How to Raise Money for Charity: 6 Proven Ways (Tips Included)

How to Raise Money for Charity: 6 Proven Ways (Tips Included)

how to raise money for charity

Fundraising may not be the purpose of nonprofit organizations, but it does take a majority of their time and effort. The first thing many people worry about when they contemplate starting a nonprofit is how to raise money for their charity. While most nonprofit professionals may recommend grants, these are time-consuming, and new organizations have few options.

Most nonprofits rely on individual donors, and there are several ways to encourage people to donate to causes they care about.

This article shares the 6 best ways nonprofits can raise money and a few tips to keep in mind while you’re doing it.

  1. Start a crowdfunding campaign
  2. Encourage matching donations
  3. Sell event tickets online
  4. Use raffle games and sell products to raise more money
  5. Fundraise during giving days
  6. Invite supporters to raise money for you

Bonus – 5 tips & best practices to raise money for your charity


1. Start a Crowdfunding Campaign

As a charity, you’d often need money for buying a new piece of equipment, renovation work, buying land, starting a new building work, for an upcoming mission trip, an event, for the treatment expenses of animals, or maybe for research work.

Crowdfunding is the best way to arrange for these funds and meet your fundraising goals, even if you don’t have a major donor. The concept is simple: you raise funds in the form of small amounts of money from a huge crowd of people within a specific period of time. For example, if 100 people donate $50 each to your crowdfunding campaign in two weeks, you will be able to raise $5000.

However, there are a few best practices to make this happen. To start with, your crowdfunding campaign must have shareability options. You should also post regular updates to your donors and add a way to showcase their donations on the campaign page. A goal thermometer will help inspire people to give more when you’re close to the fundraising goal and time is running out.

For example, Little Footprints Big Steps has started the below crowdfunding campaign using Donorbox to raise money for their charity. They wish to help the people of Haiti after a severe earthquake. If you look at this campaign page, it has an “Updates” tab, a “Donor Wall” to appreciate and highlight donations, a goal thermometer, social media sharing buttons, and a simple, popup donation form. The page also has a “Subscribe” option that lets visitors and potential donors subscribe to the campaign updates. This is a great way to inspire people to give and improve transparency.

how to raise money for charity

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2. Encourage Matching Donations

Do you know that 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gifts? And yet, this is one of the most unused ways nonprofits raise money. There are 2 ways you can tap into this great opportunity and double the donations to your charity.


2.1 Employer matching gifts

About $2 to $3 billion are donated to charities through matching gifts every year. However, many people don’t know about this perk or don’t see how it benefits them. It’s a nonprofit’s job to educate donors on how this benefit can help the organization and share a list of companies that offer these benefits.

Donorbox partners with Double the Donation to offer nonprofits an affordable way to leverage this opportunity. Once you enable the matching gifts feature, you can use the widget as part of the recurring donation form. Donors can check if their company matches donations. As soon as the donation is made, they’ll receive information regarding how to complete the donation matching process. See how hassle-free it is for your charity! Here’s an example

collecting money for charity

Alternatively, you can also use a copy-paste code to embed the matching gifts widget on your website. Here’s how Code for America uses this feature to embed the widget on their website.

collecting money for charity


2.2 Sponsor or major donor matching gifts

Organizations spend a lot of time encouraging major gifts or corporate sponsorships. One way to inspire major donors and sponsors is to show them how quickly their donation amount doubles as gifts pour in from other donors. Nonprofits can use these campaigns to form partnerships with companies or deepen relationships with major donors.

Look at how The Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project has used this opportunity to double its donations and meet its fundraising goals.

easy ways to raise money for charity


3. Sell Event Tickets Online

Your charity holds fundraising events and raises funds from people who attend and make donations. But this doesn’t have to be the only way to raise money through events. With everything moving online these days, your fundraising event can too.

Create a fundraising event page online with multiple ticket levels. For example, you can have a level for general admission, one for VIP admission, one for sponsors, early-bird tickets, group-discount tickets, and more. Get creative but first, make a pricing strategy. This strategy should include your expenses, fundraising goals, competitor’s ticket cost, and more.

Donorbox Events gives you a simple way to create event pages online. You can add unlimited ticket levels, determine the tax deductibility of the tickets by inputting the fair-market value and tax rate, add images, descriptions, and videos to your event page, and even let purchasers make a donation from the event ticketing form.

