Learning how to raise money for a nonprofit organization can sometimes feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Many people are eager to support your organization’s amazing work, for all kinds of reasons.
Your role is to create opportunities for donors to give in ways that feel easy, secure, and appreciated.
If you’re new to the world of nonprofit fundraising – or if you’re a seasoned pro seeking fundraising best practices – look no further!
In this post, we’re sharing 11 simple ways to follow while fundraising for nonprofits.
Read on to discover how to create a nonprofit fundraising page, set up crowdfunding, manage grants and sponsorships, plan successful fundraising events, and much more.
It might sound like a lot, but we’re breaking down each idea step-by-step for you. Let’s dive in!
Make it easy for donors to support your nonprofit’s work by having a secure, up-to-date, and on-brand donation page. A nonprofit fundraising page doesn’t have to have a lot of elements and should be easy to set up.
To make the process hassle-free, engage a fundraising software like Donorbox that provides an all-in-one donation page solution and support. It takes just 4 simple steps to get started with Donorbox – sign up for free, create your donation form, customize your Donorbox-hosted donation page to add branding, and connect your payment processor i.e. Stripe or PayPal.
Here’s an example of a donation page hosted on Donorbox, maintaining a branded and simple UI for their donors.
Create a Branded Donation Page
The below best practices will help you build a donation page that not only reflects your brand but also boosts donations.
Bonus resource: Read more best practices in this blog post: 27 Donation Page Best Practices for Nonprofits – Tips and Examples.
Pro tip: Be sure to test your page on a mobile device! According to Nonprofits Source, mobile-responsive design helps nonprofit organizations increase their donations by 126% on average.
Text-to-give allows donors to make a donation to your cause simply by sending a text message with their mobile phones.
Text-to-give messages often sound something like, “Text ‘HELP’ now to [shortcode] to make a $10 gift.”
Donorbox lets you enable text-to-give and share your campaign ID and a texting number with your supporters. You also have the option to choose a shortcode and a custom keyword for your campaign on Donorbox. As your donors send a text, they’ll receive a mobile-friendly fundraising page link to make the donations. Repeating their donations is even easier – no need for filling out a donation form again. See how it works in the below screenshot –
Follow these best practices here to create an effective text-to-give campaign for your nonprofit.
Bonus resource: Become a text-to-give whiz with our free guide, Text-to-Give Fundraising: The Ultimate Guide for Nonprofits.
Mailing a fundraising letter is a classic way to raise money for a nonprofit organization. A direct mail fundraising packet typically includes an outer envelope, a compelling letter asking for support, a donation reply card, and a reply envelope. This is a traditional nonprofit fundraising method but still very much effective.
Your mailer can also include supporting materials that you think might interest prospective donors. For example, a brochure with more information about your organization’s work. Or, share a one-pager with information about how to volunteer.
A direct mail campaign can be as simple or as complex as you wish. You can print fundraising letters on your letterhead and put everything together in-house. Or, you can outsource any parts of this project you might need support with, especially if your mailing is large. This might include a graphic designer, copywriter, printer, and/or mail house.
A mailed nonprofit fundraising campaign can help boost online fundraising, too! Nonprofits Source reports targeting customers on a 1:1 level increases response rates up to 50% or more.
Bonus resource: Looking for more guidance on how to do a mailed letter fundraising campaign? Check out this blog post: Fundraising Letters: Asking for Donations Made Easy (+ Free Template).
A crowdfunding campaign is when a “crowd” (most often, a group of people online) funds a project or program. Each person contributes a small amount toward an overall bigger goal. As per fundera.com, the crowdfunding market will grow up to $300 billion by 2023. A crowdfunding campaign is great for projects you need money for on an urgent basis such as a new facility, brand new equipment, mission trips, renovation work, etc.
Donorbox lets you create a crowdfunding page in just about 15 minutes, post dedicated updates to your campaign on a separate tab, have a donor wall to appreciate your supporters, a subscription option for potential donors, social media sharing buttons, and much more.
