Digital fundraising has become a mainstay of the nonprofit world, and your organization is likely already leveraging it to pull in more support for its cause, whether you’ve added a basic online donation form to your website or tried a crowdfunding campaign.
However, if you want to get the most out of digital fundraising, you’ll want to take your strategy even further. To help, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide for nonprofit professionals like you to take a closer look at the world of online fundraising. We’ll cover:
- Digital Fundraising: A Crash Course
- Trends to Watch
- 12 Stellar Digital Fundraising Ideas
- 5 Campaigns to Inspire Your Own
- How Cornershop Creative Can Help You With Digital Fundraising
Are you ready to learn how your nonprofit can win more support using digital fundraising? Let’s begin.
Digital Fundraising: A Crash Course in the Basics
Before we jump into our favorite digital fundraising ideas and inspiration for maximizing revenue, let’s nail down some fundamentals.
What is digital fundraising?
Digital fundraising refers to the practice of using online or digital technologies to raise money for an organization or cause.
It comes in many shapes and forms, from basic online donation forms and email marketing to mobile giving apps and large-scale virtual or hybrid events.
That being said, digital fundraising efforts work best when they’re built on the foundation of an optimized nonprofit website. A high-quality website can serve as the hub of your organization’s online presence, providing the resources and tools people need to learn about your cause, get involved, and give.
The Benefits of Raising Money Online
There are many reasons as to why digital fundraising has become popular in the nonprofit sector. Let’s look at some of the benefits nonprofits and their supporters experience with this type of fundraising strategy:
- Digital Fundraising Benefits for Nonprofits
- Allows your nonprofit to expand engagement beyond geographical boundaries
- Provides consistent touchpoints that allow for better relationship building
- Empowers your nonprofit to save money on traditional fundraising costs like printing and postage
- Makes it easier for your nonprofit to gather valuable data and insights about the effectiveness of your strategy
- Enables rapid response and results during times of crisis and extreme need
- Makes your fundraising efforts more sustainable and environmentally friendly
- Digital Fundraising Benefits for Donors
- Makes it convenient and more accessible to give any time or anywhere
- Allows donors to get information about their impact quicker
- Provides opportunities to regularly connect with causes donors care about
- Opens up the door for flexibility in how donors give (credit or debit cards, PayPal, digital wallets, etc.)
- Empowers donors to easily invite people from their networks to get involved with your cause
- Minimizes overhead so that more of your donors’ money goes directly to your cause
Gone are the days when your organization had to rely on cash or check donations! Now, you can organize an online campaign in dozens of different ways. This is the overarching benefit of digital fundraising—it opens up so many more possibilities for how your organization can raise money and connect with donors.
How to Get Started With Digital Fundraising
You can follow these steps to get started with digital fundraising:
- Set clear goals. Determine what you want to gain from digital fundraising. This could include a specific dollar amount you want to raise, a certain number of new donors you want to acquire, or progress on a specific project that you want to see.
- Build out your online presence. Remember, great digital fundraising starts with a fully optimized nonprofit website. If you don’t have a website, start creating one or work with a nonprofit web design company to do the heavy lifting for you. If you already have a website, look at how you could improve the user experience and prepare it to be a better fundraising and marketing tool.
- Choose the fundraising platforms you want to use. If you’re interested in using platforms other than your website to fundraise, such as a mobile app or a crowdfunding platform, look into the vendors you’re considering working with. Read reviews, get demos, and invest in your tools. Don’t forget about free tools as well, like social media platforms or the Google Ad Grant!
- Design your fundraising campaigns. Once you have your digital fundraising toolbox in order, you can start preparing a fundraising campaign. Set a timeline for your campaign and ensure it’s rooted in a compelling purpose.
- Market your campaigns. Next, let your supporters know about your campaign using the communication channels you know they respond to. Use engaging calls to action to encourage your supporters to contribute to your campaign!
- Focus on relationship building. Throughout the fundraising process, remember to put relationships first. Get to know your donors and interact with them so that they know your nonprofit appreciates them as individuals. And, whenever you wrap up your campaign, make sure to thank them with prompt and personalized messages.
