send, and answer text messages throughout the day. (Source: https://simpletexting.com/2021-texting-statistics/). So, offering a text-to-give method to donors helps nonprofits reach a wide audience.
Convenience to Donors
It is a fast and easy way to donate to nonprofits for donors. They do not require credit cards or remember to send a cheque, etc. All they need to do is type in a message.
Easy to Operate
Once the nonprofit has the right software to implement text to give, it can be set up to offer a convenient method to donors. Donors are familiar with texting and do not require any training on how to use text-to-give.
Can be Integrated with an Existing Infrastructure
The system of the smartphone providers, users, and billing, etc. is already set up and operational. The infrastructure has been working smoothly for years. Integrating text-to-give to the already operational system requires minimal expenses and efforts by the nonprofit. Besides, the audience is already familiar with texting.
Promotion Is Easy
Most text-to-give platforms facilitate the promotion and marketing of the fundraising campaign. Therefore, promoting the campaign becomes easy for the nonprofit.
Provides Valuable Insights
The software used provides insights about the campaign that helps nonprofits optimize future campaigns.
Provides Details About Donors
In a text to donate campaign, donors are required to furnish details like their name and contact details like their phone number, email address, etc. This helps nonprofits establish a personal connection with donors.
Attracts More Donations
Since the number of smartphone users is increasing at a very fast pace, this method can reach a wide audience easily. The convenience this method offers encourages donors to contribute more.
Donations can be made by donors on the go. They do not have to be physically present at an event to donate to a cause.
Donors are not restricted by the amount of cash they have in person, they can donate any amount using text messages.
It encourages impulse donations. When you promote your charity and your audience likes what they see and feel the urge to donate, they can donate instantly using text-to-give on their smartphones. They don’t need to be physically present anywhere or have cash in hand.
Can be Used with Other Fundraising Campaigns
Many text-to-give platforms facilitate integrating the text-to-give campaign with other fundraisers. This reduces the expenses of organizing separate fundraisers and attracts more donations.
Some text-to-give platforms support recurring donations by facilitating giving by just repeating the keyword and sending the message. The donors are not required to fill forms, etc. every time.
One of the key elements in organizing successful text-to-give campaigns is the software used for the campaign. The nonprofit must select a platform that caters to all its needs. There are several platforms available for implementing text-to-give campaigns. iConnectx is one of the best platforms for hosting a text-to-give campaign. It is best suited for any fundraising campaign by nonprofits because it provides end-t-end features for organizing any fundraising campaign.