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Historically, many fundraisers have organized their year around specific projects at specific times – relying heavily on in-person events to inspire giving.
You may do an annual auction, year-end direct mail appeal, a spring gala, or similar event just because that’s the way it’s always been done.
But, there are drawbacks to this “project-style” of fundraising:
- Fundraisers are always focused on planning the next event, instead of being able to focus on long-term fundraising growth + donor relationships.
- There’s no repeatable process, leaving fundraisers frustrated and exhausted, having to start from scratch every time.
- Donor behavior has changed, making traditional fundraisers out-of-touch with today’s audience and not as effective as they once were.
And now, in the wake of the COVID pandemic, our lives have become virtual in ways that we didn’t expect. As fundraising moves increasingly online, those “project-style” fundraising strategies are no longer working the way they once did.
Donors’ preferences have changed. Our ways of working have changed. It’s time for you to change too.
What you need is a new playbook that centers the digital approach that helps you grow your fundraising online year-round.
Digital fundraising involves an ongoing, repeatable process that makes it easier for you to attract a wider audience online and deepen relationships with your community so that you can raise more online sustainably.
Digital fundraising is a “process-oriented” approach towards fundraising.
Instead of the project-style fundraising of years past, digital fundraising is about building an online community that drives donations on an ongoing basis.
This means that the best digital fundraisers are also the best digital marketers. The two go hand in hand, and the strategies that work in the digital marketing world are also applicable in the digital fundraising world.
Just like digital marketing, digital fundraising is about reaching the right person, at the right time, with the right message. Through digital, you can target specific people with specific messages, and really personalize the donor experience.
The Digital Fundraising Methodology contains three main steps: 1) Attract, 2) Nurture, 3) Convert.
The attract phase of the cycle expands your reach online. You can use strategies like SEO, digital advertising, increasing your social media presence, and more to attract prospective donors to engage with you online. The goal is to get people interested in your nonprofit so they give you their email or follow you on social, so you can stay in touch.
Once someone has engaged with your website, content, videos or Facebook page, you are able to “retarget” them and nurture them towards becoming a donor. This is where you deepen your relationship with strategies like email nurturing campaigns, storytelling, and impact driven content. Show your potential donors who you are and why they should care.
Once your prospect has gotten to know your organization, it’s time to ask for a donation. Make a strong ask across multiple channels and give your donors an easy giving experience on any device.
Now that you have acquired a new donor, it’s time to continue to attract them to your cause, nurture them with information, and convert them to donate again and again. This process builds a strong relationship between donors and organization.
Digital fundraising isn’t just a trending strategy among nonprofit fundraising professionals – it’s the present and future state of fundraising, and the key to your fundraising growth.
When planned for and executed properly, digital fundraising has immediate and long-term benefits for your organization.
Digital fundraising lends itself to long-term predictable and sustainable growth.
Unlike bringing in revenue only during a specific time, digital fundraising builds a strong support base that empowers you to fundraise year-round. You’ll quickly get ongoing revenue and data to help you decide what is and isn’t working.
A key benefit to digital fundraising is that it makes it easy for you to do your job.
Technology empowers you to automate processes and reduce redundant administrative work. This way, you can focus on what’s important: building relationships.
Digital fundraising helps to consistently drive more donations by broadening your online presence and converting more people to become donors.
And, when you prioritize giving these prospects a great online donation experience, you’ll be able to get more donations online.
In the past year, nonprofits have struggled to find ways to run their traditional programming and fundraising campaigns.
Digital fundraising allows you to adapt quickly to changes — you can easily make updates to your strategy, change up your website and your donation forms, and react to what’s happening right now.
This adaptability of digital makes it dependable in a post-COVID world.
Digital fundraising can take all kinds of forms. Each version has benefits, and each nonprofit can mix and match strategies to create what works for them.
Peer to Peer Fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising empowers your network to raise funds for you. Common ones are 5k runs, athletic challenges, and giving days.
Crowdfunding is the process of fundraising through a branded, personalized campaign website. Common ones include year-end fundraising, capital campaigns, and fundraising for a project.
Donation forms are embeddable, mobile-optimized, and customized forms that help you easily take donations. Common uses are to take donations on your website, recurring giving, and for targeted email campaign asks.
Ready to get started raising more year-round with digital fundraising?
- Articles: Read more digital fundraising best practices. Visit the blog.
- Webinars: Explore digital fundraising tips from our team in our free webinars. Explore webinars.
- Courses: Take one of our top-rated fundraising courses to help you become a digital fundraising pro. View courses.
- Product Tours: Take a tour of how CauseVox can help power your digital fundraising. Book a 1-1 demo.