You’re in the right place if you’re ready to get started with digital fundraising. But before you can start building your strategy, you should familiarize yourself with the latest online fundraising trends and ideas so that you’re prepared to stand out online. We’ll cover these in the next few sections!
Digital Fundraising Trends to Watch
As digital fundraising continues to become more popular throughout the nonprofit sector, new trends crop up. Staying on top of what’s trending is essential to extending or improving your fundraising efforts. Here are four recent trends to note.
The Google Ad Grant
Whenever you search on Google, the first several results provided are set apart as paid advertisements. And while Google typically sells that premium ad space, they’re willing to donate prime real estate on the SERP (or Search Engine Results Page) to nonprofits through their charitable program called Google Ad Grants. Here’s an example of a nonprofit ad created using the Google Ad Grant:
The Google Ad Grant provides nonprofit organizations with up to $10,000 worth of in-kind donations in the form of Google advertising space each month. To get started with the Google Ad Grant, nonprofits must be recognized as official 501(c)(3) organizations, registered with Google for Nonprofits and TechSoup, have a functional nonprofit website registered with Google, and agree to all of the program policies.
Once you’ve received your Google Grant funding, you’ll be able to promote your organization and specific digital fundraising endeavors on the world’s most popular search engine—for free! Plus, as long as you keep your account active and continue adhering to the Grant guidelines, you can keep receiving the grant each month.
To see great results through the Google Ad Grant, you’ll need to devote a good amount of time and effort to managing your ads and building out your strategy. To ensure that this doesn’t eat up too much of your team’s time, consider working with a Google Ad Grants agency to take care of this for you!
Text fundraising, also known as text-to-give, is growing in popularity among nonprofits—and for good reason. With its inherent convenience and ease of use for nonprofits and their supporters, text-to-give is one of the best ways to connect with donors and encourage giving.
In fact, text messaging has an average open rate of 98%, and 90% of people open a text within just three minutes of receiving it. This means texting allows you to reliably and quickly reach your supporters with donation appeals, fundraising updates, event reminders, and more.
Backed by a leading provider, you can set up a winning text-to-give campaign in just a few simple steps. Let’s break down how the process works:
- Your nonprofit partners with a text messaging provider, who will assign you a short- or long-code.
- Your nonprofit creates a concise and catchy keyword for your campaign.
- Supporters text your keyword to your short- or long-code, opting into your campaign.
- Your nonprofit sends compelling messages with a link to your mobile-friendly donation page so donors can give with ease.
To get your text messaging campaign rolling, market this donation option widely across your website, on your social media channels, and in your direct mail.
Over time, you’ll be able to build up your contact list and segment your supporters to create highly relevant and targeted messages that are more likely to inspire giving. Plus, texting your supporters is a great way to keep your organization’s mission on their minds and build long-lasting relationships.
You might send a postcard to a family member or friend when you’ve done something exciting that you’d like to share or simply to let them know that you’re thinking of them. eCards are similar to traditional postcards, but they’re distributed and received digitally.
For a nonprofit eCard campaign, the goal is to allow your supporters to share their love of your organization’s work with their networks. Here’s how the process works:
- Your supporter decides to participate in your eCard campaign.
- That individual selects which eCard image they want to send, and customizes the eCard with their own subject line and message.
- Then, they enter their friends’ or family members’ email address(es).
- Finally, the individual fills out their payment information and any other required fields and submits the eCard, simultaneously sending messages to their network and donating to your organization.
An eCard campaign is both a fantastic digital fundraising idea and an opportunity to expand your base of support to reach new potential donors. Not only do you receive the payment for each eCard, but you also receive the intangible value of your current supporters spreading the word on your behalf. It’s a win-win!
A matching gift is an additional gift your nonprofit receives when an individual donates to your organization and then requests a donation match from their employer through their corporate matching gift program. So, if an individual were to donate $50 and then request a matching gift through their employer’s program, your organization would receive an extra $50 (or more, depending on the program).
