There is no universal strategy to help organizations raise funds. Organizations must continually adapt and adjust their tactics in order to be successful.

There is no universal strategy to help organizations raise funds. Organizations must continually adapt and adjust their tactics in order to be successful. Modern donor outreach campaigns now require personalized messaging that is customized for each individual giver. Furthermore, executive directors are often under additional pressure to find supplementary funds when faced with budget cuts, recessions, and other outside forces that affect nonprofit funding. Regardless of the current landscape, if an organization has the ability to incorporate some of the following tactics to donor acquisition strategy, they’ll have a better chance of meeting their goals.

Leverage Cause Marketing Partnerships

A great way to scale your donor base and exposure is by partnering with brands that have complementary products. Cause marketing aligns multiple audiences with similar interest. For example, UBER Giving provided a way for riders to donate items to local charities with free pickup and delivery services. According to Rachael Petitt, Marketing Director at Uber it was a successful initiative that generated millions of social media impressions with minimal cost.


Image Credit: UBER 

Upgrade Software and Improve Design

Acquiring new donors may be as simple as upgrading your internal database applications. Trying out new analytics or automation software could make a difference when attempting to explore untapped segments. Meredith Dunn from BETH Digital notes, “if your organization is ready to engage more constituents and strategize with greater accuracy, it’s time to put your donor data to work and start automating. Tailoring and targeting all begins with quality data. Tracking data about every touchpoint. Nonprofits shouldn’t be afraid of the wealth of data available, but use it to enrich their efforts.”

For those organizations that aren’t equipped to handle or implement significant data processes should seek out free resources such as Data Scientist Without Borders, whose mission statement focuses on their willingness to help organizations worldwide “that are trying to transform the world for good and need our expertise to solve data problems.”

In addition, the need for more user friendly design goes hand-in-hand with data management. One thing to consider is if there is a need for a design overhaul on landing pages or donation forms. It is now mandatory that responsive mobile-ready sites work cohesively with funding applications. If you currently have an app that represents your cause, take steps to enhance the experience with push notifications or in-app notifications. Software such as Localytics provide expansive notification options for mobile developers. 


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A recent add-on available on Facebook makes it a foundation’s best friend. There is now an option to receive direct donations through the application. Once your organization is approved, Facebook will provide a donate button that allows visitors to give funds without leaving your page. However, this feature does not come without a cost however. There is a small fee: “Nonprofits that have signed up directly for Facebook’s fundraising tools pay a 5% fee. Two percent covers costs of nonprofit vetting, fraud protection, operational costs and payment support. The remaining 3% covers payment processing.”

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Think Outside the Box

The 2017 Fundraising Awards recognize  organizations that succeed in reaching goals through various methods. A notable take away from the winner list is the competitive level of creativity. The following are a few causes that should provide a bit of inspiration.

British Heart Foundation

“With an improved user experience focused on enabling users to make donations and set up funds with the minimum of fuss, and modern, on brand visual design, the launch of these two products has seen impressive results, enabling the charity to improve average donations by 67% and increase total donations by 14%.” (Fundraising Awards).

Gift of Hope

Image Credit: 2017 Fundraising Awards

WWF – The Tiger Experience
“WWF Tiger Experience launched in July 2016 to give members of the public the chance to walk in the boots of anti-poaching rangers. Shoppers at two Westfield centres in London were invited to enter a pop-up forest combining educational elements, social media sharing prompts and a fully immersive virtual reality experience in which they’d come face to face with tigers.” (Fundraising Awards)

WWF Tiger Experience

If you need some more inspiration, don’t miss the Philanthropy NEXT conference, coming to D.C. on September 14, 2017! Learn more and register here:


Chris Poindexter is a digital marketing consultant fusing text and design to generate growth. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.