Nonprofits have long leaned on traditional fundraising events like galas and walkathons to bring in dollars to fund their missions. And while these approaches certainly have value, it’s important for nonprofit professionals like you to explore and implement fresh, new fundraising campaigns to help boost your nonprofit’s visibility and impact.
Let’s explore some innovative fundraising ideas, from crowdfunding campaigns to charity golf tournaments, that can help amplify your mission, make your nonprofit stand out from the rest, and engage your donors like never before.
Why Fresh Fundraising Approaches Matter
In today’s competitive landscape, nonprofits must look beyond the traditional to capture the attention, support, and involvement of existing and new donors. Here’s why:
- A changing donor base. As Millennials and Gen Z age and gain more financial independence and resources, they’re more likely to become donors. Not only do these generational groups have different communication preferences than older generations, but they want to interact with and support causes in different ways. Nonprofits must constantly adapt to attract younger generations—while not overlooking and keeping older populations engaged.
- Increased competition. It’s a crowded nonprofit world. With so many worthy causes in need of financial support, nonprofits are often vying for the support of the same donor bases. That being said, employing new, unique fundraising ideas can give you an advantage in increasing your fundraising revenue.
- Evolving technology. Technology is advancing at a dizzying pace. From advancements and broad use of AI to nonprofit-specific fundraising tech, it’s important for nonprofits to stay ahead on trend when it comes to leveraging technology to engage donors and help raise money.
New Fundraising Ideas For Your Nonprofit to Explore
It’s time to break the mold on traditional fundraising approaches to achieve greater impact! Bring excitement, engagement, and success to your nonprofit’s fundraising campaigns by exploring these possibilities:
1. Gamified Events
Whether you opt for a sports tournament, online gaming, or simply add a competitive aspect to an existing event, a little friendly competition can go a long way towards engaging donors and raising dollars. Gamified events are a distinct take on traditional “-a-thon” events that offer a win-win for your organization and your donors—they get to participate in a fun game and you raise money for your cause.
A great example of this type of campaign is a charity golf tournament. According to GolfStatus, golfers’ above-average net worth and household incomes makes them attractive to tournament sponsors and the type of folks you want in your nonprofit’s donor database. Plus, golf is super popular among all ages and skill levels, and charity tournaments have a ton of opportunities to raise additional revenue.
2. Crowdfunding Campaigns
Crowdfunding is a way to source funding by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically online. It’s an effective addition to any fundraising campaign that appeals to the masses. Best of all, crowdfunding has a low barrier to entry. In fact, according to NonprofitSource, the average donation to a crowdfunding campaign is under $70.
Tech platforms like IndieGogo and GoFundMe make it simple for your nonprofit to launch a crowdfunding campaign. You start by creating a donation landing page, which should include compelling photos, videos, quotes, and verbiage about your cause. Next, spread the word across your marketing channels. Finally, it’s crucial to provide updates on your campaign’s progress. Crowdfunding campaigns receive 126% more donations when the owner regularly updates supporters.
3. Social Media Challenges
Social media is a crucial component of nonprofits’ digital fundraising landscape. You can gain enormous visibility for your organization and reach like-minded people (and potential donors) you otherwise wouldn’t have reached with a fundraising campaign.
Create a social media toolkit and share it with your supporters to help build momentum for the campaign. It can include sample posts, timelines for posting, graphics sized for the most common platforms, a custom hashtag, and infographics. Consider reaching out to influencers that have an interest in your cause. They can promote your social fundraising campaign to their large and engaged audience, generating significant exposure and driving donations.
Beyond the reach your campaigns can get from social media, many platforms now have integrated fundraising features. For instance, the Facebook for Nonprofits program allows nonprofits to directly advertise campaigns and collect donations through the site.
4. Corporate & Nonprofit Partnerships
There are a ton of fundraising possibilities with external partnerships with like-minded corporations and other complementary nonprofits. Partnering with other tax-exempt organizations can broaden both organizations’ reach, expose new audiences to your missions, and accomplish goals.
When it comes to corporate partnerships, consider reaching out to philanthropic businesses that share your passion for your mission. Corporate philanthropy has been proven to boost the company’s public perception and brand exposure, so be sure to emphasize these benefits when pitching a partnership. Corporate partnerships come in many forms, so work with the company to determine what works best for all parties. For instance, launch a donation matching campaign, where the company matches all gifts up to a certain amount. Or, the business could host a company-wide event that benefits your nonprofit directly and encourages employees to donate to the cause.
One of the most important parts of a successful, mutually-beneficial corporate partnership is compromise. It’s not a one size fits all situation—create a menu of options for businesses to take advantage of, with varying tiers of support and involvement depending on the company’s budget, interests, and priorities.
Nonprofits that are willing to employ fresh, innovative fundraising ideas help diversify their funding base and stay ahead of trends. By incorporating new events, technologies, partnerships, and creative approaches, your nonprofit can achieve more fundraising success.
Consider the ideas detailed in this article and how they might successfully fit into your organization’s fundraising portfolio. Another next step is to invest in the right fundraising management software to better facilitate planning, execution, and follow up of these new ideas. Above all, nonprofits need to always be on the lookout for new ideas and keep their fingers on the pulse of the fundraising landscape.