As online fundraising grows, it’s the ideal time to revise your fundraising strategy. According to M+R Benchmarks, online giving increased by 32% in 2020 and will continue to rise. If your nonprofit doesn’t have a digital fundraising plan, it’s time to create one.

We’ve collected ten top online fundraising ideas for you to consider – let’s get started!

  1. Peer-to-peer fundraising

Did you know that peer-to-peer fundraising accounts for ⅓ of online donations? It’s one of the best fundraising strategies available to nonprofits. Promote the idea across your networks and encourage them to create personal fundraising pages. Peer-to-peer fundraising works exceptionally well for any fundraising event, whether online, hybrid or in person. Your supporters can fundraise by completing a task or challenge, hosting an event, or concluding with an in-person event.

  1. A single-day email or social media sharing fundraiser

Fundraising via email constitutes about ⅓ of online donations. So even if your organization held an email fundraising campaign this year, we suggest you consider a one-day email fundraising blitz. Think about naming your campaign with a charming or intriguing moniker.

On the day of your email campaign, send out a series of emails requesting donations. Your emails should include a story that speaks to your supporters’ emotions, suitable images and an urgent call to action.

Don’t forget to set a dollar amount goal and provide updates throughout the day, so your supporters will know how close you are to your goal. You may also want to tie the single-day campaign in with end-of-the-year giving; it’s a great way to add urgency. Single-day campaigns work very well on Giving Tuesday.

  1. Matching donation drive

Maximize the one-day email fundraiser by obtaining a match from a business or significant donor, then advertise that match in your email campaign. Donors enjoy knowing their support was leveraged with matching gifts.

Also, matching gifts are an excellent way to increase donations mid-campaign. If your donations taper off in the middle of the day, introduce a matching gift to increase momentum. Matching contributions can be promoted through regular communication channels like email, social media and newsletters.

When you want to secure a matching gift, begin with your immediate supporters – your board of directors. Request that they contribute a matching gift or leverage their business relationships. Another tip: leverage current matching donations from supporters’ employers. It’s a snap to add these into your virtual fundraising campaign on iConnectX.

  1. Virtual gala

While we see more in-person events, large gatherings are still a way off – this is where a virtual gala comes in. You can create a virtual gala by following a few steps:

  1. Assess what you typically do – look at your typical event plan. Which segments can

move online? Which ones will bring in a great ROI? Now you can decide which parts to keep and which ones to dismiss.

  1. Create a peer-to-peer campaign: since in-person galas have tables, a virtual gala will have virtual ones, which are peer-to-peer. An example of this would be a fundraiser with teams or one like the Ice Bucket Challenge.
  2. Sponsors: sponsors are significant funders of in-person galas, so make sure you don’t leave them out of a virtual one. A virtual event format offers much flexibility to make sponsors happy – you can add logos, names and links to your fundraising page on iConnectX.
  3. Create a program: your virtual event needs to be seamless for the livestream. At an in-person event, there are guest speakers, entertainment, food and décor at the venue. You may want to highlight the peer-to-peer fundraisers and mention your goals in real-time for your online event.
  4. Auctions: if your organization is committed to a silent auction, iConnectX offers a full suite of features to help you run your auction online. The key things to remember are sharing item images and having them well-organized. It’s also good to highlight auction items on your social media profiles.

     5. A tournament

Game tournaments bring energy and fun competition to fundraising with challenges that test team skills and aptitude. For your match, consider incorporating local businesses to sponsor prizes. Consider using a site like Gamefly to rent games; it works like old-school Netflix. Gamefly mails the game to participants, and they send it back. Services like Twitch stream games and services like Discord have video chat so participants can game together.

  1. Livestreaming

A livestream fundraiser is a great way to attract, cultivate and convert your audience. A nonprofit fundraising platform like iConnectX lets your livestream your events, just like Facebook Live, but better. Livestreaming is a powerful tool to share personal stories and videos, and there are a few points to consider when you’re planning your event:

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

    7. A recurring giving event

Recurring donation campaigns are among the top fundraisers; repeat donors give about 42% more for one year than a single-time donors. Encourage your supporters to provide regular monthly or quarterly gifts through a planned giving email blitz.

