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5 Strategies to Offer Your Contributors at Your Next Event

Just like a church service would bring in all types of diverse personalities, so does your nonprofit when inspiring contributors to give to your cause.

While we at Vision2 work principally in providing tools for church management, we’ve found common ground with non-religious nonprofits in that each person motivated to help a cause will be interested in doing so in a drastically different manner.

You might already be familiar with the idea of social impact culture types. In this model, each type has different methods of preferred contribution and measuring impact. There are 3 social impact culture types you might find among your contributors:

  • Investors: those who prefer working independently and giving through a method that doesn’t require working directly with others. 
  • Connectors: those who prefer giving in a social manner and use their giving as an opportunity to engage with others.
  • Activators: those passionate about “changing the world” and do so through creating major change and observing its impact. 

We’ve found instances of each category within faith-based organizations, and you’ll probably find this as well within your community of members and supporters. Whether a religious-based organization or other nonprofit, you should offer a plethora of giving strategies to accommodate everyone.

Luckily, there are quite a few giving strategies that can both help your organization raise funds and engage each of the culture types! Here are a few ideas we’ve found that might help you get started:

  1. Optimized Digital Giving Options
  2. Easy Yext-to-Give Processes
  3. Worry-Free Recurring Gift Options
  4. Peer-to-Peer Giving Opportunities
  5. Corporate Social Good Initiatives

The above strategies will encourage contributors of any impact type to give—regardless of whether they’re applied to a faith-based or non-religious organization. Read on for a deeper look at each giving strategy.

1. Optimized Digital Giving Processes

As you’ve seen, not every contributor will be interested in giving through in-person, social means.

Whether they’re not able to be physically present where you’re accepting gifts, they’re feeling a bit less social, or they just find digital methods more convenient, it’s important you offer comprehensive digital giving options to supplement other methods.

Just as you should choose a nonprofit giving platform optimized for your type of organization, you’ll want to choose a nonprofit giving platform that’s optimized for a variety of different types of digital giving. 

Whether a member wants to give through paper or digital methods, or via a desktop or mobile phone—you want to have options available for every interested contributor! Check out a few essential features to look for in a digital giving platform:

  • Mobile-optimized online giving. This allows contributors to give regardless of whether they access your giving platform via a desktop computer or mobile phone. 
  • Check scanning and processing. Not every contributor will want to, be able to, or feel comfortable donating via a credit/debit card, and you want to address that population as well.
  • Cash gift processing. Just as with check gifts, some members may prefer to give through cash methods.
  • Seamless branding. Familiar branding ensures contributors feel secure giving through your digital methods.

By making your online giving processes as easy as possible, contributors will be able to give to your event both how and when it is most convenient for them. 

2. Easy Text-to-Give Processes

Text-to give options are growing in popularity in the faith-based sector for their ease-of-use for congregants and adaptability for churches, and we’re confident this trend is observable in secular nonprofits as well.

Because you can tie this giving strategy to one particular event—like your next event—or set it up to be a standing option for contributing to your cause at any time, text-to-give is a powerful tool in any nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. 

How text-to-give works:

The process starts with your organization, which will be assigned a keyword and a designated text-to-give number. You should choose a keyword that is familiar to your organization’s branding, such as your nonprofit’s name or the particular event you’re raising gifts through. 

Next, you inform your members of this keyword and phone number and instruct them that they can text the keyword to the number at any time to begin the giving process. When they do so, they’ll receive a text message prompting them to complete the giving process through an online form. 

This works particularly well for populations that are likely to give repeatedly to your organization, such as congregants interested in online tithing options or activator givers (as described earlier) that want to be able to give to their favorite causes whenever the inspiration strikes.

3. Worry-Free Recurring Gift Options

Some contributors prefer to give automatically and on a regular basis. Your job is to make it easy for them to do so!

While recurring gifts allow your contributors to give without worrying about remembering to do so, they also have major benefits for your organization. 

These gifts—such as scheduled contributions to your organization's annual fund—have sustaining power. While gifts made through events are certainly exciting, sustaining gifts help your group to continue its work year-round after those campaign-specific funds begin to dwindle.

