You don’t have to be an epidemiologist to know that the COVID-19 pandemic could forever change us. Life may eventually get back to some semblance of what we once knew, but something will always be different in us. As for the world of nonprofit organizations, Robin Cabral of NonprofitPRO wrote a great article on how this all relates to fundraising. To summarize some of her points that hit home for our customers, fundraisers of the future are likely to have:
- Greater Risk Assessments | We will see a push for nonprofit boards to be much more risk aware and risk averse as they plan everything from events to fundraisers.
- More Diversification | Cabral calls for a diversification in fundraising events so that a nonprofit’s funds don’t come from a single source. It’s the old “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” adage.
- Higher Sophistication | Nonprofits will need to up-level their sophistication around recurring donations, donor loyalty and retention to maximize return on existing efforts.
- Up-to-Date Data | Utilizing a contact database tool is one thing, but actually having it populated with good, complete and up-to-date data is another. When times get tough, tapping into an accurate, engaged contact list can bring a much better return.
- An Emphasis on Online Fundraising | Not only could online fundraising tools cut costs in the event of a recession, they can also help prevent community spread of disease while that is still of concern.
Online Fundraising Tools for Nonprofits
This last point is key, most especially for the near term when many states are still on lockdown or close to it. There are many great online donation tools for nonprofits, each with its own unique benefits and price points. What we’ve focused on for the purposes of this list is tools that are made for accepting donations without a lot of fuss. Just sign up, plug in and let the virtual fundraising begin.
- Bonfire | Sell t-shirts without all the hassle. With Bonfire, just upload your design and when someone purchases a shirt, it gets printed and shipped to them. There are no upfront costs or subscriptions. https://www.bonfire.com/fundraising
- DonorsChoose | This is a unique online fundraising tool exclusive to schools. Teachers can set up projects they need help with in their classroom. Then, donors can choose which ones to support, from crayons to field trips. https://www.donorschoose.org
- EcoCards | Enroll your nonprofit as a charity on EcoCards, and the minimum $1 donation per card could go to you. This gives donors the power to choose where their donation goes, and supports the environment by reducing paper waste. https://ecocards.org
- Facebook Fundraisers | Raise money on the world’s most popular social network with Facebook. Add a donate button and allow people to fundraise on your behalf. The best part about using Facebook for nonprofit 501(c)(3) fundraising is that they cover the fees. https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers
- MailChimp | One of the world’s most popular email marketing platforms, MailChimp can do wonders for promoting online fundraising campaigns to your nonprofit donors. For nonprofits with under 2,000 contacts, the service is free. https://mailchimp.com
- MoneyMinder MyStore | MoneyMinder has partnered with payment processing tool CheddarUp so you can fundraise on your very own site and have it connected to your MoneyMinder account. The best part about this integration is that it’s made for groups and easy to transition or share duties with others. Pricing is 3.9% + $0.45 per transaction. For e-checks, the 3.9% fee is waived.
- Smile by Amazon | Believe it or not, one of the older online nonprofit fundraising tools is Amazon. Since 2013, the Amazon Smile Foundation has been giving 0.5% of profits to charities, chosen by users. It’s easy for nonprofits to get set up, and the shopper gets the same prices and selection as on Amazon.com. What’s not to smile about? https://org.amazon.com
- TapKat | Here’s something different for online fundraising: host your own sweepstakes. Choose a great prize and launch your sweepstakes where donations equal entries. https://tapkat.com/sweepstakes
It has been amazing to see the generosity of people as we have all faced this crisis together. We wish you the best of luck in both your fundraising efforts and your continued wellbeing. One final reminder. Don’t forget to be grateful. Showing a little gratitude while social distancing can help shine more light on the good in this world.