One way to make your campaign effective is to focus on donation tiers. iConnectX offers nonprofits the opportunity to raise more through a custom donation page rather than using a generic PayPal form. We suggest you keep your tier list to about four to six levels and remember to connect your tiers to their impact.

  1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has an important place in the fundraising world. When it comes to crowdfunding, consider what needs you must meet. For example, if your income fell during COVID, think about what your organization needs to pay for to return in person, rebuild, and provide programs safely.

Writing your crowdfunding appeal should include a sense of urgency, a relatable story, and a call to action. When it’s time to share your request, try a livestream where you ask followers to share it on their own social media. You can even incentivize them to share with swag like tee shirts, hats and tote bags.

Crowdfunding options include:

  • Costs to rehire staff
  • Services
  • Cultural improvements
  • Community support
  1. Social media takeovers

Social media takeovers are an exciting, momentum-building way to fundraise. You can coordinate a takeover by asking a corporate sponsor or a community partner to “give” their social media accounts to your organization one day per year.

During a takeover, your team members can post social content during the day to bring visitors to your organization’s social media pages and webpage. Social media takeovers are an approach to building brand visibility – it’s a great way to promote your campaigns and your nonprofit.

  1. Birthday and holiday fundraisers

Facebook is the most widely used social network; you’ve likely seen birthday fundraisers on the platform many times. Facebook offers a straightforward way to fundraise, and you don’t have to limit fundraising to birthdays.

You can ask your networks to create a birthday or holiday fundraiser. Instead of gifts, they can set up a personal fundraising page where supporters leave donations. You can use iConnectX to create DIY fundraising pages for supporters to personalize birthday and holiday fundraisers.

How iConnectX can help

iConnectX helps nonprofits fundraise; our comprehensive, straightforward platform offers many features to help you reach and exceed your goals. Our powerful platform makes it easy to reach current and prospective donors, increase audience reach and drive engagement.

Our robust, secure technology is here for you to raise more funds with less effort from online auctions, event ticketing, and peer-to-peer fundraising.

Sign up to create your online fundraiser for free on iConnectX.  

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 

  1. Identifying a goal
  2. Assemble a planning team
  3. Pinpoint your ideal audience
  4. Set a budget
  5. Choose the event type
  6. Create the event’s specifics
  7. 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! 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.  

  1. 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.  

  1. Budget

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.  

Metrics like:  

  • 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. 

  1. 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.  

  1. 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 
  1. 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 
  • Text-to-give 
  • 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! 

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

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

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

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

  1. Online Auctions

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

  1. Mobile Fundraising

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

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

How mobile phones are used for fundraising:

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

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

  1. Encourage Recurring Donations

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

  1. Matching Gifts

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

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

  1. Fundraising Events:

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

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

Ideas include:

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

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

  1. Virtual Parties

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

  1. Educational and Informative Events

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

  1. Organize Classes

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

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

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

  1. Competitions

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

  1. Karaoke

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

  1. Talent Shows

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

  1. Raise Funds by Selling Used Books

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

  1. Garage or White Elephant Sales

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

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

  1. Seasonal Product Sales

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

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

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

  1. Effective Communication

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

  1. Competitive Tasks

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

Ideas for competitive tasks include:

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

The Takeaway

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

Our platform offers:

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

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

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

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

Trends:

Event management and fundraising platforms

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

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

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

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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

Digital Marketing

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

Video Marketing

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

 Mobile Applications

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

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

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

Monthly Donations

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

Crypto Giving

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

Hybrid Events

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

Establish Your Goals

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

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

All stakeholders should be clear as to the following:

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

Tactics

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

Website Design

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

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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

Social Media Marketing

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

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

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

Email Marketing

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

Data Analysis Tools

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

Next Steps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Virtual Events are Here to Stay

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

  1. Online Donations

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

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

Scan to Give:

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

Text to Give:

