Unique ways to encourage giving in 2019

pexels-photo-1409716We all know the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if you and your fundraising took the time to deviate from your usual fundraising methods to try something a little bit different? Sometimes, changing the giving experience for your donors is the key to encouraging your donors to increase their giving amounts or frequency.

According to an article by Fast Company, most feel that people should give six percent of their annual income to charitable causes. However, we give about half of that. Many nonprofits and charitable organizations are finding unique ways to encourage giving. Here are some examples:

  • Bright Funds: This workplace donation platform created a goal-setting tool. Donors could put in their annual salary range, as well as the percentage of their income that they wanted to donate. The platform then gave a dollar amount for the year, as well as tracked donors’ progress. Each time a donor logged into the platform, they could see if they were tracking toward their goal, modify it or change their donation amounts. According to Fast Company, a test of 18,000 accounts resulted in a seven percent increase among donors who were already regular donors, and an 18 percent increase in those who hadn’t previously donated annually.
  • Donor-advised fund (DAF) firm: Ideas42 sent out a report to donors who had contributed money to a DAF, stating the amount they had contributed to their account, the amount they’ve granted out and the number of grants they’ve made. This encouraged people to take action on the money in their DAF and put it toward a philanthropic cause. Contributions rose 12 percent more for those who received the report than those who didn’t.

Other ways that could increase donations include:

  • Finding unique ways to recognize donors, like creating VIP levels or other titles based on different levels of giving.
  • Use holidays and national time-pegs to your advantage by finding one that coincides with your organization. For example, animal shelters could piggyback on National Mutt Day and ask for donors to sponsor a pet, or a hospital could put out an ask during American Heart Month.
  • Use video instead of text. Rather than sending an email with your ask written, record a short video featured of your executive director and send it out via email and on social media. This creates a more personal experience for your donors.
  • Show progress through photos by sending out images of ongoing projects to donors. Demonstrating what donations have gone toward encourages ongoing giving so that constituents can see the project come to fruition.

Has your nonprofit found ways to encourage increased giving? We want to know about it! Tell us about your ideas and initiatives.