How a Fundraising Consultant Can Help With Your Next Fundraiser


How do you know if you need a fundraising consultant? What services can a consultant offer?

In this article, we’ll go over some of the ways a fundraising consultant can help your nonprofit, but first, let’s define what a fundraising consultant is and what role they’ll play in your fundraising.

A consultant is a nonprofit professional with the knowledge, skill, and experience to help you reach your fundraising goals. Consultants can work with your nonprofit to come up with strategies that cater to your needs.

Additionally, they offer you services to help fill in the gaps when it comes to running a specific campaign.

Now, let’s go through seven ways a fundraising consultant can help your nonprofit: 

  1. Find fundraising software.
  2. Give you a fresh perspective.
  3. Research your supporters.
  4. Train your board of directors.
  5. Map out your fundraising strategy.
  6. Plan fundraising events.
  7. Create a donor stewardship plan.

Keep reading to learn more!

Fundraising consultants can help your nonprofit with fundraising software.

1. Find fundraising software.

Imagine that you’ve decided to host your first crowdfunding or peer-to-peer campaign, and you know you’re going to need a platform to host your fundraiser. However, you’re not sure where to start. You probably have questions like:

  • What features will I need?
  • What is the best platform to use?
  • How do I create my campaign?

Your nonprofit could always spend time researching crucial features and the top crowdfunding platforms. But is that really the best use of your time? 

That’s where a fundraising consultant can step in. Consultants have experience working on different kinds of fundraisers, so they can suggest software that they’ve used (and found successful) in the past.

Not only can fundraising consultants help you with finding the right software, but they can also teach you how to use it.

Even if you’re familiar with fundraising software, a consultant can still help you with:

  • Setting up new software – There is more software out there for nonprofits than we have time to name here so I’d suggest checking out an article that explores the topic more deeply like this one.
  • Migrating your information – For simple migrations, we suggest working directly with your CRM provider if your migration is simple. For complex migrations, consultants are the best route to go with.
  • Suggesting a payment processor – We recommend either going with an aggregator or with a dedicated merchant account depending on your organization’s size and amount of donations processed. In terms of dedicated payment processors, try to find someone that specializes in nonprofits and understands the commons challenges that arise with fundraising like iATS Payments.
  • And so much more!

No matter what level of software knowledge you have, a consultant can offer solutions to your challenges.

The bottom line: Don’t spend your valuable time searching for the right software to enhance your fundraiser. Use a consultant with first-hand experience and knowledge to suggest the best options for you.

Fundraising consultants can bring a fresh perspective to your strategies.

2. Give you a fresh perspective.

Maybe your nonprofit is looking to take your fundraising in a new direction. Why not bring in a consultant that can offer you fresh ideas? Instead of hiring someone on full-time, you can hire a fundraising consultant for a single project.

Experienced consultants have worked with many different organizations and know which fundraising ideas work. In fact, some of those ideas may be unique, creative suggestions that you never would have thought of on your own.

As an outsider, consultants can look at your nonprofit through the eyes of potential donors. Not only does this help you improve the fundraising experience, but it can also help you improve your:

  • Donor engagement and stewardship.
  • Different giving channels.
  • Fundraising events.
  • And so much more!

When you have a better understanding of what a donor wants, you’ll be able to answer the questions that many donors will have when they consider supporting your cause.

You may not be comfortable with every suggestion a consultant makes, but be open to their advice. Who knows? You might discover a new and effective approach to fundraising!

The bottom line: A fresh perspective may be exactly what you need to revive your fundraising and create new and unique ways to encourage donors to support your mission.

When you need help researching your supports, a fundraising consultant can help.

3. Research your supporters.

Whether you need help with prospect research or understanding your donors’ giving behaviors, hiring a fundraising consultant is an effective way to gain valuable insights into your supporters. If you don’t have a prospect researcher on your nonprofit’s team, you can hire a fundraising consultant to help you gain knowledge on your donors. 

In fact, there are nonprofit consulting firms whose entire focus is on gathering your supporters’ data and creating donor profiles.

Additionally, one of the most common services that consultants offer is a feasibility study. The study can help your nonprofit figure out if you have the means to run a successful fundraiser. The study also includes prospect research, which helps nonprofits identify major gift donors.

In addition to learning more about your prospects, a consultant can also help you analyze data on your supporters’ giving habits. The data that you gain from your supporters will help you improve your fundraising, solicitations, and engagement. With this information, you can tailor your fundraiser to meet your donors’ preferences.

For example, if you find out that a good percentage of your donors give through their mobile devices, you can create an event that focuses on mobile giving or that encourages donors to use their phones.

