🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

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Fundraising for Nonprofits: New & Impactful Ways to Raise Money

There are new, creative ways your nonprofit can raise money to help more people, like online fundraisers, working with businesses, and events that are fun and bring in donations.

Another month, another desperate scramble for donations.

You launch one crowdfunding campaign after another, begging friends to share on social media until they unfollow you.

After all the effort, you end up $5k short somehow. Quietly dreading how to fund your programs next month already.

We get it – fundraising is a frustrating, uncertain grind. But what if it didn’t have to be?

This blog unveils out-of-the-box funding ideas to take your nonprofit’s income to the next level. Forget the usual donation drives and grants alone. We’ll explore smart hacks leveraging everything from corporate matches to Instagram stickers to rental property.

Yes, you read that right…

Intrigued? Buckle up for unconventional (but proven!) tactics to make funding your passion project way more sustainable.

Alongside sample messages, success metrics and pro tips to maximize revenue, you’ll discover fresh potential in places you never bothered looking before.

Imagine finally having the budget to grow your programs exponentially next year thanks to this expanded, recession-resistant funding mix. We’ll map out how to get there step-by step.

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One Event. Two Experiences.

Skillfully engage both your in-person and online attendees through our cutting-edge hybrid event production services.

Introduction to Nonprofit Fundraising

Hosting special events can be an extremely effective way for nonprofits to engage donors, raise money, and spread awareness of their mission.

From charity runs to gala dinners, creative events when well-executed can bring in anywhere from several thousand dollars to over $1 million for your organization.

It does take careful planning and coordination to host a successful nonprofit fundraising event.

You need to identify appropriate venues, recruit volunteers, secure sponsors, market ticket sales, and manage the program.

But the payoff of increased visibility and donor dollars make events a go-to staple for many charities.

Setting Clear Metrics for Fundraising Success

When starting a new fundraising campaign, the first critical step is to clearly define your goals and how you’ll measure success.

Some key metrics to consider tracking include:

  • Total dollar amount you aim to raise
  • Number of new donors you hope to acquire
  • Number of repeat donors from past campaigns

Carefully monitoring your progress against these benchmarks will allow you to evaluate what’s working well and where you may need to adjust your outreach strategy.

Understanding Your Donor Demographics

Along with setting fundraising targets, it’s importantly to intimately understand your existing and potential donor base.

Gather insights on:

  • Donor ages, geographic locations, gender, income levels
  • What motivates them to give to your cause specifically

Equipped with this knowledge, you can tailor your messaging and outreach channels in a way that will resonate most with each donor segment.

For example, young professionals may be more compelled by social media and peer-to-peer fundraising, while an older demographic may prefer more traditional mail and phone campaigns.

Building Donor Relationships & Trust

At the heart of every successful nonprofit fundraising strategy is building genuine, transparent relationships with donors.

Supporters want to feel confident their contributions are truly making an impact.

Be sure to clearly communicate to donors specifically how their gifts will be used and the real-world outcomes they’ll help achieve.

For example, provide updates like:

  • “Your $100 donation helps feed 40 homeless people for a week.”
  • “This month your monthly gift funded the textbooks for an entire 1st grade class.”

Telling these stories of impact not only builds trust with existing patrons, but inspires increased future giving.

Other relationship-building tips include:

  • Send handwritten thank you notes
  • Offer insider tours showcasing programs they support
  • Share uplifting client success stories
  • Recognize loyal repeat donors

When donors feel invested in the mission and community their dollars help build, they’re likely to become your nonprofit’s champions for years to come.

Launching a successful nonprofit fundraising campaign takes careful planning, clear metrics, understanding your donors, and relationship-building.

Define monetary and participation goals and track progress against benchmarks.

Tailor outreach using insights on donor demographics and motivations.

Communicate regularly on specific outcomes funded so patrons feel genuinely invested in your mission’s success.

Follow these best practices, and you’ll be on your way to generating greater support for your cause.

Event Fundraising Ideas

In-person and virtual events can be excellent fundraisers, bringing in anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over a million.

Events provide opportunities to engage donors while raising visibility for your cause.