Here’s an example of a Donorbox event ticketing form used by the Televerde Foundation. Check out their full event page and ticket levels here. They’ve leveraged the group-ticket pricing strategy to ensure maximum revenue from the event.

easy ways to raise money for charity

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4. Use Raffle Games and Sell Products to Raise More Money

Nonprofits can raise significant amounts of money with games like raffles and by selling branded products at their events. It doesn’t take much money or effort to solicit a raffle prize from a corporate donor. Many businesses love to offer gift certificates to support local nonprofits and spread the word about their company. Also, there are several websites that let you design branded t-shirts or goodies to order and sell at your events.


4.1 Reverse raffles and 50/50 raffles

A reverse raffle is a unique take on traditional raffles. Organizations sell tickets for the raffle. Instead of winning when your number is called, you are taken out of the raffle. This raffle type needs an active audience, so most nonprofits use it as a fundraising tool for a current event, but organizations can also hold events where the reverse raffle is the event.

On the other hand, for 50/50 raffles, the money is primarily raised by selling raffle tickets. The winner is selected through a random draw. Then, the charity and the winner splits the money equally. However, oftentimes, the winner decides to give a higher percentage of the amount to the charity to help their mission.

Organizations can also hold raffles online if they are creative enough. As more people become comfortable with virtual events, nonprofits can take this opportunity to share the organization’s mission and programs while raising money with an online reverse raffle.

One such example is the online split the pot 50/50 raffle online campaign in the below image. For this virtual raffle game, tickets were sold through this online donation form.

fundraising for charity

Note: Nonprofits must know their local raffle and gambling laws before holding a raffle. In most cases, nonprofits must contact regional government offices to register and pay a fee.


4.2 Selling products

Raise your hand if you haven’t bought a candy bar, t-shirt, coupon book, or something else from a nonprofit. It’s likely very few people haven’t done this at least once. Some nonprofits raise their entire annual goal through product sales, and there are several ways to do it.

Some nonprofits have taken product sales a step further and created thriving businesses that raise funds. Other organizations raise money from in-kind donations through garage sales or barter and trade events. These events let supporters pay a fee to join an online or in-person event and get exclusive rights to other services or products while sharing their own. These events are growing in popularity!

Here’s a simple t-shirt selling online campaign created by Surprise Valley Youth Camp. They have different pricing for their t-shirts and shipping services. The Donorbox comment box helps them take details of the purchasers.

how to raise money for charities


5. Fundraise During Giving Days

Giving days like Giving Tuesday are a great opportunity for charities to boost their donations and reach their annual fundraising goal. Donors commonly give more during the holiday season, so the inclusion of this giving day in a nonprofit’s fundraising plan is a no-brainer.

However, most Muslim and Jewish organizations’ donor bases don’t celebrate Christmas and may not participate in a Giving Tuesday campaign. Instead, these organizations do better by adding a giving day targeted to their donors and popular holidays.

International Day of Charity, Earth Day, World Homeless Day, International Migrants Day, etc. can as well prove as important days for specific charities.

For these campaigns, remember to make giving on the go easier and quicker for donors. Modern donors love to use mobile phones and digital wallets for all transactions.

Donorbox UltraSwift Pay helps you make giving a breeze by eliminating the need for donors to input their information and utilizing the power of digital wallets like Venmo, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Mercado Pago, etc.

Also, text-to-give is a great option for you to let donors give and repeat donations easily. Donorbox Text-to-Give gives you a campaign ID and a texting number that you can share with donors. They will text the ID to the number and receive the link to a mobile-friendly donation form. The next time when they want to repeat the donation, it will be simpler – no need for filling out the form again. See the image below.

how to raise money for charity

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6. Invite Supporters to Raise Money for You

Every charity has ardent supporters in the form of donors, volunteers, board members, friends, and family. They believe in your mission and want to help you succeed. Invite them to fundraise for you. Simply put, this method is called peer-to-peer fundraising and can easily help boost your donations, acquire new donors, and increase outreach for your charity.

With Donorbox, enabling peer-to-peer fundraising is as simple as toggling a switch on the dashboard. Select the campaign you want to activate this feature for, toggle the switch, and invite your supporters right from the tool. They will receive email invitations and will be guided on the tool to create and customize their fundraising campaigns.

