Donate signs have evolved over time. You no longer need to crack out the poster paint and get the most artistic member of the group to make the sign. This can all be done by graphic designers and a local print shop.
But is the traditional donate sign the best way to showcase your cause? To capture a modern audience, you may need something a little more unorthodox. Here are seven fresh ideas for you.
7 Creative Alternatives to Making a Donate Sign
1. Start a Social Media Campaign
Social media is quickly becoming an advertising must-have. It’s rare to come across a religious body or nonprofit that doesn’t have a Facebook page or Twitter handle. Not only is social media cheap marketing, but it also enables you to truly connect with your followers and attract new ones.
Other benefits to using social media to launch a campaign include:
- The fundraising event can happen digitally and include people from all over the world.
- Campaign management tools are simple to use.
- Creating awareness is simple and depends on the shareability of the page.
- It’s simple to incorporate digital tools such as videos and imagery.
- Campaigns can be targeted to the ideal audience.
2. Join Online Communities and Forums
Online communities and forums are important to encourage engagement. Empower Digital Marketing revealed that 43% of people attend a local charity event thanks to social media. Can a stagnant donate sign draw so many people? Probably not.
In addition, social media and online communities allow you to foster relationships and charitable giving beyond the physical community.
Fundraising apps also have their own communities. For instance, Givelify has close to a million donors that your cause can tap into.
3. Create a Public Experience
People are often moved to give by being part of an experience, like an exhibit that shows the needs or potential of the cause.
Ask local artists to paint a mural or bands to give a concert to bring awareness to your nonprofit or to invite people to your church. What about a carnival or family fun day? More than a simple donate sign, these events create awareness.
What’s more, the event can be broadcasted to reach an even wider audience.
4. Offer Brand Merchandise
Wearing your cause on a t-shirt or a hat allows you to promote your cause and share it while you’re on the move—unlike a donate signs that stays in one place. Cleverly designed attire goes a long way. Other great merchandise includes stationery, calendars, and water bottles.
If your cause has a strong enough brand, you can even sell your merchandise. World Wildlife Fund and the American Red Cross are two such nonprofits that leverage their branding to financially support their cause.
5. Arrange Fundraising Events
A well-planned fundraising event with strong marketing can create far more hype for your cause than a donate sign planted in the yard. Careful planning and budgeting will go a long way, too. Givelify can also help you organize a Givelithon (our feature-packed online fundraiser, newly updated in our all-new Analytics Studio) so you can see your donations coming in and thank the donors who are at the event—all in real time.
6. Create Valuable Content
One of the best ways to engage your donors is through powerful imagery. Picture and sounds can tell the story of your cause and evoke powerful emotions in your donors. Ways to do this include:
- Documentaries that capture all the facets of your cause
- Photos that capture the important milestones, goals, and dreams of your cause
One note: you want your content to be shareable. This allows supporters to share your content with others and increase awareness for your cause.
Visual content is not the only way to achieve this. Music, podcasts, and books are also powerful tools for sharing your message and mission.
7. Stir Up Excitement
One of the best ways to stir up excitement is to involve participants in a challenge. Pro golfer Chris Kennedy set a chain of events in motion that caused great publicity for the ALS Association. The ice bucket challenge in 2014 brought record donations to the ALS Association that enabled them to assist with medical bills and further research.
Another way to inject some fun into your cause is by planning a marathon, fun run, or other competition.
What to Say When Asking for Donations
A donor’s involvement in a cause is about more than just money. They want to feel part of the team and that their contribution is valuable.
When asking for donations, try to mix things up a little. Instead of always asking for donations, you could ask for a pledge or a gift. You can also ask a potential donor to partner with your cause. It’s important to be sincere and always have your mission at the center of the request. Your donors should also know that contributions don’t have to be large or excessive to make a difference because every bit helps.
A simple script can look like this: “Partner with us. Your contribution is valuable and we appreciate you spending your resources to help us make this happen.”
Can You Ask for Donations if You’re Not a Charity?
Any cause can ask for a donation, however, there are implications when it’s not a registered charity or nonprofit. Some things to consider include:
- There are no tax benefits for donors.
- The recipient would need to declare the donations as an income tax.
- Certain federal or state laws might prohibit these types of requests .
- Donors may not have recourse if the funds are mismanaged.
Make sure you research these legal details before soliciting donations.
We encourage your nonprofit or organization to a use variety of platforms to promote your cause—from digital stories to fundraisers at a local venue. You may never need that donate sign.
Digital channels can also make it easier for donors to connect with your cause. Online giving and receiving donations has never been easier than with an online giving app like Givelify. Sign up for Givelify and get set up for mobile donations in under 5 minutes.