And the best part? The individual donor doesn’t have to spend another cent.
Despite the benefits of matching gifts, corporate giving research has found that more than an astounding $4-7 billion in matching gift funds go unclaimed every year. That’s why more nonprofits are leveraging digital platforms, like matching gift technology, that connect them directly with corporate donors.
These platforms make it easy for nonprofits to spread matching gift awareness during their online donation processes. When you integrate a matching gifts search tool into your donation form, you make finding their employer’s match information simpler for donors.
Here’s what the process looks like:
- A donor gives to your nonprofit using your online donation page.
- They research their eligibility for their company’s program using the search tool.
- If eligible, they submit a corporate match request to their employer.
- The company confirms the donation with the nonprofit and sends a check.
Recent innovations simplify this process even further. For example, matching gift auto-submission allows donors to skip a few steps in the process. They’ll click a checkbox while donating to opt into auto-submission. Then, if their employer’s CSR software integrates with the nonprofit’s matching gift technology, it’ll automatically fill out the request and submit it to the employer.
Not only can your nonprofit multiply donors’ impact with matching gift integration, but 1 in 3 donors say they’ll give a larger donation if matching is possible.
12 Stellar Digital Fundraising Ideas
While there are surely thousands of effective digital fundraising ideas to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to 12 of our favorites here.
1. Update your website.
Regardless of the type of digital fundraiser you decide to host, your campaign should always link back to your nonprofit website in one way or another. With that in mind, it’s of utmost importance that your website is well-designed and up-to-date.
Here are a few things to make sure you’re implementing on your website (if you’re not already!):
- A consistently updated blog: Blogs are an excellent tool for sharing new and relevant information with dedicated audiences. For instance, you can use your nonprofit blog to tell powerful stories about the impact that your organization has had on your community, including the experiences of specific constituents (with their permission, of course) and how their lives have been changed.
- A user-friendly navigational structure: Increased traffic to your nonprofit website won’t help you much if your users are unsure how to navigate through your site once they’re there! To avoid confusion, include a detailed and well-organized navigation bar on your pages. Prominent pages should be clearly linked from your menu, and your design should include an eye-catching “Donate” button to make sure you’re always leading users to your primary online donation form.
- A visually pleasing design: Make sure that you balance your informational copy with a visually appealing design. A quality design and layout will help you fully engage your visitors and lead them further down the conversion cycle. But don’t overdo it! For example, a few images can make a big impact on your site, while an overwhelming number can distract from the main content and cause confusion.
Paying attention to these three elements will give you a solid foundation for your nonprofit’s website. However, with internet trends constantly changing, it can be difficult to stay on top of things! Consider partnering with a nonprofit consultant who specializes in digital fundraising and web design to help you make sure you’re following best practices.
2. Create videos and other engaging content.
You’ve heard that a picture’s worth a thousand words. The same can be said for videos and other visual content!
With this in mind, you might want to put some extra effort into the visuals you produce for your website, marketing materials, and other components of your digital fundraising strategy. Overall, the idea is to effectively convey the impact that donations will make by demonstrating the purpose of your mission through graphics and photos.
The exact type of content will vary a lot depending on your organization and your overall mission. For example, if your team works to build homes for charity, take a few photographs of a home in progress, including before, during, and after shots. That way, your nonprofit supporters can clearly see how their donations will be used.
Alternatively, you might decide to record interviews with individuals who have been impacted by your organization. For instance, if you’re fundraising to provide a local school with the funding or supplies it needs to operate, an interview with a previous teacher or student who received supplies in past years would work well.
Another tip? If your mission has anything to do with animals (i.e. wildlife conservation, local animal shelter, etc.), you have the perfect subject matter—everyone loves animal content!
3. Lean into segmented email marketing.
You likely have some sort of email marketing system in place. After all, email is one of the most popular methods of communication between nonprofits and their supporters. However, you might (and should!) always look for ways to take that strategy even further, such as using segmentation, the process of organizing your audience into groups based on shared characteristics.
