Fundraising is a constant priority for nonprofit organizations. Grants and other earned revenue are also important funding sources, but a reliable stream of donations can be a catalyst for additional programming. The problem? It’s difficult to develop fresh new fundraising ideas to keep donors engaged. 

It’s relatively easy to put together a fundraising form and embed it on your website, but that type of basic fundraising effort is unlikely to lead to success. Instead, you need to introduce creative, engaging new fundraising campaigns that can both re-engage existing donors and entice new funders. Consider these innovative fundraising ideas for nonprofits to spice up your giving campaigns: 

Try Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

At the top of the list of fundraising ideas for nonprofits, peer-to-peer outreach stands out as an easy way to attract more supporters to your cause. Peer-to-peer fundraising means asking your existing volunteers or donors to reach out to their personal network to solicit donations. Contact from a friend or family member is one of the most compelling calls to action for new supporters; if someone they care about is already passionate about your cause, it’s easy for them to become passionate, too. 

Software tools like Impactive can make your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns very easy. Simply set up a Friends and Family Messaging action, send it to your supporters, and invite them to take action. They can easily send scripted donation requests to their friends and family, and easily add their own personal touches. You can make peer-to-peer fundraising even more engaging by hosting a dedicated event, like a fundraising text bank where your volunteers reach out to their contacts in a fun, supportive setting. 

Get Creative with Fundraising Events

Many nonprofits host traditional fundraising events like auctions and banquets. Have you considered more creative fundraising ideas for your nonprofit? For example, partner with a local business (like a climbing gym or bowling alley) to offer a fun evening of activities that supporters can attend by donating. Your supporters can enjoy themselves while supporting a good cause. 

Source Fundraising Ideas from Volunteers

If your development efforts are feeling stale, the best place to get fundraising ideas is from your existing volunteers and supporters. Ask your community: have you been to any great fundraisers lately? Have you seen other nonprofits launching interesting fundraising campaigns? Going straight to the source for new fundraising campaigns can ensure that you’re remaining in touch with your supporter community. Plus, you'll be able to provide fundraising opportunities that are best tuned to your specific audience. Great fundraising ideas for nonprofits are everywhere! 

Involve Influencers or Celebrities

If your fundraising campaigns need an extra boost, consider involving influencers or celebrities to promote your cause. In today’s day and age, influencers are very trusted messengers; their support of your cause can instantly win you tens, hundreds, or even thousands of new supporters. Plus, many influencers are eager to use their platform to support causes they care about. 

Depending on the size of your organization, partnering with popular influencers or A-list celebrities might seem out of reach. But don’t forget that local influencers or key stakeholders can also be trusted messengers for your organization. For example, a local news anchor in your community might be a well-respected leader. They might not have millions of followers, but they have targeted reach within your local audience. Partnering with stakeholders like these is one of the fundraising ideas for nonprofits that are gaining in popularity and can easily increase the donations that roll in. 

Promote Employer-Matched Donations

Particularly in today’s competitive labor market, employers are offering more and more perks and benefits to attract employees. Employer-matched donations are one of the perks gaining in popularity. Many employers offer their employees a donation match, sometimes up to $500 or $1,000 per year. Try reminding your supporters that their employer might offer a matching program (in an email, permanently on your website, etc.); if they do, you’ll instantly double the donations you can bring in per supporter. 

Coming up with new development efforts is difficult, but one of the best ways to populate fresh fundraising ideas for nonprofits is to keep a close eye on popular culture and social media. Did you see a friend share a fundraising contest to win concert tickets? Did a news program feature a fundraising event at a local community center? Note these ideas, and don’t be afraid to be experimental. You never know: you might find a brand-new fundraising tactic that is game-changing for your organization! 

Sep 30, 2022
Tools & Tech