ddalki3003 / Pixabay

Fundraising is a core component of most nonprofits strategies. Usually fundraising events would happen in person in the form of an event or a shared moment. But with in real life meet ups not looking likely for the foreseeable future, how can you move your fundraising online in a sustainable way?

Below are the Do’s and the Don’ts of online fundraising for your non profit marketing.

Do Engage with existing audiences online

If you’re a non profit who already has a strong online audience, make sure your first port of call in online fundraising is them. Audience engagement is much easier when your audience already know and support you. Plus, any posts that they engage with might also show up in their friends feeds too.

You can engage your audience on social media through posts, stories, or livestreams. If your fundraising is a significant part of your marketing goals, you might want to consider writing audience engagement into your social media marketing strategies.

Do provide a R.O.I. for your donors

R.O.I. stands for “Return on Investment” and is mostly used in the marketing world to mean “a campaign that brings in more money than we spend”. But the same principle applies to online fundraising – give your audience something in return for their donation that feels equal to or greater to the amount they donated.

You could provide an exclusive piece of content, first dibs on any new merch, or a heartfelt thank you from your organization. You can also host fundraising events such as an online quiz, with donations acting as an “entrance fee” to the event. If you have organizational ambassadors you could use their influencer status to hold a giveaway such as a personalized shout out.

Do create an online community

Humans are social creatures and they like to build communities. Building a network of donors online is a great way to thank people for their support. You could provide a badge people can add to their profile picture, access to a private Facebook group, or invitations to a webinar or panel. You could also start a hashtag and encourage your community to find each other and engage that way. This option works particularly well if your fundraising ask is active (completing a challenge, running a certain distance etc) rather than passive (donating alone).

Don’t be vague

Just because you aren’t creating detailed brochures outlining your fundraising objectives any more does not mean your online fundraising should be vague. People still like to know the specifics of what they are donating for, and how their money will help.

Instead of creating a complex brochure, transfer that information onto a landing page. Add videos and audio where applicable to help bring your fundraising goals to life. The more specific you can be the better.

Don’t set challenges that are too difficult

Even though we’re all at home a lot more people don’t have more time. Setting fundraising challenges can be a good way to engage with your donors, but they should be easily completed. Running or walking 5km is possible for most people within a day. Creating a homemade costume to post a photo on Instagram is much more difficult.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t encourage creativity – but you should make your challenges as accessible as possible.

Don’t take your supporters for granted

Things are hard at the moment for everybody and it can be too easy to forget that your donors are really people too. Taking their support for granted is a sure fire way to annoy your audience. Thanking your supporters doesn’t have to be difficult – an email upon donation with a genuine thank you can be easily automated. You can also post regular updates on your social media and share messages from your supporters (with their permission, of course).

At the end of your fundraising campaign you should send a follow up email to everybody who has engaged to say thank you, and to let them know what you’re able to achieve because of them.