12 Simple Ways to Raise Money for a Nonprofit [2024]

Simple but effective nonprofit fundraising – that's what it's all about! For that, you'll need innovative strategies and powerful tools that help you get started easily and inspire donors to give more generously. In this article, we'll walk you through 12 easy and effective ways to raise money for your important cause.

13 minutes read
12 Simple Ways to Raise Money for a Nonprofit [2024]

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 12 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!

Bonus resource: Watch this Playlist on Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits. Subscribe to the YouTube Channel to get practical tips and advice from nonprofit experts.

12 Simple Ways of Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits

1. Create a branded donation page

Your first step in any solid fundraising strategy is to get your donation page in shape. Your page should be secure, up-to-date, and on-brand – but it also shouldn’t require a lot of work on your end.

To make the process hassle-free, engage fundraising software like Donorbox that provides an all-in-one donation page solution and support. It takes just four 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 (Stripe or PayPal).

Here’s an example of a donation page hosted on Donorbox, maintaining a branded and simple user interface for donors.

Create a Branded Donation Page

The below best practices will help you build a page that not only reflects your brand but also boosts your nonprofit fundraising and helps you raise money.

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! Mobile-responsive design helps nonprofit organizations receive 34% more donations on average. Choosing the right fundraising software will ensure you have a mobile-ready strategy!

2. Offer a convenient text-giving option

Where is your mobile phone as you’re reading this? Chances are you’re either reading this on your phone or it’s within reach. That’s why text giving should be a vital part of your modern fundraising strategy.

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 easily enable text-to-give so you can 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

Plus, enabling UltraSwift™ Pay on your donation form allows donors to checkout using their preferred digital wallet. This means they don’t have to enter their contact information – which saves them time and effort!

Follow these best practices to create an effective text-to-give campaign and raise money 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 and political campaigns, for churches to replace their traditional collection plate donation methods, and to celebrate 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

Everyone likes getting mail, but many nonprofits are moving away from the traditional direct mail method. But there are some compelling reasons why you shouldn’t remove it from your fundraising strategy entirely. Did you know that 90% of direct mail gets opened? How does that compare to your email open rates? You may have a unique opportunity to connect with donors and all it takes is a stamp!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and send out new types of mailers, including postcards with QR codes to your online donation form. Just be sure to include supporting materials that you think might interest prospective donors. For example, a brief success story about your most recent project or something else that demonstrates value to your donors.

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.


  • Combine direct mail with digital fundraising. This helps you cover all your bases while providing options to your donors.
  • Track the success of your mailed campaigns by reviewing the funds raised compared with your design, printing, and postage costs.

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. 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.

This popular nonprofit fundraising type isn’t going anywhere. In fact,  the current average donations to a crowdfunding is $5,726, and it is projected to increase to $6,874 by 2025. If crowdfunding isn’t a part of your fundraising strategy, the time to add it is now!

Donorbox makes it easy to create a crowdfunding page, 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. They raised nearly $41,000 in just 33 donations!

Explore 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!
  • Be sure to update crowdfunding donors about your project and your progress along the way. Campaigns with updates raise 126% more than those with no updates.
  • Choose fundraising software that can do it all so you’re not stuck switching between platforms for crowdfunding and regular/recurring donors.

Bonus resource: Learn the art of creating a the perfect crowdfunding page in this blog.

5. Host fundraising events and sell tickets

One revenue stream many nonprofit fundraisers miss out on is selling tickets to fun, brand-focused fundraising events. These events provide an opportunity for prospective and current donors to engage with your cause. Whether you host an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event, selling tickets can help you meet your fundraising goals for the year and should be an important part of your fundraising strategy.

And Donorbox Events can help you do it! Build your event page online with as many ticket tiers as you need. Mark both the fair market and tax-deductible amount for each ticket type to encourage ticket purchasers to buy at higher levels. Plus, ask for additional donations on top of ticket sales to boost your event success. They’ll get their receipts and tickets delivered automatically via email.

Check out this example of an event page created using Donorbox Events.

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 three-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. After all, nonprofit fundraising is all about connecting people with the causes they’re most passionate about! Choose your best supporters – volunteers, donors, friends, family, colleagues, board members, etc. – and invite them to try peer fundraising.

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.

We love how this organization allowed anyone to sign up to fundraise for their campaign. This makes it super easy for donors to multiply their impact!

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? Check out this step-by-step guide to using Donorbox Peer-to-Peer.

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. Recurring giving programs are the bread and butter of nonprofit fundraising, as they provide nonprofits with a consistent, steady, and predictable source of income.

Donorbox Recurring Donations are easy to add to your campaign. While creating your donation form on Donorbox, simply check the recurring intervals you’d like to have on the form and you’re done. You can choose four of the following intervals: daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. Then choose to embed your form on your website or host it on Donorbox. You’re done!

Plus, recurring donors can log in to their own Donorbox account at any time to change their donation – saving you time on the backend.

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 57% or donors are now enrolled in recurring giving – an increase of over 11% from the previous year. Follow the below best practices to boost your online donations now!

Best practices:

  • Promote this giving option in your organization’s newsletter, 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

Calling all those who want to boost their nonprofit fundraising – have you thought about simply picking up the phone? This effective fundraising strategy involves connecting with donors in an old-school way.

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.

Pro-tip: Record this information in your Donorbox donor management database. You can add communication records so you know exactly what you talked about and when. This helps you build donor relationships – and keeps you from reaching out too much and becoming a nuisance.

Best practices:

  • Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone! 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:Need help getting started? Check out this guide to running a successful phone-a-thon.

10. Start a membership program

Membership programs have a number of benefits. They ensure a predictable revenue for your nonprofit organization, help you create a loyal supporters base, and make 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 is our easy-to-use membership tool that helps you build more connections with your donors. You can  add unlimited membership tiers to the form to fully customize your program for monthly or annually recurring memberships. Plus, customize your form to fit your brand and embed it right on your website.  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!

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 tool for nonprofit fundraising. 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.

12. Update your in-person donation strategy

Not everyone has cash on them these days. Roughly four in 10 Americans claim they don’t use cash for any of their regular weekly purchases. That’s why savvy nonprofits are modernizing they way they accept in-person donations.

Enter the Donorbox Live™ Kiosk app. This app lets you easily turn your tablet and card reader into a powerful donation kiosk that collects donations from credit cards, smartphones, and smartwatches. You can station this around your building or use it to work the crowd at events. Each donation flows into your Donorbox account so you can easily track the success of your campaign – perfect for analyzing your nonprofit fundraising strategy.

Best practices: 

  • Modern, in-person giving means giving donors many options to give. Keep your cash donation box out there and add your donation kiosk nearby so donors know they have options.
  • Use donation kiosks at your fundraising events to boost revenue. This is great for events with silent auctions where guests are circulating and getting ready to spend money!

Bonus resource: Ready to learn more? Check out this Donorbox Live™ Kiosk blog to see the app in action.

Start Raising Money Online Today

With a variety of ways to raise money for your nonprofit, your biggest challenge might be deciding which fundraising ideas to pursue first!

Remember, nonprofit fundraising 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!

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 and fundraising ideas. Subscribe to our newsletter for fundraising tips and tricks delivered to your inbox every month.

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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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