The bottom line: Researching your donors is an important step in the fundraising process. With the help of a fundraising consultant, you can gather and analyze the data that can inform your approach.

Training your board of directors is a service that most nonprofits offer.

4. Train your board of directors.

Good fundraising starts with a strong leadership team to help guide your nonprofit in the right direction. With a well-trained and motivated board, your nonprofit can:

  • Solicit donations from major donors using your board members.
  • Have the right guidance and leadership to achieve your goals.
  • Be successful in your future fundraising.

The approach that a consultant will take to train and ignite your board members will be different depending on the consultant. However, you should look for training that includes three factors:

  1. A comprehensive evaluation – Even before your consultant starts training, he or she should review your board and your nonprofit to see what areas need the most work. That way, you get training that is specifically tailored to your nonprofit’s needs.
  2. A detailed board work plan – The plan will describe the changes that need to be made and how you and your board can put those improvements into effect.
  3. New practice implementation – Don’t pick a fundraising consultant who just gives you the strategies to improve your board of directors. The consultant should help you put the new practices in place so that you aren’t making these changes all on your own.

With a consultant by your side, you’ll be able to to train your board so that they can help guide your nonprofit.

The bottom line: If you want to help your board members become better leaders, then you should consider hiring a consultant to help train your leadership for success.

A fundraising consultant can help you create a fundraising strategy.

5. Map out your fundraising strategy.

One of the most important parts of fundraising is the strategy or approach you use to raise the funds. While fundraising is not new to you or your nonprofit, you may need help creating a plan that is more effective and helps you reach your goals.

Remember that your strategy isn’t just for you, but it’s also for your entire staff and volunteers, so your strategies should be easy to understand.

If you want guidance on how to create a strategy, a consultant can align your goals, budget, and available resources to create a plan that will put your nonprofit on the right track.

A fundraising consultant can help you create a strategy that: 

  • Establishes your priorities and vision.
  • Empowers your team.
  • Maps out the steps to reach your goal.

Consultants can not only help you create a plan, but they can also help you implement it. If you’re not sure where to start, they will provide you with the necessary steps.

Even if you’ve made multiple strategies in the past, consultants can still be a helpful resource. They can give you a different outlook on your fundraising and identify challenges that you never considered. Plus, they can offer you best practices to make your fundraising strategies even better!

The bottom line: To have a successful fundraiser, you need a solid strategy in place to ensure that your nonprofit goes in the right direction. A fundraising consultant can help you create a plan that will take your fundraising to the next level.

A fundraising consultant can assist you with managing your events.

6. Plan fundraising events.

If you’re handling a new type of fundraising event or one that requires a lot of work to run, you can hire a consultant to help you manage it. That way, you can focus on interacting with donors and raising funds.

A fundraising consultant can help with your event from start to finish, whether that entails creating a strategy for your campaign, helping you train your volunteers for the event, and/or creating marketing materials. Of course you can hire a consultant to complete one or two tasks or help with your entire event.

Fundraising consultants have the strategies to plan and execute an event that will help you raise funds and stay on budget.

For instance, if you want to host a charity auction, which requires a lot of planning and funds to host, your consultant can help you find businesses that offer in-kind donations and event space.

Additionally, a consultant can assist you with more than just planning for your campaign; they can also help you with the engagement that happens during and after your event.

The bottom line: Fundraising consultants can help you plan and manage your event so that you can focus on more important things like reaching your goal!

Bonus: If you need more help with planning a fundraising event, you can find it here.

Even after the fundraising is over, a fundraising consultant can help you create a donor stewardship plan.

7. Create a donor stewardship plan.

After you’ve reached your goal, you can now celebrate your success, right? Not quite. After your fundraiser is over, you have the opportunity to start cultivating relationships with your donors, and a fundraising consultant can help you even after all the funds have been raised.

That’s what makes working with a consultant so great; you can continue working with them to improve your stewardship and your next fundraising endeavors. The relationship never stops (if you don’t want it to)!

Here are few ways a consultant can help you with your donor stewardship:

  • Create a plan of action for how you’ll reach out to donors.
  • Design and write a welcome packet that you can send to first-time contributors.
  • Suggest other ways for your nonprofit to interact with supporters.
  • And so much more!

A consultant can help you create the best cultivation strategy for your nonprofit. For example, your consultant may help you draft emails that you send to donors after they’ve made a contribution.

Stewardship is an important part of the fundraising process, but it often doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Effective stewardship doesn’t have to be overly complicated. As Brady Josephson explains, donor stewardship boils down to two things your nonprofit can do: know and care for your supporters. Consultants can help you figure out practical ways to both learn more about your donors and show you care.

