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!

Nonprofit Feasibility Studies: Understanding the Basics


If your nonprofit is embarking on a large fundraising project or capital campaign, you may need to make use of a feasibility study. Because nonprofit feasibility studies are only conducted for large fundraising projects, many nonprofits are unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs.

If you’re on the verge of conducting your first feasibility study, or if you just need to learn more about these valuable tools, then look no further!

We’ve answered the most pressing questions from nonprofits and philanthropic leaders regarding the basics of feasibility studies:

  • What is a nonprofit feasibility study?
  • When should your organization conduct a feasibility study?
  • What information does a nonprofit feasibility study reveal?
  • Who should you interview?
  • What are the benefits of a nonprofit feasibility study?
  • Why should fundraising consultants conduct the feasibility study?

We have the answers to these questions, and more!

What is a nonprofit feasibility study?

In short, a feasibility study is a tool that will help your nonprofit determine how to proceed with a capital campaign or large project.

In a feasibility study, a third-party representative (usually a fundraising consultant)  interviews important stakeholders in your organization and community. The interviews are designed to gather intel on these stakeholders’ perceptions of your nonprofit and its reputation in the community.

Throughout the course of these interviews, your nonprofit will learn how your project will be received by your most integral supporters and donors. Not only will this help you determine whether the campaign should proceed in the first place, but it will also give you the information you need to raise as much as possible.

A feasibility study will help you craft a fundraising strategy tailored directly to your donors. And of course, it will help you determine the logistics for accomplishing each stage of your campaign.

Your study may reveal, for example, that crowdfunding campaigns are especially effective for your nonprofit and that major donors would like to be more involved with these efforts without the pressure of making an online donation (most people, after all, wouldn’t be willing to give $100,000 online). With this information, you may opt to host a soft launch of your campaign, using your major donors as leaders who will encourage others to follow suit with donations.

The point is that a feasibility study will help guide your decision-making so your campaign reflects your donors’ and supporters’ interests.

When should your organization conduct a feasibility study?

A nonprofit feasibility study should be conducted during pre-campaign planning. Conduct the study about 3-4 months before you actually start asking for donations (for more pro-tips like this one, check out Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s guide to maximizing your nonprofit’s feasibility study).

That said, your feasibility study shouldn’t be the first thing you do for your campaign.

The extent of work you’ll need to do before the feasibility study will depend on the complexity of your proposed project.

For example, if you’re conducting a capital campaign for a building project, you’ll need to determine a few possible routes for completing the project in advance. You’ll need to calculate the costs of the project, which may require consultation with construction firms or other entities who would actually do the building. These costs should structure your fundraising goal.

As such, the study will be designed to determine whether or not the goal is feasible and how the money would be raised.

In contrast, if you’re launching a fundraising project to capitalize on an anniversary for major gift fundraising, you need not come prepared with so many details. In fact, the feasibility study will help you flesh out the logistics, like your fundraising goal, so that your strategy is built around what you know you can accomplish.

Thus, it’s important to understand the scope of your project and what you hope to accomplish before you look into these studies so that you can receive the most useful and applicable information.

No matter what, you should have board support for your campaign before the study occurs. Your board, after all, will prioritize the budget to accommodate the costs of the study and the consultant who will conduct it.

What information does a nonprofit feasibility study reveal?

A common misconception about nonprofit feasibility studies is that they’re limited in use.

In reality, a feasibility study should help you determine more than your fundraising goal. It will tell you more than how you should complete your project. And ultimately, it will tell you more than what donors and leaders think about your nonprofit.

The study should elicit the strengths and weaknesses of your organization as a whole, including areas for potential growth and problems with your infrastructure.

Specifically, this study should reveal:

  • Viable candidates for leadership positions. You’ll need an adept team to complete your project, and your feasibility study can point you toward the most respected and capable leaders in your organization.
  • How effective your fundraising strategies are. You may have data on your past fundraising events and strategies, but it’s important to put this information into context. Your interviewees will likely have valuable insight into what worked and what didn’t, and more importantly, why. Though interviewees may not be able to explain their feelings toward your fundraising strategies explicitly, a good interviewer should be able to pick up on themes (even unspoken patterns!) that can be quite revealing and informative.
  • The strength of your case for support. Your case for support is the crux of your campaign and the justification for your nonprofit’s existence. Refining your case for support through direct donor feedback can help you clarify your mission and strengthen your communications for future fundraising efforts.

Apart from these specific, important details, a feasibility study can reveal underlying problems that haven’t been vocalized. Catching these issues can help you solve them, ultimately strengthening your nonprofit in the long run.