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

Text to Donate:

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

Cashless Donations:

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

Blockchain:

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

Cryptocurrency:

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

  1. Social Media Promotions are Necessary

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

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

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

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

  1. Don’t Miss out on Email Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Fundraising Platforms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a look at some of them:

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

According to their report:

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

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

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

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

Here are 8 Powerful Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits:

  1. Online Donations

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

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

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

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

  1. Online Auctions

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

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

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

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

  1. Virtual Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Scan to Give

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

  1. Peer to Peer Fundraising

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

  1. Social Media Takeover

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

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

  1. Online Raffle

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

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

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

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

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

The past year has changed literally everything! We are all adapting to new ways of living and cautiously creating a “new normal!” The new normal is going to have technology at the forefront. This is because only technology can help people across the globe collaborate and work towards common goals.

The global economy has suffered huge setbacks in the past year and is still taking time to recover. The nonprofit sector is also impacted. However, it is heartening to note that more people across the globe are motivated to their bit for the community amid the crisis. Therefore, the nonprofit sector is witnessing more interest and involvement.

It is now time for nonprofits to buckle-up and adapt to the “new normal!”

Events are the mainstay for nonprofits to engage their audience. However, social distancing has put a halt on physical events since 2020. And virtual events have become popular in 2020.

Virtual events are the way ahead for nonprofits in 2021!

When organizing an event virtually, you need to get creative and organize events that engage a larger audience. It is recommended that you study the demographics of the donors for your cause and customize your event according to their interests.

Here’s how nonprofits can strategize virtual events to reach a wide audience:

How to make Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Virtual?

Peer-to-peer fundraising help create a sense of community. Besides they have the potential to generate twice the amount of funds compared to most other digital fundraising initiatives.

One of the best ways to convert existing campaigns into peer-to-peer fundraisers is by asking your donors to set up their own online fundraising pages and linking them through software tools. You can urge your donors to reach out to their friends and social groups to build the community.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a traditional form of fundraising that has an integrated online component.

You can create a dedicated crowdfunding page to fund a specific fund with a target amount. This method offers complete transparency, and you can communicate the progress to your donors easily.

Live-Stream

During the pandemic era, online videos have experienced a surge in engagement. Nonprofits can create live events on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Zoom.

Live-streaming comes closest to a physical event because it offers an opportunity to question and engage with each other.

Webinars

Webinars help raise awareness and engage the audience digitally. You can organize a series of webinars with specific agendas.

You can start with educating your audience about how to interact and what they stand to gain. You can organize informative webinars with the CEO and interviews, etc. with your donors.

Webinars are quite effective in engaging a wide audience and sharing valuable information.

Virtual Gala

This is an interesting concept of a virtual event where you can organize a fundraiser with the top supporters of your nonprofit. You can invite a speaker to address the group.

You can make it a fun event by organizing a virtual dinner party or luncheon. Decide on a menu and ask the members to cook. The group members can dress up for the virtual dinner party to add a zing! Alternatively, you could organize a theme party.

Such creative ideas make the event engaging for all the members.

Virtual Marathons

Did you think that marathons are impossible in 2021? Think again! Use your creativity to organize virtual marathons!

You can ask the attendees to run outside their homes or on the treadmill on a specific date at a particular time. Make sure to set up an activity goal when all attendees run at the same time on their own. Of course, the attendees must be asked to sign-up for the event and pay a registration fee.

Make it a fundraiser through the race date while tracking their race times. Check out who are members who cross their fundraising and physical finish lines. This a very effective method to engage the participants.

Take it a step ahead by celebrating the members with a live-stream. You can also make the event interesting by inviting someone from your organization to address the group. Help the participants to connect. This will make your event popular because, during the time of self-isolation, people will be looking for an opportunity to connect with other like-minded people.

The same concept can be used to organize a bikeathon or a climbathon. All these activities offer great engagement and are highly effective fundraisers.

Online Charity Auctions

Charity auctions are very popular fundraising events. Fortunately, the concept of online auctions existed even before the pandemic. In 2021, online auctions might almost replace physical auctions until the pandemic comes in control.

