4 Fundraising Ideas That Will Drive Supporter Retention

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The fresh new year brings more and better opportunities to improve your relationships with supporters. As you begin thinking about what’s at the top of your priority list for 2022, we implore you to home in on supporter retention. By understanding who your supporters are, their preferences for supporting your organization, and how to best connect with them, you are building better rapport with them — which increases supporter retention, your nonprofit visibility among your community, and, ultimately, helps you boost your fundraising revenue in the long term.

With GiveSignup | RunSignup, you gain full access to an entire suite of peer-to-peer fundraising tools to help you better engage supporters, an email tool that gives you the power to send unlimited emails from all of your fundraising campaigns and events, a website builder that lets you build a beautifully designed website in minutes, and flexible, standalone fundraising tools to use whenever and however you want — giving your nonprofit everything it needs on one platform to help you bring your supporter retention goals into fruition in 2022.  

Read on to learn more about modern fundraising ideas that will help your nonprofit improve its supporter retention and reach its fundraising goals this year and beyond. 

1. Offer Inclusive Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Events

For many nonprofits, fundraising events are the bread and butter of their revenue generation. These events help nonprofits spread mission awareness, build better relationships with their supporters, give their supporters a memorable and enjoyable experience, and most importantly, generate much-needed revenue from ticket sales to keep the mission alive. 

However, if your organization wants to level up its event to raise even more money, adding the peer-to-peer element can help your organization increase its fundraising tenfold. If this is a new term for you, peer-to-peer fundraising is essentially activating your biggest supporters to raise money with the support of their friends and family (peers!) on behalf of your organization. The numbers speak for themselves: While the pandemic proved to be a challenging time for peer-to-peer programs, revenue from the 30 largest programs still brought in $900.1 million last year, according to the PeerToPeer Professional Forum.

Thanks to modern technology, nonprofits have so much flexibility in how they host fundraising events. Gone are the days when nonprofits were limited to just in-person fundraising events. Now, nonprofits have the option to host events in-person, virtually, or a hybrid of both! With the versatility of how to host fundraising events, nonprofits now can reach supporters from all over the world. Plus, by having more inclusive fundraising events, your supporters will appreciate your thoughtfulness, which will, in turn, boost your retention rate. 

To encourage your supporters to become peer-to-peer fundraisers, GiveSignup | RunSignup has a number of features that you can use: 

Include Individual and Team Fundraising Options

Your supporters have different preferences in how they want to fundraise for your organization, so be sure to give your fundraisers the option of fundraising solo or within a team. And don’t forget to set fundraising goals for every fundraiser — whether individual or within a team. With GiveSignup | RunSignup, you can incentivize and reward your fundraisers to surpass their fundraising goals by automatically giving them a refund of their registration fee when they hit a set goal. 

For example, if you want fundraisers to raise more than $500, GiveSignup | RunSignup lets you set up an automated refund reward of their registration fee when they raise $500. Additionally, GiveSignup | RunSignup lets you automate discounts for anyone on a team that hits a certain size, further encouraging fundraisers to join teams. For example, let’s say regular registration for your fundraising event is $39. To promote team fundraisers, your nonprofit is offering a $5 discount for members of groups of more than five. With our automated discounts, the first four registrants pay $39; the fifth registrant (and everyone after) pays $34, and the initial four members are refunded $5. The best part? This is all automatic — there is no work for you after the quick and easy setup.

Easily Integrate Facebook Fundraising

Did you know that peer-to-peer fundraisers raise more with Facebook Fundraising? According to GiveSignup | RunSignup data, 48.7% of fundraisers reached their goal when Facebook Fundraising was enabled, compared to 29.7% who reached their goal with a GiveSignup | RunSignup fundraiser alone. One of the biggest challenges many nonprofits face with the technology is that the Facebook Fundraising integration can be overly complicated. It could take days for their Facebook Fundraiser to get approved by other peer-to-peer fundraising platforms. GiveSignup | RunSignup simplifies the process so that as long as nonprofits have a Facebook page approved for payments, they can be approved the same day. 

Interestly enough, our data shows that 5.88% of fundraisers created a connected Facebook Fundraiser in 2019. This increased to 6.93% of connected fundraisers in 2020. The data tells us that there is growing demand for the Facebook Fundraiser integration from users. Fundraisers want to reach their goals and asking for donations via Facebook makes that much easier. Additionally, our data shows us that donations per fundraiser increases from 5.1 to 9.9 with a Facebook Fundraiser connected.

Employ Gamification Elements 

Gamification is an emerging tactic among nonprofits that has the potential to reap high reward. Not only does it make fundraising more interactive for your peer-to-peer fundraisers, it encourages them to spread the word about your mission and incentivizes them to raise more money for your campaign. If you make fundraising fun, people will likely increase their activism. Even better, they’ll persuade the people in their community to do the same — doubling or even tripling their impact. GiveSignup | RunSignup has a number of gamification features that you can use: 

  • Milestones and Badges. With GiveSignup | RunSignup, you can further encourage peer-to-peer fundraisers to hit fundraising goals by adding milestones, and then giving them a badge when each milestone is completed. A milestone for both fundraisers can be getting halfway to their goal (e.g., raising $500). And those awarded badges can now be displayed in an achievements showcase on the fundraiser’s fundraising page within GiveSignup’s fundraising campaigns. Plus, we offer nonprofits the ability to celebrate milestones with confetti notifications every time a participant hits a fundraising milestone. Talk about giving your supporters something to show off!
  • Rewards. You can further incentivize your fundraisers to meet, and even surpass, their set goals by giving them high-value rewards. Common fundraising incentives, like swag, can get people motivated to fundraise because they’re getting something tangible in return. However, like many for-profit companies, offering monetary rewards for getting more people signed up for the event can be an even more enticing incentive for your fundraisers. Our referral rewards program allows nonprofits to give supporters money back if they hit a certain referral threshold (e.g., $20 back for getting five people registered for the event). Another way to level up your rewards program: Incentivize and reward your fundraisers for surpassing their fundraising goals by automatically giving them a refund of their registration fee when they hit a set goal. For example, if you want fundraisers to raise more than $500, GiveSignup | RunSignup lets you set up an automated refund reward of their registration fee when they raise $500.
  • Leaderboard. Within your donation form or website, you can highlight your top fundraisers. This type of leaderboard showcases the progress of your peer-to-peer fundraisers, promoting a little friendly competition between your fundraisers, which helps your organization raise even more money. Pro tip: Offering a prize to your top fundraisers can really push the fundraising pedal to the metal. 