While donors may support your nonprofit once, with the proper stewardship plan, your donors will want to support your cause in the future.

The bottom line: Fundraising doesn’t stop once you’ve reached your goal. A fundraising consultant can help you take the necessary steps to start establishing relationships with donors after the fundraiser.

BonusLearn more about donor stewardship.

Hiring a capital campaign consultant can be a helpful way to amplify your fundraising and find strategies that will help you be successful.

If these seven ways got you interested in working with a consultant, you can start your search today. Not sure where to start? Look at these top fundraising consultants to start your search.

Request a free trial of Fundly CRM today!

5 Ways to Enhance Your Membership Renewal Letter

5 Ways to Enhance Your Membership Renewal Letter

For nonprofits with membership programs, retention is everything. No matter how engaging or profitable your membership program is, if you can’t convince members to come back year after year, you’ll never achieve true progress or growth.

Luckily, there’s one oft-overlooked aspect of the member stewardship game that you can leverage to maximize your retention rates and supercharge your membership program. We’re talking about the ever-so-crucial membership renewal letter.

Though you might perceive these pesky communications as necessary evils, there is a way to ensure your renewal letters are more than just a requirement. They’re a way to engage your members and remind them of the value of the membership experience (while asking for a donation in the form of a membership fee).

In fact, if you follow our tips, you might even start to enjoy the renewal process—and more importantly, so will your members!

We’ll help you take your member renewal letters from okay to amazing in just 5 simple steps:

  1. Get personal.
  2. Take your members down memory lane.
  3. Understand the urgency.
  4. Stay gracious.
  5. Don’t forget the details.

Let’s begin!

Get personal

1. Get personal.

More than likely, you’ll utilize your membership management software to help you create and send large batches of renewal letters. Because these communications are often automated (or aided by your database), it’s easy to get lost in the transaction and forget to include a human touch.

Even though it’s an easy mistake, this error is more fatal than you might think!

For nonprofit organizations, your members are your most dedicated constituents. Not only do they give on a recurring basis and participate in engagement activities, but they set themselves apart by actually identifying themselves as part of your organization.

Since your members are so deeply invested in your nonprofit, it’s important to show the same level of respect and appreciation for them. By interacting with members in a personal way, you’re showing them that they’re not just a face in a crowd—they’re valued on an individual level! 

You should make your letter as personal as possible by including:

  • An accurate, friendly greeting. You should know your members well enough not to refer to them as “Dear Member,” so call them by their (correct!) first name. Use your database to ensure accuracy, and always double check to make sure the right letter is going to the right person.
  • A personable tone. This letter is more than just a formal invoice of members’ dues, so don’t fall into the trap of taking a transactional approach. Let your members know that you’re excited to have them contribute for another year, not just to receive their money!
  • A short handwritten note. If possible, have your membership director add a brief handwritten note to the end of the renewal letter. Especially if you’re a local organization or have interacted personally with this member before, adding a personal touch can go a long way.

When you use your member renewal letter as an opportunity to remind your members how much you care about them, you’ll be much more likely to see eager renewals.

The point is: Don’t treat your members like they’re nothing more than their membership fees. Show them you value them by crafting a letter that’s personal and friendly, and you’re sure to see your retention rates soar.

Take your members down memory lane

2. Take your members down memory lane.

Before you launch into a request, take a paragraph to remind your members how far their membership fees have gone to further your organization’s cause and enrich their lives since their last renewal.

Look at it this way: your members have other expenses too, and they likely can’t afford to shell out membership fees for an organization that hasn’t given them their money’s worth. If they can’t remember what last year’s dues paid for, they definitely won’t see the point in signing up for another go-round! 

To prevent that from happening, spend some time briefly recapping the value of their membership. If member stewardship has been a priority (and we hope that it has!), you’ll have no issue coming up with a highlight reel of all your membership program has done (and all your members have done for your membership program).

You might want to remind your members of any (or all) of the following:

  • Impact on your cause or community. Did you raise a record amount for your charity’s mission? Perhaps your members’ volunteer efforts had a radical effect on your community. Whatever the case, your nonprofit probably accomplished a lot last year with the help of your devoted members, so let them know you couldn’t do it without them.
  • Member engagement activities. One of the strongest benefits to membership programs is the community they naturally foster. Your events and programs have likely worked to develop a supportive group of like-minded individuals, so make sure this benefit is at the front of your members’ minds.
  • Services and opportunities. Does your membership program offer exclusive content or services for members? Don’t let them forget! Whether you had an educational speaker at your member get-together or hosted a conference, remind your donors how much your organization has helped them learn and grow this year.