Consider these event ideas:

Charity Runs, Walks or Rides

Charity runs, walks and bike ride events have exploded in popularity in recent years.

Participants collect pledges from their network based on the distance they complete.

Some best practices for coordinating one of these athletic fundraisers include:

  • Pick a route connected to your cause when possible. For example, an Alzheimer’s charity holding their walk incorporating memorial mile markers. This helps participants feel more invested in fundraising.
  • Offer courses of varying lengths – 5K, 10K, half marathon, etc. – to accommodate different commitment levels. Enable participants to choose what fits their abilities.
  • Highly encourage participants to fundraise online through customizable pages from a platform like GiveSmart. This makes collecting pledges much easier.
  • Have strong visibility for you and sponsors race day with branded runner bibs, event t-shirts, mile markers, and finish line banners.
  • Keep overhead costs low by seeking in-kind support rather than purchasing supplies when possible. Many local companies will happily donate food, facilities, prizes or other materials to charity events.
  • Build momentum by making your run, walk or ride an annual tradition supporters and sponsors can count on every year.

Sports Tournaments

Hosting a charity sports tournament capitalizes on people’s passion for friendly competition while fundraising for a great cause.

Popular events include golf outings, basketball, softball, flag football and more.

Tips for coordinating a nonprofit tournament include:

  • Pick your sport early and begin planning at least 6+ months out. This allows adequate time for securing facilities/fields, recruiting teams, obtaining permits, marketing and more.
  • Enlist any celebrity athlete ambassadors affiliated with your charity to help promote tournament registration and sponsorships.
  • Allow spectators and sell tickets for those just wanting to watch the games and enjoy the atmosphere. Consider hosting an additional fundraising component like a raffle or auctioning off the chance to meet special guests.
  • Recruit local companies and groups to sponsor participating teams. In exchange, provide uniforms with their logos and enable teams to collect pledges for charity.
  • Set up contests, raffles and bracket challenges fans can enter to win prizes and raise additional money. Have skills competitions during downtime like longest drive or half-court shot contests.
  • Sell branded merchandise like event t-shirts and percentage of proceeds goes back to your nonprofit.

Charity Galas / Dinners

Hosting a formal charity gala or dinner party provides a classic way nonprofits can raise money while supporters enjoy an elegant evening out.

Best practices for coordinating a successful gala fundraiser include:

  • Secure an event venue like a hotel ballroom and ask about discounted nonprofit rates to reduce costs.
  • Sell tickets for sponsored tables seating 8-10 guests. Offer a premium VIP pricing level for seats closest to the stage.
  • Recruit a well-known local celebrity like a news anchor to emcee the event free of charge. Raffle off special meet-and-greets.
  • Hold luxury silent auctions and live auctions of big-ticket items like vacation packages. Have images and details on each prize printed in an auction catalog.
  • Do additional fundraising appeals during the gala itself too. Common approaches include “Raise the Paddle” where attendees pledge donations in real time for special causes.
  • Have donation envelopes at each table for any guests wishing to give an additional gift beyond the cost of their ticket.

Concerts & Festivals

From music festivals to county fairs, these lively events attract big crowds spanning all ages while raising money. Tips for coordinating a concert or festival fundraiser include:

  • Recruit local musicians, bands and performers to volunteer their talent and time on stage. This significantly reduces entertainment costs.
  • Alongside live music, provide affordable family-friendly activities like yard games, face painting, carousel rides and crafts booths to broaden appeal.
  • Sell branded event t-shirts, hats and merchandise. Allocate a percentage of all merch sales directly back to funding your programs.
  • Hold a silent auction for unique experiences like meet-and-greets with the musical acts backstage. Fans will bid big money for exclusive talent access.
  • See if any nearby food trucks or vendors will sell food at the event and donate a slice of proceeds too.
  • Secure a large local business to be the Presenting Sponsor with their logo featured prominently on stage signage, banners and website.

Comedy & Theater Shows

From stand-up comedy acts to productions of popular musicals and plays, these performing arts fundraisers entertain guests while raising money through ticket sales and more.

If hosting a comedy fundraiser, approach your local comedy club about providing their venue and talent for free if you give them a cut of the bar sales.