An online auction is beneficial as it can engage a global audience. You can use online auction platforms like iConnectx.com for an online auction.

Make bidding easy for your audience by setting up a page specifically for listing the items available for bidding. You can compare the bids and organize a fancy event to declare the winners. Events such as webinars, live streams, or Virtual galas are great options for declaring the winners.

Although, the concept of an online auction is simple to implement and offers several benefits, finding quality products for auction might be a challenge this year. This is because of the way businesses are struggling to cope with the present economic situation.

Virtual Conference

Don’t let social distancing hamper your efforts to cultivate a community! You can explore the option of the virtual conference for your purpose.

You could organize a day-long conference with talks, workshops, etc. in which people can dial into events of their choice.

Some examples of the speakers at the conference are members of the Board who can explain about the charity. It is a good idea to ask people who have benefitted from your organization to share their experiences. Experts who are knowledgeable about your cause can be good speakers at a conference.

Conferences may be organized on Zoom. Make sure to make the conference interactive to retain the interest of your audience.

Virtual Bingo/Concerts/Happy Hours

If you are looking to engage a wide audience, it is recommended you try different types of virtual events. This is because the type of audience you attract depends on the type of event you organize. While events like conferences are a little serious in nature, they will attract a specific type of audience events like virtual bingo, virtual concerts, or virtual happy hours are fun events that attract a very different type of audience.

While such events are organized virtually through Zoom, etc. they give the audience a feeling that they are getting out of their homes and having a night of fun.

Gaming Fundraisers

Gaming has become an extremely popular form of entertainment during the pandemic.

Virtual gaming can be used effectively for fundraising in different ways. For instance, you can engage popular gamers and Livestream their game. They can point viewers towards your fundraising campaigns.

Gaming can also be used to cultivate community by organizing a competition between teams. organizing such tournaments helps in fundraising. You can have local businesses sponsor gifts for winners of such tournaments.

These are some ideas of the types of virtual events you can organize. However, technology has made it easy to innovate and create more variations in virtual events.

An event management platform simplifies the process of organizing events. It is recommended that you choose a platform that offers you several features to give you the flexibility to add variations in your virtual event.

iConnectX is just the perfect platform for organizing any virtual event. This platform has been used for organizing events for nonprofits for several years. Therefore, it already has some of the essential features required for such events. Besides, at iConnectX, we are persistently updating the platform with new features to enhance the user-experience through events.

Connect with iConnectX to create events that will delight your audience!

Charity auctions are events where funds are raised by selling off items and products to whoever bids the highest. While the bidder gets to enjoy the product/item, the fundraising organization gets to enjoy the money. An absolute win-win situation!

If handled right, these events can prove to be immensely beneficial, both in raising funds and building long-term engagement with the donors and bidders. Before going into how an ideal event should be planned, let’s understand the essentials.

Types of Charity Auctions

There are three types of charity auctions

  1. Live Auctions
  2. Silent Auctions
  3. Online/Virtual Auctions

Live Auctions

These types of auctions are what most people think about when the word ‘auction’ comes up. In these events, an auctioneer with a gavel is present. He showcases the items on auction and manages the bidding process. The bidders place their bids using placards or by saying it out loud.

Silent Auctions

Silent auctions are events where items and products are displayed on tables for attendees to bid on. The bid can either be made by writing the amount down on a piece of paper or by using the phone. If you’d have watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S, the bid that takes place in the sitcom is an example of the silent auction.

Online/Virtual Auctions

Online or virtual auctions are like silent auctions except that these happen online through a dedicated website and a catalog of items on sale. Further, auction software is needed to help the fundraising organizations manage the entire process. If you happen to find the right platform to host online auctions, it is bound to give better and brighter results as the process becomes extremely easy.

Combined Auctions

You can also combine the auction types to create more impact. For instance, an online auction can be combined with the part where the bid happens live. This will help boost the adrenaline rush among the guests.

