How to increase donations to your charity
1. Follow up. Again.
As we noted in Part 1, people get busy and sidetracked. The reality is: You are thinking about your fundraiser constantly because you’re living it. To your network, it may simply be a rainy-day to-do item. Bump it up their list with a simple follow-up. Not sure what to say without feeling “pushy”? Try this:
2. Ask your list for a list.
Fundraising happens by ripples, not simply throwing darts at a board. While two additional people doesn’t seem like much, think of it exponentially — if you have 20 people giving you names, that’s 40 more people you’re reaching. And you can utilize this strategy whether or not your friend personally donated; in fact, it can be a meaningful way for them to contribute if they chose not to give money.
3. Encourage previous donors to increase their gifts incrementally.
Look back over all your group’s giving campaigns, and reach out to previous donors, noting what they gave and asking if they’d consider making another donation at a slightly higher dollar or percentage amount. For example:
4. Consider more digital resources.
A 2013 Google survey asked 2 million donors how they use digital to make decisions about nonprofits — and found that a whopping 75 percent go online to find more information before they give. Now, we acknowledge that this research is a decade old, but consider that these numbers came in years before a global pandemic that only increased our dependence on technology (which already had a steadily-increasing impact), and we can’t help but hypothesize that the number has likely grown.
A few other very key findings:
- 81% said a nonprofit’s impact is the No. 1 thing they consider
- 88% use a nonprofit’s website to research impact, and
- 75% reference online videos
- 57% donated after watching an online video
- 25% donated via mobile
While we don’t host videos (yet!), we encourage you to make one and include the link in your collection description. This doesn’t have to be complex: You carry your own personal video recorder (your phone 😉) every day. Show off what you need, why, and who will receive the greatest impact.
5. Offer an incentive.
A raffle or silent auction can work if you want to draw more people to your cause who might otherwise not feel connected to it. “People will consistently take a small chance to win a big payoff,” Goodwin notes. But he offers a warning: “Make sure the item is donated,” or else you’re taking away funds from your campaign.
Take this approach to local businesses too: In exchange for free advertising, you may gain a few sponsorships.
In short, before you go
Boost your fundraising with special features
Learn how to set up a website for collecting donations — with some key features that encourage more giving.