The comedians get exposure to new audiences while you keep overhead costs low.

For theatrical shows, rent out a small community theater for the evening and sell tickets to your fundraiser performance.

Recruit volunteer actors and backstage crew members from regional community theater groups who want the additional stage experience.

Showcase productions with ties to your cause or original shows written just for charity night.

Enable supporters to dedicate the evenings’ performance in honor or memory of loved ones for an additional donation. Print their names in the show’s program.

Offer premium-priced VIP tickets for prime seating locations and access to the exclusive cast reception after the show.Sell ad space within the printed show program for added income as well.

Hosting creative and well-coordinated special events provides nonprofits an excellent opportunity to engage existing donors while also attracting new supporters.

Whether you expect 50 or 500 attendees, producing enjoyable events that successfully showcase your mission can lead to great visibility, new partnerships and significants dollars raised for your nonprofit.

Get “The Event Success Playbook”

Our proven event planning playbook has step-by-step strategies to increase qualified leads 25%+, grow revenue, and boost engagement.

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Online & Social Media Fundraising Campaigns

Online fundraising campaigns have become extremely popular in recent years.

Donors love the convenience of being able to contribute from anywhere at any time using their phones or computers.

Online campaigns also allow nonprofits to reach new potential supporters, especially younger demographics who are very active on social media.

Here are some creative web and social media fundraising ideas to consider:

Peer-to-Peer Campaigns

Rather than run all fundraising campaigns internally, peer-to-peer campaigns empower your enthusiastic supporters to fundraise on your behalf within their own networks.

Typically they create a customizable webpage and then use email, social media posts, and in-person asks to collect donations from people they know.

Some great software options for peer-to-peer fundraising include:

  • CrowdRise by GoFundMe – Excellent for peer-to-peer campaigns and making fundraising fun by setting up contests
  • Classy – Provides beautiful templates and seamless donation processing integrated
  • Rallybound – Enables teams or individuals to share compelling stories that connect with donors emotionally
  • Give Lively – Known for innovative, fully-optimized donation forms that convert visitors

Peer-to-peer campaigns work especially well for nonprofits who already have an engaged community of supporters to tap into.

Provide your fundraising team with clear instructions, suggested social media posts, high-quality photos and videos to share, and prizes or public recognition for top fundraisers.

Tapping into this enthusiasm multiplies your impact.

Social Media Birthday Fundraisers

In addition to peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, another idea is to enable your supporters to request donations to your nonprofit instead of personal birthday gifts.

Facebook provides a built-in tool where fundraisers can easily create customized birthday campaigns and collect tax-deductible donations seamlessly.

Whenever you share supporters’ or influencers’ birthdays on social media, promote this birthday fundraiser option.

It taps into people’s natural tendency to be extra generous toward friends on their special day.

For big giving days like #GivingTuesday, encourage all employees or key supporters to set up Facebook Birthday fundraisers benefiting your cause.

Seeing multiple friends fundraise together multiplies the impact.

Donation Matching Campaigns

Matching gift campaigns are another great idea for giving days.

They challenge and incentivize donors by offering to match contributions by 50%, 100%, or even 200% or higher.

The matching funds would come from a sponsoring corporation or foundation rather than your nonprofit itself.

For example, leading up to GivingTuesday, your nonprofit could run a campaign saying “For every donation made before December 1st, the Taylor Foundation will match it 200%!”

The growing matching pool creates urgency for donors to give promptly in order to maximize impact.

Securing a credible matching partner also adds validation and authority too.

Share real-time stats on the funds raised and matching dollars committed to spark competitiveness.

Online Auctions

It’s easier than ever to host online charity auctions using sites like CharityAuctionsToday and BiddingForGood. Benefits include:

  • Ability to accept online bids and payments rather than just cash
  • Flexibility around timing – Run auctions for set durations like one week
  • Wider reach since anyone can bid remotely
  • Lower costs compared to live in-person event auctions

First, get quality donations of desirable products, services or experiences to feature in your auction.

Showcase items attractively with photos, descriptions and starting minimum bid prices.

