From virtual events to email fundraising, it’s easier than ever now to raise awareness and support for your nonprofit or charity’s mission. But with so many online fundraising tools available today, how will you know which ones will help you reach the most people and raise money for your organization?
Having hosted over 250 virtual galas with our online fundraising platform, we’ve gained some useful insights into the types of programs and strategies people respond well to when you’re reaching out online. And with virtual fundraisers making the leap into hybrid galas, we’re constantly reassessing the best ways to promote your fundraising efforts to an audience that’s becoming increasingly savvy — and selective — of the charities and nonprofit organizations they support.
Here are seven proven strategies for creating better online fundraising campaigns that not only help raise money for your mission but also improve your brand awareness and public image.
Host Virtual and Hybrid Fundraising Events
Today’s increased reliance on online meetings and virtual galas, makes it easy to connect with hundreds or even thousands of new supporters ready to donate to good causes like yours. That being said, after spending over a year making Zoom calls and working online, virtual fatigue has set in for many of these people. If you want to attract — and sustain — a viable support network for your nonprofit or charity, you need to make your virtual or hybrid fundraising event special.
Fortunately, online fundraising services like PayBee’s virtual event platform are now capable of providing the fun, interactive experience that people crave when they attend virtual galas. When selecting a virtual platform, make sure you choose one that’s:
Easy to Use
People might be getting more Internet savvy today, but when hosting a virtual event, it’s best that you use an intuitive platform that people of any background can use. Long-time virtual gala attendees will appreciate that you took the time to select a simple platform while newcomers will be able to participate more thanks to the user-friendly software. In both cases, you’ll gain the gratitude of your audience — which translates into better donations.
Finding an intuitive online platform is even more important if you’re hosting a hybrid event. Since these events merge in-person and virtual experiences, both your audience and your staff need to be able to interface with a virtual platform that lets them interact easily with live and online audiences — and won’t cause any problems when you need to troubleshoot.
PayBee’s virtual event software is well-known for being a user-friendly all-in-one charity fundraising platform. Built specifically for nonprofits, this platform can easily handle ticketing, invitations, and RSVP notices as well as a variety of fundraising activities including both silent and real-time live in-person auctions. And with fundraising moving towards hybrid events, PayBee software enables your audience to easily interact virtually or in-person through the platform, creating a seamlessly blended gala.
Virtual events are popular because you don’t need the same kind of large staff that your traditional in-person fundraiser requires. That said, even if you don’t need to bother with waiters or ushers, you still need to make sure your online fundraiser runs smoothly. This means investing in an experienced tech support staff with session producers, virtual hosts, and chat moderators who will ensure your online audience has a good experience.
When hosting a hybrid gala, you’ll want to consider having two separate staffs — one to handle the online experience and one to handle the in-person experience. We suggest investing in an on-site producer to coordinate your in-person activities as well as a professional videographer who can provide your virtual audience with excellent video and sound. Remember, the smoother your hybrid event functions, the more willing your supporters will be to donate and promote your mission, so be prepared to invest in adequate support.
Make Your Donation Pages Easy to Use
If there’s one part of your virtual event that absolutely needs to be easy to use, it’s your donation page. Unfortunately, many inexperienced nonprofit groups make their donation page so complicated that even supporters who want to contribute can get frustrated while entering their information and give up.
At its most basic, a donation page needs to collect the following information from your attendees:
- Your donor’s first and last name
- Your donor’s email address
- Your donor’s billing information
Be sure to also make your donation pages (as well as your entire event website) mobile friendly. People are using their smartphones and mobile devices to research online and even attend virtual events, so making your donation page easy to see on a mobile screen is essential if you want to receive more contributions.
It's also good practice to offer multiple options for your donors to pay. Aside from credit card payments, you’ll want to offer options to pay via PayPal or through deposits from their bank accounts. In addition, make sure your donation page offers the same branding as your event website. Studies have shown that one out of six online donors will stop the donation process if you send them to a third-party website.
PayBee’s online platform makes it easy for you to create a donation campaign complete with embeddable donation links and an auto landing page. You’ll also have options to create pledge drives, peer-to-peer donation campaigns, and recurring donations as well as campaign goals to communicate to your attendees. Thanks to this support, you can build a user-friendly donor campaign in minutes.
Promote a Monthly Giving Program
While an effective virtual or hybrid fundraiser will raise plenty of money during the main event, a truly successful fundraiser makes sure your organization receives regular monthly support from your donors. In fact, according to the updated 2021 Nonprofit Fundraising Statistics report from Double the Donation, 45% of worldwide donors are enrolled in a monthly giving program.
