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Fundraising can be not only daunting but also very time and energy-consuming. If you’re reading this article, you might be finding yourself in a fundraising rut, struggling to find ways to freshen up your fundraising efforts.
Maybe you’re finding it hard to organize your fundraising activities, or you feel that your time is not well-spent.
If so, you’re in the right place.
Whether it’s signing up for an online donation platform or starting to use a CRM, there are lots of tools that nonprofits can use to drive their fundraising activities.
These online tools can help fundraisers save time and energy, streamline team communication and make sure projects are on time, as well as increase the organization’s reach and number of donations.
By choosing the right donation tools for your organization, you’ll have a higher chance of maximizing your organization’s revenue and furthering your mission. However, with seemingly endless choices available, it can be difficult to choose the right ones, especially when you might be juggling other responsibilities too.
To make it easier for you, we’ve come up with a list of fundraising tools to make raising money easier and more efficient:
First and foremost, to raise funds online, you need to have an online donation form.
GiveForms lets you seamlessly embed a form on your website, allowing visitors to donate using credit card, PayPal, Google Pay or bank transfers. With a focus on intuitive, human centered design, GiveForms can help you increase your online donations.
The donation forms are mobile-friendly, integrate Stripe, offer the option of monthly recurring donations and social network sharing. In addition to these, GiveForms also offers a plethora of other nonprofit-specific benefits to increase conversions.
The set-up is quick, with users being able to connect directly to their Stripe account and add forms to their website using a code snippet. The form is simple and beautifully designed and you can embed it directly onto your website or provide a link with which to open the GiveForm in a popup window.
GiveForms lets you process donations and donor information safely and securely online. You can also set predefined donation amounts, monthly recurring donations, and more.
When you make the online donation process hassle-free, you’re more likely to receive donations this way. The process of giving online should be simple and straightforward for your donors, as well as easy for you to set up and manage.
Simply put, in order to keep your nonprofit’s doors open and do your work, you have to have money. To have money, you need to raise funds. And to raise funds, you need to fully understand your audience.
There are many different intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence a donor’s capacity and willingness to give. One of the main ones concerns a donor’s income level, particularly when doing major donor outreach.
Therefore, when your nonprofit has a better understanding of your donor population’s wealth data, you can make more informed and effective fundraising decisions.
However, analyzing the potential giving capacity of your donors isn’t easy without the right technology. This is where Donor Search comes in. With Donor Search, wealth screening is an easy and efficient process that does not have to be a stumbling block for your team, saving time and energy.
By using Donor Search you can target tailored major gift solicitations to the right prospects and gauge the appropriate ask amount, raising more money for your cause.
Nonprofit fundraising is a lot about donor acquisition, but it’s even more so about donor retention. Donor retention provides a higher ROI than donor acquisition, not to mention it builds goodwill and great brand reputation. And good donor retention starts with data. Toyou need to have information about them, which requires being able to effectively manage and track donor data.
This isn’t always easy when the information is recorded manually, by multiple people, in multiple locations, or not recorded at all. Without a centralized and efficient way to track data, nonprofits miss out on the power of CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
A CRM solution like Salesforce helps you make data-driven decisions, optimizing your communications tactics and increasing fundraising potential.
Salesforce also offers The Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), a solution for managing relationships, fundraising, and programs in a single space and delivering a 360-degree view of your donors.
Use SalesForce to collect, organize and analyze your donor data and use that to improve the way you interact with donors. For example, you can look at supporters’ giving habits, analyze donor trends and engagement levels, and identify opportunities for larger contributions.
Matching gifts are often a very underutilized fundraising tool.
“Matching gifts are a type of philanthropy in which companies financially match donations that their employees make to nonprofit organizations. When an employee makes a donation, they'll request the matching gift from their employer, who then makes their own donation.” - doublethedonation.com
Essentially, 360MatchPro helps your donors understand their matching gift eligibility through a plethora of identification methods that are easy to integrate into your existing donation process.
You can also automate and target donors using email blasts to follow-up and activate matching gift opportunities.
Use 360MatchPro to dramatically increase your fundraising potential. Here are some stats to back it up:
84% of survey participants say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered. (Source: The Big-Give Research Initiative)
11% of total corporate cash contributions to nonprofits are made through matching gift programs. Corporations have donated a total of $26.0 billion to nonprofits in 2019. (Source: CECP Giving in Numbers Report, 2019)
1 in 3 donors indicate they’d give a larger gift if matching is applied to their donation. (Source: The Big-Give Research Initiative)
Mobilize says: “Think of us as your organization’s own private LinkedIn. A new approach to community that is purpose-built for driving engagement in this attention-starved, mobile-first era.”
You can use Mobilize to manage your volunteers through easy in-person and virtual event creation, automated communication tools, including pre-event messages and post-event surveys, peer-to-peer recruitment features to reach wider audiences, and more.
Successful fundraising and nonprofit management is a lot about community. Mobilized communities can support your revenue goals by donating more, talking about your organization more, engaging and attracting other donors and volunteers, donating time and knowledge, and so much more.