Did you know that marketers who employ email segmentation strategies see 30% more opens and 50% more click-throughs? In other words, email marketing campaigns that are targeted directly to various segments within an audience (as opposed to campaigns where each recipient sees the exact same message), see significantly higher conversion rates.
There are a few different ways to segment your audience. For example, you could create segments based on:
- Demographics: location, age, gender, parental/marital status
- Donation size: small, mid-sized, or major gifts
- Donor type: new, repeat, recurring, or lapsed
- Communication preference: email, text, phone, direct mail
- Giving method: cash, check, online, mobile
When you take these characteristics into account when crafting marketing emails to your supporters, it ensures that each individual receives messages that resonate best with them. The more relevant a marketing message is to a recipient, the more likely the individual is to fully and deeply connect with your fundraisers. And you know that effective fundraising is all about making those connections!
4. A/B test your donation page.
A/B testing is one of our favorite ways to test for the maximum performance of any web page or form. In short, A/B testing involves creating two very similar pages that function in largely the same way, making only one change between the two options. By testing each version, you can form conclusions about which version performed better and why.
Here are a few examples of elements you might adjust for an A/B test:
- The wording of your fundraising ask
- Suggested donation amounts (sizes and/or presence/absence of suggestions)
- The number of required fields
- Any images or visuals
- Multi-page form vs. one-page form
It’s important that you only adjust one factor at a time. That way, you’ll know with a higher degree of certainty what actually resulted in a change. Then, going forward, you can implement changes to maximize revenue for future campaigns.
5. Set up a fundraising web store.
A fundraising web store is a great tool for nonprofits who want to boost their online donations. Supporters can browse your fundraising store or add a product like a branded hat or t-shirt to their donation. The great thing about selling products on your website is that your supporters will love getting a little something in return for their generosity. Here are some tips for setting up your fundraising store:
- Partner with a dedicated product fundraising company. The best product fundraising companies offer products that your supporters want to buy. Plus, they make the process of ordering and customizing your products quick and easy so your supporters can get them as fast as possible.
- Select products you know your supporters will want to buy. You know your supporters best, so when deciding what to sell in your fundraising store, consider what you know about them. For example, maybe you know from previous fundraisers that your donors enjoy great coffee, so you decide to sell gourmet coffee in your store. Or, perhaps your cause is focused on the environment, so you sell flower bulbs to encourage supporters to develop their green thumbs.
- Include a link to your store on your donation page. While some of your supporters will enjoy browsing your fundraising store itself, also include a link to your store on your donation page. This will make it easy for a donor to boost their contribution by adding a product like a cookie dough tub to their donation. Don’t forget to include a picture or two of some of your products on your donation page to pique your donors’ interest.
A fundraising store is not only easy to get up and running on your website— it’s also an excellent avenue for connecting with your donors’ interests and encouraging them to give a little more to help further your work. Make sure you pick your products carefully and publicize the store on social media!
6. Spread matching gift awareness.
Matching gifts is one of the most powerful corporate giving initiatives. These programs empower donors to double (sometimes even triple) their donations to nonprofits without reaching back into their own wallets. What donor wouldn’t want to get in on this action?
Help donors understand their opportunities by doing the following:
- Add an employer search tool to your donation page. Catch donors right when they give by embedding a search tool into your donation form. This will enable them to research their companies’ programs and determine their eligibility. You can also embed a search tool into your confirmation page for anyone who overlooked it before donating.
- Create a matching gifts page. Create a well-designed web page that explains the impact of matching donations, how donors can research their eligibility, and statistics showing the impact of corporate giving on your nonprofit.
- Follow up with match-eligible donors. Email match-eligible donors, and provide the relevant form they need to submit to their company. If you’re unsure if someone’s eligible, encourage them to ask their employer. Matching gift automation tools can streamline the follow-up process for you.
Your donors are already contributing. Of course they’d want to increase their impact, especially if it doesn’t cost them another penny! Taking extra steps to ensure they’re aware of opportunities like matching gifts is a smart move for your digital fundraising efforts.
