Effective Fundraising in 2022: 20+ Tips
Running a nonprofit means having to ask for donations — all the time. Even the most established nonprofits find fundraising challenging.
But the best part is that online giving is on the rise. Over the last year, it increased by 12.1%. Moreover, many donors (41%) even committed to monthly donations. You, too, can benefit from these donations if you put in the right fundraising efforts.
In today’s article, we’re rounding up some of the best fundraising tips to move you in the right direction. For your convenience, we’ve grouped our fundraising tips into general-purpose fundraising ideas, ideas for setting up your fundraiser, and ideas for promotions. Here goes.
6 Effective Fundraiser Ideas
The following six fundraising tips are good to try for most nonprofits. If implemented correctly, they can be very successful.
1. Hold a Bake Sale
Food makes thousands of people happy, and if you plan it right, it can make donors of them too. A bake sale needs a few elements, such as a location and talented volunteers. However, if you have them within your organization, you can deliver the goods.
You don’t have to stop at a bake sale either. For example, you can sell food door-to-door if you have the means. You can also combine this type of fundraising event with others to maximize the donations you receive.
2. Organize a Trivia Night
In fact, this doesn’t have to be a trivia night per se. You can hold any in-person events, such as auctions, comedy nights, talent shows, and more. However, a trivia night is an excellent way to get as many potential donors involved in your event as possible.
A trivia or quiz night is also a fantastic event to combine with the bake sale idea. You can stretch your donor’s gray matter and feed those hungry heads with refreshments to bring in even more donations.
3. Organize a Raffle
Speaking of which, you might also want to host a raffle, as it’s a stellar type of event. However, this doesn’t have to be an in-person event. You could hold this one online too, depending on your access to a suitable location and volunteers to help run the event.
For this one, you’ll need prizes to give away. Lots of times, local businesses will be happy to contribute if it means they leverage some extra promotion. You might also hold this alongside other events too – it’s a flexible fundraising idea.
4. Sell Merchandise
Merchandise such as mugs, t-shirts, caps, and more isn’t just for a nonprofit’s staff or volunteers. Donors, too, would love to own them. Such items also double up as a unique and passive branding opportunity. Put up your branded gear on sale!
While you’ll need some capital upfront to make the merchandise, there is greater long-term value here than in other fundraising types. This is because every piece of ‘merch’ you sell will advertize your nonprofit organization. Get that message right, and it could generate more donations for your cause.
5. Seek Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities
One way for businesses to grow is to support nonprofits and causes that their customers care about. That explains why so many companies partner with nonprofits they believe their potential customers will like. Corporate sponsorship partnerships can guarantee a lucrative stream of donations for many reasons and can bring you much-needed cash to further help others.
Actively pursue businesses that believe in doing good and plan bigger fundraising drives together.
6. Launch a Crowdfunding Platform
If the likes of Kickstarter and GoFundMe teach us anything, it’s that crowdfunding can be a fantastic way to generate cash, especially for a fundraising drive. However, you don’t need to opt for a third-party platform if you run a WordPress website.
We’ll have more to say about this later, but the Charitable Ambassadors extension can help you set up crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising on your own WordPress site. You can leverage the benefits, all while having direct influence over how the platform operates.
13 Tips to Help Set Up Your Fundraiser
The next set of tips relates to your setup process. Of course, a successful fundraiser needs expert planning and execution, and these 13 tips help with precisely that.
1. Set a Fundraising Target
It helps to have a monetary figure to aim for when you start a fundraising program. But it should be realistic for both you and your potential donors.
This isn’t only to make sure you achieve your goal but also to motivate your donors to donate some more. After all, your donors also want your campaign to win, and when they see you’re looking at a specific target, they do their best too. Later on, we’ll provide another fundraising tip that nicely dovetails with this one.
2. Create a Fundraising Page or Donation Form
Of course, if you want to collect donations, you’ll need a suitable way to do so. A form or dedicated fundraising page is almost a non-negotiable, especially if you’re going to conduct an online fundraiser.
For WordPress users, Charitable provides almost all of the functionality you need to create, publish, and manage your donation forms. Because it uses the familiar WordPress interface, you’ll be able to create your forms in no time.