Who should you interview?

When it comes to choosing interviewees, you want to select your most dedicated supporters and donors, as well as the community leaders who can enhance your campaign.

First, let’s look at organizational figures who should be interviewed:

  • Former and current major donors
  • Planned gift donors
  • Board members
  • Volunteers in leadership positions

Additionally, you’ll want to reach out to recipients of your nonprofit’s services, depending on the type of organization you’re working for. Medical institutions, for example, could reach out to grateful patients.

All of these organizational figures and leaders will have tons of insight into your organization and direct experience working for your cause. Knowing how they feel about your project is key to securing their support, which is essential for any campaign and especially for multi-year projects.

It’s also important to consider community leaders, including business owners and vendors. These leaders should have demonstrated their support for your organization (as opposed to just offering verbal support or not following up on promises).

Businesses will offer compelling opportunities for corporate philanthropy and sponsorships. Establishing connections early can help you build a fundraising strategy based around matching gifts, challenge grants, or other corporate donations.

As such, a feasibility study will give you the opportunity to gauge a multitude of funding opportunities and heed insight from the people who know the ins-and-outs of your organization.

What are the benefits of a nonprofit feasibility study?

It should be clear now that feasibility studies allow your nonprofit to make informed, educated decisions based on direct donor and stakeholder feedback.

As such, the details of your campaign are based on what’s viable, and your nonprofit is poised to grow if you take this feedback into serious consideration.

But even more so, and perhaps most overlooked when it comes to the benefits of these studies, is the chance to cultivate stronger donor relationships. If you think about it, it makes sense.

In a nonprofit feasibility study, you’re directly speaking with your donors, asking them for their opinions and insights.

You’re actively showing them how much they matter to your organization! You’ve staked an entire campaign on what they have to say — and donors appreciate that gesture. So much so that they may be inclined to increase their engagement with your nonprofit by donating during the quiet phase of your campaign or otherwise demonstrating their support.

Plus, you can use the study to stir up excitement for your campaign. Once these leaders envision themselves as contributors to your campaign, they’ll often be eager to get started right away.

It’s important that nonprofits don’t conduct a feasibility study solely looking for results. A careful, targeted interview effort can bring it’s own rewards in the form of lasting constituent relationships.

Why should fundraising consultants conduct a feasibility study?

Since your nonprofit knows your donors and your community best, it might make sense to conduct a feasibility study on your own.

This, however is quite uncommon and generally not a best practice. Instead, most nonprofits look to a fundraising consultant to conduct the study — and for good reason.

A fundraising consultant is an objective third-party who’s likely to collect more honest opinions from interviewees than an in-house party.

Just put yourself in your donors’ shoes!

Imagine that you’re being interviewed for a feasibility study. The interviewer is someone you’ve known for years, and they’re so excited about the project that it’s impossible for them to hide.

However, as much as you want to get on board, the project just doesn’t seem feasible. You don’t see a vision that you can get behind, but you don’t want to disappoint someone who’s so clearly invested in the project.

When it comes down to it, you won’t donate. But in the interest of politeness, you beat around the bush or give diplomatic responses.

In this scenario, both you (the donor) and the interviewer aren’t in the wrong, but your existing relationship creates a conflict of interest and a bit of awkwardness, too.

It’s easy for interviewees to misrepresent their actual commitment, or for interviewers to draft misleading results. In both cases, the deception isn’t intentional, of course, but it ultimately harms the project, the nonprofit, and even the donor relationship.

A fundraising consultant is a trained expert who can ensure accurate, honest results. Which, after all, is the purpose of the feasibility study in the first place!

Now that you know the basics of conducting a feasibility study, you can get started with your own. Check out these detailed steps to conducting a fundraising feasibility study!

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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!

Implementing a text-to-give campaign? Check out these best practices for amplifying your fundraising!

Text-to-Give Marketing: 7 Easy Steps to Scoring More Money

If this is your first text-to-give campaign (and even if this isn’t your first rodeo), it’s never too late to learn the ins and outs of marketing and launching a successful mobile fundraiser.

Admittedly, launching a text-to-give fundraiser can be a little daunting. But what fundraiser isn’t when you’re first getting started?

Luckily for you, we’ve boiled mobile marketing down into the 7 easiest steps that any nonprofit can follow and execute.

Here’s a little sneak peek of the steps we’re going to cover in this article:

  1. Test out your text-to-give technology.
  2. Perfect your peer-to-peer fundraising.
  3. Enhance your email strategy.
  4. Take advantage of live events.
  5. Stay social media savvy.
  6. Don’t forget offline strategies.
  7. Execute, track, and improve.

