Digital Fundraising for Nonprofits: 6 Key Strategies
In the world of digital fundraising, if you blink, you could miss a new fundraising tactic. The nonprofit sector is constantly coming up with innovative ways to earn more for charitable causes and encourage people to get involved with mission-driven work.
As digital fundraising evolves, your nonprofit should track trends and adapt your fundraising strategies accordingly. The year-end season is essential for fundraising, and it can provide you with necessary insights about your priorities going forward. If you aren’t sure what to focus on going forward, the following takeaways will help you future-proof your digital fundraising strategy this year.
1. Automate your operations.
Nonprofit software solutions are more powerful, user-friendly, and affordable than ever before. There are digital software solutions for any size or type of nonprofit that can optimize every facet of your operations. Here are some activities software solutions can streamline:
- Grants management
- Event planning
- Wealth screening
- Project management
- Case management
- Donor prospecting
- Website analytics
- Fundraiser management
- Email communications
The most important software is often your donor database (CRM), which can be used to segment donors and tailor fundraising opportunities for the best outcomes.
2. Optimize your web design.
Your website is likely the first place that prospective donors will turn to for more information about your organization and cause. Providing site visitors with a good experience is essential to making a good first impression and allowing them to access the resources they need.
Using a powerful website builder is necessary for optimizing your website as a fundraising tool. Your website builder allows you to reorganize your navigation interface, add essential information, and brand your site to your nonprofit. Improving all of these elements culminates in a better user experience for your site visitors.
Additionally, you can leverage your website builder to promote fundraising. The key to getting eyes on your fundraiser’s page and your donation form is to include clickable and aesthetically pleasing graphics linking to these pages. Consider adding a clickable button with a call-to-action to learn more about your fundraiser or sign up for the corresponding event.
3. Pay attention to SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is changing your website’s content to align with Google’s search algorithm so your website appears higher on the search engine results page (SERP) for certain keywords. Only 0.63% of Google searchers click on results on the second page, giving you very little room for error.
Optimizing your content for Google’s algorithm is an easy way to boost your SERP ranking for your target keywords. Here are some tips Google recommends to optimize your content:
- Conduct a site search to ensure that your site is showing up on Google.
- Organize your content so it can be crawled and indexed by Google.
- Mobile-optimize your content in your CMS so all readers can access it.
- Use features such as alt text to make your content accessible to visitors of all abilities.
- Eliminate unnecessary code to decrease load times.
- Post high-quality educational content that satisfies search intent and is useful to readers.
Not only is optimizing your content simple, but it’s also free. Work within your CMS to update your content according to Google’s guidelines. If you don’t see results right away, don’t worry. It takes some time for the resources to gain traction. This is a long-term strategy, but it has big returns in the long run.
4. Take advantage of Google Ad Grants.
If your organization has a tight marketing budget, you can rely on Google to spread the word about your cause and boost your fundraising revenue through its Ad Grant program. The Google Ad Grants program is a powerful tool for increasing your organization’s visibility. Through the program, your organization receives $10,000 in advertising space on top of the SERP for free every month.
All you need to do is make a nonprofit account on Google, verify your 501(c)(3) status, and identify which fundraiser pages you want to promote. Or, you can turn to a Google Grants manager to handle everything for you. Google Grant managers can tackle any part of the process, from determining your eligibility to completing your program application to setting up your ad campaigns to maintaining compliance. While it’s not difficult to manage your account, Google Grant agencies understand that your team might not have the time or resources to do it yourself and are there to assist.
This digital fundraising tactic is especially useful for smaller nonprofits competing against organizations with a large marketing budget. The Google Ad Grant is open to all eligible nonprofits, and as long as you maintain compliance, the grant will renew each month, empowering you to continuously promote your nonprofit and bring in new support.
5. Offer hybrid and remote event components.
Hybrid and fully remote fundraising events have increased in popularity due to their advantages for both nonprofits and their attendees. With affordable online event hosting technology, your organization doesn’t have to rely on expensive in-person events anymore. Some hosting platforms even offer nonprofit discounts, further cutting your costs.
Hybrid and remote events also appeal to donors. Rather than accounting for travel time, they can attend your events from anywhere using their mobile devices. This helps to widen your potential donor base.
Most traditional in-person events can be made virtual, such as:
- Webinars, panels, or presentations
- 5K walk/run-a-thons
- Dinner parties
- Meet-and-greets with beneficiaries
- Giving Days
You can make traditional in-person events virtual by using a video-conferencing platform to involve your attendees in the action.
6. Leverage matching gift programs.
Matching gifts are the nonprofit sector’s best-kept secret. Billions in matching gift revenue go unclaimed each year, mostly due to your donors’ unfamiliarity with their employers’ corporate giving programs. 78% of donors aren’t sure if their company offers a matching gift program, but once your donors know that their gifts can be matched, your donation revenue will rapidly increase, as evidenced by these matching gift statistics from Double the Donation:
- Over 26 million people work for companies with matching gift programs.
- Through their matching gift programs, companies donate about $2-$3 billion to nonprofits each year.
- An additional $4-$7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed every year.
- 84% of donors say they’d be more like to donate if they knew their gift would be matched by their employer.
- 1 in 3 donors say they’d give a larger gift if their employer would match it.
- Out of 250 multi-billion-dollar companies surveyed by Forbes, 92% offer matching gift programs.
- When nonprofits mention matching gifts in fundraising appeals, potential donors’ likeliness to give increases by 71%, and the average donation amount increases by 51%.
Therefore, it’s in your nonprofit’s best interest to educate your donors about matching gift programs and streamline the giving process for them. The best way to do so is to leverage matching gift software. This technology allows your donors to check their employers’ corporate giving policy directly from your donation form. Once nonprofit users integrate the matching gift software into their online donation form, donors will input their employer, and the software will seamlessly submit the request and amplify the gift by a 1:1 or even 2:1 ratio. Choose a platform with auto-submission capabilities to further simplify and speed up the process.
The last days of the year are a time of reflection and goal-setting for the coming year. If you feel like your digital fundraising tactics are lacking, it might be time to make a change. Work with your team to analyze which avenues, like the ones in this guide, are worth pursuing. Consider trying these strategies if you haven’t yet to make this year your best year yet!