Building a Modernized Fundraising Strategy

Nonprofits come in many shapes and sizes. Those who have been around a while are often quite confident in their traditional fundraising strategies. Unfortunately, we are living in an ever-changing world that requires everyone to stay up to speed with the new methods to achieve our organizational goals. Aging demographics means that those who were target donors are one portion of your focus and they may require a different fundraising strategy than the younger demographics who operate quite differently in a world full of technological advancement. This means that nonprofits have to have more than one fundraising strategy and skill-set to ensure the most effective outcomes.

Online Presence

Many people will read the news, their emails, and communicate using their mobile devices, tablets, or computers. As such, it is critical to have an online presence. 

Social Media

Social media is one of the most prolific modern strategies to target the largest portion of potential donors. People of all ages participate in social media now. It is important to utilize as many different social media options as you can to have the largest potential outreach campaign. It is always important to reach people where they naturally go. It fits within their comfort zone and renders your organization cognizant of their interests and methods of navigating the world. It also offers the opportunity for them to be part of the excitement in a way that empowers them to be involved. They may even voluntarily participate in promoting your events since social media makes this incredibly easy for them to do.

Crowd-funding vs. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Crowd-funding and peer-to-peer fundraising can be easily accomplished online. There are numerous platforms designed to facilitate these efforts. You can also utilize this within your own fundraising and donor management software.

Crowd-funding campaigns are designed as follows:

  • One online page that talks about the campaign, purpose for the fundraising effort, the fundraising goal, and live demonstration of funds raised to date. 
  • Anyone who receives the link can donate. They do not have to be former donors. This page can be promoted on social media, email campaigns, from your website, and promoted by your vendors, sponsors, and volunteers using their own resources and ideas.
  • This is effective in raising a small amount of money efficiently. Small donations add up very quickly and people are excited to participate.
  • Use this guide to assist you with your crowd-funding marketing strategy.

Peer-to-peer fundraising are designed as follows:

  • Uses small donations and social media networks.
  • Volunteers are recruited to fundraise on your nonprofit’s behalf.
  • A wider audience is reached.
  • It can raise a large amount of funds due to the sheer numbers of people marketed to.
  • The results can be larger than crowd-funding, but they require recruitment efforts. This means volunteers who are willing to do this effort for free.
  • Peer to Peer fundraising can be done with the right fundraising and donor management software.

Fundraising Software

Fundraising software can change your nonprofit fundraising strategy forever. The right software can not only run fundraising campaigns for peer-to-peer efforts, but also create donation pages for your website, email campaigns to your donor list, as well as track your individual donor contributions over time so that you can improve your entire donor stewardship strategies. This software can also assist with fundraising event registration and tracking. It is probably one of the most important software systems a nonprofit can invest in. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a more cost-effective strategy to the traditional postal mail marketing campaign. Although, this does not mean you should dismiss your postal-dependent donors. In your donor database, request from your recipients if they wish to receive emails or printed documents by mail for communication. This not only respects your donor, but it is also eco-friendly and cost effective. Just be sure to let them know to set your organization’s email to “safe” so that your emails do not go to their spam folders.

Your email marketing software should include:

  • Behavior based automation. The software should track who is opening the emails and automate responses such as “thank you” emails or managing the number and frequency of email campaigns to each donor.
  • Auto-scheduled email delivery based upon time zone. This is important if you have donors in multiple time zones. Timely emails mean increased opening and reading of your email campaigns.
  • Email templates pre-designed. Not everyone is a graphic designer and not everyone knows how to format an email template. Great programs make this very easy and click and play user friendly.
  • Social media buttons. Include every social media platform that your organization uses in your email campaigns.

Donor Targeting

The right donor management software will know your donors well. It can help your donor development team better steward individual donors based upon their donation behaviors in the past. Tracking donor behavior is the key to understanding your donors and setting your best foot forward with them with every fundraising request you make. The right software will segment your donors into groups based upon common attributes. This enables campaign marketing to select donors to target based upon factors such as:

  • Location
  • Business affiliation – this is helpful when focusing on donors that participate in company gift matching programs.

Donor Experience

The donor experience is always critical as it can make or break your fundraising strategy efforts. The right fundraising software can save your organization and donors significant time while making the donation process as painless and enjoyable as possible.

Automated Recurring Donations

Those who want to donate large amounts, but need to do so in smaller payments will greatly benefit from utilizing automated recurring donation programs. Fundraising software can take care of this process for the organization and the donor in a one-time form completion. Donors merely check a box and the automated process does the rest for as long as the donor has elected to have the contributions deducted from their donation method of choice. 

This also provides your organization with continual funding, increased donations, and smoother overall fundraising.

Mobile Giving

Mobile giving has been discussed in the Multichannel Donor Relationship chapter. Mobile devices are what our world depends upon for those who are constantly on the go. Having fundraising software that can accept donations through a mobile app helps. Donations through mobile apps are not frequently your major donors, but small donations do add up, especially if the donor elects to turn the one time gift into a recurring donation.


Keeping your fundraising strategy fresh with the tools available will not only improve your efforts through ease of management and organization, but also by making the donor experience more pleasurable, resulting in increased recurring donations. Overall, the key is having the right fundraising software to ensure you can accomplish the most with an all-inclusive platform that keeps your donor database effectively targeted with the method that suits each individual best. Donor stewardship paired with modern fundraising is the smartest way to work.