There’s no time like the present. Let’s get to it!


Test out your text-to-give technology before rolling it out to your donors so that your nonprofit will have a firm grasp on how it works.

1.) Test out your text-to-give technology.

As with any fundraising software, one of the first steps you’ll have to take before you can begin marketing is testing out text-to-give for yourself.

Many text-to-give platform providers will give you the option to view a demonstration before you decide to purchase. This step is crucial for your understanding of the platform and shouldn’t be skipped! If you find that the software isn’t user-friendly, chances are, your donors won’t be able to grasp it, either.

Of course, not only does your text-to-give platform need to be simple and intuitive for your donors; it also needs to be easy for your organization’s staff to use.

With a solid piece of software, your fundraising team should be able to easily export and import critical mobile donor data, like the data in the spreadsheet below:

Robust text-to-give technology should enable nonprofits to easily transfer collected supporter data in and out of the platform.

Of course, this is donor email data, but text donations work in much the same way. In fact, with some industry-leading platform providers, your email and text donations are able to cross-pollinate.

What does it mean to cross-pollinate?

Essentially, cross-pollination (in terms of mobile giving, not bees) means that a donor who has given via email or a donation page and has filled out a payment form once can give through any of your other giving portals without needing to fill out any more forms.

In simpler terms, a donor who has given to your organization one time can then give through text, email, or mobile/online donation page in just 2 clicks. It’s the simplest, most streamlined way to give on the go.

After you’ve landed on which mobile giving platform to use, it’s important to work out all of the kinks and ensure that all of your staff are clear on how to deal with data. Do a test run!

You can open up your text-to-give testing to people close to your nonprofit, such as:

  • Board members
  • Committee members
  • Loyal donors
  • Avid volunteers
  • Friends and family of staff

Have them give a dollar or two, then request their feedback on the platform. Are there any areas where your nonprofit could make the process easier?

Testing out your technology will not only help you work out any glitches, but it will also help familiarize your staff with the giving process. The more familiar you all are with your platform, the easier it will be to explain and market this giving option to your donors.

Bonus: Ready to start comparing text-to-give providers? Check out this list of the top text-to-give tools from our friends at Double the Donation!

To sum it all up: Testing out your text-to-give technology is the first step in getting comfortable with the way it works so that you can better market it to your donors.

Pairing peer-to-peer fundraising with text-to-give can spread your reach, help you acquire more new donors, and enable you to make more money from text giving.

2.) Perfect your peer-to-peer fundraising.

If you followed the advice in step 1, you’ve no doubt already opened your text-to-give fundraiser up to close family and friends, board members, and committee members alike.

Now is the perfect time to expand your reach—in more ways than one!

Peer-to-peer fundraising allows your organization to extend your reach and cast a wider net than ever before.

So how does it work? Take one part advocacy, one part social media, two parts being well-connected, stir in some fundraising know-how, and voila! Ten times the reach, ten times the donors.

Okay, okay. Maybe it’s not quite that instantaneous or fanciful. But it is pretty magical, if you set it up well.

What you actually need to do to launch a peer-to-peer fundraiser as a part of your text-to-give campaign:

Step 1: Enlist the help of your organization’s biggest fans.

Your “fans” should be key influencers within your community and people who are passionate about your cause and spreading awareness.

They’ll be your fundraisers on the ground, your foot soldiers, your champions, and your greatest allies. Choose these individuals wisely; they’ll represent you throughout your campaign.

Step 2: Supply your fundraisers with the necessary tools.

For this kind of peer-to-peer campaign, you’ll want to give your fundraisers the information they need to inform their networks about texting to donate to your organization.

You can give them pre-written copy to post as status updates, in emails, and more.

Provide them with the run-down of the purpose of your text-to-give efforts, and make sure they understand how it works so they can properly explain it to their friends and families. And of course, don’t forget to provide them with your shortcode!

Step 3: Be on-call.

Your fundraisers are lifting your organization up on their shoulders to do the fundraising heavy lifting for you. Be sure that you’re there for them if they ever have questions or concerns.

Let them know that you’re there to support them, whatever their needs may be, when and how they can get in touch—and that you’re eternally grateful for all of their efforts.

Step 4: Thank your fundraisers properly.

Your peer-to-peer fundraisers are an incredible hybrid: part fundraiser, part donor, all superhero. Thank them accordingly.

It might seem selfish to mention, but thanking your donors actually helps your organization raise more money in the long run.

A well-stewarded donor is a donor who will continue to give to you again and again and tell all of their friends and families to do so, too.

