Membership dues and renewal are extremely important in helping increase revenue for associations, but other charitable donations also make up a large source of profit. Although bake sales, car washes, galas, and music events are still sufficient (and very fun) ways to fundraise, fundraising via an online platform is rising in both popularity and effectiveness.
Here are some things to know about online fundraising.
[Related: How to Fundraise During a Pandemic]
Why Is Fundraising Important?
Fundraising for your organization is important not only to raise money, but also to spread your values and goals to an audience beyond just current members. Fundraising provides the opportunity to connect with your community, to show individual donors that they’re valued and appreciated, and to explain exactly how they are helping the cause and driving your mission.
Online fundraising reaches more individuals near and far, sending your message further and creating more opportunities for people to donate and consider membership.
Why Use Funding Sites?
Instead of dealing with the hassle of optimizing your association’s main webpage for fundraising use, why not set up your online fundraiser on a funding site, such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Indiegogo? Funding sites make it simple for people to read about your association, donate, and share, all on one page that you can easily link to your main site and social media accounts.
These options encourage gifting at any level, from small donations to large sums, and provide the option to set up donor compensation (prizes, exclusive content, personalized thank you notes) at each level as well.
[Related: Six Helpful Virtual Tools for Nonprofits]
How Should You Use Social Media for Crowdfunding?
Utilizing social media to promote your fundraiser is an important step in reaching as many potential donors as you can. Encouraging your members or others that are influential online to share your posts can rapidly increase the number of people that see them, thereby increasing the possible number of people who will donate or become members in the future.
Make sure your association’s posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are paired with a short sentence or two about your fundraiser and goal, an attractive image or video, and an easily accessible link to your funding site or webpage. Consider calling for engagement by asking a question or encouraging people to share with friends.
You might even want to create a hashtag for your campaign to organize all posts and news updates in one place, and increase the chances your campaign will trend locally, nationally, or even globally.
Should You Use Email Campaigns?
According to a 2017 report by technology market resource firm The Radicati Group, by 2021 more than 4 billion people are anticipated to be regularly using email. Email users span generations, from boomers to the newest Gen Xers, and email campaigns are an excellent way to promote your association’s events and fundraisers.
Use email lists collected via your website or from any in-person events your association may have hosted or been a part of, and reach out with a personalized message, a sentence or two about your goal, and, of course, a link to your fundraiser.
Online platforms can really take your association’s fundraising efforts to the next level, encourage meaningful networking from around the globe, and even secure new members who may have not known about your organization previously. Using tools such as funding sites, hashtags, and email campaigns, online fundraising is a simple and compelling way to secure funds for your association.