3. Suggest Recommended Donation Amounts
The power of suggestion is a popular trope because it works, especially for your nonprofit organization. Suggesting a recommended donation can help curtail any potential decision paralysis. There’s evidence to suggest that some users will donate more to your cause if you give them a suggested donation figure.
One other benefit of using suggested donation amounts is that you can share their impact right away. For example, you can suggest a $10 sum “… to go toward upkeep of the church hall,” or “…to provide a hot meal for those who need it.” This gives extra context that can cause someone on the fence to donate.
4. Accept Donations Through a Variety of Payment Methods
Using the right payment gateway can sway someone to donate to your cause. Some people even have a preferred gateway, and you’ll want to include this – along with cash and check options – so they feel comfortable enough to give.
A WordPress plugin such as Charitable will support major payment gateways such as PayPal, Braintree, Stripe, Mollie, and more. This ensures you can support a user while they donate.
5. Tell Inspiring Stories About Your Beneficiaries
We mentioned how offering donors some context into how their money is used is essential when fundraising. Here’s how to give even more insight to users into how their donation helps. Tell the stories of those who will benefit from your fundraising. This inspires donors to donate more and repeatedly, especially for humanitarian causes:
This also boosts donor loyalty for your nonprofit organization and earns your donors’ trust in your business practices.
6. Add a Clear Call To Action (CTA) on Your Donation Page
A CTA is vital regardless of the type of business you run. This is akin to an “activation word” that gets the job done! The goal of a donation CTA is to turn a visitor into a donor, and a good CTA will do this over and again. The primary place you’ll see this is on buttons:
While there are a lot of tips we could give, our main one is not to be frightened to ask for a donation. If you aren’t clear about what your organization needs, you won’t ever get it.
7. Make the Deadline for the Fundraiser Clear
Like your donation goal, everyone should also know when the fundraiser deadline is. This is not only for efficiency, though – it can help you capture your next donation.
There are lots of ways you can implement a deadline. Using text is straightforward, but you can also embed elements such as a countdown timer. Do whatever it takes to mark the date for your donors. It’s OK, however, to extend that deadline if you need extra time to collect donations or keep them coming in.
8. Publicize Your Fundraising Goal Progress
In addition to having a clear fundraising target, it’s also a sound idea to publicize that figure. This has two distinct benefits:
- You ‘solidify’ your aims in public and set a measure of accountability.
- If potential donors see how close you are to your goal, this can spur them to get you over the finish line.
The best way to showcase your goal and progress is through a donation meter on your site. The Charitable plugin also provides a widget that shows the number of donations and the running total.
9. Post Regular Updates on the Status of Your Fundraiser
You should also update your benefactors on the status of your fundraiser. Doing this at regular intervals will help you connect with readers and show them how the campaign is going.
Also, with the proper wording, your updates can inspire the reader to return for donating. This ties in with telling stories and giving more context about your nonprofit and fundraiser.
10. Allow for Anonymous Donations
Not everyone wants to show off that they donate to a good cause. As such, allowing for anonymous donations could see more funds come your way.
Charitable offers a way to set this up through a dedicated extension:
This will add a checkbox to a donation page, obfuscating the benefactor’s name wherever you show it on your site.
11. Set Up Recurring Donations
If you can make donating easy for your visitors, you’ll stand a better chance of raising funds. Subscriptions or recurring donations tick off two important facets:
- You give the user the most friction-free way to keep donating to your fundraiser.
- A regular payment boosts the “lifetime value” of a donor!
Charitable achieves this through its recurring donations feature. There are several ways to set this up, so you can find the one that suits your fundraiser the best.
12. Publicize Tax Incentives for Donors
Government tax incentives exist in many countries, which provides a welcome boost to your coffers. In most platforms, donors only need to opt in to avail these:
For example, nonprofits in the United Kingdom can request Gift Aid, which provides a 25 percent extra to top up a donation. Charitable provides an extension to implement this on your site, which you can customize as per your own requirements.
13. Follow Up With Your Donors After the Fundraiser
Once you take donations and complete your fundraiser, it’s good to follow up with every benefactor. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Through a simple ‘Thank You’ email.
- Share follow-up stories about how you’ll use the proceeds from the fundraiser and who will benefit.