2. Offer Multiple Ways to Support to Your Organization

Your supporters come in all shapes and sizes — they come from different backgrounds, are drawn to your organization for different reasons, and have different preferences for supporting your organization. So, you’d be remiss if you didn’t offer your supporters a variety of ways to contribute to your organization. By meeting supporters where they are, not only are you strengthening your bond with them, you’re also ensuring that you are retaining their trust and support for the long term. 

While your main goal is to raise money to benefit your mission and those whom you serve, there are other helpful ways for people to contribute to your organization. With practical tools from GiveSignup | RunSignup, your nonprofit can provide its advocates with diverse and flexible options to support your organization:

Donate directly to your nonprofit. The quickest and easiest way for people to support your organization is by sending in a donation. GiveSignup | RunSignup provides nonprofits with free and unlimited donation forms that can be set up within minutes and can be customized to fit the needs of your organization. With our donation forms, you have the ability to: 

  • Feature your branding prominently throughout. 
  • Highlight information about your mission and why a donation would make a difference for the people or animals you serve. 
  • Include donation levels so that people understand where their money is going toward.
  • Provide an opportunity for people to give on behalf of loved ones through tailored and templated e-cards. 
Example from Pets Are Our Loving Support

Spread the word or engage in peer-to-peer fundraising. In some cases, you will have supporters who want to do more to contribute to your mission than simply give. These people are your super supporters: You have done a great job at cultivating and stewarding relationships with them, and your mission truly resonates with them. Encourage them to share your fundraising initiatives on social media and/or create fundraisers on your behalf. A better and more personalized way to do this is by asking in your email marketing efforts. Sending a monthly email to your existing supporters can move the needle in converting them to be peer-to-peer fundraisers. Plus, with a free and easy-to-use email marketing tool from GiveSignup | RunSignup, you’re able to customize emails by adding data replacement tags and unique call-to-action buttons, like “Become a Fundraiser Today!”

Participate in a Fundraising Event. Give your supporters an experience to remember! Fundraising events bring your supporters together to network with one another, collaborate to spread the word about the nonprofit’s mission, learn more about the nonprofit and the impact its making on its community — all while participating in an activity they enjoy (like competing at golf tournament or enjoying local brews at a beer festival). GiveSignup | RunSignup has a whole suite of tools readily available for whatever type of event your nonprofit is hosting: an endurance event (walk, run, or ride), a ticket event (gala, auction, or networking event), or a virtual challenge (complete an endurance fitness goal over several weeks).

3. Foster Long-Term Relationships With Recurring Giving 

For your supporters who enjoy making the occasional donation to your nonprofit, it’s advisable to give them the option (even give them a nudge here and there) to give on a recurring basis. Especially if you’re focused on improving your supporter retention and loyalty, having more recurring donors will help nurture those relationships over the long term. In fact, research has shown time and time again that recurring donors are worth more than one-time donors over their lifetime. 

To help you retain these recurring donors, GiveSignup | RunSignup makes it easy for nonprofits by letting them include a recurring giving option on their donation forms. The best part is that you can provide multiple options for recurring giving (e.g., monthly, quarterly, yearly). 

As an example, take a look at The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation’s donation form. The simple donation form highlights a message about the organization mission and vision from its president and founder, in addition to having multiple donation levels, numerous recurring giving options, and the option to dedicate the donation to someone.  

Example from The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation

4. Centralize Opportunities to Engage With an All-in-One Website

Let’s face it: The truth is that your supporters don’t want to keep track of a different website URL for each individual fundraising campaign and event. That process can become tedious, and you’ll end up losing more supporters in the process due to the time constraints it would take to stay current and up to date with what’s in your fundraising pipeline. To ease the process for your supporters, create an all-in-one website that allows them to not only learn more about your organization and its mission, but keep track of upcoming campaigns and events. 

Pro tip: Set up your ticket events, donation forms, and fundraising campaigns for the year on this website, and then link to every one of your events and campaigns on your new comprehensive nonprofit donation website. This consolidates every important piece of information about your nonprofit — including upcoming events and campaigns that supporters need to know about — so all they have to do is bookmark your one URL, and then revisit when they want to learn more. 

Like all of our technology offerings, creating a website for your fundraising event with GiveSignup | RunSignup is completely free for nonprofits. Plus, it’s now easier than ever to create a website that looks professionally designed and is highly functional — thanks to our intuitive website builder. Equipped with a drag-and-drop tool that easy to use and understand, our website builder allows you to tailor your website to fit your unique needs, with a menu header with dropdown menus, along with unlimited pages and subpages, that feature a number of customizable content pieces — like images, videos, a donation goal thermometer, and so much more.  

GiveSignup | RunSignup’s purpose-built technology can help elevate your fundraising with a unique and self-serve website builder, next-generation email marketing platform, along with access to free tools to build simple and easy-to-use fundraising events and campaigns. Click here to learn more.

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