Imagine 10 people fundraising for your campaign and raising $500 each! You’ll have raised $5000 in no time, in addition to having reached new people. Here’s an example of a fundraiser helping raise money for a charity using the Donorbox Peer-to-Peer fundraising feature.

how to raise money for charity


5 Tips & Best Practices to Raise Money for Your Charity

As your nonprofit includes these ideas into your fundraising plan, there are a few things to keep in mind.


1. Determine your fundraising goals

Before holding any fundraising campaign or event, you must determine your organization’s goals and create a fundraising plan. This vital step can turn an excellent idea into reality.

When deciding on your nonprofit’s goals, remember to include financial and non-financial objectives. New nonprofits may prioritize donor acquisition over more significant donations. In these cases, holding a raffle or selling products can be more beneficial than matching gift campaigns.


2. Share your organization’s mission

Another seemingly obvious best practice that many organizations forget is to share your nonprofit’s mission during each campaign. Nonprofits looking to strengthen donor relationships must give donors a reason to keep giving. By reminding donors how their gifts make a difference, you build these relationships and encourage more and greater contributions.

Pro tip: Use social media and email marketing to share the word about your organization’s mission and the fundraising campaign or event. Tell stories of your beneficiaries, highlight your notable impact and stats, and add real images and videos from the ground to entice more donations.


3. Collect donor data

As your organization finds new donors, you must collect contact and other information in a quality donor database. A nonprofit is only as strong as its information. If you aren’t capturing donor information with every transaction (yes, even during events), chances are you will never see them again!

Donor data allows nonprofits to send targeted campaigns, make fundraising calls, offer ticket discounts for events, strengthen relationships, and raise more funds.


4. Do a prospect research

Oftentimes, your donation letters or calls get ignored out of disinterest. The reason being that: you’re reaching out to people with requests that don’t match their interest or giving ability.

Prospect research will help you sort that out. Be it for your regular fundraising campaigns or major gifts fundraising, this step is a must and should be taken after your goals are decided. You need to know your potential donors’ wealth, giving ability, their affinity for a particular cause, any relationship with your existing donors, and basic personal details to segment them into groups and make a personalized approach for each.

For example, if someone has the ability to make a principal gift, you wouldn’t want to send them an email with a $100 donation request. It will require a more planned and strategic approach as well as a dedicated staff to acquire the gift.

Basic prospect research and donor segmentation will also help you add suggested donation amounts to your online donation forms. This ensures that each of your donors feels comfortable and finds their preferred giving amount to make a donation, as in the below example.

how to raise money for charities


5. Acknowledge gifts and take feedback from donors

Nonprofits must send donors a receipt within 48 hours of their gift, but you should never stop here. An easy way to strengthen relationships is by sending personalized thank you notes or calls after supporters donate. Add a donor wall to your fundraising page so that your donors and their donations get highlighted instantly on the page. This might encourage them to share the campaign and invite more people to donate.

Also, from time to time (especially, after a fundraising event or a crowdfunding campaign), ask donors for their feedback. Ask them how they felt about the donation process, your approach, the event arrangements, the quality of updates, and more. This feedback will help you improve your upcoming fundraising efforts.


Final Thoughts

Fundraising may feel overwhelming, but nonprofits can see a quick return on their investment when they choose the right appeal. Organizations that collect donor information already have a leg up on their competition because they understand what their donors want. At the same time, it is necessary to choose an online tool that provides the complete solution to your fundraising needs. To be able to raise money for your charity, you should follow the trends and give people options to donate easily and quickly.

Donorbox can help you with that! We’re an online fundraising platform with simple-to-use and affordable features including Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer fundraising, Text-to-Give, Events, Memberships, Recurring Donations, Customizable Donation Pages, and more. We have helped over 50,000 nonprofits across the world raise $1B+ in donations.

Just raising money is not always enough. You’d want to realize your full donation potential to keep making a difference in the world. Let Donorbox Premium help. You’ll get expert fundraising coaching, a dedicated account manager who’ll help you along the way, highly adept tech wizards, and priority support. Everything at an affordable success package. Get in touch today!

Looking for more insights, tips, and resources on fundraising, donor management, and boosting growth? Check out Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to have a list of our best resources emailed to your inbox every month.

Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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