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10 Online Fundraising Tips for a Successful Campaign

These ten fundraising tips will help you raise more money without breaking the bank or your back.

The digital world is still growing which is giving nonprofit organizations an amazing opportunity to run successful online fundraising campaigns. Creating a campaign that stands out from the crowd – including your competitors – is critical to your success. The fundraising tips here will help you create a campaign for your organization that will not only raise donations, but attract new supporters and bring awareness for your mission.

1. Define Campaign Goals

Take the time to define the specific goals that you hope to achieve so you can stay on track with your planning and implementation. Having a fundraising campaign with no clear vision for the expected outcome is rather pointless. Of course every fundraising campaign is primarily focused on raising money, but this is a great opportunity to achieve so much more including:

  • Brand awareness
  • Campaign engagement
  • Email signups
  • Social shares
  • Social follows

Each of these goals can drive your long term support and success.

Be specific about each of these goals as well. Think about every goal in terms of numerical values and define those values. As an example you might want the results of this campaign to include gaining 100 new Facebook fans, 20 new email signups or raising $2,000 in donations. Having clear goals helps you and your team stay motivated!

GiveWP donation goal progress bar indicating that $7430 of a $10,000 goal was raised.

2. Create a Multi-Channel Plan

Ensure your outreach is well balanced to make sure your current supporters see you and new ones can find you. If you are only focusing on your website as a donation campaign tool you will miss out on some critical opportunities.

Here are some fundraising tips for various marketing channels:

  • Websites are the basis of any great campaign and will be a final stop for many to make their donation. Make sure your site is fast, secure, and works well on mobile devices to ensure every experience is as easy and pleasant as possible.
  • Email allows you to get the message out in the most complete way. It also allows you to be as creative as possible with video and imagery – so take advantage of that. A series of well-thought-out emails during your campaign can bring great rewards.
  • Video is a perfect way to make an emotional plea and is a growing social channel. You can interview supporters, share heartwarming stories or even do a simple video collage with music to create interest and tell your story.
  • Social media is a must but it is important to make sure you engage in the right channels that can bring results. For example, if your demographic is in the 40-60 year old range, Facebook might be a good place to start.
  • Text messaging comes with a 98% open rate and can be a great addition to your campaign to keep interested supporters updated.

No matter which channels you decide to use, be sure to keep your messaging and brand strong – and always link to your donation page!

3. Stay on Brand

Your brand is NOT just your logo and your colors, but more importantly, your voice. For every marketing channel you decide to use for your fundraising campaign it is critical that you create marketing elements that stay consistent to your brand.

Make sure every asset, from graphics and video to content, includes your brand colors and logo. Keep the content in a voice that your supporters will recognize instantly in their busy social streams.

If you often share inspiring stories then keep doing that, if you are known for sharing statistics and educating then keep doing that. This does not mean you cannot test new ideas, but have those ideas complement your existing brand.

Use our Guide on Content Marketing for Nonprofits to help create a consistent content marketing workflow that helps you stay on brand, whether you work alone or with a team.

4. Run a Test Campaign

One of the most important fundraising tips to remember is to test all your campaigns. Before jumping right in with a full launch, do a small-scale launch of your campaign to your most committed supporters or donors. Ensure everything is working before you make a bigger investment of time and money.

Encourage donations from this test campaign to build social proof. Get started with a base amount that potential new donors and new supporters will see, since most donate to your campaign because there have already been donations made.

Be sure to ask for feedback on the campaign as well in terms of sentiment and messaging.

This is also the time to make sure the following are all ready for your official launch:

  • All donation forms are working
  • Mobile experience is good
  • Email signup forms are capturing new subscribers
  • Campaign links are not broken
  • Analytics tracking is taking place so you can measure results

5. Create & Promote a Campaign Hashtag

Using a hashtag is a great way to not only track conversations happening around your campaign, but it also encourages a more interactive campaign. Try to find a unique hashtag. Using #donate has no wow factor. Ask your supporters to take an active role in the campaign so they can help you raise more funds and awareness and ask them to use a specific hashtag to show their support.