You don’t want to spend too much time celebrating the past year’s successes (that’s what your year-end newsletter is for), but you do want to make your rationale clear: your members can’t get the experience of this membership program anywhere else!

The point is: Take some time to help your members recall the value of your membership program. By briefly going over the impact of your program, you’ll have no problem recruiting them for another year.

Understand the urgency

3. Understand the urgency.

As much fun as it is to rehash old times, you can’t avoid the purpose of your letter for long. By the second or third paragraph, it’s time to ask your members to renew their membership.

At this point in the letter, we can’t stress enough the importance of being to-the-point. If membership dues have increased since the last renewal period, tell your members directly. If you want to ask them to upgrade their membership level, quickly explain why and how. If you’re too vague, your members might think you’re hiding something from them, so just be clear from the start.

While you don’t want to be curt, you do want to stress that this is a matter best handled as soon as possible. When members feel they can put off their renewal for a later date, it increases the odds that they won’t ever get around to renewing—and you can’t let that happen! 

Encourage your members to act sooner rather than later by using the following strategies:

  • Include your application form. Take away the guesswork by including a link to your membership application, or a paper copy if your renewal letters are sent by mail. For the best results, make sure your form is user-friendly and well-designed. (Take a look at this article to learn how to optimize your application form!)
  • Make renewals easy. Membership management software can streamline the renewal process for both you and your members. Depending on your provider, you might even be able to include an automated renewal option on your application form or your website’s member portal.
  • Incentivize early renewal. If you’re having a hard time securing early or even on-time renewals, it might be time to up the ante. Though not realistic for every organization, providing benefits for those who take immediate action can seriously pay off. Consider offering a discount if members renew within two weeks of receiving their first renewal letter.

Don’t let your members lapse due to forgetfulness; convince them to secure another year’s involvement as soon as they receive their letter!

For more on requesting donations through letters, check out this post!

The point is: Get to the point quickly and make the pitch your members have been waiting for. Ask for their renewal in a direct, positive way, and make sure the renewal process is easy enough for them to complete on the spot.

Stay gracious

4. Stay gracious.

Remember the bottom line here: your members make your membership program possible. Without their contributions and involvement, you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on, so show them your gratitude as you ask for their renewal.

Throughout your letter, write with a tone of respect and thankfulness. Don’t ever be demanding!

Moreover, you might consider the following thank-you protocol for both your letter and the follow-up:

  • Close your letter with sincerity. Gratefulness should be the last thing your members see in their member renewal letters. Don’t overdo it (and risk cheesiness), but do include a sincere line to reiterate how appreciative you are as you close your letter.
  • Keep communication open. By failing to include follow-up details for your organization, you’re assuming your members will renew without question. On the contrary, make sure they’re aware that your team is eager to answer any and all of their questions by providing relevant contact information, including a specific point person on your team.
  • Send a thank-you note. Instead of only automating an acknowledgement or receipt, you should send your member a personalized thank-you note as soon as possible. An email is fine, but a handwritten note from your membership director or a board member can reiterate your personal connection to your members.

Gratitude during the renewal period is a major step toward member retention in the long run. Start on the right foot this membership term by proving to your members how much you value them (and avoiding tricky membership engagement mistakes along the way).

The point is: You can’t thank your members enough for what they do for your organization, but you can certainly try! Be gracious throughout your letter and always follow up personally as soon as you can.

Don't forget the details

5. Don’t forget the details.

We can’t talk about effective membership renewal letters without discussing at least a few technical details!

The smallest elements can push your letter to the next level, so let’s break down a few key technical components you can’t ignore: 

  • Keep it concise. As you edit your letter with our tips in mind, you might see your letter growing and growing to include all the necessary elements. Keep in mind that your members are busy and don’t have time for long-winded letters! A page is plenty to get your message across, but definitely don’t got over a 2-page limit.
  • Be persistent. While we’ve only been referring to the membership renewal letter as a singular communication, don’t be fooled into thinking you can get away with sending only one request. Start sending renewal reminders as early as a few months before membership expiration. (Hint: your software can automate these reminders so you don’t have to keep up with them!)
  • Don’t forget lapsed members. Have some members who missed the renewal window? Don’t let them lapse without sending a final reminder. This can be a good time to provide incentives, especially for long-time members.

The point is: Don’t forget the minor details of your renewal letter, from timing to length. Be thoughtful as you review your letter, and your members will appreciate the attention to detail!

