Check to see if your website is mobile optimized. Now I’ve got a question for you Are you ready to give one of these online fundraising ideas a shot? Taking advantage of even one of these fundraising ideas can make a huge impact for your nonprofit, skyrocketing your donations, membership sign-ups, and awareness of your brand. If you'd rather save your research externally, here's a prospect worksheet to help you keep track of your information or to help you create your own system. If you're looking for software options, Idealware offers reports and articles on choosing a donor management system. Educate yourself (and the rest of your nonprofit’s staff and board) on the organizational goals you can accomplish through a good website. Your new home on the web can give you the power to mobilize supporters, build trust and increase your impact on the road to completing your nonprofit’s mission. Create a donation page Go to Charitable Add Campaign. Enter your campaign title. Add a short description.
The last two months of the year are hectic enough for most event creators. Add “nonprofit” to your title, and you’ve got an extra layer of stress. Now is the time for your organization to take stock of its fundraising goals and how best to meet them if falling short.
If you’ve got one final fundraising event coming up in November or December, you have to compete with all the other parties, fundraisers, and holiday events that happen this time of year. But you can with a watertight plan — starting with this guide.
Keep on reading to discover 10 best practices for raising money at nonprofit events.
People are excited to support a cause, but they also want to have a great time. Remember: “Raise money” is not a theme — “singles charity night” is. To attract donors, come up with a fun, unique idea that they’ll be excited to attend (and recap on their social media feeds).
Tip: Get your creativity flowing with this list of 100 unique fundraising ideas.
You’ll need to raise funds above and beyond the amount you’re going to spend. A budget will help keep your costs in perspective and get more for your money. Make sure it includes every single detail — from the venue to the catering to the parking valets.
Always leave a little room in your budget for the unpredictables. Better to exceed your goals than have them eaten into by unforeseen expenses.
Tip: Check out the tactical advice in this post to master your event budget — and spend more money on the cause.
Some venues might be willing to discount or event donate their space to be associated with a good cause. If you have any flexibility with your date, it can help secure a venue at a lower cost. Keep in mind, though, that your venue should infuse your event with flair.
Tip: Use this list of questions to vet your venue before signing a contract.
Sponsorship is a billion dollar industry. If you can get a piece of that pie, more of the money your nonprofit raises can be used for charitable causes instead of catering.
Although it may sound heartless, sponsorship is not philanthropy. And it’s certainly not the same as advertising. Savvy sponsors expect you to wield your event’s in-person influence to give them a warm introduction to your event audience.
If you want to build a strategic relationship with sponsors, get to you know your attendees better and how your event can help them achieve their specific business goals. The more you can prove that your event attendees are their target market, the more revenue you can generate from sponsors.
Tip: Check out this three-step framework for nonprofit sponsorships to learn more.
Advancement in event technology has made it easier for people to find events and purchase a ticket or registration. The same goes for your fundraiser — without an event website and registration process online, especially one that’s mobile-optimized, you’ll miss out on attendees — and funds.
If you don’t have a ticketing or registration partner, make sure to choose one that gives you and your staff valuable insights about attendees and donors. Eventbrite, for example, provides tools to track ticket sales and donations in real time from any device. With those reports and data at your fingertips, you can get more back for your buck.
Tip: Discover the new rules of selling tickets online in this guide.
For a charity event or fundraiser, spreading the word is crucial — it directly affects your ability to hit your goals. Traditional models include mailed invitations, phone banks, and direct mail. Today, though, there are many digital options you must also use, including:
Tip: Take your skills to the next level with our Event Marketing Course and Certification.
Are you taking advantage of your community of supporters to fundraise? With CrowdRise, for example, you can enable ticket-buyers to create their own fundraising pages to support your cause. Suddenly, their networks are a new fundraising audience for your cause.
Tip: Incentivize sharing of your cause on social media with a ticket giveaway.
What successful charity event isn’t run on the enthusiasm and support of its volunteers? The best place to look for volunteers is amongst your attendees, including people on your mailing list or who have registered in the past. You can also put out a call to your network for volunteers.
It’s important to choose reliable volunteers — you know, the ones who’ll show up and not give donors a reason to complain on Twitter. Use these three tactics to weed out unreliable volunteers and make sure your efforts pay of.
Tip: Discover more nonprofit event planning tips on managing your volunteers here.
Event accessibility isn’t just a compliance issue. Making your event more accessible widens your reach and makes your attendees feel welcome. Most importantly, it creates an environment of inclusivity, diversity, and positivity — the perfect ingredients for a nonprofit fundraiser.
Start by making sure your event has enough space set aside for people who are using wheelchairs, are hard of hearing, have visual disabilities, or will require room for their service animals. Also be sure to use accessible signage with large, legible typefaces at multiple heights.
Tip: For more ideas on creating an accessible event, check out our guide.
Having the right technology at hand can make a huge difference in the planning, promoting, and executing your event.
Eventbrite, for example, empowers nonprofit events with free tools like custom email invitations, built-in social sharing, and targeted event recommendations. And since we’re PCI Compliant, you can raise funds safely and securely.
Ready to get your fundraiser up and running today? Start your next nonprofit event with Eventbrite.
So, your nonprofit needs a new website. You’re sold on the benefits and you have the green light from the higher-ups at your organization. On to the next hurdle! How do you pay for it? Funding a new nonprofit website is an undertaking, no matter how you slice it.