Promote the auction heavily on all your social media channels and email lists leading up to launch day.

Share preview images and descriptions to generate excitement.

During the actual auction, build competitiveness and bid prices by frequently sharing real-time leaders and impending bid deadlines.

Instagram Fundraising Stickers

Instagram recently unveiled new built-in fundraising tools for nonprofits including Donation Stickers.

Similar to their popular Story Stickers, these enable any nonprofit account to easily collect donations without donors leaving the Instagram app.

Followers simply tap to contribute a preset amount and enter payment details on the next screen.

It’s seamless.

Influencers and businesses can also run “fundraisers” where they choose a nonprofit to support, and Instagram automatically adds the Donate Sticker.

Given how influential Instagram is, especially with youth, these tools make supporting causes ubiquitous.

They eliminate common friction points and barriers that exist with traditional online donation forms.

Facebook Live-streamed Events

With Facebook Live, you can broadcast fundraisers in real-time to global audiences beyond just those attending in-person.

This brings an exciting new dimension to events like charity galas, races, concerts, talks, etc.

Promote your upcoming Facebook Live fundraiser across all social channels and email lists leading up to the event date.

Share teasers and build hype by highlighting the compelling title, event summary, imagery of what viewers can expect, your cause’s urgent need, and easy ways for at-home viewers to contribute.

During the actual broadcast, periodically encourage at-home viewers to contribute or donate to the fundraising pages and links prominently displayed on-screen.

Weave these calls-to-action in between other relevant imagery and emotional stories being shared.

Facebook Live fundraisers have raised millions for causes when executed well.

The key is driving high viewership both during the live stream and afterwards when the full replay video remains on your Facebook Page.

Use best practices for engaging live video to maximize watch durations and donations.

For any of these online fundraising campaigns, don’t just set it and forget it!

Promote heavily across email, social media, and your website leading up to launch day.

Experiment with different creative approaches, image sizes and text.

Then analyze performance and fine-tune messaging throughout the duration of the campaign based on what resonates best with your audience.

With a little creativity and some hustle, you can smash your fundraising goals!

Corporate & Foundation Fundraising

In addition to donations from individual supporters, securing grants and sponsorships from corporations and foundations can transform a nonprofit’s fundraising.

While it requires some upfront effort, contributions from these institutional funders often reach five, six, or even seven figures—hugely impactful amounts for most small-to-mid-sized nonprofits.

The larger grants also help justify staff costs for writing those detailed applications.

Here are some tips for tapping into these major funding sources:

Corporate Sponsorships

Put together custom sponsorship packages at a range of monetary levels, with promotional benefits tied to each level.

Entry tiers may simply offer logo presence at your charity event, while top premium tiers can also provide exhibits, website banners, and social media shout-outs from your channels.

Start pitching local companies first as community ties can matter.

Corporate Volunteer Grants

Many businesses provide grant funds to nonprofits where a minimum number of their employees actively volunteer.

While volunteering directly aids your programs already, it can also unlock this added financial support.

Some companies issue $500+ grants annually tied to total volunteer hours logged.

Workplace Giving / Payroll Deductions

Enable recurring payroll deductions through workplace giving campaigns like United Way where employees select which nonprofits will receive automated monthly contributions right from their paycheck.

These workplace giving drives simplify and encourage regular employee giving while providing nonprofits like yours with a predictable income stream.

Shop to Donate Programs

Register your nonprofit with Amazon Smiles, Kroger Community Rewards and similar shop-to-donate programs affiliated with major retailers.

When individual supporters link their existing accounts to your organization, a small percentage of their normal purchases get donated back to you at no extra cost.

Getting hundreds of supporters signed up quickly multiplies into bigger donation funds over time.

Company Matching Gifts

Thoroughly research which national or local corporations offer to match tax-deductible donations made by their employees to eligible 501(c)(3) charities like yours.

Submitting a simple matching gift request form essentially doubles many individuals’ contributions. Ensure your donors know to request matches to maximize your funds.

Foundation Grants

Beyond grants listing websites like GrantWatch and Foundation Directory Online, directly research the giving history and areas of focus of specific local and national foundations closely aligned to your mission.

