Fundraisers for Nonprofit Organizations

While many well-publicized crowdfunding campaigns feature individuals or families in need, nonprofits can also take advantage of crowdfunding technology to launch more effective nonprofit fundraising campaigns. By creating a crowdfunding page, nonprofits make it easy for their loyal supporters to give online, and they also attract attention from people who have never heard of their organization. Crowdfunding allows charities to publicize their campaign on free mediums such as email and social media and encourage their supporters to spread awareness of their work while giving back.

Crowdfunding Evens Out the Fundraising Playing Field

A small number of nonprofits typically receive the majority of money donated. While this centralization of funding allows some organizations to work more efficiently, it can also prevents nonprofits with different problem-solving strategies from accessing the money they need to tackle a social issue. We need many different people applying their ideas and talents to their causes so that our society can come up with the most effective solutions. Crowdfunding allows small nonprofits the opportunity to reach supporters.

  • 2.25 percent of nonprofits account for 90% of total reported revenue, reports npEngage.
  • 72 percent of U.S. charitable giving comes from individuals, they note.
  • 73 percent nonprofit fundraising pages don't offer a “share” option after an individual donates, the website reports.

Six Great Ideas for Nonprofit Organization Fundraisers

  1. Organize a Major One-Time Event

    Reach out to volunteers who have given their time to your organization in the past. Inform them of a major upcoming fundraising event, offering them the opportunity to attend it for free as honored guests if they sell a certain number of tickets. Make sure the price of admission covers the costs of dinner, entertainment, and other overhead expenses, and then allow guests to decide whether to further contribute based on their personal finances. Benefit dinners often work well as fundraising events, and they can vary from the formality of a gala to something as casual as a backyard barbecue.

  2. Organize a “Week Without...” Challenge

    Ask supporters to give up an everyday luxury for one week and donate the money they would normally spend on it to your campaign. This can mean different things for different people; popular options include coffee, the cost of gas to get to work (if it's possible to walk or take public transportation instead) or the cost of heating water for a shower. This challenge engages members of your community in a way that puts compassion at the forefront of their giving experience. It requires them to think about your fundraiser each time they consider a part of their routine, keeping your cause on their mind for an extended period of time.

  3. Hold a Week-Long Series of Fundraising Events

    Organizing small activities each day builds up the momentum of your campaign and gets people into the mindset of regular giving. An example of a fundraising week could feature a small bake sale on Monday, a garage sale on Tuesday, and sequential events that work all the way up to a major event, such as carnival on Saturday. This strategy requires a sizable investment of time and money at the outset, but it can give your campaign the opportunity to build up momentum for big results as more people see and hear about it over the course of the week.

  4. Sell Something

    Fundraising events can be incredibly successful, but so, too, can a straightforward fundraising sale. Be it books, calendars or art, organizing a charity sale can be the perfect addition to your online crowdfunding efforts. Sales are sometimes a less-stressful alternative for nonprofits that don't have a huge staff prepared to take on the planning of a major fundraising gala. Instead, a sale is a focused but steady fundraiser that can last as long as necessary for your team. Brainstorm possible items that would appeal to your donor base, and make sure to reach out to businesses in the area that might be willing to offer donated goods for the sale.

  5. Solicit Pledges or Other Forms of Planned Giving

    By asking people to commit to donating to your fundraiser more than once, you may wind up receiving more money than a sizable one-time donation. Planned giving can prove useful if your nonprofit hopes to set up a stable financial future in addition to funding one project. You also inculcate a habit that will hopefully lead to long-term support. While donating $100 to your campaign might make someone feel good, regularly pledging $20 feels good over and over. You and your donors both win!

  6. Host a Fundraising Drive Online or Broadcast Locally

    See if a local radio station is willing to read a PSA about your fundraiser, or use the internet to spread the word. Your crowdfunding page allows you to share your campaign on the same site where you accept donations from supporters, so by receiving a lot of donations in a short time span, you're more likely to go viral. If you ask supporters you can rely on to all make their donation in a span of a few hours, for example, the traffic they generate by donating together creates a level of social proof necessary to encourage others. Live tweets and updates, a countdown, or a special hashtag can also increase your reach.

Give Your Nonprofit a Boost

In order to continue creating effective solutions to the problems you care about, your nonprofit needs funding. Raising money online allows you to reach more people who care about your work, and it gives you the opportunity to communicate your needs to the public. Ready to get your nonprofit fundraising campaign started? Start your fundraiser today.