Partner guest post: Cathexis Partners
As we head into the month of July, many nonprofits are starting a brand-new fiscal year. That means that now is as good a time as any to review your fundraising campaigns and think about how you can improve them for the next fiscal year.
Maybe you only need to make a few tweaks to your strategy, or perhaps it is time to try a whole new approach. In the end, the goal is the same - to make sure you are getting the largest return from your fundraising activities.
Here are four ideas to get you started:
- Think “mobile-first” With the widespread use of mobile devices and an increased proportion of people working from home or on the go, it is more important than ever to be sure your website and online transaction channels (a site visitor's path from entering your site, to taking a specified action) remains easy to navigate via mobile devices. If you have not updated your nonprofit’s website within the last three years or so, that can be a good indication it is time for a review and to consider a refresh. A simple way to start is to compare your organization’s site against the site of a top-notch nonprofit. Here are a few great examples to provide you with some inspiration:
- Embrace virtual campaigns and hybrid events for peer-to-peer fundraising
Nonprofits have for years relied on walks, runs, rides, and other in-person peer-to-peer fundraising events to boost their online fundraising. Those in-person events still have their place, but if we’ve learned anything from the disruption brought about by COVID-19, it’s that nonprofits can no longer solely rely on in-person events to anchor their peer-to-peer fundraising.
There are multiple opportunities to embrace virtual and hybrid (in-person/virtual) events and campaigns. Here are a few examples of how nonprofits have been navigating the new normal of peer-to-peer fundraising:
- Roswell Park Alliance Foundation moved the Ride for Roswell ride to a virtual event in 2020 and is planning a hybrid event for 2021
- Mount Sinai went into high gear around fundraising, including a new giving information page, a COVID-19 specific peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, and a transition of their annual events to virtual events
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has run successful virtual food drives since 2013
- Put user-generated content (UGC) to work The power behind your peer-to-peer fundraising events comes from people sharing information and driving support from their networks for a cause they believe in. Using user-generated content gives you another way for your participants to share their own ideas. For example, use a content aggregator like Juicer or Tintup to bring content to your campaign homepage via your hashtags. You can even take UGC to the next level using tools like Gather Voices or Seenit to gather user-generated videos.
- Make sure you don't leave money on the table
You may consider your fundraising campaigns a success, but you may also be leaving valuable funds on the table without even realizing it. Here are some simple but often overlooked considerations you can make to be sure you get every dollar out of your fundraising efforts:
- Ask donors to cover the transaction fees — When someone donates to your organization through your online donation form, the donor is typically charged a transaction fee by the payment processor. This effectively reduces the proportion of each donation that goes directly to you by a certain percentage (often around 3%). By providing an option in your online donation form for donors to cover the cost of the transaction fees, you can capture those lost dollars.
- Encourage recurring giving through a monthly giving pop-up — When donors make an online donation to your organization, present them with the option to make it a recurring gift. This approach conveniently breaks up the donation into reliable monthly payments charged automatically to their credit card, which can result in donors giving more over time.
- Embed a matching gift tool in your donation form — Many companies offer a matching gift program to their employees. However, every matching gift program is unique and has different requirements and guidelines that a potential donor must navigate. Adding a corporate matching tool to your donation form makes it easier to take advantage of corporate matching programs and boost your fundraising campaign results.
These are just a few tips to refresh your fundraising for the next fiscal year. If you are interested in learning more about any of these ideas or technologies or would like help implementing any of them, contact us at Cathexis Partners.
Mark Becker is the Founding Partner of Cathexis Partners. Since 2008, Cathexis has helped more than 1,000 nonprofit clients use technology to help their organizations raise more funds and engage more supporters.