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.
  • Migrating your information.
  • Suggesting a payment processor.
  • 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.

Bonus: If you’re looking for more information about how a fundraising consultant can help you with software, click here.

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!

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.

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. Hiring a capital campaign consultant is a good place to start when you are trying to plan a capital campaign.

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.

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

Optimize your website for crowdfunding success with these 6 nonprofit web design tips.

The Top 6 Nonprofit Web Design Tips for Crowdfunding Campaigns


The ultimate goal of any nonprofit website is to convince supporters to take the desired action, whether that be signing up for an email newsletter, registering for a volunteer opportunity, or anything in between.

No matter what your goals, your website must be carefully structured and designed if your organization expects to reach the ideal outcome.

If that outcome happens to be increasing visibility and scoring more donations to your nonprofit’s crowdfunding campaign, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ll give you 6 tips that will help you design your website in a way that’s conducive to crowdfunding success, including:

  1. Make sure your donation page is easy to get to.
  2. Use your crowdfunding campaign to keep your website current.
  3. Pack an emotional punch.
  4. Standardize branding.
  5. Keep mobile in mind.
  6. Provide crowdfunding donors with other ways to get involved.

Let’s jump in!

Ensuring that your donation page is easy to get to will result in more online donations to your nonprofit, since donors can readily access your form.

1. Make sure your donation page is easy to get to.

Why it’s crucial:

Considering that crowdfunding relies on a large number of donors to be successful, campaign visibility and accessibility are arguably more important with crowdfunding campaigns than they are with other fundraisers.

To maximize donations to your campaign, your organization must make the giving experience as easy as possible on your donors.

If supporters have to search your website endlessly to find your crowdfunding page, chances are that they won’t even land on the donation form, nevertheless hit the “Submit” button.

Point is, a giving experience that is frustrating in any way is much more likely to be abandoned before the gift has been made, which won’t do much to further your crowdfunding campaign!

How it’s done:

If securing more donations to your crowdfunding campaign is your organization’s main website goal, treat it as the centerpiece!

The key here is to make your crowdfunding page as visible as possible (organically, of course). You should provide supporters with multiple pathways to access your campaign donation form.

For example, you might give supporters the option to access your page by:

  • Including a call-to-action and a link to your campaign page on your homepage.
  • Adding information about your crowdfunding campaign to your “Ways to Give” page.
  • Featuring a “Donate Now” button in your top navigation that specifically links out to your crowdfunding page.

Of course, this list certainly doesn’t cover all of the options. If there’s a natural opportunity to lead website visitors to your crowdfunding campaign donation form, then by all means, guide them!

To sum up: Ensuring that your navigation structure clearly points website visitors to your crowdfunding page will result in more donations to your campaign, since supporters will know exactly where to go to embark on the donation process.

Your crowdfunding campaign will provide your organization with plenty of updates that you can repurpose on your website to keep your content fresh.

2. Use your crowdfunding campaign to keep your website current.

Why it’s crucial:

Amidst a million other important efforts and concerns, in can be all-too-easy to forget to update your website… or to simply sweep updating under the rug.

However, updating your website is crucial to its effectiveness. You need to update regularly to reassure donors that your organization is still active and interested in keeping them in the loop with what’s going on at your nonprofit.

Furthermore, an out-of-date website can make your organization appear less credible. Think about it: have you ever landed on a business’ website that looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1999? You probably weren’t too inclined to believe that that company was up with the times and a current expert in their product or field.

Point is, regularly updating your website can be a difficult feat, but the potential ramifications of not updating can be even greater.

How it’s done:

Luckily, your crowdfunding campaign will give your organization plenty of material for updating your website!

As we’ve discussed in a previous post, it’s important to regularly give your supporters updates during your crowdfunding campaign. Doing so keeps them oriented with your progress and demonstrates the results of their contributions in a more tangible way, both of which lead to a more invested base of donors.

You can repurpose the updates from your crowdfunding campaign to generate new content for your website. For example, you could update your homepage daily to share current campaign progress or publish a series of news article to your blog about the positive work that crowdfunding donations have already made possible.

And those are only a couple of the possibilities! No matter how you choose to leverage them, crowdfunding updates give you the fodder you need to keep your website current.

To sum up: By using news from your crowdfunding campaign, updating your organization’s website on a regular basis will be much more manageable.

Adding emotionally-charged images and stories to your nonprofit's website can make it more compelling to your donors.

3. Pack an emotional punch.

Why it’s crucial:

People are often motivated to give charitably because nonprofit causes tug at their heartstrings in some way. In other words, supporting nonprofits is usually (at least in part) an emotionally-charged pursuit.

