2020 and 2021 have been turbulent years for people across the globe. The pandemic has taken its toll on businesses and economies worldwide. The non-profit sector also felt the heat of the disturbing times. Fundraising strategies for nonprofits needed to be changed. Virtual events replaced in-person events. And, nonprofits were forced to take a digital route as far as fundraising was concerned.
Responsive website designs, online donations, mobile giving, were some methods that became popular for donating to charities. Different fundraising strategies adopted by nonprofits bore mixed results.
Here’s a look at some of them:
The FEP released its findings for the trend in Giving in 2020 and 2021. (Source: https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/donors/study-first-quarter-2021-fundraising-beat-2020/)
According to their report:
- Giving in the first quarter of 2021 grew over that in 2020 by 6%.
- The number of donors in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 10% over 2020 and the donor retention rate grew by 13.6% in the same period.
- However, it is important to note that not all nonprofits experienced this increase in the number of donors, or the funds raised. The funds raised by charities associated with religious organizations and Human Services experienced an increase while most other charities were not so fortunate.
We do not know exactly how long the pandemic will last or how much it is going to impact the nonprofit sector. But nonprofits can leverage these insights to plan their fundraising for the future.
Now, when 2022 is just around the corner, it is time that nonprofits pulled up their socks and planned their fundraising for the coming year!
Looking at the current scenario, virtual fundraising seems to be an effective means in the near future!
Here are 8 Powerful Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits:
Facilitating online donations for donors is no longer a choice but a must for nonprofits. Data reveals that online donations increased by 23% last year over 15% off the previous year. (Source: https://doublethedonation.com/tips/matching-grant-resources/nonprofit-fundraising-statistics/) Hence nonprofits must ensure that they provide easy and simple online methods for donations. Especially in the current scenario when it is difficult for donors to visit specific locations to donate, online donations are necessary to enable donors to contribute.
If donors can relate to a nonprofit and wish to support its cause then online donations make it easy for them to contribute to the charity from any part of the world.
Online donations can be made through the website of the nonprofit. The website should be easy to navigate and the donation page and donation button must be clear and easy to access. Online donations can also be facilitated through the social media pages of the nonprofit.
Non-profits can also offer other means of online donations to make it easy for donors to contribute.
Charity auctions have been an extremely popular means of fundraising among donors for years. However, in-person auctions had to be stopped in 2020 because of the COVID 19 restrictions. However, many nonprofits have switched to a virtual mode of holding charity auctions. In an online auction, the bidders can view the products on which bids are to be placed online. They can place their bids anonymously. They will get an alert when a higher bid is placed. They can raise their bids as and when they desire. The time limit for the auction is indicated by the nonprofit and all bids need to be sent within the deadline specified. The winning bids are announced in a virtual event where all bidders are present.
The benefits of online auctions to nonprofits are that they cut down on several expenses such as venue costs, hosting costs, transportation costs, etc. Besides, they save on the time, effort, and manpower required for hosting the online event. Nonprofits can also reach a wide audience easily online. People across the globe can participate in an online auction.
The participants of the auction enjoy the benefit of placing the bids from the comfort of their homes at a time of their convenience.
However, hosting a successful auction requires an event management platform to facilitate it. The software available for hosting such events can be expensive. Therefore the cost of the platform must be budgeted for while organizing an online auction.
Virtual events have become the alternative to in-person events when the pandemic has forced us all indoors. Nonprofits have created innovative virtual events to attract donors for their fundraisers.
Virtual events are facilitated through Zoom calls, webinars, Facebook Live, or Instagram Live events. In the past year, we have seen how these types of events have been successful in attracting a wide audience.
However, virtual events do not provide an opportunity for physical interaction for the audience. Therefore, it becomes challenging for nonprofits to host virtual events that engage their audience for the entire duration of the event.
Nonprofits have offered different ways of engaging their audience through break room chats, Q&As, etc.
Some of the virtual events hosted by nonprofits include online concerts, digital movie nights, virtual races, and more.
Text-to-give and text-to-donate have become extremely popular methods of donation in recent times because of the convenience they offer.
Text-to-give is a method of donating where the donor is required to message a keyword to a shortcode. The amount donated is charged in the cellphone bill of the donor and the mobile service provider remits the amount to the nonprofit.
Text-to-donate is a little different from text to give. In text-to-donate, the donor messages the keyword to a shortcode. He is directed to the registration form of the nonprofit where he furnishes his details and donates the amount directly to the nonprofit.
Text-to-give and text-to-donate are convenient for both donors and nonprofits.
Scan to Give
Scan to give is another method of donating using the smartphone. In this method, the nonprofit shares a QR code that the donor can scan and donate the amount to a charity. This method is popular because the donor can contribute any amount at any time of his convenience. Scanning a QR code is possible for donors even when they are on the go. It is a safe and secure method of fundraising which is also easy for nonprofits to provide to their donors.
Peer to Peer Fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising is an effective fundraising strategy for nonprofits. In peer-to-peer fundraising supporters of the nonprofit and other individuals create fundraising pages on behalf of the nonprofit. They share the page in their community, among their friends and network to ask for donations.
Social Media Takeover
This is an interesting and effective virtual fundraising strategy. In social media takeover, you can request your corporate partner permission to use their social media accounts for a day.
You can spread the word about your fundraiser on the social media accounts of your partner. Nonprofits can share links to their website, social media pages, their online donation forms, etc. Social media takeover helps increase the visibility of your brand and raises awareness about your cause. It helps you tap into an existing online audience and boosts your reach.
An online raffle is when participants need to purchase raffle tickets. One lucky winner wins the raffle prize. Raffles have been an effective fundraising strategy in the past and online raffles are also effective in raising funds for a cause.
However, the nonprofit needs to clearly communicate the purpose of the fundraiser and the cause that is being supported to attract donors.
This becomes easier by choosing an event hosting platform like iConnectx which facilitates customizing the event with your brand colors and logo besides making it easy for you to tell your brand’s story to your audience.
Most of the online fundraising strategies require software to organize and host fundraisers. There is a myriad of platforms with specific features available for event management. The non-profit must select a platform that meets all its needs. It is recommended to opt for a platform that helps host different types of fundraisers.
iConnectx is a platform that has all the features that facilitate hosting different types of events and fundraisers for nonprofits. This platform is easy to use and has a team to support the installation and maintenance of the platform. This platform also offers tools for marketing and promotion besides facilitating customization with brand colors and logos.