Here’s a great example of a nonprofit organization using Donorbox to successfully run its crowdfunding campaign.
Here are some best practices to help ensure the success of your next crowdfunding campaign.
Bonus resource: Learn the art of creating a crowdfunding campaign with this blog: Introducing Crowdfunding For Nonprofits – Donorbox.
Nonprofit fundraising events provide an opportunity for donors and prospective supporters to engage with your cause. You can host a COVID-conscious in-person event, a virtual fundraising event, or a hybrid event to meet your fundraising goals for the year.
Your fundraising software should let you create your event page online, create as many ticket levels as you want, determine fair-market and tax-deductible values for each level, sell more tickets, and manage all purchase information at the backend. Donorbox Events lets you achieve all that and much more. You can either use the Donorbox-hosted event page or embed the ticketing form on your website. Donorbox also lets you fully refund the ticket purchase amount if need be. Your purchasers can also use Apple Pay to buy tickets.
Check out this example of an event page created using Donorbox Events.
Event fundraising can be one of the best fundraising opportunities your nonprofit will have in a year. Here are some tips to follow –
Bonus resource: Creating an event page and making it live for your potential attendees can be as simple as just a 3-step process. Learn more here – How to Create an Event on Donorbox | A Step-by-Step Guide.
Raising money for nonprofits can be more effective and efficient when your supporters help champion your cause. You can choose your best supporters – volunteers, donors, friends, family, colleagues, board members, etc. – and invite them to fundraise for your case.
A common example of peer-to-peer fundraising is a charity walkathon. A donor signs up to support the cause. Then, they raise money from their network of family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. The fundraising software you choose for your nonprofit must make this process as simple for you and your fundraisers to use as possible.
With Donorbox Peer-to-Peer, you can create a peer-to-peer campaign and invite your supporters right from the tool in just a few minutes. Your fundraisers will then be guided on the tool to create and customize their own nonprofit fundraising pages. It’s the most effective way to boost your outreach as a nonprofit and multiply donations through the power of your supporters’ network.
Check this example out for an excellent reference.
Get Started With Donorbox Peer-to-Peer
Peer-to-peer fundraising can be the simplest and most efficient way of fundraising for nonprofits. Follow the below tips for success.
Bonus resource: Just starting out with your first-ever peer-to-peer campaign? We know you could do with some ideas to boost your campaign – 11 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Ideas to Boost Your Campaign.
Also sometimes called “sustaining donations,” these are gifts that a donor agrees to give on an ongoing basis. Recurring donations provide the donor with an easy, hassle-free way to support causes they love. Weekly/monthly/yearly giving programs can also provide nonprofits with a consistent, steady, predictable source of income.
Donorbox Recurring Donations help you get started easily, in about 15 minutes. While creating your donation form on Donorbox, simply check the recurring intervals you’d like to have on the form and you’re done. These forms are embeddable on your website or can be used as pop-ups. You can also use them on the Donorbox-hosted donation page.
Here’s an example of a nonprofit using the Donorbox recurring donation form on their website. With Donorbox, you also have the option to highlight the preferred recurring interval on the donation form (like in the example below – a tiny heart icon next to the interval).
Create a Recurring Donation Form
The latest report by Double the Donation shows that online monthly giving revenue grew by 40% because of the increasing popularity of recurring donations among online donors. Follow the below best practices to boost your online donations now!
Bonus resource: Turning your one-time donors into recurring donors seems daunting. Here’s a blog to help you get started – How to Turn One-Time Donors Into Recurring Donors.
Sponsorships can help you raise money for your nonprofit while providing corporate supporters with visibility in the community. The likelihood of securing corporate sponsorships might be hit-or-miss, depending on economic and political conditions and timing. Even so, there are plenty of worthwhile corporate sponsorships out there. Consider whether you have an upcoming event, program, or initiative that might be appealing to a corporate funder.
