In the nonprofit world, there are so many different ways to go about fundraising that it can make your head spin! While every development professional has some tried and true strategies for raising donations, a few good tools can make a difference for your cause or university. Here are seven of our favorite fundraising tools and techniques:
1. Amazon Smile
Amazon delivers everything with just the touch of a button. With every click of the mouse, your nonprofit can benefit. Simply by encouraging your supporters to make you their charity of choice on Amazon Smile, you can collect a small donation with every purchase they make. While the margins might be thinner than some other donation tools, you can still accrue a good donation using this every year. Amazon also helpfully prompts their customers to use Amazon Smile, increasing your donations without any extra effort on your part. Register your nonprofit with Amazon Smile and make it easier than ever for your supporters to donate!
2. Facebook Donations
Another simple way to boost your donations is by adding a “donate” button to your Facebook Page. It easily reminds supporters old and new that you can give to the cause or give back to your university. It’s low-maintenance and hassle-free once you’ve added it, and can bring a bit of extra giving each year – especially as your Facebook audience continues to grow.
3. Email Campaigns
While Facebook and Amazon Smile both offer simple ways to passively fund-raise throughout the year, more engaging efforts can yield the best results. Email fundraising appeals can give you truly great results if they’re set-up the right way. One good strategy for an email campaign is to showcase a result or the people you’re impacting, such as how charity:water crafted their campaign to build wells in Rwanda. If you need a hand creating an email campaign to drive fundraising results, we can help.
Creating a fundraiser on a crowdfunding platform is a cinch, and it gives you immediate access to a group of people who are already engaged and ready to donate. It also gives you (or even your supporters) a special opportunity to take your donations to a new level by capitalizing a significant social or cultural event. The best example I’ve seen lately of a crowdfunding campaign for a nonprofit was “Help protect Betty White from 2016” in which a person offered to protect Betty White from death after many other celebrities had passed on. Buried in the humor of this message is where the money will actually go: a theater. Shared 68,000 times, this is a great fundraising technique to use!
5. Apple Pay
Mobile payment is on the rise and it’s important for nonprofits to stick with the times. The CEO of charity:water recently said that 25% of their donations were coming in from mobile. Setting up mobile payments through Apple Pay gives your users a mobile-friendly way to support your cause. Mobile-friendly ways of operating are also increasingly more important to appeal to younger, brand-loyal Millenial donors.
6. Peer to Peer Fundraising
Without a doubt you’ve heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – a great example of peer to peer fundraising at work in the real world. While not every nonprofit will achieve the social spread of that challenge, any development professional can set up a pretty similar scheme on the web with peer to peer fundraising platforms. The concept is similar because you are relying on your network of supporters (or those within the platform you’re using) to continue sharing the donation campaign. One good option to put this into practice is Razoo, which charges about a 5% transaction fee on any donations you get by using it, but also gives your donors the option to pay those fees for you (so you can receive the full donated amount).
A good phone-a-thon can bring in a high volume of donations in a limited timeframe. Volunteers and supporters are often willing to take a shift manning the phones, and for a boost, if you can get press coverage in the form of local news crews or radio show mentions, this gives a lift to your efforts. Before you get started with your phone-a-thon, be sure to review your database and check the phone numbers. The last thing you want is to miss a donation because your phone numbers are out-of-date. If you need help reviewing, just send AlumniFinder your list and we’ll be sure that you’re ready to go.
8. Hosting Events
While online tools and calling to support your fundraising efforts are fantastic, sometimes a more personal touch is needed. Hosting an event at your nonprofit or university is a great way to showcase what you’re doing. By having a person you’ve supported there, you can show who your work benefits. Or by simply having a great, fun event you can raise the money you need to make an impact. Every year, our local zoo, aquarium and historic theater have craft beer nights where local and national beers are served. It’s always packed and fun events like these are a great time to recruit new volunteers as well.
9. Direct Mail
The most time-tested method of getting donations is by simply asking. Direct mail fundraising can be highly successful and certainly, this fundraising tool is one you shouldn’t miss. In the past, we’ve seen clients hit their fundraising goals quickly with a well-timed and strategic mailing, so we know it works.
With these fundraising tools and techniques under your belt, you’ll be able to achieve your goals. Plus, remember that the AlumniFinder team is always here to support your efforts. If you need a hand meeting your fundraising goals, just contact us!
Bonus Tools for Nonprofits
Canva for Nonprofits
Design subscriptions can be pricey, but every good fundraiser has design needs. In fact, a flashy social ad, a well-designed email or an eye-catching direct mail piece are all important components of your fundraising strategy. When the design is right, you’re more likely to receive a better response to your fundraising asks. One easy way to knock-out design projects is with the free online tool, Canva. For nonprofits only, you can access premium features (including free photos, illustrations, and layouts to help you create great designs). This tool quickly and easily allows you to create a variety of designs, whether you need social graphics, flyers or other elements. Additionally, it is incredibly simple to use, making it a great resource for even design beginners on your team to create what they need.
Google for Nonprofits
Another neat resource that nonprofits shouldn’t miss is by Google. Did you know that as a nonprofit you can receive up to $10,000 in donated Adwords every month? Simply by registering your nonprofit with Google, you can boost your organization’s online presence or specific fundraising pages by appearing in Google Search result ads. The impact that this can have for your organization is significant, so if you aren’t taking advantage of this free perk, you should get registered today.