Take time to submit customized letters of inquiry and applications tailored to each funder’s priorities and requirements.

While very time intensive, foundation grants often provide the largest single donations.

Cast a wide net with grant applications to both national and hometown funders in order to cover different types of grants and submission cycles.

Don’t get discouraged by rejections along the way.

Persistently build ongoing relationships with potential corporate and foundation partners through both grant applications and event sponsorship requests.

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Emphasize Your Nonprofit’s Value

As you prepare grant applications and sponsorship requests, it’s vital to showcase your nonprofit’s credibility, efficiency, and potential to drive impact with new funding.

Convincing funders that their investment will further your mission starts with quantifying past outcomes and mapping out future goals.

Highlight Impact

Funders care deeply about impact – how will their investment further your nonprofit’s mission and create meaningful change?

Bring the numbers to life.

Quantify past programs’ reach plus concrete outcomes achieved. Then map out next goals showing how requested funds will exponentially grow that impact.

Prove Credibility

Structure applications to showcase expertise in your focus area and steadfast commitment to communities served.

Provide bios of key staff and board members highlighting relevant backgrounds.

Reference awards won and include supporting materials like annual reports evidencing strong operational health and successful initiatives to date.

Leverage Connections

Warm introductions go a long way so leverage any personal or professional contacts affiliated with target companies or foundations to initially engage them.

Customize outreach conveying you understand their priorities and asking thoughtful questions to identify where your work aligns.

Use connections for feedback to improve proposals.

Steward Donors

Carefully steward existing foundation and corporate donors by providing prompt project updates and impact reports on how grants supported communities.

Ask about other priorities and pain points for future applications.

Publish press releases re-sharing grant announcements plus give public thanks across communication channels.

Stay Organized

Tracking requirements, deadlines and tailored proposal content for various funders requires strong organization.

Use databases to compile intelligence over time on funders including website content, 990s, past grants database searches and anecdotal insights from others.

Continually update records with new intel that informs future proposal targeting and relationship nurturing.

The competition is fierce but taking a methodical approach, leveraging relationships and conveying genuine impact can help your nonprofit stand out from the crowd.

Partnering effectively with both hometown and national corporate and foundation funders provides fuel for changing lives!

Earned Income Strategies

While most nonprofits rely heavily on donations, developing additional streams of “earned income” from products, services, or strategic investments is wise financial management.

This diversifies your income, provides more financial stability than donations alone, and engages new audiences.

Consider these examples of mission-aligned income ideas to fund operations:

  • Sell Branded Merchandise: Apparel, drinkware, calendars and other items branded with your logo raise awareness while earning income from each sale. Online merch shops like Bonfire, Teespring and Spreadshirt make production and fulfillment easy. Market branded items year-round.
  • Host Paid Virtual Events: Don’t make everything free. Charge reasonable admission for special online expert talks, training seminars, professional development classes and insider discussions relevant to your cause. Attendees see value and will pay for exclusive content. We & Goliath’s expertise in virtual event production and execution can help you create an interactive experience that raises awareness and funds for your cause.
  • Offer Paid Memberships: Provide insider access like discounts on services, early event registrations and members-only digital content in exchange for monthly or annual membership dues. This works especially well for nonprofits focused on professional community building.
  • License Your Knowledge: Develop paid online courses, guidebooks or playbooks leveraging your organization’s expertise to meet an unmet need. For example, an arts education nonprofit can bundle teaching resources, tools and training for selling. Your cause-related knowledge is intellectual property to ethically monetize.
  • Lease Underutilized Assets: Generate some rental income from any spaces, vehicles or equipment your nonprofit owns but doesn’t actively use year-round. No need for assets to sit idle when local businesses or peer nonprofits may want to lease them.
  • Invest a Portion of Reserve Funds: Carefully invest a percentage of reserves, rainy day or endowment funds with trusted, qualified financial advisors to generate dividend income over time. Conservative investments provide financial stability while serving the mission.

Any earned income activities related to your existing programs and knowledge base provide extra funding so donor dollars can further fuel your community impact.