To make sure your nonprofit or charity falls into this lucrative field, promote your monthly giving program. This can be done by detailing the benefits of your monthly giving program on your website and by creating a separate donation form specifically for recurring monthly donations (something you can easily make with PayBee’s Donation Campaign software).
You can then share the link to your monthly donation page in the promotional material for your virtual or hybrid event. Include the link in your social media marketing, website, and email newsletters. Make sure to include appropriate graphics and headlines that will catch the eye of potential donors. Sharing stories of how those regular monthly contributions benefit the community also helps motivate people to sign up for these donation pages.
Launch a Tribute Giving Program
One very smart thing that successful nonprofit organizations do is offer multiple types of donation pages. Aside from your traditional donation page and monthly giving program, tribute giving programs can also motivate supporters to give generously.
Tribute giving programs enable your supporters to make commemorative donations in memory, in honor, or in support of someone. Often, the donor (or the donor’s loved ones) has been directly affected by your nonprofit efforts or has a personal stake in your charity’s mission. For instance, a nonprofit raising funds for cancer research might receive tribute donations or gifts from someone whose mother died of cancer.
This makes the donations much more personal to your donors, who want to give money in order to help others who are experiencing similar heartaches or hardships. This also helps with your nonprofit or charity’s branding and can greatly increase donations during the holidays or birthdays, provided you increase promotion during this time.
PayBee’s virtual platform gives you the flexibility to create any type of giving platform through their easy-to-use online tools. You’ll also be able to easily promote multiple donation campaigns through social media or email marketing.
Use the Power of Email Fundraising
Did you know that email marketing is considered the most cost-effective form of digital marketing — with some studies indicating you receive $42 for every $1 you invest? The fact is, more people are using email to receive information, making email a vitally important fundraising tool for your nonprofit organization.
According to the 2020 Global Trends in Giving Report, 63% of all donors state that learning the impact of their donations through regular email communication inspires them to keep giving to an organization. This should give you a huge motive to keep growing your email list and sending out regular email newsletters as well as emailed promotions for your virtual or hybrid event.
One excellent way to enhance your email marketing strategies is to use PayBee’s automated email feature to promote your fundraising campaigns. You can also collect email addresses from your attendees, giving you a much larger audience for your email newsletters.
Offer Cause Awareness and Giving Days
It’s no secret that nonprofits and charities receive more donations during holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. But there are plenty of other special days you can use to create a cause awareness or giving day campaign.
For instance, if your mission focuses on environmental awareness and conservation, you’ll want to create a giving day campaign around Earth Day (April 22). Likewise, most nonprofits and charities will want to promote fundraising events around Giving Tuesday when people are encouraged to donate online to social causes.
Of course, you don’t have to limit your giving days to established cause awareness days. With a little advance planning, you can create and establish your own giving days and build promotional campaigns around them. When creating such a campaign, keep in the following in mind:
- Start promoting your giving day at least six weeks early to build awareness
- Create a campaign landing page on your website to describe your cause awareness day
- Make sure the date of your cause awareness day is prominently featured
- Use appropriate and eye-catching graphics for your website and promotional material
- Use both email and social media marketing to promote your event
- Create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to encourage others to raise funds during the campaign
- Offer reports on your campaign’s success as well as thank you messages to your supporters on your website after your giving day campaign
PayBee’s online tools make building your campaign landing page and promoting your event much easier. Our virtual platforms allow you to create effective peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns in minutes, improving your outreach efforts.
Build a Following with Social Media Marketing
Today, more people learn about social causes and special events through social media, so you definitely want to promote your fundraising campaigns through popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Not only are these social media platforms excellent places to build brand awareness of your mission, many also offer charitable giving tools that let people donate to your nonprofit or charity.
While navigating the ins and outs of social media marketing can be tricky for beginners, PayBee makes the process easier by offering one-click sharing features that allow you to share your multiple fundraising campaigns on your favorite social media platforms. Given the multiple ways you can fundraise today, it just makes sense to use all the online tools at your disposal to make your job more manageable.
Raise More Money for Your Nonprofit Organization
While there will always be fundraising challenges for your nonprofit or charity, more people than ever are willing to donate generously to worthy causes and support your mission. By familiarizing yourself with the new outreach tools available to you and launching effective fundraising campaigns, you’ll be able to generate the support you need to make your programs truly impactful.
If you’re ready to learn more about how a virtual platform like PayBee’s can help create and promote your next fundraising campaign, sign up for a free live demo. You’ll get to see first hand how our online tools work and be able to ask your fundraising questions to our team of experts.