Member renewal letters don’t have to be a hassle, for you or your members. When you send a letter that’s engaging and sincere, your members will notice (and they’ll be excited to sign up for another year!).

Need a little extra help crafting your letter? Check out this guide from Neon!

And for more on membership programs, check out these additional resources:


Five ways you can raise funds for your capital campaign.

5 Ways to Raise Money for Your Capital Campaign (Plus Planning Tips!)

If you’ve launched a fundraiser, then you know just how difficult it can be to raise money without large expenditures. For capital campaigns, this is especially true. To raise significant funds during your capital campaign, you’ll need to be resourceful and open to all kinds of fundraising avenues.

So how do you raise money for your capital campaign?

Your nonprofit can fund your capital campaign through many different outlets, and we have five suggestions for you.

Plus, we’ve got a bonus section with resources to help you plan every aspect of your campaign!

Let’s get into the five ways you can raise money:

  1. Start a crowdfunding campaign.
  2. Encourage matched giving.
  3. Optimize your online donation forms.
  4. Apply for challenge grants.
  5. Ask companies for contributions.

If you’re ready to get started with your capital campaign, check out our recommended resources.

Crowdfunding is a great way for you to raise money for your capital campaign.

1. Start a crowdfunding campaign.

If you want to raise funds for your capital campaign, then you should consider planning a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding is a type of fundraising that uses social sharing to spread the word about your fundraiser to your supporters and their network of peers. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Your organization will set a goal and create a page.
  2. On your page, you’ll post your story with images and videos to encourage donors to give.
  3. Once your page is ready, you can share it with your supporters.
  4. Your supporters (and first-time donors) will come to your page and make a contribution.
  5. After donating, supporters can share your page with their network to encourage their peers to give.

You and your contributors will continue to share your crowdfunding page until you’ve reached your goal or deadline.

One of the most important parts of having a successful crowdfunding campaign is picking a platform. With the right platform, you’ll have all the features you need to run a successful campaign.

If you’re not sure what to look for, you should find a platform that lets you:

  • Track results. You can see your campaign’s progress and know how much donors are giving.
  • Display your goal. With fundraising thermometers, you can show your supporters how far left you have to go.
  • Share your crowdfunding page. You want supporters to have a way to easily share your page.

Of course, there are many other features that make a great crowdfunding platform, but these are the most important ones to look for. Create a list of important capabilities for your nonprofit so that you can prioritize what you want.

Additionally, many platforms are specifically made for different types of fundraising. For instance, there are specific platforms for colleges and universities (USEED), creative projects (Kickstarter), and general fundraising (Fundly).

If you’re not sure what platform is right for you, check out our list of crowdfunding platforms.

Pro Tip: Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for your capital campaign because it doesn’t cost a lot to run, and you can gain new contributors in the process.

Promote matching gifts as a way to raise money for your capital campaign.

2. Encourage matched giving.

Many companies have matching gift programs where they will match their employees’ donations to a nonprofit. As long as the employee submits the right paperwork before the deadline, and the nonprofit meets all the requirements, the company will send a donation of the same size.

Typically, companies match gifts 1 for 1, but some companies match at an even higher ratio!

Since donors can double their donations without having to open their wallets for the second time, they’re likely to pursue matching gifts as long as they’re aware of the option.

The truth is that many donors don’t know about their company’s matching gift program, and if they do know, donors don’t know how to submit a request. It’s your nonprofit’s responsibility to educate donors about matching gifts.

So how do you promote matching gifts?

You can do this by reminding them about matched giving throughout the donation process and making it easy for donors to find information on their company’s program.

If you’re not sure how to promote matched giving, you can:

  • Make a dedicated page on matching gifts.
  • Include a way for donors to search for their company’s program on your donation forms.
  • Remind donors of matching gifts after they donate.
  • Post information about matching gifts on social media.
  • And so much more!

The great thing about matching gift programs is once you educate donors on the process, they’ll likely submit a request every time they contribute.

Pro Tip: Your nonprofit can promote matching gifts before and during your capital campaign to double the funds you raise.

Raise funds for your capital campaign by optimizing your online donation forms.

3. Optimize your online donation forms.

It’s important to improve your online donation forms so that donors will stay long enough to confirm their donation.

When a form is too long or complicated, donors are likely to abandon the page out of frustration before completing their donation. In fact, 60% of donors abandon their donations for these reasons (source). If your donation process isn’t optimized, you could be missing out on a lot of donations!

In addition to making your forms easier to use, you can add features that encourage donors to give more. With optimized forms, you have the potential to raise even more money for your capital campaign.

