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Faith Leaders Nonprofit Leaders 6min read

9 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Receive Free Donations

Donations are the life force of nonprofits. But it’s not always easy to get people to give for your cause. With people living busier lives than ever, it’s become even harder to capture the attention of prospective donors. All hope is not lost, as there are still plenty of ways you can get free donations for your nonprofit.

We’ve assembled a guide to help: Our Top Ways to Receive Free Donations for Your Nonprofit

How Can I Get Free Donations Online?

With people spending a large amount of time on the internet, online giving has also gained popularity. In fact, online is the most preferred donation channel according to the 2018 Trends in Giving Report. Across all age groups, genders, and donor sizes, donors preferred to give online.

So if you want to get more free donations, you need to catch your audience online.

<< Watch webinar replay: Maximize Easter generosity: Turn one-time givers into year-long supporters >>

1: Online Donor Networks

Getting your cause in front of online donor networks can be a great way to get more free donations. List your nonprofit on online giving platforms like Givelify, which has over 1 million donors.

It also allows prospective donors to conduct a “search by cause.” So they can easily look up causes that align with their values – whether it’s saving the dolphins or battling homelessness. In other words, thousands of relevant donors will be able to find and donate to your cause.

2: Compelling Donation Page

If you want your website visitors to donate, make sure you have a powerful donation page. This page should make a compelling case for your cause and convince visitors to donate. Plus, it should be easy to use and navigate across different devices.

3: Enable Social Giving

Social media is one of the top channels that inspire donations, according to the Trends in Giving Report. So to get more free donations for your nonprofit, you should look to social media. Make the most of hashtags like #GivingTuesday to promote your cause. And share multiple ways to donate to your cause.

Nonprofits like Giving Hope & Help do exactly this and ask followers to donate to causes like breast cancer support. They then provide all the ways to donate – website, nomination form, Cash App, and Givelify.

You can even add social giving buttons to your account to drive more donations.

4: Thoughtful Email Campaigns

Email is another top channel to inspire donations, especially among mid-size and major donors. So to get more free donations, you need thoughtful email campaigns that resonate with your audience. Send them updates about how you used their previous donations. Or you can also let them know about new causes that your nonprofit has decided to support.

In every email, make sure to include giving links that will easily get them through the donation process.

5: Recurring Donation Campaigns

Your best bet at getting more donations is through people who’ve already donated before. So encourage them to set up recurring donations to your nonprofit. You could give this suggestion in a “thank you” email for their first donation. Or you could also give this option on your donation page.

Givelify allows donors to set up recurring donations that will automatically go through at a set time.

How Do I Ask for a Free Will Donation?

While online channels may be the top preference among donors, don’t rely on these alone. You may be able to reach plenty of other prospective donors through traditional and offline channels.

6: Drive-Through Events

For a low-cost way to drive donations, consider hosting drive-through charity events where donors queue up to give. In return for their donations, you could give them goodie bags or merchandise. To promote contactless giving, you could also display a QR code that will take donors to your donation page.

A line of cars gathered in support of a drive through charity event

7: Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

Encourage your donors to share the news about your cause and inspire their friends and family to give. You could also add an online element to this. When people donate online, give them an option to share the news via social media and email. This could be a great way to get word-of-mouth recommendations from loyal donors.

8: Direct Mail Campaigns

While email and social media have taken over, direct mail still has its place. In fact, 18% of baby boomers still get donation inspiration from direct mail, according to the Trends in Giving Report. So make the most of eye-catching flyers and personalized letters to get donations from direct mail campaigns, particularly if your donor base is 55 or older. 

9: Call-in and Virtual Campaigns

Interestingly enough, phone calls may still be a great way to reach a small portion of your donor base. If you want to get as many nonprofit donations as possible, don’t miss out on the chance to reach more prospective donors. Use call-in campaigns to build a personal connection with your audience and inspire them to donate. Virtual campaigns done through zoom or video conferencing apps work great for live events, with or without a global pandemic. 

How Do I Create a Free Fundraiser?

You can create a fundraiser for free through online donation platforms like Givelify. Sign up to the platform and create a free account for your nonprofit organization. Once you’ve finished setting everything up, you’ll be able to start receiving donations online in under five minutes.

Givelify lets you accept donations through the following options:

  • Add a giving button to your website/donation page.
  • Share giving buttons/links through social media channels.
  • Promote giving buttons/links via email.
  • Accept donations through the Givelify mobile app.

Note that creating a fundraiser through Givelify is completely free. Each transaction will cost your donors just 2.9% + $0.30.

Gearing Up to Get Free Donations

There are plenty of ways to get free donations for your nonprofit – both online and offline. To make sure you reach your campaign goals, don’t forget to accept donations through a variety of channels.

Online giving platforms like Givelify make this easy. It connects you with over a million donors through its massive donor network. Plus, it allows you to accept donations through different channels including your website and mobile app.

About the Author

Giving Illustration

Luis Orozco is a contributing writer. His passions and expertise are nonprofit fundraising and development. He uses Givelify to support his local church and the social justice causes.

Luis Orozco