Because of the always changing political climate, it can be scary to think about where funding will come from in future years. One way to mitigate the effects of major changes is to diversify your fundraising channels. Switching up your fundraising strategies can be effective. There are a few ways to do this. First, you want to make sure you’re already taking advantage of all the basic fundraising strategies you can. If your non-profit hasn’t updated its fundraising structure in several years, you may be missing out sources of income that will be easy to add on. Secondly, you’ll want to look at optimizing the channels you already have. Some of these top fundraising ideas for non-profit organizations will be incredibly easy to implement, while others may take a bit more planning and effort.
Host New Events
If your non-profit is like most others, it probably already puts on a few major fundraising events each year. There may be a gala or other annual, themed events that regular donors are used to attending with a standard donation. Increasing the amount of events you put on can help bring in more money from those same donors, but expanding the types of events you put on can help bring in brand new donors you may have never reached before. This can help you tap into entirely new demographics in your area, enabling you to forge long-lasting relationships with new donors. A non-profit can employ one or both of these strategies to expand its event repertoire.
If your organization only puts on two major events per year and they’re both black tie galas, you have a lot of room to expand. The type of event you’ll want to branch out into will depend a lot on what your mission is, what your donor list looks like, and what makes sense for your community. Larger organizations can benefit from high-profile events like golf tournaments, charity auctions, marathons or even some other creative event tailored to your non-profit’s specific health focus. Smaller non-profits may find success with a trivia tournament, a casino night or a raffle.
Many organizations have spent the last few years moving a large portion of their fundraising efforts online. There is very little overhead cost associated with fundraising efforts like email campaigns, social media marketing and search engine optimization. Even when you look at things like pay-per-click advertising,the costs are still relatively low compared to traditional mailers and print advertising in magazines or newspapers. If your team hasn’t moved into online marketing at all yet, it’s absolutely time.
If, like most non-profits, you’ve already implemented some level of online fundraising, you may want to look at other options within that space in order to grow your donor list and revenue. Crowdfunding websites aren’t usually a first thought for non-profits, but they can be a surprisingly effective way to raise money, especially when there’s a specific goal you're trying to meet and a time crunch.
A well-written description and a good built-in donor base can get you pretty far with crowdfunding. Depending on the type of non-profit, content marketing intended to raise awareness and draw in potential donors on a national scale can also be worthwhile. If you can think of a great idea with viral potential -- think the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge -- this can be another way to bring a lot of attention and donations to your organization in a small amount of time.
Spruce Up Current Strategies
If none of this has felt relevant to you so far because your non-profit already has a pretty solid online fundraising infrastructure and hosts a good variety of events, you may want to take a look at where you can grow the value of your existing fundraising channels. An important step is to try to eliminate as many barriers to donating as you possibly can. By tailoring ask amounts to make sure you’re maximizing your donors’ lifetime value? Do you accept credit and debit cards, plus less traditional payment methods like PayPal? Have you set up text donations? Anything you can do to make donating easier is worth doing.
On the event front, did you know there are donation kiosks you can add to your events that take debit or credit cards? This is incredibly powerful tool because it eliminates the need for donors to bring and write checks. You can also try adjusting ticket prices by adding more donation levels -- both higher and lower. If prices have remained the same year after year but your needs have been increasing, a re-evaluation of donation levels can help to maximize donations. Lower donation levels can help you sell more tickets if you’re having trouble filling the room and lower the barrier to entry for people who want to donate and participate in your charity’s culture but haven’t been able to before.
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