Unlike fully custom web design projects with big upfront costs, many organizations are now turning to website builders that follow a subscription payment model. This allows nonprofits to break up that initial cost over many months, sometimes with the benefit of ongoing support services. (That’s the approach we take with pricing for the Wired Impact platform.)
With a shift in payment structure from a large lump sum to a smaller, ongoing amount, there’s an opportunity to be more innovative with your fundraising to cover website costs. Let’s explore five alternative ways to support this critical line item in your budget.
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Let’s get our ducks in a row before we dive in too terribly deep. In order to fundraise effectively, it helps to have a goal amount in mind, meaning it’s helpful to have chosen a website provider. It’s tough to piece together a fundraising strategy without knowing how much the website costs per month and what those costs cover. For the purposes of this post, we’re aiming for $249 per month, the cost of a Wired Impact website.
If someone were to ask you what the donations would be used for, would you have a good answer? Websites are expensive, but they’re an investment in your marketing and in your mission. When done right, they’ll work to increase key organizational goals like donations, volunteers and awareness, which in turn allow you to make a bigger impact on your nonprofit’s mission.
Before you start fundraising online, you need to get set up to receive online donations. Ideally, you’d be able to accept donations on your website, but you can also use another avenue, like Network for Good, PayPal or Fundly. Getting a process in place to accept donations directly through your online marketing makes it easier on donors that are more technically inclined, allowing them to give in the moment. To supplement these, add donate buttons to sites like Facebook and Guidestar.
We all know and love the typical fundraising campaign, with its email, website and social media components (and perhaps even a direct mail element as well), but there are a few other options when it comes to fundraising for a subscription-based website service.
We broke down five ways to cover that ongoing monthly website service payment that may not have occurred to you. As a side note, you don’t necessarily need to use these funds exclusively for the website. Any of these fundraising methods can also feed into the donations pool to raise your overall budget.
Before we dive into additional strategies to add to your current fundraising methods, let’s take a look at your current marketing and technology budget. Ask yourself the following questions for each item:
Look for services you can cut or scale back in favor of a new website. If you currently pay for things like hosting, online fundraising, website security fixes, event registrations or volunteer management, all of those payments could potentially be replaced by a monthly fee for your website, or in the very least take a chunk off of the sticker price. A website that’s easier to use could also reduce how much you spend hiring vendors to do updates for you.
We’re talking about attracting recurring donors. This could be one large monthly donation or multiple monthly donations to split up the costs among a few new monthly donors. Just think, with ten extra recurring donations of $25, your website service is funded for the foreseeable future. You could even reach out to your board members or star supporters.
However you break down the math, you’ll need to make a strong case for the importance of the new website and the good it can bring to your organization. A donor is more likely to support an initiative that boosts your impact in the community compared to something they see as more of a marketing project.
As you’re reaching out to folks, put your fundraising hats on and remember the best practices. Put the cause first and show your appreciation. You could even share promising stats from the website on an ongoing basis to demonstrate impact and give thanks to their generosity.
Crowdfunding is all the rage these days, there are a variety of ways to do it, including on Facebook. The idea is to get social media and tech-savvy supporters to fundraise for you. Once you show them the ropes, you can be relatively hands-off, but it’s a good idea to make someone available to answer any questions that arise and to provide support.
Strategize the best plan for your nonprofit and its supporters and start tapping people to fundraise. As your nonprofit feels more comfortable with the idea, you could even create a Fundraising page on your site and promote it to attract more fundraisers.
As with approaching individual donors, choosing the right angle for why you need a new website is key for crowdfunding. You’ll need to convince fundraisers of the benefits a new website can bring your nonprofit. People are generally more willing to support and share a project with their network that will DO something specific to help your mission, like increase pet adoptions or reduce barriers to program access.
Companies and local businesses may be open to a mutually beneficial partnership. To avoid the cold email, start with those businesses that you already have a relationship with—be it an event sponsor, donor or even the workplace of a strong supporter. Promise the business a link to their website from your new one as the main sponsor. Something along the lines of “This website is brought to you by…”
As your relationship progresses, you could even start a cause marketing campaign with them to showcase their ongoing support! Businesses are looking to gain social responsibility brownie points from their potential customers, so a partnership with you could benefit the business just as much.
In the past, nonprofits would raise money through huge annual events or galas. And it’s still possible to raise large amounts of donations that can cover website fees for all or at least a portion of the year. But with the subscription model, smaller events that occur on a more frequent basis could be the way to go.
Consider a monthly happy hour, quarterly guest speaker event or an ongoing family movie showing in a park or library. Whichever event you choose to put on, make sure that the effort and funds it takes your nonprofit to host don’t overshadow the money that these events have the potential to raise.
As you think about adjusting your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy to cover the monthly cost of a website platform, whatever you do, don’t lose sight of the benefits. Educate yourself (and the rest of your nonprofit’s staff and board) on the organizational goals you can accomplish through a good website. Your new home on the web can give you the power to mobilize supporters, build trust and increase your impact on the road to completing your nonprofit’s mission.
How do you raise money to fund your subscription-based nonprofit website? Have any other fundraising ideas? Anything that we missed? Let’s chat in the comments.