You’ll want to make sure that the recurring gift option you choose, while automating much of the giving process, also allows your members full control of aspects such as the giving schedule and payment method. By allowing contributors to update these details whenever necessary, you build trust in the recurring giving process.

Learn more about the power of recurring gifts by looking at one sector that’s really optimized the process—church giving platforms.

4. Peer-to-Peer Giving Opportunities

A major part of religious-based organizations’ offerings is the fellowship aspect, through which congregants are united in faith and inspired to share this message with their larger communities. We’re confident you’ll find this community-building in a non-religious nonprofit as well, just instead of being united in faith you’re united by cause!

If you think this rings true for your organization, consider peer-to-peer fundraising to engage the social butterflies within your organization. 

Peer-to-peer opportunities allow your contributors to become fundraisers themselves, leveraging their own contacts to raise gifts for your organization. This is done by setting up individual campaign pages that they can then share with their friends and family.

These friends and family—motivated to support their loved one, even if they’re not personally involved with your cause—will then donate to your contributor’s campaign page. Through this method, a contributor is able to significantly boost their impact on your organization and put you in touch with potential new supporters without spending any extra on their end!

You’ll need to utilize a giving software that allows you to set up the main campaign for your nonprofit while also allowing your supporters to set up personal pages. There are a few helpful features to look out for:

  • Customization options that ensure any campaign pages reflect your organization’s brand.
  • Social sharing features that allow for quick sharing of campaign pages across multiple networks.
  • Gamification tools that allow contributors to engage in healthy competition against one another.
  • Integration capabilities to easily report the fundraising information into your CRM.

For more information on the peer-to-peer process, check out this ultimate guide to peer-to-peer fundraising.

5. Corporate Social Good Initiatives

While churches themselves are frequently unable to directly receive corporate philanthropy gifts, the projects of faith-based organizations (such as a food kitchen or homeless shelter) are usually eligible. However, many other nonprofits are eligible for such gifts and therefore you should pay close attention to corporate philanthropy programs!

The most common types of corporate social giving programs are volunteer grants and matching gift programs. Through these, contributors can increase their gift size at no additional cost of their own. Read on for a breakdown of both volunteer grants and matching gift programs.

What are volunteer grant programs?

Volunteer grant programs are perfect for those contributors that prefer to give the gift of their time and effort. 

Through these programs, a corporation agrees to donate a financial amount corresponding to hours volunteered by their employees at eligible nonprofits. Once the volunteer’s hours are verified by the nonprofit, a financial gift is made to your organization.

If you have contributors volunteering at your fundraising event, encourage them to see if one of these programs exists at their workplace. If so, they’ll be able to make a financial gift in addition to their efforts!

What are matching gift programs?

Matching gift programs are similar to volunteer grant programs, in that a company pledges to make contributions to match those made by their employees to nonprofit organizations. While each company that partakes has different parameters, the general process is similar across the board. 

The process begins with an employee making a donation before submitting a matching gift request to their employer. After verifying with the nonprofit that a gift has been made, the company matches that gift, making their own contribution to your organization!

Through this process, a contributor can make what is effectively two gifts to your nonprofit for the price of one. To learn more, check out this guide to corporate social responsibility. 

Whether a faith-based on non-religious organization, one thing is for sure—each contributor, while desiring to give to your organization, will be unique in their methods for doing so!

By offering and promoting these five giving strategies to contributors during your next event, you’ll ensure that each is able to give in the way that they prefer. Whether they’re an investor, activator, or connector, each contributor will be welcome to give!

This blog is an original work of the attributed author and is shared with permission via Foundant Technologies' website for informative purposes only as part of our educational content in the philanthropic sector. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect Foundant's stance on this topic. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to our team.

About the Author

Kingsley Allen has been involved in designing, developing, and operating software for over 25 years. Much of his recent career has been invested in helping churches leverage technology to grow and reach people. Kingsley worked with the Fellowship One church management system for 10 years, leading the product and development teams from startup mode through the acquisition by ACTIVE Network. Post-acquisition, he served as general manager of the Faith business unit and and strategy and partnerships for ACTIVE's Communities division. As VP of Product Development at Vision2, he helps guide the continued development of Vision2 into a world-class giving engagement platform.

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