While you likely won’t fully self-fund through these strategies alone, every bit of income diversification leads to greater nonprofit resilience and sustainability over the long term.

Experiment with a few ideas that feel authentic to your brand.

Emphasize quality and social impact over maximizing profits.

Let supporters know earned income initiatives ultimately advance your mission!

Innovative Online Fundraising Ideas

In this digital age, nonprofits need to utilize creative online engagement and giving opportunities in addition to traditional fundraising efforts.

Consider integrating some of these inventive digital concepts:

Interactive Challenges and Competitions

Interactive social media challenges are a hot trend that can drive online engagement and fundraising for your nonprofit.

Come up with a fun activity, competition, or contest that aligns with your mission and encourage participants to get sponsors or collect pledges.

  • For example, you could create a virtual walk/run challenge where people track miles and get donors to pledge donations based on their progress.
  • Or design a dance challenge where submissions incorporate facts about an issue your organization addresses. Make it social, shareable, and tied to your cause.

Promote entry fees or secure corporate sponsorships to fund prizes to motivate involvement.

Top fundraisers can receive compelling awards like behind-the-scenes experiences, access to online events, or swag bags.

The key is making challenges amusing, shareable online, and rewarding to partake in.

This converts followers into fundraisers recruiting donations from their own networks.

Interactive campaigns generate funds while expanding your audience.

Produce Captivating VR Experiences

Virtual reality (VR) opens new doors for nonprofits to create highly immersive supporter experiences that educate and inspire action.

VR technology has expanded in recent years, making producing basic 360 videos quite affordable.

For a small fee, offer donors VR glimpses into the world your organization serves.

Let them walk alongside aid workers, visualize environmental restoration, or emotionally connect with those benefiting from programs.

These vivid peeks behind the scenes enlighten audiences unlike anything else.

If possible, take things up a notch by collaborating with VR developers to create interactive environments supporters can explore.

More advanced simulations that enable users to ask questions and guide their experience drive immense empathy and understanding.

Charge access fees for your VR content or productions as an impactful new revenue stream while cultivating deeper supporter connections.

Offer Mission-Boosting Subscriptions

Charity subscription boxes let supporters receive regular deliveries of curated products that promote your nonprofit’s mission while raising funds.

Tap into this trend by offering themed boxes that educate and engage new audiences.

  • For instance, an environmental nonprofit could send monthly boxes showcasing products made from recycled materials, items that promote sustainability, or nature-inspired arts and crafts projects.
  • An organization serving refugees might feature fair trade food items, cultural cooking tools, and stories from those impacted.

Subscription box services handle logistic hassles so you simply design compelling themes and curate contents.

Promote subscriptions through your website, social channels, and email outreach.

Consider special offerings like quarterly deliveries for lower price points.

Recurring subscription fees provide reliable income while merchandise spreads awareness. Insert organizational updates and action opportunities to mobilize supporters.

Delightful surprises promote anticipation, engagement, and sharing.

Host Interactive Virtual and Hybrid Events

Online and hybrid events open doors for nonprofits to reach wider audiences with engaging mission-driven offerings.

Host fee-based virtual workshops, webinars, conferences, or seminars to share your expertise while raising donations.

Consider a hybrid model with some in-person and virtual components.

  • For example, an environmental organization could host a virtual conference on sustainable living with both pre-recorded and live streamed sessions.
  • A youth literacy nonprofit might lead a hybrid creative writing workshop, with a small in-person class and a virtual option.

Promote events through social media and target outreach. Secure donations as virtual tickets to unlock access.

Interactive online and hybrid events allow you to engage new supporters in an accessible format while earning income beyond donations.

We & Goliath can help you strategize, plan, and execute these hybrid events, ensuring they are engaging, accessible, and effectively reach your target audience.

Cultivate Influencer Partnerships

Influencer marketing harnesses the power of key voices online to boost nonprofit exposure.

Identify social media creators and bloggers with audiences aligned to your mission and propose collaborative partnerships.

Start by asking influencers to feature your organization in relevant social posts or blog articles.

Offer story ideas like showcasing volunteer experiences, highlighting a local program’s impact, or interviewing aid recipients.