7. Design a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
Peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) is a unique digital fundraising strategy in that it gives your existing supporters the chance to become fundraisers on behalf of your cause. This means that a P2P campaign has the potential to not only pull in significant funding for your cause but also introduce your mission to whole new groups of potential supporters—your supporters’ family and friends!
Most of the time, P2P is used for birthday fundraisers on social media or a-thon style events, like walk-a-thons or read-a-thons. But you can run a P2P campaign whenever you like.
Here’s how P2P fundraising works:
- Participants create their own donation pages. Many P2P platforms will allow your participants to customize their donation pages with your organization’s branding and information about your cause.
- Participants share their donation pages with their personal networks. The success of a P2P campaign hinges on your participants’ willingness and ability to spread the word about their personal fundraising campaign. You may want to provide guidance or messaging templates to make this process easier for those who fundraise on your behalf.
- Your organization plays an administrative role throughout the campaign. Your organization’s role during a P2P fundraiser will be to encourage your participants and monitor the success of the campaign. Note that you may want to incorporate elements of gamification into P2P campaigns, like leaderboards and fundraising thermometers, to help infuse the experience with a little friendly competition.
Set your participants up for success by providing thorough training ahead of your P2P campaign that includes best practices for setting up a compelling donation page, instilling urgency in those they solicit for donations, and more. And, when all is said and done, make sure to thank everyone who stepped into the role of volunteer fundraiser and raised money for your organization.
8. Host virtual and hybrid fundraising events.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits that wanted to continue hosting fundraising events learned to adapt to their circumstances and host events online. And now, even with life resuming its normal pace, virtual and hybrid events are still effective ways to bring your community together and pull in support for your cause.
Still on the fence about the effectiveness of virtual and hybrid events? Check out these eye-opening statistics from ZipDo:
- Virtual events pull in 50% more attendees.
- Virtual events can help organizations save over 75% in event costs.
- 74% of event planners expect that virtual events will become the norm.
If you’re looking for a way to gather together your broad community of supporters (across geographical lines), fundraise in creative ways (such as through a virtual auction, live-streamed concert, or a webinar), and save money, a virtual or hybrid event is the best way to go.
9. Offer a recurring giving option on your donation page.
What’s better than a one-time donation? A recurring donation!
Consider adding a recurring giving option to your online donation page. This will allow donors to easily opt into your recurring giving or monthly giving program and help you secure future support.
Plus, recurring giving usually involves giving a small amount of money over a long period of time, which can feel much more manageable to many donors than giving a large lump sum. For instance, many donors may see the option of giving $5 each month for a year as more appealing than giving $50 all at once. Better still, the monthly $5 donation actually results in a larger total amount of support than the $50 when all is said and done.
You can also actively market your recurring gift program, positioning it as an easy way to plan regular giving into your monthly budget. Donors will appreciate the ability to “set and forget” their charitable contributions, saving them time and effort and providing the peace of mind that comes with consistently giving back.
10. Use social media to advertise.
We hope you have at least a couple of social media accounts set up for your organization! What you may be neglecting, however, are the opportunities available to you through paid social media marketing.
While you may be reluctant to implement this strategy because it does, of course, cost money, paid social media marketing has the power to bring your digital fundraising to the next level. Each social platform offers unique opportunities:
- Facebook: With nearly 3 billion monthly active Facebook users, this is a marketing opportunity you don’t want to miss. Facebook ads give you the opportunity to reach potential supporters through a range of formats and placements, including photo posts, stories, and ads in Messenger.
- Instagram: With Instagram ads, content will show up for targeted users regardless of whether they follow your accounts or not. Plus, they rely on a highly visual concept for success! The differences lie in the location (Instagram story vs. feed) and size (9:16 vs. 1:1 ratio) of your advertisements.
- X (Formerly Twitter): X is known for its brevity and shareability—two key components of a successful digital fundraising strategy. With a 280 character limit in posts (both promoted and otherwise), you have just enough space to quickly encourage donations to your cause and send users directly to your digital fundraising page. Then, be sure to ask supporters to repost your content, thus extending your reach and potential audience even further.
