High Impact Virtual Fundraising Tips

By Peter Gamache, Ph.D. & Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS, Turnaround Life, Inc.

In a year when a global pandemic has turned our lives—individually and organizationally—upside down, nonprofits still have opportunities to connect and engage—and, yes, even fundraise—virtually.

Fundraising is possible and happening for those organizations that have their tools intact and up-to-date. We’d further sharpen that point by saying that nonprofits with mobile-optimized websites and donation platforms and social media fundraising tools in place are poised to see fundraising gains this year. Why?

Last year nearly half (48 percent) of all traffic to nonprofit websites came from mobile phones, and more than 80 percent of all social media use was done on a mobile, as well. As we spend more and more of our time on mobile phones, nonprofits must be prepared to meet our donors and volunteers there, as well.

More than $3 billion in donations have passed through Facebook fundraising tools, and according to the 2020 Global Trends in Giving Report, nearly 90 percent of those Facebook donors reported they feel comfortable making more gifts in this way. (More than 90 percent of Instagram donors say they’ll give through the platform again!)

To reap the rewards of meeting your donors at their favorite spots, here are a few actionable tips to help your nonprofit engage in high-impact, virtual fundraising:

  1. Start with some low-hanging fruit: Amazon Smile is one of the most passive ways your nonprofit can get involved in online fundraising. Register your nonprofit and then create eye-catching visuals for your social channels that encourage your fans and followers to select your organization. Schedule these posts regularly.
  2. Facebook and Instagram have added tools for nonprofits (like donate buttons and graphics) to make fundraising easy; register and use them!
  3. It’s easy to use any number of scheduling tools to create regular posts promoting a timed campaign—or even your monthly giving program.
  4. Create a series of attractive, well-branded graphics with a clear call to action. Make sure to size the graphics to the social channel you’ll be posting them on. There are plenty of free image creation tools that take the guesswork out of sizing and offer beautiful templates you can tweak to fit your brand.
  5. Embed the campaign hashtag, which should be a clear call to action, and the donation site in your graphics and make them shareable for peer-to-peer fundraising across social networks.
  6. Use 24-hour or other time-limited campaigns to create a sense of urgency around your fundraising campaign. You can join in on #GivingTuesday—or establish your own cause day when you’re not competing with every other nonprofit.
  7. Promote your upcoming campaign to stakeholders via your e-newsletter and social media. Have fun with countdowns and videos from brand ambassadors talking about why they can’t wait for your virtual campaign and the impact it will have on your mission.
  8. We know that Facebook posts reach an average of four percent of a page’s fans and Facebook ads have the highest ROI, so dedicating as little as $100 to Facebook ads can be a wise investment on virtual giving days.
  9. Thank your campaign donors and supporters in real-time on your social media channels; you’ll not only be showing your gratitude but also contributing to the buzz around your event.
  10. Drive your donors to a mobile-optimized donation page, or risk losing them forever.

Here at Turnaround Life, Inc., we aim to help organizations and programs that make it possible for people to turn their lives around. For more information about us, visit our website.

Here at Turnaround Life, Inc., we aim to help organizations and programs that make it possible for people to turn their lives around. For more information about us, visit our website.

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