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.  

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:

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:

  1. 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.

  1. Giving Tuesday

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Offer Services

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.

  1. Thanksgiving Party

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.

  1. Thanksgiving Gifting

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!