How To Host Charity Auctions

  1. Choose the right software
  2. Promote the event well
  3. Communicate with your supporters
  4. Follow-up

How to Host A Successful Charity Auction

1. Choose A Reliable Online Platform

Choosing a platform is of miraculous significance while planning to hold charity auctions. Ensure the platform allows easy and quick bidding delivers notifications and urges involvement.

2. Know Your Policies Well

Discuss and find solutions to questions like – How the prizes/items will be delivered to the bidders? Who will bear the shipping charges – the bidder or the organization? Be clear and articulate the same clarity to the audience so they know what to expect.

3. Engage the Audience

Keeping the audience hooked is of the utmost importance. You can share the pictures of the items that are put on bids to increase excitement and curiosity.

4. Don’t Spoil the Audience for Choice

Keeping a lot of bid options usually backfires. If we apply this to our own lives, we often end up buying nothing when we have a range of things to choose from. Hence, start small.

5. Keep the Prices of the Items Moderate

The prices should not be too high or too low. In case of hefty prices, nobody makes a purchase and in case of extremely low prices, people start questioning the quality of the products. Thus, the product prices should be strategically chosen.

6. Auction Software to Have the Donation Option

Ensure that your auction software has the Donation Option so the guests can pay easily, without any hassles.

The Benefits of Charity Auctions

1. Raise a Lot of Money

If you can get hold of unique and worthy items or products to put on sale, your charity auction is bound to garner a lot of attraction, which consequently will drive a lot of donations.

2. Know Your Donors Up-Close

Charity auctions are a great way to know your donors up-close and personal. One-on-one communication with your prospects can increase the chances of donations.

3. Saves Time

Charity auctions save a lot of time. For one, you don’t have to go around week after week asking for donations from individuals. It, thus, can raise a lot of money in a small period.

How to Promote Your Charity Auction

  1. Direct Mail: Letters, pamphlets, fliers, etc. prove to be of great help when promoting a charity auction.
  2. Email Marketing: This aspect must not be missed. In a world where checking emails is a part and parcel of your life, sending emails to promote events is a great move.
  3. Word of Mouth: Tell as many friends and relatives as you can and ask them to spread the word. Word of mouth works wonders.
  4. Social Media: Don’t neglect platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, etc to promote your event. Data says that 80% of people spend 2 hours on average on their social profiles daily.
  5. Make Phone Calls: Print a list of your major donors and call them personally to invite them to the event. A personal touch goes a long, long way.
  6. PPC: Run ads to reach out to more people. One usually gets triple the amount one spends on running ads.

Points to Note When Planning a Charity Auction

Stick to Your Budget

In live auctions, charity planners sometimes end up going extravagant with the theme, flowers, decorations, etc. The act of making everything appear aesthetically appealing sometimes disrupts the budget. This shouldn’t happen.

At all times, one thing that should be kept in mind is that the event is being organized to raise money and not to go overboard in spending. Hence, all the purchases must be made keeping the budget in mind.

Promote Your Items Early

Don’t wait for the auction day to showcase your items or products. Instead, start promoting them days in advance so the bidders know what they can grab and are excited for the same. This promotes more participation and ultimately more donations.

Procure Unique Items

Remember the thumb rule – The more unique the items, the more money you’ll be able to raise. Thus, asking for unique products from individuals and local businesses for donation so they can be put on a bid is a must.

Pick a Great Venue

Choosing a venue that’s spacious matters a great deal. It makes the audience comfortable and takes them to a state where they are happy to donate. Also, there must be enough space for tables (in case it’s a silent auction) and a podium (in case it’s a live auction).

If it’s a silent auction, using mobile bidding software can help you raise more money because of the convenience it offers. However, choosing the right software that is a perfect blend of ease and cost-efficiency is what will need your attention.

With this, we hope you got a comprehensive overview of the nitty-gritty in association with charity auctions. With the above pointers and the right tools, planning your next charity auction will be a breeze!

So, tempted to host a charity auction? Or looking for a platform to host your virtual auction? IConnectX is here to help!