While these three platforms are certainly the biggest social media giants across the U.S. today, it’s wise to consider rising platforms as well. For example, TikTok’s popularity is booming, and it’s a great platform for targeting younger donors (specifically Gen Z).
11. Try a crowdfunding campaign.
Crowdfunding is a unique fundraising strategy that has become increasingly popular with individuals and organizations alike. While some fundraising campaigns solicit hefty donations from just a few major contributors, crowdfunding takes an entirely different approach.
Crowdfunding campaigns utilize the power of social media and peer-to-peer sharing to collect a large number of smaller donations from a wide range of supporters.
Here’s how to start your own:
- Start a crowdfunding campaign with a dedicated nonprofit crowdfunding platform.
- Set your fundraising goal, add photos, and describe the goals of your campaign.
- Publish your fundraiser and begin promoting it to your digital supporters.
- Encourage your supporters to interact with and share your campaign via social media.
The point of crowdfunding is to maximize the power of small to mid-sized donations. You might be surprised at how quickly these can add up!
Plus, with so many people experiencing stressful economic circumstances, small donations might be the best way for your donors to give right now.
12. Create a hashtag.
Whenever you host a digital fundraiser, come up with a trendy hashtag to encourage your supporters to contribute and promote your campaigns on their own social media accounts.
If you’re not already familiar, a hashtag is a predetermined word or phrase that, when paired with the symbol (#), is used to identify and group messages by topic on social media. And they’re quite effective—research shows that X (formerly Twitter) posts get double the engagement than posts without hashtags and that Instagram posts with 11 or more hashtags get the most interactions.
When choosing a phrase for your hashtag, it should be:
- Unique: Make sure your hashtag is unique to your nonprofit fundraiser. If another organization or mission is already using the same phrase, your messages will get all jumbled together and cause confusion.
- Memorable: When you assign a hashtag to your digital fundraising campaign, it should be simple for supporters to remember. That way, whenever they see the phrase, they can immediately associate it with your organization and that specific fundraising campaign.
- User-friendliness: If your hashtag is too complicated, you run the risk of users making typos that will separate their posts from the rest of your nonprofit messaging. If your hashtag is composed of more than one word, begin each new word with a capital letter. For example, take a look at the differences between #SaveTheTurtles and #savetheturtles. The first one is easier to read, right? That means it’s also easier for users to remember and use.
So, when should your supporters use your hashtag? Whenever they post about one of your fundraisers online! For example, if they purchase one of your branded t-shirts or baseball caps, encourage them to post a selfie on their favorite social media platform with your hashtag. If they complete an online donation form, encourage them to use your social sharing buttons alongside the hashtag.
Digital Fundraising Best Practices
No matter what digital fundraising idea you decide to run with, you can optimize your chosen campaign by applying the following best practices:
- Focus on building relationships. Even though a lot of digital fundraising strategies involve you being separated from your supporters by a screen, it is still imperative that you work to build strong relationships with them. Keep in touch by personalizing your marketing messages and engaging with any responses you receive from your community (such as comments on social media). And, whenever you can, have conversations via video conferencing tools or phone calls.
- Demonstrate that giving can be easy. Especially if you’re embarking on a new digital fundraising journey, it will be important to share with your supporters just how easy digital fundraising makes it to give and stay up-to-date on your organization’s operations and progress. Clearly explain or demonstrate how easy it is to use your online donation form to give or to subscribe to your email newsletter.
- Leverage your organization’s branding. Even if your fundraising campaign assets are spread across multiple digital platforms and mediums, you still want your community to know that your messages are coming from your organization. Lean into your organization’s brand, especially its visual aspects (logo, color scheme, fonts, etc.), and use it to direct your supporters back to key resources on your website, like your donation page or volunteer registration form.
- Track key performance indicators. Digital fundraising tools make it easy to monitor your campaign performance. For instance, you might use Google Analytics to monitor the types of traffic that your website gets, or how effective your donation page is at converting website visitors into donors. Or, you might use a crowdfunding platform to learn how many total people participated in your campaign and what the average donation amount was. With this information, you can design bigger and better campaigns in the future.