Bonfire is a t-shirt fundraising platform. With Bonfire, you can design and sell your own t-shirts.
The platform is easy to use and you can set a sales goal before you launch your fundraising campaign.
You can create designs for the t-shirts you are going to sell using Bonfire’s free online shirt design tool or you can upload your own t-shirt design.
You set the price of the shirt (the average is about $22). Your donors can then go online and purchase the t-shirts. Bonfire charges $10 per shirt to handle the printing and shipping logistics, after which all proceeds go to you. The entire process is quite hassle-free.
This is an excellent fundraising tactic to add to your wider fundraising strategy. While selling merchandise can be quite successful as a fundraising tactic, it’s often a cumbersome process. With Bonfire, it becomes smooth. Instead of getting stuck with a massive box of shirts you’re not sure are going to sell and scrambling around to try to ship them to the buyers -- much of this is handled for you. By using Bonfire, you can focus on campaigning and marketing.
Events are often a big part of a nonprofit's fundraising strategy. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, events are now more often virtual than not.
Accelevents integrated tool lets you promote, manage, and deliver your virtual or hybrid event.
Whether you’re hosting a small or a big event, Accelevents offers live streaming tools and focuses on relationship building among attendees and exhibitors using real-time chat and discussion groups.
You can also sell sponsorships and host virtual exhibitors who can manage their digital presence while interacting with attendees.
Stay up-to-date on your virtual event with their Real Time Dashboard so that you can quickly make informed marketing and logistics decisions at every stage of your event.
There are many other benefits too, from agenda management to allowing attendees to update their own personal data.
If you’re considering running a virtual event to take your fundraising strategy to the next level, this might be the right tool for you.
Fundraising is a complex process, and includes everything from social media and donor database management to events organization. Without the right project management tools, fundraising can quickly become a mess.
Here are few online tools to help you maintain your fundraising zen:
8. Google Drive
Google Drive integrates a variety of smart, secure business apps like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Drive, and Google Meet, keeping everything together and organized in one place so you can focus your energy and time on what truly matters.
Google Drive is useful for sharing and storing files with employees, volunteers, board members, and donors. You can also easily organize your content in different folders and easily find specific content by using the search function.
Team members also have the ability to edit and comment directly on shared documents without having to email multiple versions of documents back and forth.
Read more about best Google Workspace nonprofit tips in Google’s own article.
As a nonprofit fundraiser, you likely have a lot on your plate, meaning you don't have time to waste switching between dozens of tools.
This is where Zapier comes in. Zapier connects more leading web apps than any other platform out there.
Zapier lets you easily automate your daily workload—the organization, reminders, and day-to-day tasks.
With Zapier, you can automate tedious, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks which will allow you to clear your plate and focus on the more important work of serving your beneficiaries. Rather than going through your day trying to juggle between different tools, you get to spend your time creating and engaging.
Note: Nonprofits get a 15% discount on any plan to enjoy all of Zapier’s premium features.
Say goodbye to daily catch-up meetings and endless email threads, constantly asking your colleagues where the brand assets are, and checking in with your teammates about the status of the project. Instead, all of this can be done in Monday, making everything that much easier.
Monday is a cloud-based work management platform offering a simplified way for team and project management.
Monday lets you create and manage tasks, marketing campaigns, recruitment processes, design flows, and more.
You can assign tasks to team members at any given time with Workload. Dashboards let you track project progress, estimate workload of different team members, and monitor budgets.
The interface is visually appealing and very intuitive.
With Monday, you can keep track of your different fundraising activities, saving time and making sure you’re on track to meet your fundraising goals.
If you’re looking for something simpler or cheaper than Monday, or perhaps you’re just starting out, Trello might be the right choice for you.
Trello is composed of a board featuring a list of columns containing different cards. Those within the workspace can move around, edit, and contribute to these cards. A Trello board can be used for a variety of things. For example, you can organize the flow of tasks for one person or for a team.
You can also use Trello for content development process or partnership management.
If you’d like to get started, but don’t know how, here is Trello for NP Comms developed by Michelle from TheStoryTellingNonprofit. It’s a set of 9 pre-made Trello boards showing you how to make the most of Trello so you can achieve your communications goals.
We probably didn’t have to list this one after having been alive in 2020, but here it is in case you, by some miracle, missed it.
Zoom provides a reliable video communications system. It’s known for its ease of use, which has contributed to its rise to fame. For example, Zoom doesn’t require meeting participants to open an account in order to join a call, which creates a better user experience.
There are plenty of ways in which you can use Zoom as a nonprofit organization. Naturally, you can use it to facilitate team communication, but there are many other ways of using it too.
For example, you can organize donor briefings and board meetings on Zoom. Zoom also lends itself wonderfully to educational presentations and webinars, as well as staff and volunteer training.
You can organize one-on-one donor meetings to solicit gifts, or even deliver some of your nonprofit programs (where applicable).
Slack is a web and mobile-based communications app that facilitates team communication using organized channels. Slack also lets its users send direct messages, share files, and make calls.
Slack is great for any nonprofit organization, as it can help team members collaborate, share ideas, and ask questions -- all without needlessly cluttering email inboxes.