Having helped hundreds of organizations raise money, we will walk you through everything that is needed to make your auction a successful event.

Get in touch today!

Just like the other sectors, COVID-19 has turned the nonprofit sector on its head. With around 5-10% of the US economy and 10% of the US employment dependent on nonprofit services, the pandemic has only made the country realize the power of this sector. And for good!

However, the way it has evolved during these unprecedented times is commendable. The nonprofit sector has, thus, given a path to a few trends that have made their way into 2021 and will continue to hold a firm grasp.

In this guide, we will dive deeper to understand 4 ways the nonprofit sector will evolve stronger in 2021.

1. Nonprofit Sector Will Turn Digital & Virtual

Because COVID seemed to be in no mood to leave us alone, the nonprofits eventually shifted from in-person to virtual events. While this shift was expected to be short-lived, the news is that it will continue over 2021 and beyond.

That’s precisely because digital events succeeded in blurring the geographical barriers, letting people (who otherwise wouldn’t have) participate.

Further, the lack of in-person volunteering has and will continue to make the virtual aspect of nonprofit marketing outshine the previous methodologies. This means that nonprofits will (have to) incorporate live-streaming, curate content for live events, install chat apps and promote virtual volunteerism.

This move will eradicate the largest barrier to volunteering i.e. volunteers citing busy schedules as an excuse. Volunteering from the comfort of their homes, thus, gives people their own space to bring about a difference in their own way.

Not just this, the focus will also shift a little more on digital communication, be it for meet-and-greets, fundraising, or likewise.

We might also see an evolution of virtual events. Here’s why!

Post a recent study from the Goodman Center that pointed out how 65% of the respondents raised concerns regarding videoconferences adding up to their fatigue, fear of virtual fundraising events becoming difficult cropped up alongside.

For example – For nonprofits that offer educational services, videoconferencing is not the best source.

Thus, the virtual event market is likely to experience a seachange and new tools will be introduced to support the online programs. This will enhance the experience of the attendees and donors.

2. High-Tech Technology Will Help Nonprofits Find Their Donors

Nonprofits will delve into high-tech solutions like

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Blockchain for Fundraising
  • Outcome Management
  • Enhanced Communication

This will be done to find the right donors.

For Example Direct mails or social media conversations are the primary mode of communication for nonprofits to target their potential audience.

However, these are still too basic to make an impact. AI is expected to wave its magic wand and introduce tools like automation which will personalize the messages along with reducing the effort while increasing the impact. Cool, right?

But how can these tools be managed?

Well, it’s simple! These tools can be added through managed cloud services, thereby letting the nonprofits boost their services whenever needed.

With tools like chatbots, AI can really turn the tables in terms of conducting better and brighter campaigns/events; be it serving the community in whatever way.

Long story short, nonprofits will enhance their communication using the latest technology.

Mobile, for one, will become a hotshot in 2021; thanks to the mobile marketing techniques that are impressively improving at an exponential rate.

According to research from the Blackbaud Institute, mobile donations represented 26% of all online donations in 2019, up from just 9% in 2014.

Giving Tuesday has seen $2.47 billion in donations in 2020 which is much higher than $1.97 billion in 2019. It is interesting to note that most of these donations have been through mobile.

3. Nonprofits Will See More Partnerships, Mergers, and Joint Ventures

As every business does, even nonprofit organizations tend to grow their branches into different areas where they can expand their programs. While they have the resources to carry out the expansion of operations, they don’t really have the right knowledge to do so. A human can only know so much, after all!

Because a single entity can’t have all the specializations, taking into consideration the technological and demographic shifts, 2021 will see nonprofits forming joint ventures, mergers, and partnerships.

In other words –

  • Some nonprofits will enter into strategic partnerships with other nonprofit organizations.
  • Some nonprofits will form joint partnerships with for-profit organizations.
  • Some nonprofits will consider mergers, either with other nonprofit or for-profit entities.

In 2021, we’ll witness nonprofits having concrete conversations regarding this with one another and also with the corporations to make a better impact.

