Charity events are not going anywhere – everyone loves to party for a good cause. But understanding some of the current trends in fundraising can help you amplify your cause, target the right donors, and create attractive ways for people to give.
Go for the high earners.
Tax policies in the U.S. have shifted, making it less likely middle and lower-class individuals will be donating – and they’ll be donating less. Researchers at Indiana University predict that organizations will be more dependent than ever on individuals with high net worth – partly because they’ll still see big benefits on their taxes when they do. Still, the outlook is positive for individual donations from all levels: giving in this sector is predicted to rise by 3.4%.
2. Use insight into diverse communities.
People with different backgrounds and identities tend to give differently. According to Philanthropy Outlook 2019-2020, a report published by researchers at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, African Americans are more likely to give back to their own communities than whites. They are also more likely to give to basic needs charities than the overall population of high-net-worth donors (72% of African Americans versus 54% of all donors). Researchers have also noted differences between male and female donors, and generational differences as well, with women more likely to actively volunteer and to prefer impact investing at a higher rate, and older women more likely to choose just a few causes to support. Find more information in their report, available at www.philanthropyoutlook.com.
3. Harness social media for peer-to-peer fundraising.
If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen people asking for money for a cause on their birthday. Giving on Facebook is easy, and having a friend recommending a cause employs one of the most successful, tried and true fundraising tactics – peer-to-peer fundraising. It’s not all just Facebook charity requests, though. People are running online games and competitions – think virtual race- to raise money for their favorite causes. Make sure you have a strong online presence, with easy-to-navigate pages and a convenient method for accepting donations to take advantage of this trend.
4. Set up a recurring giving program.
Donors who give to recurring donation programs – where they give a set amount monthly – tend to give more on average than one-time donors. Recurring donations are ways people who aren’t in the high-net-worth category can give on a budget. Recurring giving also gives organizations a way to keep in regular contact with their donors, giving them reports on where their money goes, which helps retain donors by creating a deeper connection with the cause.
5. Jump into virtual reality.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being employed by businesses, schools, and organizations to enhance and extend their mission. VR can provide ways to connect people to the causes they care about; to explain a procedure that is being funded, and to give insight into the work your organization does. A study in Nonprofit Management and Leadership which looked at the effects of using virtual reality on donor behavior found that donors were more engaged through VR and therefore more likely to give.
6. Use the right tool for communication.
Email is still one of the best ways to engage donors. That’s because people are often overwhelmed by social media and often dismiss what comes up in their feed, and it can be hard to find later. Email can be personalized but also very efficient, and it can be easily forwarded and shared. Crafting attention-getting emails that are mobile-friendly are key.
7. Pursue new opportunities for corporate giving.
Corporate giving is hot. As corporations fight for talent, they are looking for ways to present their businesses as socially minded and ethical, and engaging in a charitable cause is a popular way to do this. Some places of business also encourage volunteers to donate their time – sometimes giving them time off to do so. This can be a great way to build a relationship with individuals as well as the business.
8. Build a planned giving program.
Long popular with big charities, more and more nonprofits are realizing it’s to their benefit to build programs for planned giving. “Small and mid-sized nonprofits can no longer afford to ignore planned giving, and many don’t know how simple it can be to get started,” notes the National Council of Nonprofits.
9. Chat with a bot.
Organizations that use chatbots – digital artificial intelligence responders – recognize them as invaluable tools for connecting with potential donors and volunteers, whether they want to know how to donate, need help buying a ticket to the latest event, or directing them to more information. Chatbots are programmed to run with programs like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Slack and can even tell stories to help engage viewers – as Charity:Water does with their Facebook messenger bot, which enables viewers to follow a girl as she searches for water. Chatbots can help save money and reduce staff time answering questions.They are also a gold mine for data, notes nonprofit expert and consultant Allison Fine in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
10. Show ‘em what you got.
Donors always like to know where their money is going and see it make a difference. Charity:Water started out with a party where everyone donated $20 each. All the attendees received information about how their $20 went directly towards providing a community with clean water – and as a result, donations started pouring in. So make sure you’re not only sharing the story of what’s needed but also share how donors have made an impact. This might include videos, photographs, interactive storytelling and Q & A, as well as providing hard facts and figures. Fortunately, in today’s world of a wealth of data and inexpensive digital tools that quickly connect people anywhere in the world, transparency is easier than ever.
You can apply many of these tips to planning events, too. Chatbots can make it easier for people to ask questions and connect, and understanding your target demographics better can help ensure the right people are seeing your promotions.
Another key to solid fundraising? Having the right event ticketing platform to sell your tickets online. Sparxo is designed to make it easy to reach and track your attendees, so you can follow up for other programs, like planned giving and recurring donations. Unlike other platforms, Sparxo puts your cause and your event front and center without impacting your bottom line.
Sparxo harnesses the latest tech to make it easier on you and your followers, translating to more dollars for your cause.
While most ticket sales software like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster take huge portions of sales, cost too much, promote competing events, and eclipse your own brand. You can use Sparxo to post your event and sell tickets for your event anywhere, letting you sell tickets online with no redirects – all for free! Plus, Sparxo offers a non-profit program where the company makes a donation.
- Import your guest lists and sales lists from other systems
- Aggregate all of your customer data in one place
- Keep 100% of your ticket sales
- White Label, greatly improves SEO and Brand
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