This is an excellent time to think about how to keep these donors around — maybe through your newsletter, for example.
4 Fundraising Tips to Help Your Promotional Efforts
You’ll only see poor donations if you can’t stir up attention around your fundraiser. So let’s go over a few fundraising tips to drive more donors to your campaigns. (Once we finish up here, we’ll discuss how Charitable can become the backbone of a nonprofit organization.)
1. Promote Your Fundraising Campaign on Social Media
Social media is a free and potentially unlimited way to reach new donors for your fundraiser. Depending on the social network you choose, you can use different types of media to generate donations.
Hashtags can roll branding, a CTA, and many more marketing elements into one package. While this practice started with Instagram, hashtags are now part of the whole experience across many different networks.
One of the savvier fundraising tips here is experimenting with social media PPC. If you have the funds and access to a volunteer who can run social media ads for you, run ads for your fundraiser. You’d be surprised to know that female donors connect exceptionally well with social media ads for calls for donation.
2. Promote Your Fundraiser in Your Newsletter
Email marketing is another one of the most effective fundraising tips. Here, you’ve “qualified” readers who chose to sign up and hear from you. And you can convert a good percentage of your list into donors with relevant emails.
Charitable’s Newsletter Connect extension lets you integrate MailChimp, MailPoet, and many more services into your site.
Getting your donors to convert into email subscribers (by giving them the option to subscribe on the donation form) is another thing you might want to consider. One of the more advanced fundraising tips for email marketing is to treat existing donors as a special segment in your list and personalize your emails to them.
3. Reach Out to the Press for Assistance With Promoting Your Fundraiser
It’s easy to reach a larger audience via local (or national) press. While it offers a similar scope to social media, you will have more work to do in order to get your message out.
For example, you’ll need to send a press release that meets the requirements and format of the publication. In general, the press won’t cover a story without some link to local or current events, regardless of the cause. Therefore, you should think of your fundraising strategy and see how it can tie to something that could be relevant to the media.
4. Use Google Ad Grants to Promote Your Fundraising Campaigns
If you want to leverage the biggest search engine in the world to promote your fundraiser, consider Google Ad Grants.
In short, this is $10,000 worth of Google Ad spend per month for free. This will get you into relevant search results and showcase your ads to qualified users. Also, you can top up the spend to reach even more users.
How Charitable Can Be Your Secret Fundraising Weapon
Charitable can help you implement a lot of the fundraising tips we listed above. In fact, it can be central to your fundraising efforts and become an essential part of your nonprofit organization.
And what exactly is Charitable?
Charitable is one of the most flexible WordPress fundraising solutions out there. It comes packed with a host of fundraising tools, features, and functionalities:
- You have multiple ways to take donations – whether that’s in-person or through online donations using PayPal or Stripe.
- Charitable is built for WordPress and works seamlessly with most themes/templates and plugins.
- You can set up as many campaigns as you need using the familiar WordPress dashboard.
- Each donation form is designed around privacy and complies with current regulations such as the GDPR.
You can even set up recurring donations and subscriptions with Charitable’s premium extensions and connect with many different email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp.
What’s more, the Ambassadors extension lets you set up a crowdfunding-style fundraising platform and peer-to-peer fundraising network too.
The best way to experience Charitable is through a premium bundle. From $119 annually, Charitable helps you can take your fundraising efforts to the next level.
Fundraising is tough. However, there are many ways to drum up monetary support, including some you might not have in your locker yet. Regardless of the fundraising tips you follow from this post, you’ll need a robust donation infrastructure.
Charitable might be all you need for your fundraising success. It’s one of the best WordPress fundraising plugins available, and even with the Essentials or Pro plans, you can implement several powerful features for your nonprofit fundraising:
- You can connect your nonprofit website with your MailChimp newsletter, Stripe, or Easy Digital Downloads accounts.
- There’s functionality to help you set up recurring donations and subscriptions.
- You also get Gift Aid support for those who fundraise in the United Kingdom.
- Fee relief features (to give donors the option to absorb those costs) are also available.
Charitable offers competitive pricing for your nonprofit and provides immense value with its feature set. What’s more, you get a 30-day, no-quibble, money-back guarantee on all premium plans.
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