So you’ve started a nonprofit organization. You’re excited to begin pursuing your mission and making a difference in your community. Chances are there’s one main element holding you back - your funding. New nonprofits are constantly looking for effective ways to boost fundraising revenue so that they can kick their mission and operations into high gear.
You know that fundraising is the backbone of any successful nonprofit— and yet, you’re dreading the idea of having to ask for money from total strangers. Fundraising is often seen as a nuisance or a chore that team members feel stuck with. However, with a shift in perspective, you can choose to view it instead as a key problem-solving tool that opens up worlds of opportunity!
We are dedicated to assisting nonprofit organizations in maximizing their fundraising revenue— and therefore, their opportunities. With the right tools and tactics in place, you’ll have everything you need to take your organization to the next level.
Let’s walk through these 7 strategies for boosting fundraising revenue:
- Recruit fundraising experts.
- Look to successful fundraising examples.
- Craft a fundraising plan.
- Ensure an optimized web design.
- Integrate matching gifts software.
- Promote volunteer grant programs.
- Utilize available data.
Ready to get started? Let’s jump in!
As you’re getting started with your new organization, one of the most important tasks at this stage is forming a strong team of nonprofit professionals. Running an effective fundraising campaign takes a good amount of manpower and logistical support. For this reason, it is crucial to assemble an effective team that works well together towards a common goal.
Keep in mind, however, that you’re not only dealing with paid staff. For growing nonprofits, some of your most crucial team members may be your dedicated volunteers and board members.
In order to build a strong team, follow these 3 key steps:
- Define your needs. Ask yourself questions to get a better understanding of your need for assistance, and the best ways to meet those needs. For example, how big is your organization at the current time? How do you see yourself growing in the next few years? What specific needs do you see for new staff? How much startup funding do you have to work with? Which daily operations can be streamlined with help from key volunteers.
- Recruit staff members. Bring in individuals who you believe to be a good fit for your organization. You can set up a booth at local career fairs, create a job posting online, or seek out eligible applicants yourself via recommendations and/or social media searches. Similar processes can be used to recruit volunteers as well! Check out Double the Donation’s guide to volunteer management, recruitment, and engagement.
- Create an efficient training plan. Once you have hired your new staff members and have gathered enthusiastic volunteers, you have to get them up to speed with the rest of your team. As your organization grows, it is important to keep everyone on the same page with standardized training practices for all.
After you have recruited and trained new team members, you’re ready to continue on with the construction of a solid fundraising strategy. With the right team at your fingertips, you will be able to lay a solid foundation for the rest of your organization to grow from.
If you’re not sure how to get started with kicking off your fundraising strategy, take a look at some of these successful online fundraising campaigns from Donately. As you analyze the most successful components of prior campaigns, you may notice that there are a few specific elements in place that are key to their success.
These include crucial features such as:
- Online donation forms allow donors to give quickly, easily, and securely through payment options such as credit, debit, Apple Pay, and more.
- Mobile text-to-give donations can be completed in mere seconds, from anywhere and anytime, so busy supporters can give on-the-go.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising enables individual volunteers to take on a new role as a fundraiser, as they share their individual donation pages with friends and family.
- Recurring donations are key to maintaining a steady stream of revenue from month-to-month, especially outside of major fundraising seasons.
When you analyze these effective campaigns, be sure to note any major insights to extract and implement into your own operations. Be sure to pay extra attention to how big and successful organizations leverage online donation forms, mobile giving, peer-to-peer fundraising, and recurring donations to boost fundraising revenue.
Before you jump into the actual fundraising, it’s important to start out with a well-thought-out plan. By doing so, you create a structure for you and your team to follow, keeping everyone on the same page and reducing the chances of time or resources getting wasted.
These are the 4 crucial steps in creating a fundraising plan:
- Set clear goals. The first step in any effective plan is setting goals, as they are required for determining any successes or failures. Be sure that your goals are S.M.A.R.T.— specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Collect fundraising tools. To save time and effort for your organization, you may choose to invest in fundraising software to help boost your fundraising revenue. Many software providers even offer free software solutions for smaller and startup organizations.
- Define your target. To best market your campaign, it is vital that you know who you’re targeting. Different audiences should be reached in various ways. For example, the younger generations are most likely to engage with your organization through social media, while older generations tend to prefer email messaging.
- Promote your campaign. The last key step is the promotion of your fundraiser. Decide on the best channels with which to raise awareness surrounding your organization and the specific fundraiser. Email marketing, social media platforms, text messages, and phone calls are each excellent promotion tools.
