Category Archives: Fundraising

How to Raise Money for Your Nonprofit During a Recession

While the recession seems to be loosening its grasp on the bank accounts of Americans, many are still feeling the effects the economic downswing caused. If you’re looking to raise money for your organization or cause, you may feel as if you’re climbing an endless mountain. Although receiving donations in our tight economy may not be as easy as it once was, there are several ways to raise money for your nonprofit even during the middle of a recession.

Expand Your Reach

Dealing locally is still among the most effective ways to raise money for your nonprofit; however, since many are unable to donate due to their financial status, you must expand your reach. Delve into the endless possibilities by creating an effective online fundraising campaign. When dealing with online campaigns, you’re opening up your cause to be seen by millions. Although there are many ways this goal can be accomplished, the most effective include:

I. Establishing Social Media Presence – Exhaust the various social media platforms to extend your visibility to those who would otherwise be unaware of your cause. The most effective way to accomplish this goal is to connect with like-minded individuals and organizations through conversation and information sharing. Don’t simply blast out fundraising newsletters and posts. Engage and become part of your community.

II. Become an Authority – Gone are the days where you can fill a website with useless information, that’s rich with keywords, and receive a decent amount of traffic. In order to be successful in your online fundraising efforts, you must become an authority within your industry. Establish a blog that’s regularly updated with the latest information and insider news. Drive traffic to your fundraising cause by being an asset to your industry/cause.

Create Intimate Connections With Donors

Since the goal of fundraising in a recession is to showcase your true importance within your industry, showcase this by creating intimate connections with donors. Don’t simply say, “Thank you” for a donation. Rather, convey your thanks by providing free gifts or complimentary access to your newsletter. Tell stories of how your cause or organization has helped others.

Showcasing your genuine nature and community-oriented actions is the most effective way to gain not only the attention of potential donors, but to also drive higher donations. While people are tighter with their money in the current recession, it’s still possible to have a successful fundraising campaign by showcasing your true benefit for your industry or cause.

Sell A Product Your Population Already Purchases

If you choose to do a fundraiser where you are selling a product, choose a product that your population already spends money on. A coffee fundraiser is the perfect option for this. Unlike common fundraiser products such as wrapping paper, flavored popcorn, and candles, coffee is something that the general American population purchases on a regular basis. You are much more likely to interest people in purchasing a product they already get with the added benefit that it supports your non-profit.

How to Start a Viral Fundraising Campaign

In recent years, the influence of social media and digital communications has created an entire new way nonprofit organizations and various causes can reach out and solicit donations. Perhaps one of the most effective ways to promote your cause and gain the attention of a wide variety of potential donors is to create a viral fundraising campaign using unique fundraising ideas. While traditionally the phrase “viral” means something on the internet as become extremely popular, you may also use this term to describe a fully-online fundraising campaign with the desire to seek out as many viewers as possible.

Suggested Donations Perfected

While there may be fundraising events where you can ask for individual donations that range into the thousands, donation requests in this bracket never go viral. Understand the majority of donors who wish to donate, don’t have the means to do so extravagantly. When this is the case, seek out higher number of donors by making lower suggestion donation amounts. In your online/viral fundraising campaign, ask for lower donations such as $10, $20 or up to $50.

With each level of donation, clearly explain where the funds are going and what the money will do. While the donor may not be receiving a physical item for their donation, they should rest with the knowledge their specific donation is being used for a particular purpose. You’ll have far more luck with smaller denominations when dealing with the mass public.

Connect With Popular Social Media Personalities

Just like a virus spreads when the carrier comes in contact with more people, the same is true for online fundraising campaigns – even the name “viral” is reminiscent of this fact. Connect with social media personalities who have a wide variety of followers. Seek out those who share your same passion and ask for an endorsement and mild advertising. You may be surprised how many of these personalities are willing to give your fundraising efforts publicity. Imagine the effects of having a personality with 10,000 Twitter followers briefly speak about your fundraising campaign, which can be as simple as linking followers to your main campaign page.

Create a Bite-Sied Message

In the world of social media, everything must be bite-sized. The constant flow of information is quick, therefore you must create content that delivers key points of your message within a few sentences. This is a very specific skill set, and if you feel you’re unable to successfully accomplish this task, hire a copywriter who specializes in social media communication.