10 Easy Ways to Raise Money Online (and Offline) for Your Nonprofit
Donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization, and with online platforms like PayBee creating multiple ways for donors to support your programs, raising money is easier than ever.
From hosting fundraising events to earning corporate sponsorships to getting your volunteers involved in peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, there’s no shortage to the number of creative ways you can reach out and expand your support network.
If you’re interested in learning all the amazing ways to raise money for your nonprofit, read on. We’ll show you some of the most popular and successful tactics for encouraging donations—and reveal how PayBee’s easy-to-use features can help.
1. Host a fundraising event
Hosting successful fundraisers is quite literally what PayBee was made for. Thanks to our fundraising software and user-friendly online platforms, you can create and host any number of virtual or hybrid events. Even your traditional in-person fundraisers will become easier to manage when you enhance them with PayBee Mobile Apps, QR codes, and other handy online tools.
Of course, in order to be truly successful, your fundraiser needs to appeal to your supporters. That’s why you’ll need to select your fundraising activities and events very carefully, choosing the types of auctions, concerts, sporting events, and celebrity appearances that will attract large numbers of potential donors.
And PayBee will be with you every step of the way. From creating your event website to customizing your ticket campaigns to organizing your guest list, PayBee’s fundraising software helps take care of all the necessary details for your gala. What’s more, after your event, the PayBee backend reporting system provides you with a detailed breakdown of which activities raised the most money and which guests donated the most.
This provides a great way for your team to decide what worked and what didn’t work about your fundraiser. As you analyze your reports together, you’ll have a better idea of how to plan for a more successful fundraiser the next time.
2. Build peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns
Your staff and volunteers are an invaluable part of your nonprofit programs—but did you know they also have support networks you can tap into? Peer-to-peer fundraisers are some of the most effective campaigns you can use to raise money. These campaigns allow each volunteer or staff member to build their own fundraising website to share with family, friends, and online communities.
These websites can simply be ways to request donations to support a cause or be part of a larger fundraising activity. For instance, nonprofits hosting a charity fun run might enable participants to raise pledges and donations from friends, family, coworkers, and colleagues via peer-to-peer fundraising, expanding your nonprofit’s reach.
Not only will these individual websites provide additional ways to raise revenue, they’ll also promote your nonprofit’s mission and expand your brand awareness. PayBee makes it easy for your supporters to build their peer-to-peer fundraising websites—and link them to your overall campaign.
3. Customize your own branded donation page
All nonprofit organizations should have an up-to-date donation page on their websites regardless of whether or not you’re holding a formal fundraising event. This donation page should allow supporters to make safe and easy contributions to your programs. Be sure to make your copy easy to understand and include your logo on the page to showcase your credibility and build trust with your donors.
Your donation page (along with your entire website) should be mobile-friendly and easy to read on smartphones and other mobile devices. Helping supporters make quick and easy donations from their cell phones can increase your revenue substantially. According to Nonprofit Source, 51% of people visit a nonprofit website using their phones while 25% of donors complete donations on mobile devices.
PayBee can help you create mobile-friendly web pages to increase donations for your nonprofit. In addition, our user-friendly mobile app and QR codes make it simple for your guests to donate from their smartphones during your events.
4. Build a crowdfunding campaign
Similar to peer-to-peer fundraisers, crowdfunding campaigns take advantage of people’s social networks, encouraging individuals to contribute (relatively) small donations toward a big goal. But where peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns have volunteers create multiple fundraising pages, a crowdfunding campaign has an organization build a single centralized campaign page to attract contributions.
This means you’ll have to build a great crowdfunding campaign website that people will want to keep visiting. One great way to do this is to include a fundraising thermometer on your page that shows how much money you’ve raised so far in relation to your goal.
You’ll also want to make sure your crowdfunding page is mobile-friendly so people can view it (and donate) easily from their smartphones. Plus, if you want to really reach out to a wide audience, include options for sharing on social media so your campaign can show up on multiple social media feeds.
5. Seek out corporate sponsorships
Sponsors are a big part of any successful fundraising campaign. Depending on a corporate sponsor’s interest and resources, you may be able to gain financial backing for your fundraiser. Other sponsors will donate items for your auction, raffle, or gala, while others may contribute large cash donations to your nonprofit programs.
In exchange, you can put together sponsorship packages that benefit your supporters. For instance, PayBee’s online platform allows you to display your sponsors’ logos on your website for all your guests to see. Items donated by your sponsors can also display the names of their businesses and your emcees can offer thanks to corporate sponsors in their speeches.
Be direct in your efforts to secure corporate sponsorships. Many businesses are eager to support community programs and are very interested in increasing their visibility within your network. Both your nonprofit and your prospective sponsors have something of value to share, so be willing to form many mutually beneficial partnerships!