Make it simple for them to showcase your work.

Take it a step further by co-designing content series leveraging your respective expertise.

  • For example, host a joint YouTube series on topics like meal planning on a limited budget, exploring micro-businesses lifting communities, or family activities fostering inclusion.

Finally, invite influencers to become official ambassadors powering ongoing support. They can mobilize audiences as fundraisers for campaigns or sponsors for programs benefiting your mission.

Strategic influencer partnerships expand your digital reach exponentially while driving income, volunteers, and advocates. Align around shared values for maximum mutual benefit.

Crowdfunding Campaigns

Websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe let nonprofits create fundraising campaigns for specific projects.

Consider an yearly campaign for a big goal like starting a new program, expanding a building, or funding a one-time project.

Make the campaign message and photos show clearly what donations would pay for.

Break the full dollar goal into smaller targets that donors can relate to.

Offer fun thank-you gifts to encourage people to give based on contribution size.

Gifts might be social media shoutouts, behind-the-scenes pics/videos, limited edition merch, VIP event invites, and more.

Promote the campaign heavily on your website, emails, social posts and more.

Ask board members, partners, businesses and others to share and match donations to reach more people.

Have a few smaller campaigns going at once for local programs or global projects. This makes big goals more personal.

Set goals for reporting back to donors on campaign outcomes. Share progress along the way to keep people engaged.

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Key Takeaways & Next Steps

With numerous fundraising options now available, nonprofits have more potential than ever before to diversify income rather than solely depending on unstable donation streams and grants.

The most triumphant organizations utilize an incorporated approach including:

  • An annual signature fundraising event that attendees eagerly anticipate each year. This creates excitement and gives donors something to look forward to.
  • An ongoing peer-to-peer campaign that empowers supporters to do their own fundraising. This leverages your existing donor network to raise additional funds.
  • A monthly giving program with sustaining donors who contribute reliable, recurring gifts. This provides a consistent base of support.
  • A merchandise store or earned income ventures that generate profits. This creates an additional stream of unrestricted income.
  • Corporate partnerships for volunteering, matching gifts, and sponsorships. Strategic partnerships with aligned companies can be mutually beneficial.
  • Active grant writing and submitting applications year-round. Grants provide essential funding for programs and operations.
  • Creative social media and online fundraising campaigns that harness digital channels. These reach new audiences and inspire giving.

This diverse mix of income streams collectively hedges risk so if one area falters, other sources help fill gaps. It’s crucial to think holistically about fundraising.

Throughout any fundraiser, concentrate heavily on stewardship.

Show donors transparent impact stories, highlight milestones achieved, and issue frequent thank you communications.

Building genuine, long-lasting relationships with supporters is vital for securing repeat, growing gifts over time.

Share your vision for a better future so donors feel invested in your mission’s success.

Finally, don’t view fundraising simply as a transaction.

See it through a lens of abundance and opportunity.

By sustainably funding programs today, you transform more lives long-term.

Final Thoughts

Fundraising is about more than just raising money.

It’s about building relationships with people who care about your cause.

Successful nonprofits use creative ideas to connect with donors.

They make donors feel they are a part of the mission.

There are lots of fundraising options to try – events, online campaigns, working with companies, selling stuff.

Finding the right mix matters.

Don’t rely on just one source. If something doesn’t work well, try something new!

Keep showing donors their gifts make a difference.

Share stories about who they help. Thank them a lot!

Building trust is crucial.

Fundraising should not stress you out. It should excite you!

Think positively about the future you can create.

The more donors join you on the journey, the more people you can impact.

Stay organized, work hard, care about donors, and your nonprofit can keep growing.

By funding your dream today, you transform more lives tomorrow. The opportunity is yours to seize!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can we increase revenue for our nonprofit organization?

A: The article recommends considering ideas beyond donations and grants for earning income. Some options include: charging for virtual events and trainings, selling branded merchandise, renting out unused property, and more. Having multiple income sources is better than relying on one.

Q: What’s a simple online fundraising concept we could try out?

A: Social media birthday fundraisers are mentioned as easy to do. Instead of wanting gifts, your supporters fundraise donations for your nonprofit’s mission. These work well on bigger giving days when friends participate together.

