As we head into the new year, your nonprofit organization is likely prioritizing your top fundraising strategies. While the social impact sector is continuously adapting to the current economic climate, what might be different about 2023? Let’s discuss some opportunities this year brings to update your strategy for growing support.
Increase your reach by diversifying your fundraising strategy in the four following areas:
- Donor pool
- Payment options
- Funding sources
These past few years have been a rollercoaster with fundraising events, leaving nonprofits wondering if events should be in-person, virtual, or hybrid. The answer to that was ever-changing as everyone continued to address the coronavirus pandemic. While in-person events are only partially risk-free, they are back for 2023. However, many nonprofits experienced an unexpected silver lining with virtual events. This begs the question of what type of events you should offer now. With diversification being the key to success this year, the answer is “all of the above.”
Benefits of In-Person Events
Nothing quite compares to the experience of being in a location together to support a cause close to your heart. In-person events build trust with supporters and allow them to get to know your nonprofit. You can introduce donors to your team and volunteers. In the case of animal rescue, for example, donors can even meet some of the sweet faces their funds are helping.
Likewise, you get the opportunity to know your supporters on a deeper level as well. Additionally, there are increased ways to show donors the impact of your nonprofit work. Since every person is different, each donor takes a different journey to realize they want to support your mission. For some, in-person experiences leave a lasting impression.
Benefits of Virtual Events
On the other hand, virtual events offer unique benefits. First, you can have more attendees due to the lack of space restrictions. Also, potential donors from anywhere can attend without geographical limitations! Sometimes the best supporters are the furthest away, and virtual events allow them to be included. Cast a wider net and reach more supporters when advertising your events since anyone can attend virtually. Furthermore, you cut costs on travel with virtual events and reserve those funds needed elsewhere.
Benefits of Hybrid Events
You can have the best of both worlds when hybrid events are run properly. Your virtual attendees may even get more value from seeing your in-person participants. Since you have more options for fundraising activities with in-person events, you’ll have more to show your virtual audience. You can build meaningful relationships with local supporters and those interacting from home through hybrid events.
2. Donor Pool
Expand your donor pool by reaching different audiences on various networks. As some of your previous donors may be less financially able to support your nonprofit this year, reaching new supporters is essential. However, they don’t all congregate in the same place. Therefore, new donors will need to discover your organization where they are at. Let’s explore a few places where you might have potential supporters waiting.
The Google Network
As Google users make up the majority of searchers in the US market, you can reach potential donors in large numbers with Google Ads. With the Google Ad Grant, your nonprofit can take advantage of $10,000 worth of monthly advertising on the Google network. By now, your organization may be utilizing this fantastic resource to increase your donor pool. Numerous tips and tricks for getting the most out of this grant exist. If you haven’t tried the Google Ad Grant or seen the right results, we recommend collaborating with trusted partners or other nonprofits to learn more. You can follow blogs, attend webinars, and listen to podcasts to gain insights on utilizing the Google Ad Grant best.
The Microsoft Network
Perhaps less well-known, there is now a Microsoft Ads for Social Impact Grant. While Microsoft previously offered advertising funds to nonprofits, this grant rolled out in the summer of 2022 and required no financial contribution from nonprofits. While these ad funds are used similarly to the Google Ad Grant, the Microsoft Ad Grant provides nonprofits with $3,000 monthly advertising. This grant will help you target users of the Microsoft Search Network (Bing, Yahoo, AOL) and Microsoft Audience Network (outlook.com, MSN, Microsoft Edge, Ecosia). Combine the Microsoft Ads for Social Impact Grant with the Google Grant to increase your donor pool significantly. If you are curious about how to do this, connect with us.
While your nonprofit likely has a large social media presence, reaching new supporters on social media has changed over the past year. With multiple platforms updating their algorithms repeatedly in 2022, it can be challenging to figure out what works now. One trend that is sticking around is the need to engage with other accounts.
For example, have you ever made a quick social media post and immediately jumped off the platform to tackle your many other tasks? This is understandable, especially if you have a small team. However, you may have noticed that your posts did significantly better when you stuck around on the platform to engage with others. This is because algorithms changed in mid-2022 on platforms like Instagram and TikTok to favor user engagement.