To sum it all up: Your nonprofit can launch a peer-to-peer fundraiser as a part of your text-to-give campaign and reach more supporters while doing substantially less legwork.

Email and text-to-give go hand-in-hand, so make sure that your email marketing strategy has been well established.

3.) Enhance your email strategy.

As you may or may not be aware, email is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to raise money and awareness from your donors, regardless of where they are.

It’s also an outstanding medium for marketing.

Because email is 245 times less expensive than direct mail, your organization can afford to send out more communications than ever before. But it doesn’t matter how many messages you send out if they’re not being opened or read.

To make the most of your email marketing for your text-to-give campaign, make sure you:

  • Craft eye-catching headlines.

The most engaging emails have creative headlines that make subscribers want to open them. When you’re crafting your own, make sure you think about what would make you want to open an email.

  • Draft each message with the preview mode in mind.

Many of your subscribers will have preview mode on in their inboxes. When they scroll past your message, make sure that you’ve designed an appealing and credible email from top to bottom. The look of your email should draw your readers in and entice them to open and click through your correspondence.

  • Make your text-to-give call-to-action clear.

The most important part of this whole exercise is getting donors to give to your organization via text. That’s why it’s crucial to make your calls-to-actions obvious and unmissable!

  • Segment and target your emails in a way that makes sense.

Not everyone who subscribes to your emails is doing so for the same reasons. When you’re redrafting your email strategy, consider segmenting your email list (if you haven’t already done so) to better target donors who are likely to give via text.

If you’re in need of some more stellar tips for asking for donations via email (and more), then look no further than this article!

To sum it all up: Perfecting your email marketing strategy will help springboard your text-to-give campaign. Few outlets are more effective or more efficient than email, so why not take advantage of a tried and true standard to boost your mobile efforts?

Offering the option to donate through text-to-give at your fundraising events will help you raise more money, since this channel is so convenient and universal!

4.) Take advantage of live events.

Another tried and true standard that your nonprofit should be taking advantage of: live fundraising events.

Live events were made for marketing. Especially when it comes to your text-to-donate campaign, there’s no better way to get the ball rolling than to make an announcement at an engaging event. After all, text-to-give was made to be used on the go!

Think about it: you have all of the ingredients needed for success.

Whether you’re hosting a 5K fun run, an elegant gala, or a rock ‘n’ roll benefit concert, the facts remain the same. You have at your disposal:

  • A captivated audience.
  • Some sort of platform from which to speak.
  • The spirit of giving that’s inherent at any fundraiser.
  • Willing donors who have their phones in pocket.

Take a moment and imagine that you’re standing backstage at a rocking benefit concert. You’ve spent months planning it, and that work has paid off.

People are dancing and having a great time. Many of them have their phones out and are swaying along with the music. The glow from all the mobile devices lights up the night.

There’s a lull in the music, and the band is tuning up for the next set. It’s the ideal time to hop on stage and explain your text-to-give campaign.

You throw some slides like these up on your projector:

King's House has projected a slideshow during their live event, walking their donors through the process of how to give over text.
Your attendees already have their phones out and are primed to donate. Once you’ve explained the process, you’re bound to be flooded with hundreds of text donations. What could be better?

That scenario could easily become a reality for your organization. All it takes is the proper timing, orchestration, and planning.

To sum it all up: Live events provide excellent marketing opportunities. Make sure that the next live event your nonprofit hosts includes mentioning your text-to-give campaign.

Advertising text-to-give through social media will help you reach more new donors and raise more money.

5.) Stay social media savvy.

In a perfect world, you would be able to catch up with your donors and speak with them passionately about your cause on a daily basis.

In the real world, you can—with the help of social media.

Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow nonprofits to be a part of a larger conversation and remain more connected with their donors on a day-to-day basis.

Daily, weekly, or monthly, your organization can update followers on the progress of your latest projects (in real-time!), inform them of the latest volunteer opportunities, and—you guessed it—market your text-to-give campaign.

Of course, there are different best practices for each social media site. Luckily for you, we’ve gathered some of the most useful tips for each of the major players on the world wide web.

We’ve broken them down by site here:

i.) Facebook.

With over 1 billion monthly users, Facebook is one of the most popular and widely used sites on the internet. As such, it’s vitally important that your nonprofit become a part of the social network.

If you’re already on Facebook, make sure the posts that you’re creating include either a video or an image. Studies have shown that content that’s visually simulating is 60,000 times easier for followers to interpret.

Engage your followers with eye-catching photographs and draw them in with explanatory videos. Always remember to include clear instructions for your text-to-give campaign—just like the Willamette Humane Society does:

Including photos in text-to-give advertising on Facebook, like the Willamette Humane Society did, will help your nonprofit capture the attention of more donors.