Let’s go over how you can optimize your donation forms:

  • Make your donation forms mobile-friendly.
    Mobile giving is a type of online donation that occurs on—you guessed it!—a mobile phone. While it’s more convenient for donors to give on their mobile phones, the experience of giving is different than using a computer. For that reason, you need to adjust the donation process to fit a mobile phone.
  • Keep the donation forms short.
    Even though it’s tempting to ask donors multiple questions on your donation forms, it can cause some donors not to give. Don’t lose donors by making your forms too long to fill out. Instead, keep your forms to one page. That way, donors can see everything that they need to complete and gauge how long it will take them.
  • Use donation amount buttons.
    Donation buttons provide donors with preset donation amounts that they can choose from. It makes the giving process faster because donors don’t have to enter an amount. Plus, having suggested amounts encourages donors to give more. They will think everyone is using the buttons and feel like the amounts are good size gifts to donate.

When you optimize your donation forms you’ll make it easier for donors to contribute to your cause, which could lead to more donations.

Pro Tip: Optimizing donations can help make sure that donors have an easy way to donate to your capital campaign during the open phase.

Challenge grants is one option your nonprofit can use to raise money for your capital campaign.

4. Apply for a challenge grant.

As you raise funds for your capital campaign, you should apply for a challenge grant. Specific grant making institutions give funds to organizations who raise a certain amount of money. 

Since you’ll be raising funds for your capital campaign, you can receive even more money if you complete a challenge grant! Plus, applying to grants doesn’t require a lot of money, so more of the funds can go towards your campaign.

Each challenge grant that you apply for will be slightly different. Therefore, it’s important to understand what the requirements are before you apply. Most challenge grants have guidelines regarding the:

  • Time frame: The deadline for when you need to reach the goal will vary depending on the grant. For example, you might have a year to raise the funds or just a few months.
  • Type of nonprofit: Some grants are for specific types of nonprofits. Do your research to see if your nonprofit qualifies for the grant you’re applying to.
  • Kind of donation: For some grants, not every gift will qualify as a donation that can go towards the challenge. For instance, the funds you raise when a donor registers for an event might not be considered a “donation,” while gifts made on your online donation form will count.

Start researching the different foundations, institutions, and corporations that offer challenge grants. When you know more about the challenge that you’re applying for, you can increase the chances of successfully reaching your goal.

A challenge grant is a great way to raise money for your capital campaign because you don’t have to do anything extra to earn the funds. All you have to do is just continue your other fundraising efforts to raise enough to meet the challenge.

Pro Tip: Applying for a challenge grant is a great way to raise funds because you can continue raising funds like you normally would. Just remember to know all the guidelines before you apply.

Don't forget to ask companies for donations when you're raising funds for your capital campaign.

5. Ask companies for contributions.

Individuals aren’t the only ones you can ask for donations. Have you thought about asking businesses to support your capital campaign?

Many companies support fundraisers like capital campaigns because it shows their philanthropic side. In fact, many large corporations offer grants that can help fund your campaign.

Seeking contributions from companies can also help you develop meaningful partnerships with businesses.

In addition to monetary donations, companies can offer your capital campaign in-kind donations. Since most campaigns require resources to plan, companies can donate technology, supplies, and other items to help with your campaign. 

If you’re interested in asking companies for contributions (and you should be!), then do some research first. Figure out what types of philanthropic programs are available.

Typically, companies have guidelines on what kind of organizations they support; you want to be aware of these guidelines before you ask.

Pro Tip: While the majority of your donations may come from individuals, you can still ask companies for contributions.

Bonus: Recommendations to get started on your capital campaign.

Planning a capital campaign requires a lot of steps before you can start asking for donations. You might be wondering where to begin.

Luckily, we’ve got a couple tips to help you plan your capital campaign so that you can get started on the right foot.

A. Talk to a capital campaign consultant.

If you’re not sure where to go with your capital campaign, then you should consider hiring a capital campaign consultant.

A consultant will help you plan out your campaign and create a strategy to help reach your goal. If you’re not familiar with capital campaign consultants, they can help you with:

  • Writing and designing your case for support.
  • Performing your feasibility study.
  • Creating marketing materials for your campaign.
  • Training your leadership.

You can hire a consultant to help you with your entire campaign, or you can have them complete a few tasks.

To find a consultant that will fit your needs, you can start by looking at nonprofit consulting associations like the Giving Institute and focus on consultants that specialize in capital campaigns. While resources like this will provide you with long lists of professionals, you can narrow down your search by asking other organizations in your network for references.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, you can request proposals from your top choices to gain a better understanding of the strategies they think will work best for you nonprofit. These proposals should include specifics like the responsibilities of both the consultant and nonprofit, estimated cost, and desired outcome.