As you jump from one step to the next, be sure to keep track of your fundraising progress. This way, you’ll be able to stay focused on the essentials, reach towards your goals, and endure any setbacks that arise.
A huge element in any 21st-century fundraising campaign is that of your organization’s website. Having a well-designed website in place is what allows supporters to easily click through and complete donations in minutes.
Consider these 3 key details as you design your nonprofit website:
- User-friendly: This might seem obvious, but it is vital that you create a website that is easy to navigate for the user. Elements such as detailed menus, clear navigation, and specific calls-to-action can help here!
- Mobile responsive: As of 2018, over half of all internet searches come from mobile devices, and this figure is only growing. Therefore, it is crucial that you meet your audience where they are— which is on-the-go, on mobile.
- Speedy donation process: An ideal donor transaction should be handled as quickly as possible, or a few minutes at most. With a complicated and drawn-out donation process, donors are more likely to lose interest and exit out without ever completing their donation!
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to design a suitable website for your organization that can both educate your audience and solicit donations from generous supporters. Check out this guide to a successful nonprofit digital strategy for more information!
Matching gift programs are a type of corporate philanthropy in which thousands of participating employers agree to match the charitable gifts by their employees to eligible nonprofit organizations. This is essentially free money for nonprofits— the problem is, many donors are unaware of their eligibility for these programs!
This is where a matching gifts database comes in handy. Donors can input their employer and receive extensive information concerning that company’s matching gift program and what the next steps are.
By embedding a comprehensive company search tool directly into your donation page, you encourage donors to check their eligibility prior to making a donation.
Promoting matching gifts on your donation page is a good idea because:
- Donors are most engaged at this step. Meaning, if you want to direct their attention towards a particular message, this is the ideal time to do so, rather than waiting to send off a reminder that will more easily be missed.
- You can gather more donors. Knowing about a match prior to the donation may increase individual giving. 84% of donors have reported a higher likelihood of giving if a match is offered. This can be the perfect nudge for potential donors who may have been on the fence about giving.
- You can gather larger gifts. Additionally, 1 in 3 donors report a desire to give a larger donation if it is being matched. For example, you can leverage matching gifts to encourage a donor to upgrade from a $50 gift to $100, or from $100 to $200, by reminding them that a higher donation means a higher match.
Leveraging matching gifts is an excellent way to draw in new donors and encourage larger gifts from your current donor base. After all, who wouldn’t want to double their incoming donations? For growing nonprofits, these bonus donations can be the key to taking your fundraising to the next level.
Matching gifts aren’t the only way to use corporate philanthropy to your advantage. Many corporations offer volunteer grant programs, as well!
In these programs, companies encourage their employees to volunteer in their communities by offering monetary grants to the nonprofits their employees care about.
The volunteer grant process is fairly simple, with these 5 basic steps:
- Gather dedicated volunteers.
- Encourage volunteers to check their eligibility.
- Eligible volunteers submit a grant request to their employer.
- Employer reviews request and verifies volunteer history.
- Nonprofit receives a check from the corporation.
Different companies require different criteria to take part in these programs, so be sure to include a database search tool that screens for volunteer grant eligibility on your organization’s website.
One of the greatest tools you’ll have to work with during the nonprofit fundraising process is your donor data— which is the information collected through donation pages and other fundraising tools. With this data at your disposal, you’ll be able to view the bigger picture concerning your nonprofit’s performance and the mission you support.
Try using your donor data to:
- Tell your story. Storytelling is one of the best marketing strategies for all organizations, and it is especially true for nonprofits. When you use donor data to frame your story, you can paint a picture of who is giving to your nonprofit, who is benefitting from your assistance, and really show how you are making a difference.
- Employ wealth screening. Wealth screening, which is a key aspect of prospect research, allows you to look at a particular donor’s ability to give based on their current financial situation. This is a great way to segment your audience and specifically target your affluent donors and other community members for donations.
- Connect with prior donors. Most donation pages gather key contact information, including address, email, and/or phone number. You can use this info to follow up with your generous donors, thank them for their contributions, and keep them updated on the activities of your organization. The stronger the relationship you form, the more likely they are to give again!
Your data contains tons of relevant information about your donors, constituents, and key patterns of support. Don’t let this gold mine of information sit idly when there is so much that a fundraising team can learn from your donor data! This is a great way to grow your donor network, and in return, your organization.
Taking on fundraising responsibilities can be overwhelming, but with these 7 key strategies for boosting revenue from incoming donations, you’ll be set up for success. As you explore new fundraising tactics and unique campaigns, you will continue to uncover opportunities for growth. Good luck!