22 Tactics Proven to Increase Online Donations

by | Apr 6, 2023

1. Become an Email Marketing Pro

Nonprofits can grow their online revenue by incorporating a few basic tactics into their email outreach. Segmenting donor lists, for example, is a simple yet effective strategy. Doing so will allow your organization to develop more tailored communications. The use of custom fields can add a touch of personalization that will help each email resonate better with readers.

2. Advertise on Social Media and Search Engines

Paid advertising helps nonprofits find new audiences and engage with their current supporters. Most social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit, support paid advertising. Google, the world’s most popular search engine, even provides ad grants to nonprofits, which can be a huge advantage for teams with limited budgets. These platforms allow you customize campaigns in numerous ways, such as limiting daily spend and narrowing your audience based on interests and other demographics.

3. Dive Into the World of Virtual Reality

Nonprofits eager to create an immersive fundraising experience will find opportunity in virtual reality. You can create virtual tours of program or impact locations, glimpses of behind-the-scenes action, or virtual fundraising events such as NFT auctions in virtual galleries.

Here’s a great example: Hope for Haiti embraced digital innovation by creating an interactive VR experience “modeled off one of our partner schools in rural Haiti” that anyone can download.

4. Boost Visibility with Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an effective way for nonprofits to raise money for specific events or initiatives. Well-known online crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe can put your cause front-and-center for millions of potential donors, giving your organization exposure to a wider audience. Many of these platforms allow you to add custom branding and video assets to your campaign page to help you stand out from the crowd. 

5. Secure an Employer Donation Match

Nonprofits can double the impact of online donations by tapping into corporate donor matches. A donation match is a not-so-subtle way to incentivize donors to give—and may even encourage them to make larger gifts. Your nonprofit doesn’t need to have a corporate partner: browse some well-known employer match programs that can help your team increase online fundraising revenue.

6. Use Text-to-Donate Tools

Today, 37% of Millennials use their phones to give to charity. How can donating become more convenient? Try using a text-to-donate platform, which can enable your donors to give via their mobile phones. Texting can also be an effective way to convey a sense of urgency to your supporters, meaning that it can be leveraged during time-sensitive campaigns.

7. Produce Video Content

Share your nonprofit’s impact and make your fundraising appeal with video content. Visual elements like videos are proven to increase engagement on social media, which can lead to more visibility on these platforms. Video can be included on your website, including donation pages, which can help drive home your message and help encourage donors to give.

8. Bring Your Fundraising Events Online

Online fundraisers like galas and auctions can be a digital fundraising goldmine. These virtual events can be promoted via social media and email outreach, which can help organizations raise money from a global audience. (Best of all, your attendees don’t have to spend money on flights, taxis or hotels to attend, and you won’t have to rent out a large space or hire caterers.)

9. Establish Giving Tiers

Your supporters should always feel connected to your nonprofit’s mission and appreciated by your team. One easy way to do both is to create giving tiers. By establishing tiers, using catchy names that resonate with your donors, you can create some excitement at every level of support, from your largest major gift donors down to your smallest. Adding incentives for each tier can subtly encourage donors to increase their gift.

10. Upgrade Your Donor Management Software

Donor management tools allow organizations to keep track of donor information, from basic personal details to giving histories. These tools can help nonprofits conduct donor analysis and build lists for targeted outreach campaigns. Fundraisers concerned with increasing donor retention and loyalty should invest in a modern donor management software tool.

11. Empower Supporters via Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Social media has proven the power of individual voices to activate online communities. Nonprofits can take advantage of this influence by embracing peer-to-peer fundraising. By doing so, your supporters can tap into their personal networks to raise funds for your cause. In turn, you’ll want to provide some basic templates and branded assets (and show plenty of gratitude).

12. Automate Giving with Recurring Donations 

Today, an estimated 45% of global donors are enrolled in a recurring or monthly giving program. Nonprofits that offer a recurring donation method make it easier for donors to support their cause. That’s because donors don’t have to be reminded to give again; they only need to enter payment information once. Doing so can also lower the pressure on your year-end fundraising campaign by providing a more stable funding stream throughout the year.

