If your nonprofit is just getting started, it’s easy to be daunted by the challenges that arise with fundraising efforts. This is especially true if you compare yourself to larger and more established organizations, which draw on brand recognition and longtime supporters to reach their goals.
However, while you need to work hard, you don’t need to worry. Believe it or not, your small nonprofit has some advantages over your larger counterparts, one of the most important being your ability to interact with donors on an individual basis.
With the right fundraising strategies, your small nonprofit can find donors who share your mission and want to form lasting partnerships with your organization. A strong first step is to reach out to them where they already are—on social media—through a crowdfunding campaign.
If your organization is looking for a relatively inexpensive fundraising method that spreads the word about the good work you do, consider a crowdfunding campaign. In this fundraising form, your organization creates a donation page to which supporters can contribute to your next project. They can then share on social media, encouraging their friends and followers to do the same.
All your organization needs to start a crowdfunding campaign is a platform to host your fundraiser. Important considerations include cost and sharing ability. You’ll want to pick a platform that makes it easy to share your campaign on your supporters’ social media sites.
Once you’ve chosen the right platform and your campaign is up and running, you’ll be able to share it via email and social media with supporters and followers who will, in turn, share it with their networks in turn. Crowdfunding is perfect for small nonprofits because:
Even the newest nonprofits know how important it is to build lasting relationships with donors. These relationships create the foundation for the recurring support your organization needs to continue and expand. A community event provides an opportunity for you and your donors to get to know each other and understand each other’s goals and interests.
It’s likely that donors will be inspired to give at your event, so ensure that you have a fast and easy giving method already in place. Consider offering a text-to-give service so that your attendees can complete additional donations at the event, or encourage them to give through your website.
Your community event will require some advance planning, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot or require a large fundraising team to be successful! Many popular fundraising ideas, especially outdoor events such as walkathons, are relatively inexpensive to host. Choose an event that suits the needs and resources of your community and your nonprofit.
Want to combine your event with your crowdfunding campaign? A recent survey shows that fun runs are among the most profitable nonprofit fundraising events, in part because they tend to go hand-in-hand with crowdfunding efforts. They’re also easy to organize and inexpensive.
Branded merchandise serves multiple purposes within your nonprofit’s fundraising effort. For your supporters, it incentivizes donations and thanks them for their support. For your nonprofit, branded merchandise is a wonderful way to spread the word about your organization and develop the brand recognition that your larger counterparts leverage.
There are several ways in which you can incorporate branded merchandise throughout your fundraising process. If you’re using a crowdfunding campaign to lead up to a community event, consider:
If you’re looking for a product that will encourage supporters to give and spread the word about your nonprofit, consider t-shirts. You don’t need to be a design expert to create a shirt your supporters will love: a platform like Bonfire offers templates and design help to ensure your final product is high-quality.
T-shirts are also an effective means of promoting your organization, an important factor to consider if your nonprofit needs to build its brand recognition. Whenever your supporters wear your shirt in public, they create the opportunity to start conversations about your organization and all of the good work you do!
Donors who share your mission know that larger gifts are essential to your organization’s future. You can help them increase or even double their gift eligible donors to participate in their employers’ matching gift programs.
Recent nonprofit fundraising statistics indicate that the majority of potential donors are more likely to support a cause if they know their employer will match their gift. Matching gift programs also encourage many donors to give more.
Corporate matching gifts, which typically match your donors’ gifts in a 1:1 ratio, are a free way to increase giving to your organization. However, most matching gift revenue tends to go unclaimed. There are several reasons why:
Your nonprofit wants to incorporate matching gifts in your fundraising strategy to raise as much in donations as possible and make your donors feel great about giving. You can help make them aware of their potential eligibility for corporate matching gift programs by:
Your nonprofit’s growth and the growth of your support base are inextricably connected. To achieve your goals, you need continued support from your most committed donors as well as new individuals ready to contribute to your cause. As your nonprofit gains supporters, make sure that you’re gathering all the information necessary to communicate with them effectively.
You can improve donor relations by keeping your donor data organized and accessible in a donor database. Keep your database up-to-date by inputting all donations and all new donors and event registrants. The information you’ll want to have regarding each donor includes:
Once your donor data is stored and organized, you can use it to segment your list of donors, dividing them into categories according to shared attributes that will inform your communication strategy.
Small nonprofits are especially capable of interacting with their donors at the individual level. Your organization will benefit when you take advantage of this ability to build relationships, as it will support your work and future growth.
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