Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson
How to Raise Money for Your Nonprofit Organization
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If you’re in a nonprofit organization, you know that fundraising is vital for its survival. Luckily, in the age of the internet and technology, raising money can be a little bit easier than it used to. Just imagine, $370 billion was spent as charitable giving in the USA in 2015! And the figure is continuing to grow every year. This means that nonprofit organizations now have more tools at their disposal to collect money for charity and other endeavors. And correspondingly, people around the world have more ways to make donations and help nonprofits achieve their goals more efficiently.

However, the competition among non-profit organizations is going up as well, so managing to get fully funded is not likely to become less challenging. It is still very difficult to touch the right chords in people’s hearts and convince them to give away their hard earned money to whatever cause.

That’s why it is so important to approach fundraising strategically. If you’re setting out to help anybody, you have to know exactly how to raise money for your charity, find proper ways to make your fundraising campaign effective enough. But where do you start? Start with elaborating a right attitude first!

Before You Learn How to Get Donations for a Non-Profit

One of the crucial prerequisites for a successful fundraising campaign is a positive and decisive mindset.

From the very beginning, you’ll have to come to a clear understanding of your purpose. If your goal is to help somebody in need, make sure you realize that responsibility. This will endow you with the decisiveness and motivation required to overcome the difficulties related to raising money for your nonprofit needs. There are few important things you have to keep in mind:

1) Before you start raising money for your charity, set the clear goals for your nonprofit organization. You should definitely aim high but be realistic at the same time. Assess your capabilities and consider how many donors you can engage.

2) Passion is very important when it comes to fundraising. If you are truly passionate about your mission, you are more likely to pass it on to others. With a real faith in your cause, it will be easier for you to convince people to donate.

3) Fundraising is impossible without a strong leadership. You will need a competent director and a functional board to maximize the effectiveness of your nonprofit organization. There will be tough decisions to make, so you’d better be prepared to act decisively at some points.

4) Planning is another cornerstone of your fundraising mission. Since gathering money for charity also costs money, it is only reasonable to come up with a budget plan. Planning is also required for your future activities, so as you can see, there’s a lot to think through in advance.

5) Carefully consider the potential sources of income for your nonprofit and try not to rely on one single source. This will give you more independence and financial flexibility.

6) It is reported that 72% of all charitable contributions are made by individuals, while companies account for only 5%. That is why a good idea would be to channel your resources into finding reliable private donors.

With all that in mind, you are ready to jump right into developing your fundraising strategy. This implies a complex approach to finding and engaging donors, as well as keeping them interested and eventually upgrading.

5 Fundraising Tips for Nonprofits

Communicating your idea to other people and making them relate to it is your most challenging task. Letting others know about your cause is important  but the trickiest part is to convince them that it is your nonprofit organization that deserves their attention in the first place.

The process of converting a person into a permanent donor consists of several crucial steps: awareness, engagement, the first donation, regular communication, and upgrading. Upgrading takes place when your donor is ready to increase the donation amount, which is certainly the most desired outcome. To achieve it, consider the following pieces of advice.

  1. Convincing story is the key

Stories enthrall us, make us empathize with characters, and encourage to know the ending – and happy endings are always desired most. Being a nonprofit organization, your primary aim is to engage your potential donors and make them feel that they are capable of ensuring a happy ending.

First and foremost, you need to prepare a compelling story that tells why your mission is so important. Don’t hesitate to use examples from real life, let everyone know how and whom your organization has already helped or is going to help. Focus on how you’re making a difference. Your story should be engaging but as concise as possible in order not to overwhelm your donor with an excessive amount of information.

  1. Set yourself for communication

When it comes to fundraising, keeping constantly in touch with your donors is as important as engaging them for the first case of cooperation. A single time donation is a great result in its own way, but ideally, you want your donors to contribute on the regular basis.

This is why you should think of the ways how to keep your partners interested all the time. The least you can do is to communicate with them. Let your donors know what you have achieved thanks to their contributions, tell them stories inspiring to make another gift, and ALWAYS express your gratitude for any help you can get.

Luckily, there is a huge variety of communication options available today:

  • Emailing. The easiest and the most effective way of keeping your donors informed is sending them emails. But you should approach this strategy wisely. Don’t send the same letter to everybody on your mailing list. Make it more personal. Every individual will react differently to your message, so keep that in mind.
  • Direct mail. A handwritten letter gives your message a personal touch and shows the recipient that you really care. A physical letter will let your partner feel recognized and appreciated. And don’t forget to make it easy to reply to you by including a self-addressed envelope.
  • Social media. Today, everybody has a personal page on social media. Don’t waste your chance to expand your reach by creating social accounts for your nonprofit organization on several social media networks. This will allow you to get in touch with more people and expand your pool of donors.

Communicating with your partners, just follow the simple rule: be modest, respectful, and systematic. In this way, you will be able to nurture healthy relationships required for an effective cooperation.

  1. Timing matters as much

Most importantly, remember to communicate with your donors regularly – not only when you want to ask for another gift. If you appear on their radar only to harvest more money, they will soon turn away from your nonprofit.

Take every opportunity to remind others of your presence. Holidays are an ideal occasion for making another statement or asking for a donation. People are more inclined to make gifts before, during or after holidays. It is reported that 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year which is conditioned by the holidays like Christmas and New Year.

  1. Create an amazing donation webpage

Another way to stay visible and relevant is establishing your online presence. Create a good-looking website for your nonprofit organization where you can describe your mission, tell about your achievements, and, of course, ask for a donation.

An online donation is the easiest way to make a gift, so seize this opportunity to your advantage. Set a “Donate now” button in the most visible place of your webpage and simplify the process of donation to the highest extent. Don’t force people to get registered before they make a donation. This can distract and put them off easily.

Needless to say that it is a good idea to post photos and videos on your site to amplify your message. Some people are more likely to react to visual content, rather than textual.

Don’t forget that everything noted above can be very easily done with Ning. If you don’t feel like spending much time and money on hiring a professional web designer, just consider our site building platform.

  1. Arrange events

Focusing on your online fundraising activities, don’t miss opportunities to invite your donors to special events. Events raise awareness about your nonprofit and reinforce trust among donors.

Moreover, events allow your partners to feel special and appreciated. They are also great to communicate with your donors in the informal setting and strengthen the relationships.


Raising money for nonprofit needs is far from being easy. But there are many ways to increase the effectiveness of your fundraiser. If you follow the tips provided above, you will have much higher chances to succeed.

Remember, asking is the key to getting funded, and asking for a right cause has nothing to do with begging for alms. Consider yourself an ambassador for those in need and raise awareness about the issues that many of us so often overlook. If your mission is truly noble, you won’t have to wait too long for others to follow you.

Brenda Peterson

Brenda is Technical Specialist at Ning