11 Simple Ways to Raise Money for a Nonprofit [2023]

11 Simple Ways to Raise Money for a Nonprofit [2023]

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ways to raise money for nonprofits

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!

11 Simple Ways of Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits

  1. Create a donation page
  2. Offer the text-giving option
  3. Send out fundraising letters
  4. Launch a crowdfunding campaign
  5. Host a fundraising event
  6. Try peer-to-peer fundraising
  7. Enable recurring donations
  8. Ask for sponsorships
  9. Launch a phone-a-thon
  10. Start a membership program
  11. Apply for a grant

1. Create a branded donation page

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.

raising money for nonprofits

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.

Best practices:

  • Make sure your donation page is easy to find on your organization’s website.
  • Include an option for recurring giving to make monthly giving easy (more on this below!).
  • Have a goal thermometer on the page to create a sense of urgency among donors.
  • Include social media sharing options on the page so donors can help spread the word.
  • Customize your page with your organization’s colors, fonts, and other brand elements.

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.

2. Offer a convenient text-giving option

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 –

how to raise funds for a non profit

Try Donorbox Text-to-Give

Follow these best practices here to create an effective text-to-give campaign for your nonprofit.

Best practices:

  • Use text-to-give campaigns selectively to avoid overwhelming your donors.
  • Consider text-to-give campaigns for emergency fundraising initiatives, political campaigns, for churches to replace their traditional collection plate donation methods, and significant milestones.
  • Keep it simple and on-brand. Your text-to-donate information should be short, easy to remember, and relevant to your mission.

Bonus resource: Become a text-to-give whiz with our free guide, Text-to-Give Fundraising: The Ultimate Guide for Nonprofits

3. Send out a fundraising letter to supporters

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.


  • Combine direct mail with digital fundraising. Campaigns with direct mail plus 1+ digital media have a 188% lift in response rate compared with direct mail only.
  • Track the success of your mailed campaigns by reviewing the funds raised compared with your design, printing, and postage costs.
  • Keep expectations based on reality. Direct mail response rates tend to be around 5.3% for in-house lists and under 2.9% for prospect lists.

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)

4. Launch a crowdfunding campaign for time-bound projects

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.

how do nonprofits raise moneyExplore Donorbox Crowdfunding

Here are some best practices to help ensure the success of your next crowdfunding campaign.

Best practices:

  • Include a fundraising thermometer on your nonprofit fundraising page to track your progress.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and you have included options to share on social media! It is said that about 12% of Facebook shares convert to donations.
  • Be sure to update crowdfunding donors about your project and your progress along the way. Such campaigns raise 126% more than those with no updates.

Bonus resource: Learn the art of creating a crowdfunding campaign with this blog: Introducing Crowdfunding For Nonprofits – Donorbox

5. Host fundraising events and sell tickets

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.

how to raise money for a non profit

Create an Event Page Online

Event fundraising can be one of the best fundraising opportunities your nonprofit will have in a year. Here are some tips to follow –


  • Engage a committee of supporters and stakeholders to help plan your nonprofit fundraising event.
  • Keep your event true to your organization’s personality and donors’ interests. You don’t have to host a gala or a golf tournament. If your donors are a “blue jeans and BBQ” crowd, embrace it! Unique events can be especially memorable and fun.
  • Choose an event ticketing solution that automates the work and gives you a platform to manage all information in one place.
  • Sell t-shirts, have a raffle game, include silent auctions, a bake sale, etc. to spice up your event fundraising.

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. 

6. Try peer-to-peer fundraising to encourage supporters to fundraise

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.


  • Equip your peer-to-peer fundraisers with photos, graphics, and templates for emails and social media.
  • Opt for an online peer-to-peer solution that automates the process of inviting supporters and helps them create customized donation pages on their own.
  • Encourage friendly competition by recognizing your top fundraisers in a special way, or giving them some special swag items from your organization.

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.

7. Turn one-time donors into recurring donors

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).

how do nonprofits raise money

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!

Best practices:

  • Promote this giving option in your organization’s e-news, social media posts, and other communications.
  • If you’re sending a direct mail fundraising campaign, include a checkbox option for donors to make a recurring gift on your donation reply card.
  • Thank your recurring donors! It can be easy to overlook these loyal donors since their giving happens automatically. Make it a habit to connect with them in a personal way now and then to say thank you.

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

8. Ask for corporate sponsorships

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.

Best practices:

  • Be mindful of tax implications related to sponsorships. The IRS has rules about what counts as an advertising purchase versus a sponsorship.
  • Ask prospective sponsors which recognition benefits are most important to them. Within reason, you can create a sponsorship package that suits their goals.
  • Get it in writing! To prevent any confusion, be sure a representative from each organization signs a sponsorship agreement detailing the arrangement.

Bonus resource: We know right now you could do with some tips on securing corporate sponsorships. Here you go – Tips On Securing Corporate Sponsorships

9. Launch a phone-a-thon

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.

Best practices:

  • Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone! After a prolonged period of physical distancing, you might be surprised how many donors are craving connection.
  • Create targeted fundraising scripts to ensure success.
  • A solicitation call is also an opportunity to steward the donor for their past giving. Be sure to share your gratitude for their past support!
  • Build trust and connection by sharing who you are and what your role is with the organization. You can also share what motivates you to stay involved with the cause.

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

10. Start a membership program

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.

how to raise money for a non profit

Start Your Membership Campaign

Here are some best practices to ensure your membership campaign gets you more attention from potential members!

Best practices:

  • Choose your membership levels wisely. Consider discussing it with your best supporters, volunteers, and board members to understand what benefits they’d want to have in return for a lasting relationship.
  • Promote your membership program on social media, through emails, and advertisements to attract more potential members.
  • Do not forget your members after they’ve signed up for your membership program. Engage them on a regular basis, which doesn’t just include the benefits. Host fun and meaningful events to recognize their support and encourage them to bring in more members.
  • Choose a membership tool that is easy for you and your staff to use, and does not charge a hefty amount on a monthly basis or right at the beginning. You’d need some time to understand what suits you the best.

Bonus resource: Here’s everything you need to know about running a successful membership program – How to Run a Successful Nonprofit Membership Program

11. Apply for a grant

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.

Best practices:

  • The grant application process can feel impersonal, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a rewarding habit to get to know the people behind the process and form relationships with grant funders.
  • Hire a grant writer who will help take care of most of the process.
  • Be sure your grant applications are grammatically correct and free of errors and typos.
  • Ask a coworker (or several!) to read your application before you submit it.
  • Aim for volunteer grants. Volunteer grants are the easiest since your volunteers can help you get them.

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.

Start Raising Money Online Today

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.

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Raviraj heads the sales and marketing team at Donorbox. His growth-hacking abilities have helped Donorbox boost fundraising efforts for thousands of nonprofit organizations.

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