The new year is here, and what better time than a fresh, modern, and current update of your online fundraising strategies? Innovation is a constant in the nonprofit sphere, and here are ten exciting fundraising ideas for your nonprofit organization to keep pace.
1. Micro Projects
Micro Projects are an effective way to transform a fundraising goal from aspirational to achievable. Breaking down a larger goal, for example by launching 10 $5,000 campaigns instead of one for $50,000, will bring more of your donors the satisfaction of helping you reach – and surpass – a goal, bringing in many more total donations.
2. E-commerce and Perks
While the idea of ‘commerce’ may seem incompatible with charitable causes, there’s more to be gained than you might think. Nonprofits can use and expand on Perks to create a shopping-like experience for their donors, running a small online shop where that raises money by selling related gifts and products. Check out Modern Nomad’s great work on this trend!
3. Working with Sponsors
One more interesting fundraising idea is working with sponsors. Local and corporate sponsors have so much to offer charities and nonprofits, such as providing matching dollars and products to be used as gifts and donor incentives. Especially if your sponsor’s product or service is in high demand, you can team up with them to offer incentives that will be impossible to resist! For example, Yule Duel partnered up with Evo Car Share to to provide impressive rewards to all their campaign donors.
4. Marketing and Thinking Like For-Profits
Online storefronts aren’t the only way the nonprofit sector can pick up some tricks from the corporate world. While many charities and nonprofits may balk at the idea of a dedicated marketing budget for their cause, money expended here can bring incredible gains in audience reach, leading to dramatically increased donations.
5. Virtual Galas
These clever events bypass the sky-high costs associated with hosting an actual benefit gala and get straight to the point, just asking the generous donor for their assistance – with all the donations going straight to the charity’s mission. The benefits can be broadcast live on social media and and released to the press, with the angle that donation will be going straight to your important cause, rather than a lavish event with veiled hopes to woo money from its attendees. It’s one of the fundraising ideas that worked well for Gary, Indiana’s Sojourner Truth House, who called it their “Bathrobe Ball”.
6. Giving Days
#GivingTuesday may be over, but there’s no reason charities can’t build on its success with their own designated fundraising or awareness-building days. Any message will have more impact if it’s timely, so concentrating your charitable efforts around a specific date will concentrate buzz and rally supporters around your cause. For Giving Tuesday 2017, we recognized a number of the year’s best campaigns!
7. Evolving your Email Strategy
While email will always be an important part of your online fundraising strategy, declining open rates and segmented inboxes may mean it shouldn’t be your main arm of outreach. Instead, look at email as a long-term relationship building strategy for new and existing donors. Try to provide donors with content that will make them want to open your messages – instead of making every email another request for donations.
Across all platforms, video is king, raking in more views and engagement than any other type of content. According to some reports, video is on track to make up over 80% of ALL internet traffic within the next two years. Clearly, if the nonprofit sector isn’t leveraging the power of this medium, we’re missing out. Make entertaining, educational video content a cornerstone of your online fundraising campaign.
9. Social Media Giving
Humans are inherently social creatures, and these days, more and more of that socializing is done online. Never underestimate the power of social connections, and brainstorm how you can use online social connections to spread awareness of your cause. Special, branded cover photos or profile photo frames can let your donors spread the word that they support your cause, while humorous branded picture content can be shared virally and spread awareness. The possibilities are endless, so be creative!
10. Empathize with and Think Like Your Donors!
Throughout all of these suggestions, the common thread is that as fundraisers, we should put ourselves in the donor’s shoes. At every turn, we should be thinking about what the donors want to see, and how they want to feel, instead of focusing exclusively on our goal of bringing in more donations. Whether that’s a fun experience like shopping on an e-commerce website, providing fun and valuable email content in a conversational tone, or giving your donors a fun way to virally share their support online, empathizing with our supporters is at the heart of all fundraising success.
We hope these ten fresh new fundraising ideas for 2018 have brought you some optimism and inspiration for the new year. Keep looking forward, evolving, and never give up! FundRazr offers innovative solutions to help you meet your fundraising goals in 2018. Get started now for free!