Not just this, but many nonprofits are attuned to both private and public organizational goals and needs. This will make them create more public-private partnerships in 2021.

4. Grantmaking Will Become More Collaborative

Even before COVID-19 gave us all a blow, nonprofits were witnessing a shift in the grants process. Everybody related to this industry knows how crucial grants as resources are for nonprofits to fund and boost services that are offered to the communities.

But nobody worked towards making the grant process easier even after knowing how cumbersome it is for both the grantor and the grantee.

However, last year, we all saw how traditional grantmaking succumbed to pressure. This was because the demand for funds exponentially increased and grantors hustled to get grants out faster.

It is indeed commendable that nonprofits and Grantmakers could collectively raise their concern regarding this issue after all these years, thus coming up with a solution.

For Example: Outbound Funds Module is an open-source product that was built to help organizations disburse funds quickly and easily.

To enhance the collaboration between grantors and grantees, salesforce.org has built Grants Management as a complement to Outbound Funds. This has improved the grants experience right from the step of applying for the application to its distribution to its reporting.

Another example is The Malala Foundation. It records donor interactions through Grant Management and takes supporters on a convenient ride – right from the first step of initial conversation to the last step of donating. This not only lets them have an insight into how the donor’s journey has been but also the zeal to improve since they have the loopholes.

Thus, the relationship between grantors and grantees is likely to turn less transactional and more collaborative in 2021.

Some key changes that will be introduced are –

  • Better processes
  • Higher transparency
  • More feedbacks

Wrapping Up

With the world adapting to the new normal after the pandemic, it is only natural that people will adapt to the changes introduced in the nonprofit sector.

Because the world demanded it, even iConnectX as a brand revamped itself and now offers all nonprofits a digital platform and the right technology to hold virtual events, raise funds, carry out auctions, and more.

The thing is one can’t really lag when there’s a shift in the needs of the community.

Nevertheless, all the trends that are bound to evolve in the nonprofit sector will only give it a push to achieve newer and better heights. Even though it might seem difficult to replace the personal touch of a call, technology will soon take over, turning automation into the new “personal.”

It’s all subjective.

In case you are struggling or ever struggle dealing with the digitalization/virtualization of nonprofits or any of the points discussed above, remember iConnectX is just a live chat/call away.

Online fundraising is a way through which nonprofit organizations raise money via the internet. It usually involves an online donation page and can include mobile giving or peer-to-peer fundraising, among others.

With an overall growth of 4.1% over the past year in online giving, 2021 has been the 6th consecutive year of growth for nonprofits dealing in online fundraising.

How is Online Fundraising the Major Source of Revenue?

Online Fundraising has its own pros when it comes to becoming the major source of revenue. Let’s discuss the same in detail.

1. Online Fundraising is for All Nonprofit Sizes

Contrary to the popular belief that shares how only bigger organizations have the chance to grow exponentially via online fundraising, it is quite the opposite in reality. Not just this but according to the yearly reports, small, medium, and large organizations grew their online giving by a stellar margin, thus reiterating how fundraising is apt for all nonprofits, whatever be their size. In fact, small organizations showed the greatest increase in online giving.

Because every type of nonprofit has ended up growing through online fundraising, the overall revenue it generates is humongous. No wonder it has fast grown up to be the major source of revenue.

2. Online Fundraising is for All Ages

According to the most recent data, the average donor in the United States is 64 years old and makes 2 charitable gifts a year. We see a shift here as younger donors are now actively engaging with nonprofits that have successfully tapped into online marketing.

Creating a strong online presence is, thus, of the utmost importance for any nonprofit so it can attract a younger, more tech-savvy audience.

Gone are the days when online fundraising used to only connect the supporters with a cause. It has successfully leveled up and now connects a person to another.

For Example, Barbells for Boobs, an organization raising money for breast cancer showcases the pictures and progress of fundraisers on their website. It’s their way of being authentic, thereby driving more funding.

Online fundraising has, therefore, nothing to do with age since anybody can be an active donor. However, it has everything to do with equipping the prospects with the right tools. Once they are empowered in this domain, they will not only support the cause but will also bring more contributors.