Slack is especially useful for remote teams (which many teams are now). Something that differentiates Slack from many other instant messaging platforms is that it lets users create custom discussion channels for different purposes. F
For example, you can create a channel just for social media campaigns or a channel just for your virtual silent auction.
Note: Additional apps are available as add ons that can help to make team communications even more efficient.
14. Google Meet
If you’d rather minimize the tools you use for communication with others, Google Meet might be the perfect choice for you.
If you already have a G-suite account or already heavily use Google Drive, Google Meet is a great option for quick group video conferencing. You can set up direct video calls through your Google calendar invites.
Stay in touch with your team on important fundraising activities and save time spent on scheduling the calls elsewhere and then emailing the link to your teammates.
Marketing and Design
While not used directly for fundraising, online tools that make design and marketing easier will have a direct impact on fundraising. After all, fundraising and marketing are inextricably linked. For example, almost no one is going to visit your donation page if they are not led to it by one of your marketing activities.
Imagine being able to design beautiful graphics without needing to know how to use Photoshop?
This is exactly what Canva enables you to do. Canva is a free graphic design platform that allows you to easily create social media posts, business cards, flyers, posters, and more using professionally designed templates.
You can use Canva’s extensive library of images and templates or upload your own photos and add them to Canva's templates using a drag and drop interface.
Its premium version, Canva Pro, offers even more tools to try out. For example, you can upload your brand assets to create branding consistency among campaigns.
With Canva, anyone on your team with a good eye can create visually appealing content for your nonprofit (even on the go using their mobile app), increasing the chances your content will be seen and engaged with.
Anyone who’s ever managed social media has likely experienced the overwhelm that comes with needing to be on top of all the posting and engagement across the different social media platforms.
Buffer is a social media management tool that makes this easier. Buffer simplifies the scheduling of your social media posts by letting you integrate all your accounts into one, easy-to-manage dashboard. Their platform is easy to use and also offers analytics to measure the performance of your posts.
Buffer also includes an Optimal Scheduling tool, which recommends the best times to post on each platform. You can even rearrange your posts as needed with the platform’s simple drag and drop editor.
With Buffer, you can up your social media game, boosting your fundraising efforts.
17. Google Analytics
To build robust fundraising strategies, you need to understand your constituency. And to understand your constituency, you need to manage your data effectively.
Google Analytics is a free analytics tool that can help you analyze your website traffic and measure the success of your marketing efforts.
With Google Analytics, you can measure organic search (users that land on your site through Google), your referral traffic (visitors that are directed to your site through another website), how long your visitors are spending per page and their conversion rate, and more.
Within Google Analytics, you can also set up a variety of goals that correspond to different user actions, such as:
- Signing up for your newsletter
- Signing up to volunteer
- Registering for an event
- Downloading a resource
When you use Google Analytics, you can really check what in your fundraising strategy is working and what isn’t: which blog posts are converting, how are people finding you, which guest blogs and social media posts were the most successful.
This allows you to tweak your external presence so as to bring in as many donations as possible for your cause.
Video is undoubtedly the most powerful engagement tool at disposal to nonprofits and businesses alike.
They have, slowly but surely, taken over the content space. Short, long, on Instagram Stories or YouTube...videos are here to stay.
- 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. (Google)
- Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year. (Insivia)
- By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. (Cisco)
WeVideo is an online video editor that lets you create videos quickly and easily. You can edit videos with zero upload wait time and choose from multiple formats.
Even more amazingly, WeVideo offers unlimited use of over 1 million pieces of stock media, including videos, images, and music tracks. Their Essentials stock library is commercially-licensed, royalty-free, and included free in business plans.
Use WeVideo to incorporate compelling, professional videography that pulls at your donors’ heartstrings, boosting funding.
By now, every nonprofit marketer has at least heard about the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful digital marketing strategy that helps your nonprofit earn valuable website traffic that turns into donations.
Moz is an SEO company that focuses solely on helping people run successful SEO campaigns.
With Moz, you gain insight as to how your audience ended up on your site (paid ads, search, or social media). You’ll better understand the keywords your audience uses to find your nonprofit. Equipped with this knowledge, you’ll be able to craft a more effective marketing strategy to bring in more donations.
Moz Pro crawler will dig through your site to find problems and fix them. Moz will then recommend remedies for the problems found, ensuring that the audience doesn’t have a negative experience on your site.
With Moz, you can also see if the campaign is performing well with your audience and track how you rank for certain keywords. You can also see how you rank for certain keywords compared to your competition.
By upping your SEO game, more prospects will find your nonprofit and learn about what you do.
Ready to start fundraising today?
Over the last few years, especially in 2020, we’ve witnessed a massive pivot to online fundraising. There’s never been a more ripe time in our collective history to swiftly shift to raising money online. While this can be intimidating for some fundraisers, especially those who haven’t done much fundraising online before, it’s also an incredible opportunity for nonprofit organizations of all sizes.
However, to really make use of this opportunity, investing in the right online donation tools is essential.
Get a headstart now and build out your digital fundraising toolkit using some of the tools we shared above!