A few common sponsorship benefits include recognition on digital and print materials, signage, invitations and events, increased outreach, verbal recognition during a speech, etc.
Bonus resource: We know right now you could do with some tips on securing corporate sponsorships. Here you go – Tips On Securing Corporate Sponsorships.
During a phone-a-thon, donors receive a phone call asking them to support your cause. They are typically asked to give a specific amount, such as increasing or matching their gift from the previous year. You can organize a phone-a-thon in-house using your existing staff members. Or, you can engage a company that can handle the details (and the calls) for you. While the goal of the call might be to secure a donation, you can learn a lot in the process.
During a phone-a-thon, you can ask donors why they choose to support your work. You might also ask them what other causes they support.
One favorite question is: “What is the most meaningful gift you’ve ever given, and what was so special about it?” You’ll learn a lot about your donor’s philanthropic values from this question! And, you’ll form a genuine connection that can lead to greater long-term support.
Bonus resource: Your relationship with your donors decides your success in raising donations through a phone-a-thon. Here’s a blog to help you strengthen it in many ways before and after you’ve made the call – 9 Ways to Build Strong Donor Relationships.
Membership programs have a number of benefits. It ensures a predictable revenue for your organization, helps you create a loyal supporters base, and makes sure you’re able to offer benefits to your members. These benefits may include exclusive access to your updates and newsletters, member-only events to help raise more money and acknowledge their support, and special programs to make them feel a part of your mission.
Donorbox Memberships lets you create online membership forms and campaign pages. You can also add unlimited membership tiers to the form. These forms are customizable to fit your brand and can be embedded on your website. You can let people sign up for monthly or annual memberships with the Donorbox form. Your members can also log in to their accounts on Donorbox and manage their membership plans. Your organization can manage the members’ data and membership payments at the backend.
Check out the below monthly membership campaign created on Donorbox.
Start Your Membership Campaign
Here are some best practices to ensure your membership campaign gets you more attention from potential members!
Bonus resource: Here’s everything you need to know about running a successful membership program – How to Run a Successful Nonprofit Membership Program.
Grants can be a highly effective way to raise money for a nonprofit. Grants are typically offered through government agencies, foundations, and corporations. If you ask a development professional how to get funding for a nonprofit, applying for a grant will probably be one of their first suggestions.
You might need to do some research to find grant opportunities that fit your organization’s mission, location, and programs. To get started, browse the Philanthropy News Digest’s list of grant RFPs (Requests for Proposals).
The process of securing a grant can vary by the funder. Most often, you’ll need to fill out a grant application provided by the funder. The grant process may also include meeting (virtually or in-person) with a representative from the organization. After your nonprofit receives a grant, you might also be required to fill out a report detailing how the grant funds were spent. Remember to also steward your grant funders and include their representatives in your organization’s updates and events.
Bonus resource: The perfect grant proposal makes all the difference in determining your success. Learn everything about it in this blog – How To Write An Effective Grant Proposal.
Pro tip: Take advantage of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits. It helps nonprofits share their causes with the world. Qualifying nonprofit organizations can access up to $10,000 per month in search ads shown on Google.
With a variety of ways to raise money for your nonprofit, your biggest challenge might be deciding which ideas to pursue first!
Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time to build a strong giving program over the long term. With persistence, optimism, and the right tools, you can take your fundraising efforts to the next level! and you can always come back to check which of these fundraising methods will best suit your specific needs.
Donorbox is an online fundraising solution that helps nonprofits raise money and boost outreach through its advanced solutions such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, recurring donation forms, text-to-give, memberships campaigns, event ticketing, and more. Know more about our features here.
At Donorbox, we specialize in making nonprofit fundraising logistics easy for busy professionals. Check out our nonprofit blog for more free resources. We also have dedicated articles for starting a nonprofit in different states in the US, including Texas, Minnesota, Oregon, Arizona, Illinois, and more.