4 Dependable and Simple Ways to Boost Donation Amounts

24 Mar 2024 By Guest Post

Imagine what your nonprofit could accomplish if every donor increased their contribution by just $10. That could mean the difference between providing food and enrichment for an animal in your shelter’s care or maintaining one of your elementary school’s after-school programs.

Whether you’re striving to alleviate poverty, build a state-of-the-art learning environment, or support environmental conservation, donors’ generosity fuels positive change for all sorts of causes. It’s up to you to inspire generosity and prove that each contribution makes an impact.

If you’re ready to smash your fundraising targets, we’re here to share these tried-and-true tips for inspiring greater generosity:

These approaches leverage human connection and draw upon donor behavior to boost generosity. Now, let’s explore these strategies so you can create more interactive campaigns that make a difference.

Educate donors about matching gifts.

Companies often match their employees’ charitable donations to support causes that are important to them, boosting employee retention and community goodwill. These programs can double the donations you receive. That has a lot of positive implications for your fundraising!

In fact, Double the Donation’s CSR research shares that 84% of donors are more likely to donate if a match is offered. Better yet, one in three donors will upgrade their gift when they know it’s eligible for matching.

Since 26 million people work for companies with matching gift programs, your CRM probably has some match-eligible donors. However, not everyone knows they’re match-eligible, leading to untapped revenue. It’s up to you to inform donors, so here are some easy ways to spread the word:

  • Follow up post-donation. When sending acknowledgment letters, encourage donors to research their match eligibility and upgrade their impact. They’ve already given, so why wouldn’t they complete a form to double that contribution? Some matching gift platforms offer automated follow-up emails based on the individual’s eligibility. While match-eligible donors may receive submission instructions, others might receive guidance on determining eligibility.
  • Showcase matching gift success stories. Across marketing channels, share examples of how matching gifts have significantly boosted donations for your organization. Testimonials add a human element and tie matching gifts to tangible outcomes.

Across all communications, emphasize how donors’ extra effort can make an even greater impact on your cause. They can upgrade their donations without spending any more of their own money. Of course, thank donors for taking the time to submit a match request, too. In the future, they’ll be much more likely to take that extra step to increase their donations.

Gamify the donation experience with incentives

From donor recognition gifts to online merchandise stores, you have plenty of ways to add incentives to the donation experience. However, a silent auction is one of the most natural, engaging ways to incentivize donations. This form of fundraising injects excitement and competition into the donation process.

First and foremost, communicate how your auction’s proceeds will support your organization’s mission and programs. Then, elevate your silent auction and maximize bids with the following strategies:

  • Increase the value of participating, such as with unique items like VIP event access. You might even create bundles that feature complimentary items, increasing the package’s value and attracting higher bids. These opportunities boost the value of auction items and incentivize bidders to compete to win.
  • Streamline the bidding process with mobile bidding. Enable attendees to bid conveniently from their smartphones or devices, making participating and staying involved in the auction easier.
  • Provide real-time updates on bidding activity to create urgency and start bidding wars. Displaying bid increments, countdown timers, and leaderboards in prominent locations keeps attendees motivated to outbid their competitors.
  • Incorporate live entertainment into your event to create a captivating atmosphere. Whether it’s live music or comedy acts, entertainment adds energy to the auction, motivating attendees to participate actively.

Recognize top bidders with special acknowledgments like public recognition during the event or personalized thank-you notes afterward. Showing recognition not only fosters future generosity, but it also encourages friendly competition among bidders vying for recognition.

Start a recurring giving program

Recurring or monthly giving programs invite donors to make regular, automated contributions to your organization. This helps develop donor relationships and foster support.

Unlike one-time donations, recurring gifts establish a steady stream of revenue that accumulates over time. This stability helps your organization plan programs and other initiatives more accurately. Plus, automating the giving process simplifies support since donors won’t have to fill out your donation form each time they contribute.

In terms of boosting donations, recurring gifts increase the lifetime value of donors compared to one-time donors. Over time, the cumulative impact of recurring donations can far exceed that of a single donation. What’s more, donor retention research estimates that new donor retention rates average less than 20%. Meanwhile, monthly giving programs see retention rates of over 80% after the first year.

Some strategies to launch a successful recurring giving program include:

  • Make it easy to opt in. Streamline the process of setting up recurring donations by offering user-friendly online forms and providing various payment options. If possible, donors should be able to opt into your program during your primary donation process.
  • Offer incentives. These might include exclusive updates, access to special events, or public recognition for recurring donors to encourage ongoing commitment.
  • Implement an incremental ask strategy. Encourage recurring donors to increase their donation amount gradually. For example, set up automated email campaigns that prompt donors to slightly increase their monthly contribution each year.

As with any donation upgrade idea, regularly thank recurring donors for their continued support. Fundraisers often make the mistake of not thanking these donors continually, but a simple “thank you” can mean the difference between retaining and losing a recurring donor.

Ask supporters to promote your fundraisers

Getting Attention’s nonprofit marketing guide explains that 88% of individuals trust recommendations from loved ones over any other type of marketing. In other words, let supporters market your mission for you!

Encourage them to talk about your cause and share your organization’s social media posts. They might even launch a fundraiser on your behalf! While this is great for extending your fundraiser’s reach beyond your immediate audience, it also fosters a deeper sense of involvement for those promoting your cause. By playing a role in driving donations and spreading awareness, they’ll become more emotionally invested in your fundraiser’s success and may ultimately wind up donating more, too.

Here are a few ways to encourage supporters to drive donations:

  • Create social media toolkits. Create engaging and shareable content such as social media graphics, videos, or pre-written templates that supporters can easily share with their friends and family members. These toolkits simplify supporter’s roles and ensure consistency in messaging.
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer fundraising. Equip supporters with tools to fundraise on your organization’s behalf. Be sure to provide easy instructions for them to set up an individual fundraising page and promote it to their network. Some companies will even match the donations their employees personally raise for a cause, so look out for these opportunities.
  • Host challenges. Create fun contests that encourage supporters to compete in promoting your campaign. For example, challenge supporters to see who can recruit the most new donors or generate the most engagement on social media posts related to your fundraiser. Offer prizes or recognition to drive participation.

Supporters can lend credibility to your cause and share personal stories related to your work, resonating with others who share similar values. For example, one of your students might explain how the school’s music program is near and dear to her heart, inspiring friends and family to donate and preserve the program.

An emotional connection like this can motivate donors to give more generously, driven by a desire to contribute to a cause of personal significance.

Wrapping Up

From adding fundraising channels like matching gifts to encouraging supporter advocacy, you have several options for driving generosity among donors.

Remember, each donation represents more than just a financial contribution. It acts as a catalyst for change, so start implementing the strategies we’ve covered. Every dollar you raise brings you one step closer to fulfilling your mission.