As you can see, they’ve made the image their focus, and they’ve made their text-to-give campaign abundantly clear.

ii.) Instagram.

Instagram is a rapidly changing medium. They’ve recently instituted a new algorithm that will highlight only the top 30% of posts on a user’s feed.

What this means for your nonprofit: If you’re not engaging with your donors and volunteers on a daily basis, or you don’t have many followers, your nonprofit’s Instagram won’t get the coverage it needs.

How you can combat this: It’s important to connect and engage with followers. On a practical level, that means liking and following and commenting on other user’s accounts.

This advice, of course, is all in addition to posting quality photos with obvious links to your mobile fundraiser, as in this example post from the Disaster Relief Fund:

Disaster Relief Fund has included a high quality photo on their Instagram that creates impact and convinces more supporters to give to their text-to-give campaign.

The image they’ve chosen to post is meaningful and demonstrative of the work they’re trying to do. Because of that, it’s garnered over 1,000 likes.

iii.) Twitter.

You probably already know that Twitter limits posts, which are called “tweets,” to 140 characters. For a basis of comparison, Facebook status updates allow over 63,000 characters.

Keep this in mind when you’re drafting tweets. You’ll want to keep your messages short, sweet, and to-the-point. And don’t forget to include instructions or a link to your mobile fundraiser.

A great example of a concise tweet comes to us from SealSaviors:

SealSaviors effectively advertises their text-to-give campaign over Twitter by keeping their post short and sweet.

In under 10 words, they’ve let their followers know what they’re about and how to help out.

To sum it all up: Having a solid social media strategy that follows best practices is a fantastic way to market your nonprofit’s text-to-give campaign.

It's important to promote text-to-give offline, too, to spread your reach as far and wide as possible!

6.) Don’t forget offline strategies.

So much is done directly through phones these days. You can pay your bills, keep up with old friends, and find your way in an unfamiliar city.

But that doesn’t mean you should move completely away from traditional marketing methods to promote your text-to-give campaign.

There are several avenues for your nonprofit to explore outside of mobile. Avenues like:

  • Direct mail
  • Letter writing
  • Bus stop signs
  • Promotional T-shirts
  • Billboard advertisements
  • Flyers

As far as these avenues go, feel free to get creative. The Willamette Humane Society sure did!

The Willamette Humane Society has gotten creative with their text-to-give advertising by showcasing their campaign on custom t-shirts!
They’re walking billboards for their text-to-donate campaign. Speaking of billboards, they also pulled out all the stops and created a bus stop sign to promote their mobile fundraiser:

The Willamette Humane Society took their text-to-give marketing to the next level by taking out an ad at their local bus stop.

So the next time someone is just standing at the bus stop, waiting for their ride to work or school, they can use that time wisely and donate to a worthy cause in just 2 clicks.

Bonus: If you’re looking for advice on how to write the most effective fundraising letters, look no further than Fundly’s guide!

To sum it all up: Don’t feel limited by mobile strategies just because you’re hosting a mobile fundraiser. Explore several different offline strategies to enhance your online marketing efforts.

Continually tracking your text-to-give performance will enable your organization to pinpoint areas for improvement so your text-to-give fundraising will be even better!

8.) Execute, track, and improve.

Just as you would with any other major fundraising campaign, your nonprofit should be tracking key metrics and improving your strategy over time.

With regard to marketing your campaign, you should be keeping an eye on the conversion rates of all of the tactics you try out.

If you send out emails promoting your text-to-give campaign, and you only measure a 3% click-through rate, you might want to take a look at your email strategy.

Likewise, if you pour a ton of work and energy into your social media promotions and see dismal results, it might be time to work smarter, not harder.

If your text-to-give campaign is a part of your larger annual fundraiser, it’s doubly important that you pay attention to how your marketing plans are panning out.

Your organization should be tracking:

  • Email conversion rate.
  • Social media conversation rate.
  • Bounce rate.
  • Donor retention rate.
  • Donor acquisition rate.

Keeping an eye on these metrics (plus any other measurements that make sense for your organization to track) will ensure that every effort that you make is worth the investment of your nonprofit’s time and money.

To sum it all up: One of the most important steps you can take in launching a mobile fundraiser is to track and improve along the way. A successful campaign is one that’s in tune with the needs and wants of its donors.

That’s all, folks! We sincerely hope you learned a thing or two about marketing a text-to-give campaign to your donors.

Now that you’ve got some best practices in your back pocket, you’re more than ready to get out there and start promoting your mobile fundraiser!

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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