While engagement has always been rewarded to some degree, it is vital now. Therefore, you can increase your reach on posts by showing some love to other nonprofits through liking, commenting, and following. This is also an excellent way to support other nonprofits during difficult times. Whether or not they reciprocate, the algorithm partially uses your engagement activity to determine the right audience for your content. This includes non-followers who may become new supporters. Therefore, it pays to be social on social media. Increase your donor pool while you help other nonprofits. It’s a win-win.
3. Payment Options
While everyone might be struggling financially on some level, the desire to give and help others doesn’t go away. When donors cease their monetary contributions due to financial hardships, many hope to give again or would like to provide a different amount. Similarly, potential donors are more likely to begin supporting your mission if they have plenty of payment options. Therefore, you can offer more opportunities to increase the likelihood of continued support from current and new donors.
Allow donors to choose the amount they can manage with their current commitments. Of course, you can offer choices of pre-selected amounts, but always provide the “other amount” option, which allows donors to enter a custom amount. If you can update this to make it simple to change the amount at any time before the automatic payment, this will be very helpful too. These are great options for recurrent donors because their financial situation may fluctuate monthly. Additionally, this is a way of letting supporters know that you appreciate every donation regardless of size. When faced with hardships, donors may be more likely to continue giving if the amount doesn’t create a financial burden.
Much like the amount, the payment frequency matters as well. While some recurrent donors may want to lower their monthly payment amount temporarily, others might prefer to select particular months to donate. Offering flexibility increases the chances that you won’t lose those donors altogether. Also, you might consider implementing an “ask me next month” option for donors who have just selected to “opt out” of future donation payments. However, this option should be offered tactfully with extended gratitude for everything they’ve given and without guilt. Donors must be assured that your organization sees them as individuals and appreciates them greatly.
By accepting additional payment methods, you make the donation process more convenient. This shows supporters that you value their time, which goes a long way.
Consider adding these payment method options if you haven’t already:
In the growing gig economy, you might find more donors that want to use a PayPal card. While a PayPal account has many uses, freelancers often receive payments via PayPal. They have a debit card for this account, which makes it very convenient to donate or shop online.
Digital wallets like Venmo are becoming increasingly popular. Venmo allows friends, family, and businesses to reimburse others. When Venmo is accepted as a payment option, this cuts the extra step of transferring the money into a different account first. It’s very convenient.
4. Funding Sources
There’s no question that nonprofits need donations to continue their essential work, but what can your nonprofit do when donations run short? Getting creative with your funding sources will pay off tremendously this year.
Consider these funding options as valuable support for your mission:
- Selling Merchandise
Consider adding an online shop on your website to generate additional funding. With everything your nonprofit handles, an online shop might feel like one more thing. However, you might be surprised by the benefits. For instance, nonprofit organizations have some of the best logos that people are proud to wear on a t-shirt. As authenticity is valued more than ever now, younger adults are growing tired of wearing the same clothing as everyone else. Not only can sales increase your funding, but having supporters wear your logo is free advertising!
In addition to clothing, there are many options for products you can sell that are related to your mission. If you would like examples of various nonprofit shops, check out our Holiday Gift Guide, which features numerous organizations with unique merchandise.
- Legacy and Tribute Fundraising
According to Legacy Foresight, we can expect an “exceptional period of growth” from legacy giving over the next ten years. A legacy gift is a donation from an individual’s estate to a chosen charity. As awareness of this giving method increases, it’s important to add educational information on your donation pages about this option. Also, these donations offer tax benefits to families. An article from Network for Good states that legacy giving “can even become one of your nonprofit’s most reliable revenue sources and an additional way for your donors to show support.”
- Corporate Partnerships
By partnering with a corporation, you each benefit in multiple ways. First and foremost, this is a great way to generate revenue for your nonprofit. You can receive a sizable corporate donation in exchange for acknowledging their brand on your website, marketing materials, and advertisements. Secondly, this mutual partnership may allow you to reach new audiences through the business’s promotional campaigns. The corporation benefits from excellent PR and growing its audience as well. Learn more about corporate partnerships here.
While the new year brings uncertainty, nonprofit organizations can navigate these challenges by diversifying their fundraising strategies. Individuals and businesses still want to give in 2023, but they will likely need more options as they, too, are adapting. By providing diverse opportunities for support, your organization can get the necessary help to make an incredible impact in the upcoming year.