With this information, you can choose the consultant that best meets your needs.

B. Start researching donors for your feasibility study.

One of the first things that you should complete when you plan for a capital campaign is the feasibility study. The information you gain will help you determine if reaching your campaign goal is possible. 

You need to know if you have a large enough donor base to contribute enough to reach your goal. A part of the study includes researching donors to see if they have the capacity to contribute major gifts, as this will be where most of the funds for your campaign come from.

C. Understand the capital campaign timeline.

Capital campaigns are unique from other fundraising efforts because they have distinct phases that dictate when to ask for contributions from certain donors. Let’s look at the five critical stages of a capital campaign:

  1. The planning phase is when you conduct your feasibility study and write your case for support.
  2. During the quiet phase, you’ll start soliciting donations from your major gift donors. This is when you’ll raise the majority (50%-70%) of your goal.
  3. You’ll announce your capital campaign to the general public during the kickoff phase. Typically, this phase includes a formal event, thanking those who have already contributed and informing the press of your project.
  4. The open phase is when you’ll raise the rest of the funds from your other supporters. To broaden your reach, you can launch other fundraising initiatives like a crowdfunding or peer-to-peer campaign.
  5. Once you’ve reached your goal, it’s time to thank all of your supporters in the stewardship phase.

Understanding the capital campaign timeline will make it easier for you to plan how you’ll market your campaign during the different phases.

Learn more about the basics of capital campaigns.

Pro Tip: Starting a capital campaign is a lot of work. Don’t start one on your own. Seek out the help of a consultant, research your donors, and understand the campaign timeline to see if now is the right time to launch your campaign.

You can learn more about capital campaigns with this helpful guide.

Hopefully, these fundraising ideas have inspired you to try new ways to raise money for your capital campaign. Good luck fundraising!

For more information about planning for a capital campaign, check out this step-by-step guide.

To learn more about how you can raise money for your capital campaign, check out these additional resources:

  1. 127 Amazingly Easy (And Profitable!) Fundraising Ideas
  2. Crowdfunding 101
  3. Crowdfunding Tips: Quick and Easy Ways to Raise More Money

Raise more money for your capital campaign and start a crowdfunding campaign with Fundly!

Matching gifts- Top 3 tips for raising more money

Matching Gifts: Top 3 Tips for Raising More Money!

While there are many different ways for your nonprofit to give your matching gift strategies a boost, the following tactics serve as general best practices.

Take a look at these top three tips for matching gift success!

  1. Make it easy for donors to find more information
  2. Track your progress
  3. Attend a nonprofit conference for more inspiration

Matching gifts tips - Make it easy for donors to find more information about matching gifts

1. Make it easy for donors to find more information

In an ideal world, all of your donors would work for companies that double their donations and they would all submit matching gift requests without your nonprofit having to do anything.

But alas, our world is imperfect, and many donors are unaware that their employers even offer matching gift programs, much less what the process is for submitting a request.

Your nonprofit’s job, therefore, is to make matching gift information easily accessible to your supporters.

You can let donors know about matching gifts:

  • On your website.
  • Throughout the donation process.
  • Within your social media posts.
  • In email newsletters.
  • In thank-you letters and emails.

The possibilities are endless. When you give donors the chance to learn more about matching gifts, you’re enabling some of them to potentially double their donations.

Matching gifts tips - Track your progress

2. Track your progress

You won’t know how effective your matching gift marketing strategies are unless you track your progress over the course of months or years.

While there are numerous metrics you should be measuring in general, taking the initiative to keep up with the number of matching gifts you receive is crucial to determine your matching gift success.

We won’t go too far in depth here, but the basic metrics you’ll need to measure include:

  • How many matching gifts you receive from donors’ employers.
  • The value of those matching gifts.
  • The percentage of matching gifts you received out of the total number of donations that came in.
  • The percentage increase in value of matching gifts over time.

Measuring these metrics will help you plan for the future and adjust your marketing strategies as you go along.

Matching gifts tips - Attend a nonprofit conference for more inspiration

3. Attend a nonprofit conference for more inspiration

Sometimes, it’s useful to get out of the office and take a walk.

But it’s even better to get out of the office to attend a nonprofit conference! These conferences are a great place to learn about anything from stewardship to donor acquisition to — you guessed it — matching gifts.

