5 Proven Nonprofit Fundraising Strategies

March 25, 2016
10 minutes

Listen, we know that working in the nonprofit world is a labor of love, and we’re all involved because we care about what we do, but the hard truth is that you’ve got to keep the lights on somehow.

This is a challenge no matter your size. For established nonprofits, it can be tempting to try to reinvent the fundraising wheel, and newcomers often don’t know where to begin. No type of business is truly clear-cut when it comes to operations, but nonprofits can be especially challenging if you aren’t sure how to make the impact you want while sustaining your growth and relationships.

You don’t have to guess or resort to trial and error, there are tried-and-true methods that never go out of style, and to that end, we’ve compiled some of the best fundraising ideas for nonprofits. These five proven nonprofit fundraising strategies can help you succeed no matter your size, location, or mission. Let’s dive right into the ways in which you can make nonprofit fundraising a breeze!

Spend Time Developing Your Online Donation Form

Nonprofits have a million things to do at all times and it might not seem like a smart use of time to spend hours on your online donation form. After all, as long as people know where to click and you have basic fields that capture their information, you should need much else, right? Think again as the way a nonprofit presents itself online can make a huge impact on whether people donate at all and how much they contribute if they do.

  • Your online donation form should transition seamlessly to your website, so it’s important to use the same logos, colors, font, and anything else that makes your brand stand out against others that have similar missions. Make sure your branding is consistent!
  • Remember that a little goes a long way. Attention spans are short these days! Make sure to share the most important points of your message and use compelling images to capture viewers’ attention but don’t overload them with text.
  • Provide options for donors with multiple donation levels and the choice of single or recurring gifts. Don’t be afraid to put some high ticket selections there as well (it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?)

Nonprofit fundraising relies heavily on your online donation form so now’s the time to create one for the first time or revisit the one you’ve been using since the early 2000s. You don’t need any special design or coding skills when you use Funraise, which means you can create beautifully designed forms with just a few clicks.

Build a custom nonprofit donation form in Funraise in minutes.

Let People Text You Their Money!

Some people are going to continue to insist on mailing paper checks, but this is the mobile age, and most people conduct their financial business online or on their phone. An online donation form is an easy way to solicit donations, but not everyone is going to take the time to sit down at their computer and complete it. Instead, a more practical nonprofit fundraising strategy is the use of text-to-give.

  • Encouraging people to donate via text is applicable to a variety of situations like during live events, collecting funds during an emergency, or as a reminder for regularly scheduled outreach efforts.
  • Keeping your text short and sweet is still the most effective strategy. People get a lot of texts and emails! A short text asking for a donation is the best way to engage busy individuals.
  • Nonprofits should understand the difference between text-to-donate and text-to-give as the two have their own nuances. While the verbiage appears to be interchangeable, the consequences for a nonprofit are important to consider.

Most organizations find that text-to-give helps them achieve their nonprofit fundraising goals with ease. Not only does it allow them to reach any donor anywhere but it also appeals to younger individuals who are eager to contribute to their favorite cause. Funraise allows you to seamlessly integrate text-to-give features that are easy to use.


See how this works for yourself! →


Don’t Discount the Recurring Monthly Giver

A huge one-time donation is great, sure, but as exciting as that can be, nonprofits should be equally thrilled when they see consistent contributions month after month. It can be hard to plan when donations come in randomly, pushing many organizations toward developing campaigns around recurring givers.

  • Although it comes along with the territory, constantly asking for donations can become exhausting. With the implementation of a monthly giving program, your staff is asking fewer people for gifts each month. Donors tend to love this type of setup as well because once their donation is set up, they don’t have to do a thing!
  • Checking in with recurring givers shouldn’t be overlooked, however, because even if they’re only contributing $5 per month, each individual counts. Your organization can even host special events just for those who give regularly.
  • Consider starting a recognition campaign for those who give monthly. Branded items, recognition on your website, or even their name on a brick somewhere all matter to those who contribute regularly. While they may not be on your payroll, monthly givers are certainly members of your nonprofit team.

Monthly giving programs aren’t any harder to develop than other types of donations with Funraise. Simply set up the option for your donors and they can complete their monthly recurring gift in just a few minutes. Advanced tools ensure you never miss a donation including automated emails to remind donors of credit card expirations and credit card auto-updating.

Reach More People With Social Media

Even your older donors are likely to be social media users, and the younger your target market skews, the more likely they are to use one or more social media platforms regularly. Rather than investing exclusively in your website or on in-person events, make sure you’re carefully and deliberately curating your social media presence.

  • Including your campaign on social media naturally brings more eyes to your cause with minimal effort and allows you to show donors your progress in real-time. Instead of worrying about how to develop a new page on your website for each of your campaigns, simply add your information and photos to Facebook and it does the rest!
  • Our own data shows that Facebook integration is extremely effective -- connecting Funraise with Facebook increases donations by 85%!
  • Many consider a social media profile as an “insider look” into nonprofit fundraising efforts. Your potential donors can see photos and videos of the impact you’ve had in your community and can find all of your information in one organized place.
  • Just like social media is utilized in our personal lives, these platforms can help your nonprofit to develop relationships that may otherwise wouldn’t form. Viewing a website can be a very one-sided experience for a donor, but with Facebook, Instagram, and more, they have more of an opportunity to become involved.

Using social media may not sound like a revolutionary nonprofit fundraising strategy, but it’s proven to work. It’s also easier than ever to expand your social media presence intelligently and successfully.

The Funraise Facebook integration for nonprofits allows you to sync all of your Facebook donation data to your CRM.

Explore How P2P Fundraising Works

Sure, some things you’ll need to do yourself, but when it comes to nonprofit fundraising, the more help you can get the better. In recent years, peer-to-peer or P2P fundraising has taken off as a way to expand your reach and exponentially boost campaign results.

  • The average P2P gift is nearly three times larger than the average online gift, and when paired with recurring donations, raises three to four times more than other fundraisers!
  • It can be discouraging to throw a wide net and catch nothing, so leveraging the power of your peers can make a world of difference. When you post about your cause on social media, anyone and everyone can like and share, thus encouraging more people to get involved.
  • Consider developing a rewards program for your most successful supporters. It may take a little extra time to keep track of who brought in the most donations but can also be a great incentive for people to share as much as they can.
  • Just because you have more people involved in a P2P campaign doesn’t mean you have to work harder. Make sure you have a solid foundation set up before you embark upon this adventure including an easy to navigate online donation form, a social media presence, and the ability to receive donations via text.

Funraise helps you create impactful peer-to-peer campaigns with minimal effort, allowing nonprofits to develop customizable supporter pages, integrate their campaign with Facebook, and more. When you have the tools for success, P2P can be one of the most effective fundraising ideas for nonprofits.

Need Help Implementing These Nonprofit Fundraising Strategies? We Can Help

Innovation is important, but so too are the fundamentals. Some strategies are always going to work, and it’s good to have a foundation, whether your nonprofit is well-established or just starting out. Even if you are exceeding your goals regularly, consider streamlining your efforts with Funraise.

Ideal for new and established nonprofits, Funraise takes the work out of nonprofit fundraising, and can help you put all of these strategies into practice.

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