For example: When the organization Sing 4 America launched a campaign that was easy to follow, it activated 90% of their fundraising community. That’s the power of devising powerful campaigns. Besides this, 56 was the average age of the contributors that came forward to help.

Because age doesn’t matter here, the number of people who can come forward for the donations increases manifold and so do the contributions. This makes online fundraising a great revenue booster.

3.Online Fundraising is for All Sectors

According to the Giving USA report, all nonprofit subsectors have been witnessing year-over-year growth in online giving.

Most nonprofit subsectors even witnessed a greater increase in online fundraising receipts compared with overall giving.

Whatever be the sector – arts, culture, finance, education, etc. online fundraising works equally well in every domain, with slight fluctuations every now and then.

Some Facts About Online Fundraising

  • More than a third of overall charitable giving happens in the last three months of the year, and around 30% of annual online gifts are made in December.
  • Average gift sizes increase by as much as 50% in the last few days of the year.
  • Female donors are more likely to donate because of social media marketing, while male donors are more likely to give because of email messages.
  • Overall online revenue generated from online fundraising increased by 23% over the past year, up from 15%.
  • Online donations to environmental and human rights-related missions grew the most, 34% and 37% respectively.
  • 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%.

Where Does Bulk of Revenue Come From For Nonprofit Funding Sources?

Nonprofit organizations demand tapping into newer ways of raising revenue every year. This is because they constantly need to try things out to reach their goal while keeping the cause intact.

While the themes on which the organization works varies with each passing year and so do the donors, what doesn’t change much is the source of funding.

4 ways that make online fundraising generate the biggest revenue.

Fees for Service

Whenever the word ‘nonprofit’ is uttered, a picture of donors offering their donations is conjured. However, what most of us fail to realize is that there indeed is a certain amount of income that comes from the fees that they charge for their services or from the sale of products.

Statistics show that the funds garnered from the service fees account for about 48% of the total revenue for nonprofit organizations.

2. Charitable Contributions

There are no two ways about nonprofits receiving funding from myriad sources. But the highest percentage of funding comes from individual charitable contributions.

Giving USA Report 2018 shows that in 2017, the total charitable contributions made in the United States were roughly $410.02 billion, whereby 71 percent of this amount was from individual contributors.

3. Corporate Philanthropy

Corporate philanthropy has become the talk of the town and a crucial aspect of nonprofit organizations. Consequently, these organizations are continuously making corporate partnerships that help in cause-related marketing and sponsorships.

Even companies motivate their employees to make donations. Thus, the nonprofits that connect with some companies are bound to benefit.

4. Government Grants

Nonprofit organizations receive their funds from all government levels, provided their cause is genuine. This results in easy media access, higher education, and public education.

Not only this, the expenses for the programs, events, and workshops that are conducted by the nonprofit organizations are covered by the government, especially when it comes to healthcare and human service.

How Can Your Nonprofit Organization Generate More Revenue?

1. Go Digital. Go Mobile-Friendly

Even though digital marketing is quick. Digital funding takes time. So even if you let yourself dive into the pool of digitalization, you’ll have to give funding some time. Take small steps. Create a website. Drive traffic. Build an email list.

2. Make Online Donations Easy

How? With the right software! You can create a fundraising page for your event attendees upon signup, personalize their pages, customize the CTA options, and more.

This is where iConnectX comes into play. It gives all nonprofits a platform to hold virtual events.

Besides this, when you have the right software, your physical event doesn’t need to be limited by geographical boundaries. You can easily expand participation beyond a city, a state, a nation, and more.

Fundraising software also opens the door for your event to raise “gifts on the go.” A mobile responsive landing page allows a donor to instantly connect with your cause and make a payment.

This can, thus, help increase the revenue of your nonprofit organization by leaps and bounds.

If you’re tempted to try out the industry’s best fundraising software, don’t forget to get in touch with iConnectX through a call or live chat.

We’d love to run you through it.