It’s the year 2020, the world has shut down due to a life-threatening virus that has taken over every corner of the world with no signs of stopping. The only action is inaction: we self-isolate and pray with each passing day that the curve flattens.
Sounds like an opening for a blockbuster hit, but that is exactly what reality is. It’s a mess, the world has shut off from human interaction, something we took for granted, something I know a lot of nonprofits have always relied on to raise funds.
The causes you fight for don’t disappear overnight, and there is an unforeseen urgency to fight for them now more than ever, but where do you go from here? How do you adjust to society and maintain the required support needed for the causes you work so hard to fight for 365 days a year, 24 hours a day!
There is no one grand solution but an array of options you can explore to try find the support you need. This article is to take up the worlds situation as a challenge and rise above by using the online world as your new field of focus to gather the support your nonprofit needs.
The rule of thumb to master attaining and (more importantly) keeping the attention of the users on the internet is to keep them on your website as much as possible. Having a donation page or a form on your site that can easily allow donors to support your mission eliminates the need to outsource the fundraising function. Creating a donation page gives you as a nonprofit the flexibility to control the kinds of donations you have to offer, the messaging you want to project and more importantly allows users to explore the very pillars your nonprofit stands on by allowing them easy access to click through your website.
Does it involve a lot of work? Yes.
Will the payoffs of the investment payoff beyond the pandemic? ALSO yes!
At this point you are probably thinking Soumya, where do I even begin! Well my nonprofiter reader, it does not have to be that hard. Following a few steps will give you an idea on how to launch your own donations page on your website.
Wild Apricot - How to create a donation website
Donner Box - Create a donation Page
WordPress Forms - Online fundraising ideas for nonprofits
Another way to get around fundraising online is using crowdfunding platforms. These are essentially third-party pages that you create a profile on to get people to donate funds.
A Warning: There are plenty of options out there, so its best you screen through and determine which platform suits your needs best.
Double the donation - Top online donation tools
Regardless whether you choose to have your own donation page or a crowdfunding page, it can be very beneficial to launch an email campaign to contact your donors. A customized email campaign will give you the opportunity to tell your nonprofit’s story to really connect with the donors.
QGIV - How to ask for donations with emails
Classy - Non-profit email marketing
During our webinar Surviving the Pandemic and Beyond the question about how to raise funds while remaining at home was asked to the panel. From the experience of James Topham in War Child Canada, contrary to the experience before the pandemic, phone calls to donors are now more popular than before. Due to the limited human interaction nature of the pandemic, members of the household are more willing than before to have a connection over the phone. It is a great opportunity to get personal and ring up your donors.
No matter which route you take on it is important to note, that your fundraising strategy is only as good as your marketing strategy. The secret to the success of your fundraising is to promote your campaign as much as possible. Establish your targeted audience, learn what convinces them to support your cause and launch a planned and organized marketing campaign
I am sure this is not news to most nonprofits, but just in case, it is important to mention that the most optimum use of time, resources and energy is to get donors to donate reoccurring. This means no matter what method of fundraising you choose, see if there is an automated option for the donations to be made on a weekly, monthly or annual bases.
Fundraising is less about convincing individuals about WHY donors should fund your mission but more about handling the reasons why they THINK they shouldn’t. In person fundraising makes this a little easier because face-to-face interactions allow a two-way communication. It is not the same online. In order to work your way around it, creating an FAQ page where you address the main concerns of your viewers would be most beneficial.
It is understandable that some nonprofits do heavily rely on in person events to raise funds and awareness. Social distancing is a huge roadblock to that, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting creative with online and virtual fundraising events. Collaborate with your team and come up with interesting ideas such as online auctions, fundraising challenges, or (my personal favorite), a No Gala-Gala where everyone gets to look pretty and share their stories virtually. Put on those thinking hats and create an event that ties into your cause.
Don’t be disheartened, this pandemic has been a real test to humanity, but what is amazing to see is how as a collective, we have risen to carry hope and kindness in our hearts. It’s during times like these that people can see clearly how far compassion, considerations and connection can take us. So pick yourself up for you are not alone in this, we are always ready to help if you need it.
Learn how to use playwright for automated end to end testing of user flows in web applications.