Your charity will require a fundraising campaign from time to time to ensure that you can raise funds for your programmes, forthcoming events, and emergency relief campaigns, as well as for purchasing land or building a new facility. And there are numerous other reasons why you should be able to advance your task.
Online giving is expected to climb by 23% by 2020. As recurring donations became more popular among online contributors, online monthly giving revenue increased by 40%. These figures merely indicate that online donation is increasing and does not appear to be slowing down. Fundraising campaigns are well-known in the nonprofit community; their popularity has expanded with the introduction of social media and crowdfunding.
The range of online campaigns ranges from Giving Tuesday and Capital Campaigns to peer-to-peer fundraising, crowdfunding, and text giving. The donors that each campaign targets are equally varied and finding the right donors for each campaign is half the battle.
Fundraising campaigns are a significant part of a nonprofit’s strategic plan. When raising funds for any organization, it is essential to plan out the best way to reach donors. Fundraising campaigns are a great way to target specific donors for each financial need.
Depending on the age, background, donation history, and program interest, donors can be broken down into several separate subgroups. Talking to each of these subgroups is important. The way you reach out to them is equally vital. Once you have created your subgroups, you will want to develop powerful campaigns to reach each of these groups and contact them in a way that appeals to them.
The best way to reach your donors is different for each organization, but overall, the trust in donating online has grown. Your nonprofit needs to take advantage of this trust.
The process of seeking voluntary gifts and finances from individuals or corporations to help your organization develop is known as fundraising. However, fundraising is more than just collecting money. It assists organizations in raising awareness about their cause, developing relationships, gaining support, and attracting possible new funders.
While most nonprofit fundraising campaigns are unique, there are some best practices that may be used to all campaign types to ensure success. Use the eight recommendations below to guarantee that your next fundraising event works well, engages more supporters, and advances your charitable organization.
1. Start With a Strategic Soft Launch of Your Campaign
Planning a soft launch to a small group of dedicated supporters or past powerhouse fundraisers is a fundraising tactic that can help build campaign momentum before your official launch to the public.
Your donor base is are more likely to donate to your fundraiser once you’ve started moving toward your fundraising goal, which makes it crucial to tap on your early adopter audiences to generate initial traction. Not only that, soft-launching your campaign ensures you can work out any bugs or errors, like typos or broken links on your donation form, before you send it to your larger prospective donor community.
Send an email to your supporters and ask for their feedback:
- Would they change anything?
- Is the message clear?
- Does it excite them?
If they’re peer-to-peer fundraisers, ask them to start a personal fundraising page and begin reaching out to friends and family for donations. When the time comes to invite everyone to participate, the momentum generated in your soft launch will likely carry over into your hard launch and push you toward your goal.
2. Keep Your Brand Front and Center
Strong branding helps build trust with supporters and serves the much simpler purpose of confirming that your fundraising campaign is, in fact, yours.
It can be confusing to potential donors if your nonprofit’s brand, logo, and colors aren’t unified with that of your new fundraising campaign. This is especially relevant as you market your campaign across various channels like email, social media, and direct mail solicitations.
There are plenty of ways to ensure your branding remains highly visible and unified across your channels. For example, you can create a special logo for your new campaign that’s different from your nonprofit’s logo, but uses the same colors. When you add your logo to your marketing outreach, or when people come across it organically, they’ll know for certain that it’s your campaign and nobody else’s.
3. Make Giving Easy With Flexible Payment Options
Data in this State of Modern Philanthropy report reaffirms that the payments you offer can make or break a donor’s decision to complete their planned giving.
When donors have options, we found that gift sizes on the Classy platform increase. Our data revealed that the average one-time gift made via ACH is nearly 2X larger than a one-time gift made through a credit card. This emphasizes the value of a frictionless donor experience and serves as a reminder to understand your donors’ preferences to ensure all expectations are met. Classy Pay supports digital wallets, PayPal, Venmo, ACH, and credit card processing for nonprofits.
4. Encourage Recurring Gifts
A Recurring Donor Sentiment Report found that 47% of recurring donors feel like their ongoing donation is making more of an impact than a one-time gift, and 38% feel more connected to a nonprofit when they give regularly.
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Recurring donors are nine times more valuable to your nonprofit than one-time donors, making donor retention an important part of reaching your fundraising goal. In fact, the Recurring Donor Sentiment Report found that 84% of recurring donors take additional action on top of their recurring donation, including volunteering, making additional one-time gifts, attending an event, and more.
If you’re not asking supporters to upgrade to recurring donations, you could be leaving money on the table. Send email appeals that ask recipients to support your campaign and long-term mission by committing to a recurring gift at the frequency of their choice.