Find a local conference that you and members of your team can attend to learn more about how to incorporate matching gifts into your fundraising efforts. Not only will you gain many new insights, but you’ll also expand your network of colleagues that can share their own tips and tricks.

These matching gift tips are great to keep in mind when you’re planning your matching gift marketing strategy. By reaching out to donors in different ways, tracking your progress over time, and attending a nonprofit conference to get a fresh perspective, you can achieve matching gift success!

And don’t forget to check out our guide to matching gifts to learn even more!

How to promote matching gifts to donors

Matching Gifts: 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Raise More Money

If your nonprofit isn’t looking to corporate matching gifts to help give your fundraising a boost, you should be! Matching gifts are a way for companies to demonstrate their corporate philanthropy to the organizations that their employees care deeply about.

Your nonprofit benefits by receiving twice as many donations from some of your donors! While not all of your supporters work for companies that match their donations, your organization can still promote matching gift programs to your contributors to boost your fundraising.

Even though everyone isn’t eligible, it’s still worthwhile for your nonprofit to promote matching gifts to all of your donors.

Here are the top four ways your nonprofit can start raising more money from matching gifts.

  1. Within the donation process
  2. On a dedicated matching gift page
  3. In your email newsletters
  4. Across your social media communications

Market matching gifts within the donation process

1. Within the donation process

The most obvious time to let donors know about matching gifts is when they’re in the middle of giving to your organization. They’re already invested and interested in your nonprofit’s work enough to donate. Why not encourage them to maximize their donations right then and there?

There are a couple of places you can let donors know about matching gifts within the donation process.

On a donation page

When donors take the initiative to find their way to your donation page, they clearly care about your organization. If you tell them that their current donation might go twice as far, they’ll be immediately inclined to research matching gifts.

You could follow the lead of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. On their donation page, they tell supporters about the different projects that their donations support. They then follow up with information about supporters doubling their contributions with a link that leads donors to a tool to check if their employer offers a matching gift program.

Promote matching gifts on a donation page

On an acknowledgment page

The acknowledgement page that appears after donors have finalized their contribution is the perfect place to let them know about matching gifts in case they didn’t see the information on the donation form.

The American Cancer Fund offers a great example. Their acknowledgement page lets donors know that their donation has been received and that an email will be sent out in a few days.

They also encourage donors to look into matching gift programs. The tool on the acknowledgement page allows supporters to see if their employers offer matching gift programs that they can take advantage of.

Promote matching gifts on an acknowledgement or confirmation screen

When you market matching gifts throughout the donation process, you capture the attention of supporters who are already interested in your nonprofit. These people will be more willing to look into doubling their existing donations, potentially leading to more contributions to your organization!

Market matching gifts on a dedicated matching gifts page

2. On a dedicated matching gift page

If individuals are thinking about giving to your organization but haven’t committed to donating yet, they might be looking on your website for more information about ways to give.

By placing a dedicated matching gift page on your website, you can educate individuals about making their donation go further.

The ASPCA’s matching gift page gives donors all the relevant information they need to know about doubling their donations. They also tell donors that they can submit their matching gift forms to the ASPCA by mail.

Promote matching gifts on a dedicated matching gifts page

Having comprehensive matching gift information on a dedicated matching gift page can help your nonprofit receive twice as many donations from your donors’ companies. The more educated your supporters are about matching gifts, the more likely they will be to submit the appropriate paperwork to their employers.

Promote matching gifts in your email newsletters

3. In your email newsletters

Donors who have given to your cause and care about the work that you do like to stay updated on the current and future projects that you have lined up.

The best way to do this is in an email newsletter. These newsletters are also fantastic opportunities to let your donors know about doubling their donations!

You can either dedicate an entire newsletter to matching gifts and give donors comprehensive information…


You can mention matching gifts in a newsletter that gives recipients normal updates on your current projects.

Either way, provide donors with links to more information or a tool that lets them find out if their employers provide a matching gift program.

Promote matching gifts across your social media communications

4. Across your social media communications

Market matching gifts throughout your social media communications to make the most of the audiences that are on these sites.

It’s important to keep the matching-gift message short and sweet.

  • Let donors know that their donations can potentially be doubled.
  • Provide them a link to more information or a matching gift search tool.
  • Include an eye-catching image or infographic.

Followers will scroll right past a post that is dense with jargon.

The beauty of using social media to let donors know about matching gifts is that the content is interactive. Donors can like, comment, and share the posts with their friends and family members. This increases the chances that you’ll acquire more donors and the matching gifts that might come along with them.

Using these four strategies can help you promote matching gifts to as many donors as possible. Track your nonprofit’s performance metrics as you implement these tactics.