A great example is the Keep A Breast Foundation, which encouraged use of the hashtag #CHECKYOURSELFIE in a social good fundraiser that brought great results. The campaign asked participants to post a selfie using the hashtag and then asked them to tag a few friends to take the same pledge.

This increased the reach of the campaign which in turn resulted in more of their goals being achieved.

Use our fundraising tips on creating your own social media #HashtagFundraiser to make sure your message doesn’t get lost in the noise.

6. Use Video

Video is everywhere and for a good reason. It works. Storytelling is a huge part of marketing for any nonprofit and no photo or graphic can tell a story better than video. It allows you to tap into human emotions in a way that builds a stronger connection with donors and supporters.

Whether you choose to take a more humorous angle or want to do a more serious interview style, video can make a big difference in your reach and awareness.

Love Your Brain is an organization that helps to improve the lives of people affected by brain injuries. They created a video that tells the stories of people who are helped by their programs and also provides insight into their goals which will create an urgency to get supporters to donate.

7. Share the Donation Impact

This is one of the most effective ways to ensure your community understands the difference you are making! Just asking for a donation does not give a visual of how their donation is making a difference. Many who may only have $5 or $10 to donate may feel like it is not enough, so they don’t bother.

Your job is to show them how that money CAN make a difference. From visuals to video, share what different donation amounts can do for your organization.

Consider including hover text over each donation amount. If you are creating a custom landing page for your fundraising campaign this is a great way to really make a great impact in how much you raise.

When people see that $5 can do more than they thought, they will be sure to donate.

Fundraising Tip: Telling donors that their $25 will buy meals for two people is more likely to generate giving than not letting people know exactly what their money goes toward.

8. Ask for Recurring Giving

According to Network for Good recurring donors average 42% more in annual giving than those who only donate one time. Recurring donors are an important part of any fundraising program and your plan should include a way to entice supporters to take part in this option. Creating a dedicated monthly giving page that is branded will increase the likelihood of converting a one-time donor to a recurring donor.

Use the GiveWP Recurring Donations Add-on

Recurring Donations for GiveWP allows you to customize how you ask your donors for regular donations. Choose to let your donors pick their amount and frequencies or set them yourself.

Recurring Donations for GiveWP allows you to choose the mount and frequency of monthly giving or allow your donors to choose.Learn More About Recurring Donations

While most nonprofits do offer recurring donations as an option in their existing donation form with a checkbox, having a separate page focused only on recurring donations can greatly improve your conversion rate.

Try to create a monthly donation landing page that takes donors on a journey of who you are and how their donation makes an impact. A beautiful design that is well branded and a popup donation form that contains all the information a donor needs to feel safe and secure in making a monthly donation makes this an exceptional example.

The best practice for online fundraising is to allow recurring donations.

9. Find Matching Donations

Supporters will definitely be more inclined to contribute to your campaign if they know their donation will be matched, so take advantage of that. Reach out to local businesses or your top donors to find someone who will match donations and implement this as part of your campaign.

Create a schedule that offers a series of “matching” opportunities during your campaign to create a sense of urgency for potential donors to take action.

10. Show Appreciation

While your donation software will most likely send out a thank you email after a donation is made, we always recommend sending out something a little more personal. Whether you send a personal email or handwritten message to your donors, creating that sense of caring and appreciation can make a big difference in building a more loyal supporter base.

When the campaign is over be sure to send all donors and those involved in creating the campaign a final email sharing the campaign results. Don’t forget to thank those that helped plan the campaign as well. Thank everyone from the web developer to the designer. A simple thank you goes a long way!

Get More Fundraising Tips in the GiveWP Community

These fundraising tips will help get you started creating a successful campaign. If you would like to get more helpful information to help your nonprofit grow, then be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

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