- Always recognize your donors. You can use traditional methods like thank-you cards to do this, or you can stick with digital strategies, like sending eCards or making donor recognition videos. However you decide to thank your donors for supporting your digital fundraising campaign, ensure that your appreciation is sincere and keeps the door open for further support.
Employing these best practices will set you up for long-term success with your digital fundraising strategy and help you put your donors first, no matter what the particulars of your campaign look like.
5 Digital Fundraising Campaigns to Inspire Your Own
If you’re still not sure where to start with online fundraising, feel free to draw inspiration from some of our favorite nonprofit websites and their subsequent fundraising campaigns below. These are five successful digital fundraisers that our team at Cornershop Creative helped to create, each with its own unique digital strategy:
1. League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a political advocacy group that was founded in 1920 to give women a larger role in the U.S. political landscape. The group works to encourage female participation in political affairs through education and advocacy.
Our team had the opportunity to work with the LWV to improve their digital fundraising strategy by incorporating eye-catching email templates for their email communications and designing custom-built landing pages for their fundraising appeals.
What we did:
Our updated email communications process allowed the team at the LWV to build and retain effective relationships with every supporter. Plus, our carefully crafted email templates save the team time and effort on email marketing that can be reinvested in other areas of their mission.
We also set up the framework for segmented outreach, like adjusting a recipient’s suggested donation amounts based on previous gift sizes.
Why this works:
As a fundraiser, you know that your job isn’t over once you’ve secured the first donation. Retaining donors through long-lasting relationships is much more cost-efficient than having to constantly be on the lookout for brand new support.
Through our strategically designed email campaigns, the LWV ensures more personalized relationships with each donor, which increases the likelihood that a repeat donation will occur.
2. Oblates of the Virgin Mary
The Oblates of the Virgin Mary (OMV) is a group of Catholic priests and brothers with a mission to reignite spirituality in today’s world. They offer services like a seminary, spiritual direction, online and in-person Mass, and more.
The OMV reached out to us to help them promote a hybrid gala that supports their seminarians working towards becoming priests. With our team’s help, OMV was able to raise more money at their gala than ever before!
What we did:
For this project, we employed a multichannel marketing strategy.
First, we created an event landing page as the central spot for information about the gala, along with supporting subpages that provided information about sponsors and how to attend the event online. Next, we spread the word about the event with a segmented email stream, blog posts, a promotional teaser video shared on YouTube and Facebook, and Facebook posts.
Why this works:
When it comes to marketing a virtual or hybrid fundraising event, it’s best to spread your promotional efforts across a variety of channels. This helps ensure that your messages will reach a variety of supporters on the channels they use on a regular basis.
And, by preparing ahead of time with a well-designed and informative landing page, you can easily direct visitors to your organization’s website as the source of truth for all the details about your event, just like OMV did!
3. Canine Companions
Canine Companions is an organization that provides service dogs to adults, children, and veterans with disabilities, as well as facility dogs for healthcare, criminal justice, and educational settings. They have worked with the Cornershop Creative team for several years to create and manage their fundraising and email marketing campaigns.
What we did:
With Canine Companions’ email strategy, their team creates images and copy for their campaigns and then sends them our way. We set up the emails, targeting and lists, related forms and links, and tracking forms. Then we test the emails to ensure that they’ll get the best results possible. Once we’re confident in the campaign, we send the emails, tracking the results as they come in.
We’ve also worked together to create a variety of marketing assets like customized and user-friendly donation forms, email templates, autoresponse emails, P2P TeamRaiser campaigns, eCard campaigns, and more.
Why this works:
Our email projects with Canine Companions provide a great reminder of the importance of testing out your digital marketing strategies ahead of your campaigns. Remember to A/B test your forms, emails, and other assets prior to launching a fundraiser. If you aren’t able to conduct A/B testing, at least seek out feedback on the first few drafts of your assets before pushing them live!
Our other work with this organization goes to show that trying a variety of digital fundraising methods is your best bet for long-term success. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new types of campaigns!
