5 Modern Twists on Classic Fundraising Strategies
Nonprofits host several of the same fundraisers time after time, and for good reason. They work. However, repeating the same fundraising ideas and outreach approaches can lead to supporter burnout. Volunteers and donors will get bored of attending the same events and reading the same generic emails, making their support slowly fizzle out.
Not only will this get monotonous, but there are also several other factors that make up your fundraising strategy you may not be considering. From outreach tactics to event planning, it’s easy to overlook revenue opportunities. To avoid this, incorporating technology into your strategy may be a smart option.
If your nonprofit needs to revamp its fundraising approach, put a modern twist on your campaigns using these tips:
- Revamp your pledge campaigns with dedicated tech.
- Redesign your online donation strategy.
- Use gamification for crowdfunding.
- Invest in text-to-give for galas and other events.
- Implement matching gifts technology.
Supercharge your fundraising strategies by incorporating these innovative tech solutions! Ready to re-engage your supporters? Let’s dive in!
1. Revamp Your Pledge Campaigns With Dedicated Tech
While pledge campaigns can generate a lot of support quickly, they do require a lot of thoughtful planning. If you’re new to pledge campaigns, you might not yet understand the differences between pledges and regular donations. No worries! Click here for an overview of the key differences.
In short, a fundraising pledge is a donor’s promise to make a gift by a specific point in the future. In modern fundraising, these donations are typically acquired and processed online, which is why you’ll need to invest in dedicated tech to get the job done.
When browsing the nonprofit tech market, ensure your pledge software offers the following features:
- Core donation functions. Your pledge software should capture vital payment information. Remember, when pledgors have a positive user experience, they’ll feel much more compelled to give again in the future. For the best fundraising results, make sure they can secure a card on file and set up a recurring donation.
- Streamlined user experience. To secure a pledged donation, make sure you’re only capturing the essentials: contact information and pledged support. Don’t bog the process down with excessive fields as this can drive away potential supporters.
- Flexible pledge options. Don’t force your donors to complete your donation right then and there. That would defeat the whole purpose. Give them the choice to enter their payment information after submitting the pledge.
Effective pledge software helps nonprofits quickly secure support by strengthening pledgors’ emotional connections to your cause. To accomplish this, make sure your pledge software offers the above comprehensive features. Head on over to Snowball’s pledge software essentials guide to continue your research!
2. Redesign Your Online Donation Strategy
What better place to start revamping your fundraising than where most supporters interact with you: online!
Specifically, start with your website and donation page. Even if you’re not a graphic designer, you can create engaging, eye-catching donation pages with the help of the right donation platform. Professional help ensures you don’t miss out on any important design elements.
When choosing your online tech provider, consider the features it offers for donation websites, such as:
- Customizability. Can you include your logo, colors and fonts? Can it be personalized to flow seamlessly on your site?
- Functionality. How many clicks does it take to donate? Is the page optimized for mobile use? Are payments processed securely?
- Shareability. Can donors share your donation form with their social networks? While not vital, this is great for spreading the word about your organization.
Working with a comprehensive system enables your team to create the best possible user experience, rather than doing it manually without professional guidance.
After you’ve pushed your well-designed donation page live, you’ll need to spread the word about donation opportunities. It’s not enough to share it online. Rather, you’ll need to do the following when conducting outreach:
- Tell impactful stories. One effective way to drive donor engagement is storytelling. Moving people through nonprofit storytelling involves talking about those you serve with the intent to inspire action. Remember, human beings are visual creatures, so drive your point home with emotional imagery.
- Segment your recipients. General appeals that aren’t directed at anyone in particular will produce few (if any) results. Instead, divide your donors based on commonalities, such as program interests or reason for giving. From here, created targeted appeals that cater to their preferences.
- Adjust based on platform. Each platform requires a different approach. For instance, email newsletters may be great for longer appeals, whereas social media may be great for shorter posts with powerful imagery. Before conducting outreach, consider which audience you’re aiming to engage.
For more tips on how to engage donors online, visit Morweb’s core donation page design tips. You’ll learn how to streamline the user experience, driving more donations.
3. Use Gamification for Social Fundraising
Nothing motivates donors quite like social campaigning, made even better with gamification. If you’ve never heard of this powerful technique, don’t fret! It simply refers to applying game-based techniques to your fundraising efforts. By incorporating gamification, your social campaigns (i.e. crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraisers) will appeal to more supporters.