13. Gamify the Donor Experience

Nonprofits can liven up the giving experience for donors with a variety of gamification techniques. Increase fun and encourage engagement by using interactive features leaderboards, unique donor rewards for different giving levels, or progress bars.

14. Simply the Donation Process

This tactic doesn’t take one form, but applies more generally to fundraising best practices. For example: Have a clear gift acceptance policy that’s easy to locate on your website. Don’t bury your stock donation form or require stock donors to email you just to get started. The ideas are limitless, and by conducting an annual audit of your systems, you can identify easy, low-lift ways to improve the donor experience.

15. Diversify Revenue Streams with Crypto and Stocks

By accepting crypto and stock donations, nonprofits can diversify and increase their online fundraising revenue. It can also reduce an organization’s dependence on traditional cash donations, and help recession-proof your nonprofit from economic downturns or unexpected events. Crypto fundraising in particular opens doors for using NFTs in fundraising and tapping into a whole new donor demographic.

16. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

At least 80% of web users do so from their mobile phones. Nonprofits can improve their supporters’ donation experience by mobile-optimizing their donation pages. Having a mobile-friendly website increases the likelihood of your donors giving from their tablets or smartphones. With the increasing popularity of payment apps like ApplePay and PayPal, a clean mobile experience is more important for nonprofit websites than ever before.

17. Optimize Your Donation Page for Search

SEO is one of the best tools for acquiring new online donors. Optimizing your nonprofit’s donation page for search engines allows your website to show up in search results on Google, Bing, and other search engines. At minimum, your donation page should include your mission statement. However, there are dozens of other ways to boost your donation page’s ranking score, such as using SEO tools like Moz or SEMRush to find relevant search keywords for your cause.

18. Incorporate Pop-Up Chatbots

Pop-up chatbots allow your nonprofit’s website visitors to find information quickly. Chatbot tools come in a variety of forms, but most will make it easy for you to embed the chatbot, establish rules for when it appears, and create basic conversation sequences. Your chatbot can help donors walk through the giving experience and understand which types of donations you accept.

19. Ask for Micro-Donations

Fundraising by asking for a very small donation or “micro-donation” can help lower the bar for new online donor acquisition. Once your team decides what qualifies as a micro-donation, try using this ask in your communications to specific donor segments, such as lapsed donors. Your donation page can also have a micro-gift option for both one-off and recurring donations.

20. Improve Efficiency with Artificial Intelligence

Nonprofits can make use of artificial intelligence (aka “AI”) for a variety of tasks. Popular AI tools like ChatGPT and Jasper can be trained to generate content from specific information that you input, and even approximate your brand voice. Nonprofits with limited resources can use these tools to help develop social media captions, email content, landing page copy, and more.

21. Join Viral Campaigns and Movements

Activating your nonprofit during popular campaigns can increase online donations by activating your current donor base and boosting visibility to new potential supporters. Global campaigns like GivingTuesday are ubiquitous, but consider joining community-based giving events like North Texas Giving Day, or getting involved in awareness campaigns for specific causes or audiences, like World Water Day for water-related charities or Bag Season for cryptocurrency donors.

22. Update Your Donation Processing Solution

Your fundraising solution is the gateway to leveraging digital strategies that can increase online donations. Modern donation platforms can support peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, improve your donation page’s mobile experience, and enable you to accept multiple assets like cash, crypto and stocks. Put another way, using an outdated platform can limit your team’s fundraising success in the digital landscape. 

Maximize the Impact of Tools that Increase Online Donations 

If your nonprofit needs to increase online donation revenue, you have a wide variety of virtual fundraising tactics at your disposal. Fundraisers can use a combination of strategies such as video content, social media advertising, donation tiers, gamification, and viral campaigns to increase online donations. By using these approaches, nonprofits can engage with potential donors, build relationships with them, and encourage them to support their cause.

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