4. CCAN Action Fund
The CCAN Action Fund is a Chesapeake Bay-based nonprofit dedicated to changing public policy at all levels to address the threats of global warming. They work to do so by engaging in voter education, lobbying, and election participation.
Each year, CCAN holds a raffle to give away a high-end electric vehicle. The organization reached out to Cornershop Creative to help them create a website where they could host the raffle themselves instead of going through a third-party site.
What we did:
Using WordPress (our favorite website builder!) and WooCommerce, we created the raffle website for CCAN, adding in several custom features along the way. These included a raffle with lottery functionality on WooCommerce, a countdown for ticket sales, a fundraising thermometer, a donor wall, and a flow chart.
CCAN also requested that the website look clean and modern, so we incorporated both attributes into our design.
Why this works:
There’s nothing like an exciting raffle (or similar giveaway-based fundraiser) to get your supporters excited about giving to your cause! We love the unique angle CCAN takes with this annual fundraiser. Remember that as long as it appeals to your donors and aligns with your larger mission and values, a digital fundraiser can take virtually any form!
This project also emphasized great web design. If you’re short on time ahead of your next digital fundraiser, prioritizing the look and user experience of your site is one of the best things you can do to get real results.
5. Jewish Federation of St. Louis
The Jewish Federation of St. Louis (JFSL) works to mobilize the Jewish community to preserve and enhance Jewish life in St. Louis, Missouri, Israel, and around the world.
The Cornershop Creative team has an ongoing retainer with JFSL, allowing us to consistently support the organization’s digital fundraising and marketing needs.
What we did:
Our work with JFSL involves many moving parts: website updates, Google Ad Grant management, search engine optimization (SEO), email list organization, and more.
One of our big focuses in this engagement, however, is driving more traffic to the JFSL website and offering an engaging experience for website visitors. In 2022, we helped increase JFSL’s number of website visitors by over 750%!
Why this works:
Great digital fundraising starts and ends with a great website. Once you’ve created your organization’s website, spend the time needed to direct attention to it and ensure that once people find your website, they want to stick around and explore it.
This is much easier with the help of a nonprofit web design agency, like Cornershop Creative!
How Cornershop Creative Can Help You With Digital Fundraising
It’s hard doing anything alone, but online fundraising can be particularly tough.
Across our team of 31, Cornershop Creative brings more than 100 years of combined fundraising and campaign implementation experience to the table to provide powerful insights into what resonates with donors online. We can connect you with copywriters, designers, developers, and other fundraising experts to help you:
- Design, optimize, and maintain an informative and beautiful website
- Create and implement successful email campaigns
- Build web applications and leverage your CRM’s integrations
- Optimize your website for performance on search engine results pages
- Manage and make the most of your Google Ad Grant account
Clever and unique digital fundraising campaigns are the most successful, and having a talented nonprofit web design consultant on your side can make sure you have the best campaigns for your supporters.
And, when you work with us, our partnership goes beyond the initial campaign launch. We’ll continue to support you through reporting and analysis on your campaigns that will help guide your future fundraising endeavors.
Digital fundraising holds the potential to boost your nonprofit’s fundraising results, increase your organization’s reach, and empower you to strengthen relationships with everyone who supports your mission online. Use this guide as inspiration to start designing your own strategy, and remember to turn to a nonprofit web design agency like Cornershop Creative for assistance with your digital fundraising needs!
Looking for more material on nonprofit web design and strategy? We’ve got you covered with these recommendations:
- Google Analytics for Nonprofits: The Ultimate Guide. Google Analytics is a tool that your organization can rely on to help boost its website’s performance. Learn how to make the most of it in this blog article.
- WordPress for Nonprofits: Themes, Plugins, and Tips to Know. WordPress is a fantastic website builder for nonprofit organizations of all shapes and sizes. This guide explores everything you need to know to create a great WordPress website.
- How to Create a Political Campaign Website: Tips & Examples. Do you need to create a website for a political office candidate? Look no further than this guide, where we’ll dive into the website builder features to look for, tips you need, and top examples.