Q: What dollar amount do top-tier corporate sponsorships usually provide?

A: While the amounts range widely, the article points out that premier sponsorship levels can comprise things like: exhibits with signage, website banners, social media promotions, and more. Offering customizable packages at various dollar amounts will interest potential sponsors.

Q: How early should we start organizing a big annual fundraising event?

A: For sizable events expecting 500+ people, the article recommends beginning planning at least 6+ months in advance. More time is required to coordinate important details like: securing venues, obtaining permits, booking vendors, soliciting sponsorships, marketing the event, and handling other logistics.

Q: What’s the most vital thing to retain repeat donors?

A: Showing genuine program impact is crucial. Share transparent stories and examples of who exactly their gifts help. Publicly thank loyal repeat donors. Make supporters feel invested in your nonprofit’s mission and long-term success.

Q: What kinds of grants should smaller nonprofits concentrate on applying for?

A: Local corporate and family foundation grants can be a great match for smaller nonprofits. Their application requirements tend to be less demanding compared to major national grantmakers. Emphasize your community connections and local programming impact within the region.

Q: How could we utilize in-person events to also fundraise online?

A: Consider hosting Facebook Live fundraisers to engage both in-person and remote audiences simultaneously. Prominently display donation links on-screen during the live broadcast. Widely share exciting event teasers ahead of time to drive viewership and giving.

Q: What should we avoid when initially contacting potential corporate partners?

A: Don’t immediately ask about sponsorships or donations without context. First take time to thoughtfully learn about companies’ priorities. Once identified, explain how supporting your cause aligns with their goals.

Q: How can we steward new donors acquired from a social media campaign?

A: Promptly welcome new supporters by email or handwritten notes. Share an impactful example of who their gift can help. Invite them to an upcoming virtual or in-person event to further connect them to your mission.

Q: What percentage of our budget should fundraising expenses take up?

A: Experts advise keeping fundraising expenses under 20-25% of total donations raised. Analyze return on investment by channel to optimize spending toward highest net gains.

Q: How could we get more employee volunteers from local businesses?

A: Research which companies offer grant money for employee volunteer hours. Recruit teams of colleagues from those matching gift corporations to volunteer their time toward your cause. Their participation unlocks workplace financial donations.

Q: What’s an example of an unused “asset” we could generate rental income from?

A: Consider spaces, vehicles or equipment that are idle certain days or months. For example, renting out a large meeting room or shuttle van on your off-season weekends generates rental fees when not in use.

Q: How could we promote our online auction to audiences beyond social media?

A: Reach wider audiences by asking community partners like libraries, schools, local media outlets to also share links to your auction in their customer newsletters and websites too.

Q: Should all board members be required to make an annual donation?

A: While not mandating gift amounts, having 100% of your leadership donate something financially each year builds credibility. Even small recurring donations set an example.

Q: What should we include in press releases about corporate sponsorships?

A: Recap key details like grant amounts, sponsor names, which community needs will be addressed, quotes conveying gratitude, and any related links or hashtags for public thanks posts. Pictures are great too!

Q: How could we more effectively cultivate new mid-level donors?

A: Offer exclusive “insider access” like behind-the-scenes program facility tours and monthly digital newsletters with uplifting client updates. Make this $500+ giving tier feel special.

Q: What types of grants expanded in availability due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: Health, education, and workforce training grants grew since COVID, as funders address related community impacts. Tie needs back to response or recovery data and impacts in applications.

Q: Should our charity run be dog-friendly to attract more participants?

A: Allowing dogs during runs, walks and races is very popular now. Ensure waived pet registration fees but possibly charge per mile. Great for social media buzz too!

Q: How could we broadcast our benefit concert globally?

A: Explore platforms like StageIt that let fans anywhere buy virtual tickets using interactive features like group chats and reactions the artists see during the show.

Q: What’s the benefit of selling tickets to our comedy night fundraiser on Eventbrite?

A: In addition to convenient online sales, Eventbrite provides added promotion by suggesting your comedy fundraiser to locals searching that event category. Gets the word out wider!

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