Lucky for nonprofits, there are a handful of gamification tools on the market. For instance, motivate your volunteer fundraisers with the following:
- A fundraising thermometer. After creating an aspirational (but still attainable) goal, use a fundraising thermometer. It will show progress toward your campaign goal, and it’s a great way to encourage participants to step up their efforts.
- Leaderboards. A leaderboard will show your top performers during a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Public recognition is a great motivator for anyone. Through the active use of leaderboards, participants will be more engaged while competing for the top spot.
- Badges. Reward active participants with badges that appear on their profiles each time they reach a milestone. Make sure you can customize badges so that they reflect your organization and its campaign goals.
The best nonprofit fundraising software should come with these features so that you don’t have to make any additional purchases. If you have access to these tools, make sure you put them to use.
Remember, when fundraising is actually fun for supporters, you’ll reach your goals more quickly and grow your supporter base substantially. Create aspirational goals, reward your supporters with digital incentives and boost your fundraising efforts with this modern approach!
4. Invest in Text-to-Give for Galas and Other Events
Modernizing your fundraising isn’t strictly limited to online campaigns. You can incorporate technological techniques to enhance your in-person fundraisers, too! Any time you host an event, make sure to create flyers that promote your organization’s text-to-give number. That way, you boost your revenue potential by giving participants a convenient way to give.
Text-to-give software is simple to use and provides you with revenue you wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. Here’s how it works:
- Your organization chooses a software provider that keeps donors’ information secure.
- Your nonprofit receives a unique phone number from the software provider.
- Donors text your text-to-give number, using the keyword designated by your nonprofit.
- They get a text back with a link and then choose their preferred donation amount.
- Voila! Your organization receives your supporters’ generous donations.
Make sure the text-to-give service tailors the process depending on the type of donor. For instance, first-time donors should fill out a short donation form with their payment information, while repeat donors should be able to save and reuse their information.
Before advertising your text-to-give number at your events, make sure that it works. Have staff test it out and ensure that it’s mobile-responsive. Otherwise, you may run into technical difficulties when it matters most (at your event).
While there are numerous ways to incorporate tech with your events, this is one of the easiest. All it takes is a little marketing to get the word out. Donors won’t have to remember their wallets, and they’ll appreciate having an additional way to give.
5. Implement Matching-Gift Technology
Take your digital fundraising a step further by incorporating matching gifts, simplified by tech. Chances are, you already have a wide range of matching-gift opportunities. As part of the corporate philanthropy phenomenon, matching gifts can double (maybe even triple!) your donors’ contributions. Not only is this a great fundraising strategy, but it’s a great retention strategy, too!
Best of all, donors don’t have to reach back into their own pockets; they just have to continue giving their typical donations. If their employer offers a match program, their company may match their employees’ generous gifts. However, this depends on a number of factors, such as:
- Minimum match amounts
- Maximum match amounts
- Nonprofit eligibility
- Employee status (i.e. full-time, retiree, etc.)
Modernize it even more by incorporating matching-gift tech that gathers employers’ guidelines and uses marketing automation. Once donors fill out your well-designed donation form, ensure you immediately follow up with them about their potential match eligibility. Make sure they have every opportunity to grow their donations and, chances are, they will!
A smart fundraising strategy takes modern communication into account. By creating fresh giving options, your donors will have ample opportunities to give and interact with your team, making them feel much more connected to your cause. Don’t overlook your donors; engage them, and expand your reach with modern tech!
Using the above tips, revamp any and all classic fundraising strategies, and set your nonprofit up for success!
John Killoran is an inventor, entrepreneur and the Chairman of Clover Leaf Solutions, a national lab services company. He currently leads Clover Leaf’s investment in Snowball Fundraising, an online fundraising platform for nonprofit organizations.
Snowball was one of John’s first public innovations; it’s a fundraising platform that offers text-to-give, online giving, events, and peer-to-peer fundraising tools for nonprofits. By making giving simple, Snowball increases the donations that these organizations can raise online. The Snowball effect is real! John founded Snowball in 2011. Now, it serves over 7,000 nonprofits and is the #1 nonprofit fundraising platform.