That being the case, organizations generally do better at engaging their supporters and convincing them to give when they make an emotional appeal as opposed to a logical one.

By packing an emotional punch with your content, chances are that your website will be more impactful to your donors—both when it comes to conveying your message and encouraging more donations. After all, it’s those visceral reactions that lead to impulse giving!

While designing your website around an emotional appeal won’t directly influence the success of your crowdfunding campaign, it can aid it indirectly. The more you can inspire donors with your cause and impassion them with your mission, the more likely they are to donate to your campaigns.

How it’s done:

Take a nod from your crowdfunding campaign page, and make sure to tell your story through words and photos on your website.

While you should do so throughout your site, appealing to your supporters’ emotions is especially important on your homepage. The very first impression your visitors will have of your website is the look and layout of your homepage, so it’s important to get your message across immediately.

Design your homepage around an emotionally-charged photo of your work or those you serve, and make sure to include a shortened version of your mission statement above the fold (the part of the webpage that visitors can see without scrolling).

As One Project, an organization committed to supporting secondary survivors of sexual assault, perfectly portrays their work in an emotionally compelling way on their homepage:

As One Project tugs at their website visitors' heartstrings with a photo that illustrates their cause and a mission statement that captures their work.

To sum up: Nonprofit work is emotional by nature. Increase the chances that website visitors will be swayed by your cause by using compelling stories and images to pack an emotional punch, particularly on your homepage.

Standardizing branding throughout your nonprofit website ensures that donors always feel secure when browsing your site.

4. Standardize branding.

Why it’s crucial:

As all nonprofits know, building trust is key to securing donations. This is especially true for online donations, which are more impersonal since there’s no aspect of face-to-face interaction to help donors feel secure.

If your organization wants to maximize the number of online donations received (and we’re assuming you do!), you must do everything in your power to make your website appear as trustworthy as possible to your donors.

Standardizing branding across your website is one of the most straightforward ways to do just that.

By keeping branding consistent across the board, it becomes a seal of trust. When donors see your look and logo across all pages of your website, they’ll be consistently reminded that they’re investing in a credible cause they care about.

How it’s done:

All pages of your website should have the same look and feel, derived from your logo.

Before you start designing, consider creating a style guide that outlines all design standards. Here are just a few of the many things you’ll probably want to think about:

  • Color scheme. Color schemes should be based off of your logo and include no more than 5-6 colors. There should be 2-3 main colors (brights) as well as an array of neutrals to complement them.
  • Color usage. Beyond simply having a scheme to work with, you should determine which elements will appear in which colors. For example, what colors will donation buttons and other CTAs be? Hyperlinks?
  • Font. Use one font throughout your website, and stick with it. When selecting a font, keep in mind that sans serif fonts are more legible on screens.
  • Images. What types of images will your organization use on your website? Should images be shaped, sized, or formatted in a particular way? Where will images be sourced from? Do you need to secure any permissions? These questions all need to be answered in your style guide!

If you’re working with a web design firm, they should create a style guide for you and design your website around it. If you’re opting to construct your website yourself using a website builder, you should set all defaults in the theme to be consistent with style guidelines.

Important: don’t forget to brand your crowdfunding campaign page, too! Considering that donors are submitting their sensitive information there, they’ll feel much more comfortable giving when your form clearly reflects your organization.

To sum up: Clear and consistent branding across your website builds trust, because donors can be certain that they’re supporting a credible nonprofit.

Now that most donors approach websites from their smartphones, it's of the utmost importance to create a mobile-responsive website that provides them with the best possible experience.

5. Keep mobile in mind.

Why it’s crucial:

Now that mobile phones are so advanced, more and more people are using them to browse the web on the go.

In fact, it’s been estimated that a majority of browsers are now visiting nonprofit websites from mobile devices. The problem is that many nonprofits haven’t yet caught up with the times and optimized their websites (including their donation pages) for mobile users.

It might not seem like a deal breaker at first, but a website that isn’t mobile-responsive can cause your crowdfunding donations (and online contributions in general) to take a hit. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly aren’t user-friendly, so mobile donors are much more likely to become frustrated and leave the site before submitting their donations.

Think about it: wouldn’t you be much less inclined to give if you had to zoom and pinch your screen, scroll up, down, left, and right, and fill out a bunch of tiny, illegible boxes to make a donation?

How it’s done:

How you build a mobile-responsive website will be dependent on how your nonprofit is approaching web design.

