Many nonprofits, especially smaller organizations, struggle with finding fundraising ideas that will make a big impact, but don’t require an army to pull off or huge overhead. It’s no secret that nonprofits rely on effective fundraising to fulfill their missions, that’s why it’s vital for these organizations to build lasting relationships with donors.
Often times nonprofit organizations, executive directors, and board members need some quick fundraising ideas to get some funds in the door to cover operational costs, start a longer-term campaign, get through a mid-campaign slump, or for an emergency situation. Fundraisers need to be engaging enough to get people involved and get them involved quickly.
Here are some tips to get your team moving in the right direction:
- Craft a clear and concise message – you need to be able to tell your nonprofit’s story in a way that is connects to your donors in an emotional way. Focus on why you do what you do and why it matters – not just on what you do.
- Get your board involved – many nonprofits struggle with getting their board members involved in fundraising initiatives. Make sure you set clear board expectations on how members are expected to be involved in any fundraising ventures – volunteering time, money, etc. It’s also vital they understand WHY you do what you do!
- Grant writing 101 – having someone who excels at writing grants can greatly increase your odds of getting funding, however also having a personal connection with the foundations will also increase your chances of success.
- Be direct – the number one reason people don’t donate is simply because they haven’t been asked. If you have a list of past donors or members of the community that you are looking for donations from, you need to be direct and ask instead of relying on them to come to you.
- Tell them how they are having an impact. Donors want to know what their money is going towards and how it’s making an impact within the nonprofit. They want to know that their gift is making a difference. Be very specific on where their money is going.
- Make your donation button prominent – if you don’t have a button on your website where donors can send you money electronically, add one asap. Your button to donate should be easy to find and stand out.
- Make it personal – engage with your volunteers – they are donors too, already donating time, but many donate money too. Address your donors’ interests, concerns, and ask for feedback from them. Making them feel like they are a part of something bigger can have a huge impact.
- Communicate – send your past donors, current donors, and future donors updates on what you are doing. Email is the easier way – keep things positive and always include a call to action.
- Get social – social giving has skyrocketed in the past few years with many people starting birthday donation fundraisers for the nonprofit of their choosing right on platforms like Facebook.
- Be appreciative – whether someone donates their time, services, money, or items for a raffle make sure they know how much you appreciate them. Handwritten notes, thank you posts on social media, and even an acknowledgement in a newsletter go a long way.
- Branding – regardless if you are doing a penny auction, sponsorship walk, or dinner, make sure your event is branded and people have multiple ways to share it – fliers, event on social media, info on your website, etc. If people can identify the cause or they don’t know how to find info they can’t contribute and share.
Hopefully these tips will give you some new ideas and a plan for your next fundraising initiative. We love hearing from all of our local nonprofits on how they are doing and upcoming events. We’d also love some feedback on which tip was the most useful to you?
Washington Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President