In your messaging, use bold calls to action, highlight exclusive incentives, and showcase how much more of an impact a recurring gift makes versus a one-time donation.
5. Drive Engagement Through Gift Matching
Inviting donors to participate in matching gift periods is a solid strategy that can boost your fundraising effort, especially if you unveil the match during a mid-campaign lull. Often, matching gifts instill a sense of urgency in supporters to give right away.
Alternatively, you can promote your matching gift period at the start of your campaign to spark fundraising activity right out of the gate. It can take time to secure a matching gift partner for your campaign, so don’t wait until the last minute. During the initial planning phases of your campaign, reach out to potential partners, corporate sponsors, or major donors and ask if they would like to participate as your match provider.
This way, when the time comes to let your audience know about the matching period, you’ve got dates locked down, maximum funds decided upon, and copy approved to promote on your email, website, and social media channels.
6. Fuel Donations With a Tie to Impact
Apathy is the enemy of charitable giving. If donors don’t believe their support will make a difference, they likely won’t give. In order to break down that barrier, clearly communicate how each donation carries over into tangible solutions. No matter how big or small, every contribution can help advance your mission.
Break down the impact of each specific gift size in your written appeals or through visual calls to action on your campaign page. For example, Classy’s impact blocks bring together powerful photos with descriptive text to show how contributions help move your nonprofit closer to your goals:
7. Use Video to Inspire Action
Studies show that if a person hears information without seeing any accompanying visual elements, they only remember about 10% of it after three days. However, if it’s paired with a photo or video, they’ll recall about 65% of the information.
Without a doubt, video is an incredibly powerful tool to snare your audience’s attention, bring your cause to life, and make a compelling ask to donate, fundraise, or sign up as a recurring donor.
Further, nonprofit fundraising videos are versatile and you can use them on almost any marketing channel, your campaign page itself, or in direct gift appeals. To make your next great video, record footage of your team on the ground, feature stories about the impact you have on your beneficiaries, or interview supporters. Show people how they can get involved and the impact that will make on the world.
8. Say Thank You and Celebrate Donors’ Success
It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate milestones, creative ideas, or fundraising success if you want to keep your donor base focused and inspired to reach the next big goal.
Consider setting smaller, incremental goals that you can celebrate together along the way. When the campaign goal feels too overwhelming, potential donors may give up before they even start. This is especially important for peer-to-peer fundraisers.
To avoid losing their attention before they hit their goal, send milestone emails to emphasize their impact and encourage them to keep going.
The celebration also applies to your internal staff, board members, and partners. They work just as hard to ensure the design, launch, and wrap-up of fundraising campaigns go off without a hitch, so don’t forget to highlight their involvement and thank them for their effort. Consider thanking them in person with a small happy hour, or send a handwritten note.
There are a few critical steps to finding success with your fundraising campaign. Creating a powerful story and clear guidelines are essential.
1. Identify the beneficiary
“Your donation of $100 will allow Ayesha to attend the class for the first time and help her reach her dream of becoming a doctor.”
Would you rather give to Ayesha or a faceless organization? Most people are inspired to give to real people with compelling stories. By telling a beneficiary’s story and adding a few pictures or a video, you can bring to life the work your organization is doing.
When you solicit donors, do not just tell them the number of people that are impacted by their donations. Show them a life they can change.
2. Set a fundraising goal
Setting a fundraising goal, and keeping donors informed about how close you are to reaching it, will excite your donors. It will also increase the chance of more donations as you get closer to that goal.
3. Set a campaign timeline
It is human nature to wait until the last minute to get something done. Waiting to donate is no different. Successful campaigns include a limited time to give. Keeping donors aware of how little time they have to make a difference will drive donations.
4. Come up with a compelling story
Why does Ayesha need money to go to school? Do other girls in her community get an education? How do women in her community live without an education? What inspired her to want to become a doctor?
The answer to these questions is how you convince donors to give. Telling this one girl’s story is a doorway to thousands of other people’s lives. Your donors will want to learn more about Ayesha and more about the other girls in her community. The more stories you tell, the more they will want to give.
5. Identify key marketing channels
Do your donors give more online or by mail? Have you tried and succeeded in reaching an audience using social media?
The answers to these questions are different for each organization, but more people choose to donate online every year. Even more, would rather be sent information from nonprofits via social media or email rather than by mail.
As a nonprofit, you will want to know how your donors are giving and the best way to reach them.
6. Write your copy
Once you have found out how your donors give and split them into subgroups, you can start writing emails, donor letters, or social media posts. The way you tell your story will need to be different for each of these groups and communication channels.
Social media campaigns can find great success with videos. Donor letters and cards can have a personal touch. Emails can quickly connect your donors to online donation forms.