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Fundraising for nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are in a constant battle to grow their fundraising efforts and their donor base as a way to survive and achieve their organizational goals. Fundraising has changed in recent years with a move away from large donations to smaller, regular donations. Three quarters of all nonprofit fundraising is still done from individual donors so it makes sense to make it as easy as possible to do online using nonprofit software.

Small online donations

If we are looking at Millenials and Gen Z it is obvious that you will need to have a donation software somewhere on your website and social media to maximize donations from this group. It is now common to have a list of donation amounts clickable on a donation page or widget so the person can easily choose and move directly to inserting their payment details.

Another trend in nonprofit software is towards 'always-on' fundraising. In the past fundraising drives or events powered much of the incoming pledges annually whereas now, ‘small asks’ during every interaction with your community are more normal. This means after a social media content piece there is an ask, after a face-to-face conversation there is an ask to donate, after events there is an ask. This gets everyone in the organization used to doing this and it makes it less of a jarring element in the interaction as it is more common and a smaller ask.

Peer-to-peer fundraising model

The other big trend in fundraising for nonprofits and advocacy is towards peer-to-peer fundraising models. P-2-P fundraising is a way for your supporters to fundraise on your organization’s behalf. It can be done in multiple ways but is usually a situation where the supporter is given their own fundraising page on a website and they direct their people/community to that which then feeds up to the main organization. The other way is simply for P-2-P to refer potential donors on to the main organization. The nonprofit can then contact the new supporter for a donation or even to get further involved. Both of these models leverage the existing networks that all individual supporters have and help to increase both fundraising and the donor base overall.

Simplify donation process

For any nonprofit that is looking at how to increase fundraising efforts they will need to simplify the process of donation significantly. In fact, it needs to be a seamless flow from interacting with a member of the organization to reaching a donation portal to getting the donation through. How do you do this? You will need an online donation software like DonorBox or Qgiv so you can have a simple donation widget on your website or social media. You will then need to direct supporters to that location quickly with a simple link that is shared online, on email or on social media. Cut down the number of steps involved and you will increase donations. Now, when your supporters are at events or in the community they will be making that small ask, and the small ask is to visit this donation page by sending them a link. Keep it simple and make sure it is part of every interaction.

Community building model

Finally, the industry shift that underpins many of the preceding points is one that has seen nonprofits moving to more of a community-building model in recent years. Why? Because this model keeps people engaged beyond the act of donating. If you have donors making a small donation and then disappearing it makes the long-term goals of fundraising far harder to achieve.

This is evident in a supporter engagement framework that is now common practice. Activists and supporters are representatives in the community building deeper relationships with community members to achieve organizational goals and find new supporters. This model of community building creates a strong brand that others will want to be a part of. The most active donors and activists are offered leadership positions and moved up through a ‘ladder of engagement’ with the organization. Everyone is encouraged to take an active role and further the organizational mission beyond just donating.

If you would like to learn more about fundraising for nonprofits and advocacy groups using Ecanvasser please get in touch below.

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