6. Encourage recurring donations
Recurring donations are regular gifts a donor agrees to make on an ongoing basis, usually once a month. Although the amount of these recurring gifts can be smaller than a single large cash donation, the overall impact is huge (for instance, regular monthly donations of $50 will add up to $600 a year and $3000 after five years). The nice thing about these donations is that they’re also easier for donors to make since you’re not asking them to contribute a large sum up front.
Studies also show that donors who offer monthly recurring gifts are more loyal to an organization, with a retention rate of 90%. And thanks to modern online technology, it’s easier than ever to add a recurring donation option to your nonprofit’s branded donation page and secure more recurring donors.
Pro tip: Be sure to thank your recurring donors! Since their contributions are supporting your programs each month, it makes sense to send them regular thank you emails, recognize them at fundraising events, and send them thank you gifts during the holidays.
7. Establish a membership program
Creating a membership program helps further strengthen loyalty to your nonprofit organization and your cause. Similar to recurring donations, membership fees help create a regular source of revenue for your programs that won’t be too taxing on your members as long as the fees are reasonable.
You’ll want to offer specific benefits and rewards to your members for their contributions, such as exclusive access to members-only events, recognition in newsletters, and advance access to updates in your programs. The more acknowledged you make your members feel, the better they’ll feel about contributing to the program.
While PayBee doesn’t offer a formal membership program, you can create a specific recurring donation page using our software that can invite your supporters into your own membership program. You’ll be able to decide on your program’s specific features and benefits while creating a new source of regular revenue.
8. Get creative with URLs
Dedicated URLs and QR codes offer your guests a great way to navigate through your fundraisers and nonprofit activities. Rather than hunt down silent auction sheets or search for places to donate, each guest can now enter or scan the URLs you display throughout your event venue, get sent to your donation page, and give directly from their cell phones.
You can even get more creative with URLs by sending a URL to one of your campaign pages directly in a text message to your supporters and guests. This is a variation of the popular and convenient “text-to-give” or text-to-donate option where donors can conveniently give via text message.
Studies show the average donation size for text-to-donate fundraisers is $107 and most donors are between 49-59 years old, female, married, and college graduates. If this fits the demographics of your support network, sending your URLs via text messaging can be an effective way to raise money for your nonprofit.
9. Start a direct mail fundraising campaign
While most of the suggestions on this list involve raising money online for your nonprofit, there’s something to be said about the old-fashioned methods as well. Direct mail fundraising involves sending physical letters asking for support to your network. You can also include donation replay cards and envelopes as well as additional material—like information about your nonprofit’s mission, its progress, and volunteer opportunities.
The nice thing about a direct mail fundraising campaign is that it connects well with supporters who prefer to limit their computer time. Showing that your nonprofit caters to their needs and preferences is a great way to connect with them (and gain their support).
Plus, offering a direct mail fundraising campaign alongside a digital fundraiser actually boosts your overall response rate. Statistics provided by Nonprofits Source reveal marketing campaigns that use direct mail and one or more forms of digital media gain a 118% response rate compared to campaigns that used only direct mail. Since digital and direct mail campaigns offer supporters multiple touchpoints, this might explain the more positive response.
10. Apply for grants
Grant writing can be an excellent way to raise needed funds for your nonprofit programs. You can find multiple grants offered by foundations, corporations, and government agencies through Philanthropy News Digest which offers Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and notices of awards as a free service for US-based grantmaking and nonprofit organizations. Grants are offered in a wide variety of areas, including the agriculture/food sectors, animal welfare, arts &culture, medical research, and higher education.
When securing a grant, it’s important to do your research and get to know your grant funders. Visiting their websites and learning about their own goals is a good way to discover how well your missions mesh with each other (which can increase your chances of winning a grant).
Hiring a professional grant writer and/or copyeditor who can make sure your applications are properly submitted and free of any grammatical errors and typos is a smart move. You can also look for volunteer grants, charitable corporate grants given to nonprofits in recognition of the hours of work contributed by your volunteers. If you have a highly dedicated volunteer network, their work can translate into monetary support for your programs.
From time-tested direct mail fundraisers to more modern virtual/hybrid fundraising events, the different ways to raise money for your nonprofit program just keeps increasing every year. That said, only you can decide which of the suggestions above will resonate best with your donors and supporters.
If you’d like some extra help learning how to use online fundraising tools in your campaigns, sign up for a free demo of PayBee’s online platform. You’ll experience one of our popular virtual fundraising events (complete with a simulated live auction) and meet our staff of experts. Learn from people who have helped host hundreds of successful fundraisers which fundraising techniques are best for you. Sign up today!