If you’re…

  • Designing your website yourself, the website builder that your organization is using should use a responsive design framework that automatically conforms your site to the device it’s being viewed on. However, just because you have this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that your site will translate well to mobile, so be sure to keep mobile in mind as you’re designing.
  • Working with a web design firm, make sure to select a firm who offers mobile-responsive design. Most firms should offer this service now that mobile is so prevalent, but it can’t hurt to double-check!

Remember: the best way to tell if your site is actually mobile-responsive is to test it out for yourself. Take out your smartphone and try donating to your crowdfunding campaign!

To sum up: Mobile-responsive websites provide mobile donors with the best possible user experience. When donating to your crowdfunding campaign is easy, donors will be much more likely to follow through!

By offering your crowdfunding donors other ways to engage with your organization throughout your website, your nonprofit will build a base of more invested donors.

6. Provide crowdfunding donors with other ways to get involved.

Why it’s crucial:

Crowdfunding campaigns can really give your donor acquisition a boost. These campaigns require widespread sharing and are low-stakes for donors, so they’re the ideal opportunity to recruit a lot of new donors to your cause.

In order to transform one-time crowdfunding donors into donors who give again and again, it’s crucial to actively continue building relationships with them. One of the best ways to do that through your website is by offering supporters other opportunities to get involved with your organization!

Not to mention, some supporters who land on your website might want to support your organization, but might not be ready to make a monetary gift. By providing a variety of engagement opportunities on your website, you can win the support of people with a variety of preferences.

How it’s done:

Post-donation engagement opportunities don’t even have to be limited to your acknowledgement page! In fact, they should be incorporated throughout your website.

The key is to match up your webpages with relevant opportunities. Some opportunities might be relevant across the board (for example, an email newsletter subscription box might remain at the bottom of the site on every page), while others would be very specific to certain pages (for example, the opportunity to volunteer for an event might only be limited to a dedicated volunteer information page).

No matter where you place them, all opportunities should be framed as calls-to-action (CTAs). Use short, clear, and actionable language to ensure that donors will understand exactly what you’re requesting.

With the right CTAs, who knows? That supporter who came only intending to give $5 to your crowdfunding campaign might be transformed into a lifelong volunteer!

To sum up: Including other engagement opportunities around your website actively continues the conversation both before and after crowdfunding campaign donors have given. With a wealth of thoughtful engagement opportunities backing you up, you should have a larger base of recurring donors to rely on for your next campaign!

Your nonprofit’s website strategy can greatly influence how much money you’re able to raise during your crowdfunding campaign. With these 6 tips, your website should be conducive to crowdfunding success.

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What is crowdfunding?

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a fundraising method that can be used by nonprofits and individuals alike. Crowdfunding has been used to raise money for:


With crowdfunding, individuals and nonprofits reach out to people in their immediate network via social media and email to ask for donations. Contributions are made via an online donation portal that securely processes credit card transactions.

What is crowdfunding? Example of a crowdfunding campaign

How Does Crowdfunding Work?

  • 1. Start a campaign

    Whether you’re an individual that needs to raise money or part of a nonprofit’s fundraising team, the first step of crowdfunding is to start your campaign. Choose a platform, set up an account, and get started!

  • 2. Tell your story

    Your fundraiser is unlike any other; make sure that everyone knows that! Tell your unique fundraising story and make sure to include the reasons you’re raising money and how you plan to spend (or donate) it.

  • 3. Share your fundraiser

    The most important component of any crowdfunding campaign is the sharing aspect. No one can donate to your campaign unless you tell them about it! Get the word out via social media, email, and even word of mouth.

  • 4. Give updates and acknowledgements

    Your supporters, friends, and family members will want to know how your fundraiser is coming along! Make sure you post regular updates and promptly thank the people who have helped you raise money.

Quick Crowdfunding Tips

Upload amazing crowdfunding photosupload-amazing-crowdfunding-photos

Your photos are the first things your supporters will see when they visit your crowdfunding page. Make a good first impression! Take professional-looking photos, and make sure that they aren’t blurry or grainy.



Write a detailed descriptionwrite-a-detailed-description

People aren’t going to give to a crowdfunding campaign if it isn’t immediately clear what their money will go toward. A detailed crowdfunding description can give your supporters more context for their donations and allows you to spell out your fundraising need.


share-regularly-and-at-the-right-timeShare regularly and at the right time

Experts say that the most successful crowdfunding campaigns raise the majority of their funding during the first and last 3 days of the campaign’s duration.

These “crunch times” are the best opportunities for sharing your crowdfunding campaign on social media and via email.

