Part of our Virtual Fundraising Event and Gala series, view more articles here – Virtual Fundraising Events
Fundraising when normal business activity is hampered can be very difficult for nonprofits.
Fortunately, the implementation of internet-based transaction services has made the problem much easier to overcome. Nearly every demographic in the United States has become accustomed to donating online and effective security features ensure their contributions give them the confidence their dollars will make it to your organization.
Give your donor community the ability to fund your mission through online fundraising with online fundraising tools and peer-to-peer fundraising!
Many donors have already widely accepted online tools as a way to contribute through their mobile devices, laptops, and other computers. This makes it easier to donate more money and do it earlier than ever before. Donors can conduct transactions on their own, anytime, anyplace, and receive immediate payment confirmation within a matter of seconds. When they can attend an event, online tools allow them to register and purchase program tickets weeks ahead and skip out on some of the long lines on event night. And, this frees up the time your team has to spend processing transactions at check-in and check-out.
The fundraising doesn’t have to stop when your event concludes. These tools are meant to be used throughout the year. If a specific need arises, simply post a link on your social networks to your website where the tool is available. Invite your community to donate and share the link and soon you’ll find your reach as grown exponentially.
Online bidding tools should feature security tools, the capability to deposit funds directly into your bank account, and the ability to send notifications to your donors automatically. To help with your tracking, you should also look for a reporting feature that can be accessed at any time or day you need it.
The freedom and ease-of-use functioning of mobile bidding was just the solution the Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC), a Central Texan a resource center, needed to automate their fundraising. By adding it to their fundraising tools they were able to keep costs down during an event that grew from one run by volunteers to one that attracted over 850 guests. They are able to put the power of contributing in the hands of their donors, while still being able to track every dollar of their success.
Enlisting your donors’ network of friends, family, and colleagues through peer-to-peer fundraising provides an excellent opportunity to promote your cause to a wider audience, exceed your fundraising goals, and empower your greater community act on your behalf. This can be done two ways; either by sending out a formal email written by your marketing team to be delivered by the “peer” in your community or by promoting a “please donate” ask across your social networks and invite your community to share it on their own pages. This will open the door to your nonprofit to a wider audience and deepen your current donors’ commitment to your mission by actively involving them in your fundraising. The result? You’ll uncover new donors without the complexity and cost of delivering an in-person fundraising event.
To get your donors started with their own peer-to-peer fundraising encourage them to build a fundraising webpage with a simple-to-use web-based tool. Look for one that can be customizable, with email templates, opt-in/opt-out options, and the ability to include your nonprofit’s marketing and a landing page where donors can learn more about the mission from your nonprofit’s own website. A good platform will monitor participants’ fundraising pages, track donations, capture new donor information, report results, include security and encryption features, and accept and process credit card donations automatically. And donor hosts can either act as an individual or as a team of like-minded people.
Tips for Online and Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
1. Limit the number of items offered in a silent auction. Focus more on the quality of the item than the number. This will allow you to raise more money with less work and keep bidders from getting lost in a long list of desirable items.
2. Collaborate with partners who want to work on your auction. Recruit vendors and auctioneers who will be ambassadors for your cause and keep their networks actively involved.
3. Insist on good-quality photos of your auction items and include everything in your auction packages. Make it a point to write descriptions that will attract bidders with enticing descriptive word choices.
4. Study up on the platform you’ll be using prior to the announcing online events or adding it to your website. Invest in training courses and utilize the call support program if help is required. It’s easier to learn the details before using a program than to try finding and fixing mistakes afterward.