For many nonprofits, the pandemic interrupted established fundraising calendars with event cancellations and new hesitation around appeals for donations. While many traditional events and appeals are returning, 2021 provides a perfect opportunity to reimagine your year-round fundraising strategy, starting with your Spring Appeal.
Whether you started writing your Spring Appeal in January and already have your letters signed and sealed, or find yourself behind and just crafting your spring message, a lightweight online component to your spring appeal can expand the reach of your appeal in minutes. Both your traditional and online appeals should:
- Nurture new supporters. Spring is a great time to reach back out to supporters who donated for the first time last year or donate sporadically. Include updates on recent programs to demonstrate what their money has supported so far and provide opportunities to become a recurring donor.
- Use specific goals and/or programs to drive donations. Compared to your year-end campaigns, donors in the spring tend to look for a tangible reason to give, and including details (or better yet, options) can provide the incentive necessary to get them moving.
- Make it easy and fast for your supporters to donate while you are top of mind.
We know you’re short on time and juggling your traditional appeals with the demands of a digital world. That’s why each of these options allow you to create a new online component to your Spring Appeal in an hour or less.
Take 15 Minutes: Simple Donation Form
On a tight schedule? Create a simple donation form that enables donors to provide support instantly – all on a clean, professional form that’s branded for your cause (not Paypal’s). Your form can be sent via an email appeal, linked from your website, distributed by your partners, and shared on social media.
In addition to being quick and easy to create, donation forms work well for Spring Appeals because they can reach supporters wherever they are and provide a low barrier to donate. Add custom messaging around the specific programs you’re fundraising for now and share your donation form via email, social media, your website, and your partners. You can create an unlimited number of forms, making it easy to add additional ones in the coming months as you move into new project areas.
Take it a step further: Choice is a powerful motivator for any Spring Appeal. Supporters respond when they understand the impact of their donation, and many donors prefer to donate to a specific program or goal instead of a general fund. Enable quick and easy Donation Designations to allow supporters to pick the program they want to contribute to – and include updates on that program when you send follow-ups to the supporter.
30 Minutes: Donation Website
To tell your story more fully and center your mission in your appeal, upgrade your donation form to a full donation website, complete with videos, photos, and content that brings your mission to life.
Your donation website can simply be a landing page for your Spring Appeal with more personalized information about the programs supported by spring donations, or you can expand it to link to a variety of options for supporting your cause.
Take it a step further: Use your own domain (e.g. DonateToMyNonprofit.org) for your donation website or connect it to your existing website by adding a free subdomain (e.g. Donate.MyNonprofit.org). As always, your brand and mission are first, not ours.
1 Hour: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign
Activate your strongest supporters by giving them more to do than simply donate. Create a Fundraising Campaign that encourages supporters to share your cause, boost your message, and expand your pool of potential donors by fundraising from their friends and family.
With our new free and flexible wizard for creating fundraising campaigns, it’s easy to build a standalone fundraising campaign for your spring appeal. Add default header images and messages that ensure every fundraiser has a professional, branded fundraising page, customize your donation receipts, and access easy reporting on every fundraiser and donor.
Take it a step further: Enable Facebook Fundraisers and encourage your fundraisers to connect their fundraiser to Facebook to help them reach their goal and raise more for your cause. If your nonprofit is already approved for Facebook Payments, the GiveSignup – Facebook Fundraiser integration can be activated with the click of a button. Facebook does not charge a processing fee on donations and all donation data is automatically synced between Facebook and GiveSignup.
Tips to Maximize your Online Fundraising Effort
Regardless of which option(s) you select for the online component of your Spring Appeal there are a few things you can do to maximize the impact of your ask.
Share, share, share.
The benefit of online donations and fundraising is the national (or international) reach that it gives you. Always add branded images and customized messaging for social sharing to guarantee that the online community sees your best side.
Donor covered fees.
You always have the option to pass the processing fee onto donors, absorb it as an organization, or split it with your donor. The most popular choice? Give the donor the option to cover the fee, along with some persuasive language about making their donation go further. This drastically reduces the effective processing fee for your organization.
Provide supporters with the choice to donate once or on a recurring basis – monthly, quarterly, or annually. Include a clear message about why recurring donations have extra value to your organization. Sure, most donors are going to opt to donate once, but every supporter who decides to click that “recurring” box is worth multiple one-off donations.