Throughout the rest of your campaign, make sure you share your campaign on a regular basis (we recommend every 5 to 7 days).


Write a detailed descriptionForm an “update schedule”

Most crowdfunding campaigns last at least a few weeks (although we hope that you raise your goal sooner than that!). In order to keep people invested and interested in your fundraiser, you should post updates on your campaign page and social media.

Of course, you don’t want to overwhelm your supporters with updates. Instead, create an “update schedule” that you can stick to throughout the duration of your fundraiser.

We recommend that you post an update once every week. You should also write updates whenever you reach a milestone (i.e., half of your fundraising goal) or receive a particularly large donation.


Offer perks to your donorsoffers-perks-to-your-donors

Not every fundraiser will be able to offer perks to their supporters, but if you are able to do so, incentives can be a great way to encourage people to give to your campaign.

You can sell t-shirts, mugs, stickers, phone cases, and more! Customize your merchandise so that people have something to remember your fundraiser by.

You can also set up giving tiers that correspond to your incentives. A bigger donation results in a better perk!


Need to learn more about crowdfunding? Check out these resources!

Additional Resources for your Fundraising Success

7 Tips for Fundraising Success

7 Tips for Fundraising Success

Every crowdfunding campaign could use a little help every now and then!

Whether you need advice about shooting and uploading crowdfunding photos, writing descriptions and updates, or sharing your fundraiser with your friends and family members, we’ve got your back.

Click below to learn more about the top seven crowdfunding tips that can be used for all types of fundraising efforts and campaigns!

10 Fundraising Examples

You’ve heard the stories about fundraisers surpassing their goal, but how often does that really happen?

The answer? More frequently than you might think! In fact, individuals and organizations often meets and exceed their goal when they use Fundly to set up a fundraiser and share it with their friends and family members.

Check out these ten crowdfunding campaigns that all exceeded their fundraising goals by sizable margins in just a matter of weeks!

General Crowdfunding Concept

Get the Inside Scoop on Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has been used to raise money from everything from creative projects to medical costs and more!

Why is it so popular? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that a crowdfunding campaign is insanely easy to set up and share with your friends, family members, coworkers, and other peers.

See for yourself! Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding and learn how you can make the most of this fundraising craze!

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Fundly Reviews

Fundly Reviews [Updated December, 2016]

Here at Fundly, we love hearing from our fundraisers and the people who give to their campaigns. If you’re looking for some honest feedback about Fundly’s crowdfunding platform, look no further! Here are the top Fundly reviews taken from top review sites.

Fundly Reviews from Double the Donation

Double the Donation wrote a glowing review of Fundly’s crowdfunding software and included it in their article, “The Best Crowdfunding Websites for Individual Fundraising.” One highlight said:

Fundly is the leader in crowdfunding! With incredible features that can help you design your crowdfunding page, extensive options to reach out to your friends and family, great support, and affordable fees, Fundly is our first choice for crowdfunding software!

Fundly reviews from Double the Donation


Fundly Reviews from Card Payment Options

Card Payment Options gave Fundly an “A” as an overall rating. Fundly scored 4.4 out of 5 in the combined categories of:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Costs and Contract
  • Complaints and Service
  • BBB Rating

According to the main review:

Similar in structure to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, Fundly offers nonprofits the ability to create an online profile and solicit donations directly from a community of donors.

Fundly Reviews

Fundly Reviews from gave Fundly a 7.9 score, with the main review stating that,

Fundly makes starting a campaign simple with the help of their Quick start guide as well as email customer support providing tips and campaign help throughout a campaign’s launch.

Fundly Reviews

Fundly Reviews from CrowdsUnite

CrowdsUnite has multiple reviews from different Fundly users.

CrowdsUnite has aggregated Fundly reviews and given the following scores:

  • Overall – 7.4
  • Customer Support – 8.8
  • Ease of Use 8.9

Fundly Reviews

One user, a man who used Fundly to finance the production of his CD said that Fundly was,

Very easy to use. I’ve told many people about you guys.

Fundly Reviews

Another user that used Fundly to raise money for their nonprofit organization said that Fundly was,

Easy to set up. Great integration with Facebook, Twitter, Email. The best part is that they have set-up their back end so that the funds can be received and receipted directly from us as a non-profit…Great support team that is really listening to their community and evolving daily.

Fundly Reviews

➡ If you aren’t convinced by these glowing reviews, check out 10 crowdfunding campaigns that exceeded their fundraising goals using Fundly’s platform.

➡ And for more information about crowdfunding in general, take a look at our Ultimate Guide.