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Nonprofit Leaders 5min read

Nonprofit Fundraising: 7 Best Practices for Reaching Modern Donors

The basics of nonprofit fundraising have mostly stayed steady throughout the years, but the makeup of your donor base has changed drastically. Younger generations of donors think quite differently than generations like the Baby Boomers. Let’s take a look at seven best practices that you should put in place for reaching this new generation of modern donors.

1. Offer the Convenience of Mobile Giving

Because they use their phones for everything from shopping to banking, modern donors expect the ability to donate from their mobile devices. What happens when people attend your nonprofit fundraising event without cash or a checkbook? With mobile giving, you enable supporters to give on-the-spot with just a few taps on their smartphone. Those who weren’t able to attend can even participate in giving from afar!

The best way to create an effortless and convenient donation experience is to implement Givelify’s mobile and online giving platform. With this technology, donors can support your cause financially anytime, anywhere. What more could modern donors want?

2. Your Website Must Look Good and Function Well on Any Device

Nonprofit Fundraising 9 Best Practices for Reaching Modern Donors

Think of the modern donor as a digital-first consumer. Your website is a major part of how donors will get to know your organization. If it looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1994 or doesn’t provide a pleasant user experience, it pushes modern donors away.

Responsive websites — those that scale to the screen size of the user’s device — are the only ones worth visiting in the minds of Millennial-aged donors. Make sure your otherwise great-looking site isn’t a jumbled mess on mobile, and that all the buttons and links work the way they should.

Your website should also have an easy-to-locate giving button that is optimized for mobile. Don’t make donors fill out a long, complicated form with their personal information. Give website visitors an intuitive, frustration-free online giving experience — like that offered by Givelify.

3. Tell Your Story Effectively

Modern donors (Millennials and members of Generation Z) give to causes, not organizations. These donors ask, “What are you trying to change in the world that should lead me to give you my money?”

It’s imperative that you tell your story well. A large part of that involves being transparent. Share details about the important work you’re doing and how supporters’ donations help you complete that work.

When modern donors get a full picture of the impact of their donations on the larger community — and world — they are more likely to contribute to your cause.

4. Allow for “Recurring” Donations

Nonprofit Fundraising 9 Best Practices for Reaching Modern Donors

Millennials and Gen Z love the idea of giving small amounts each month instead of large lump sums. Smaller recurring giving is also often easier on a young budget. Many even prefer this style of giving to attending formal fundraisers such as galas or auctions.

This “Netflix-style fundraising” isn’t just beneficial for your younger supporters. It can also help you even out your budget by providing steady income throughout the year. Make sure your online and mobile giving solution supports this function. Givelify, for example, makes it more convenient than ever by allowing donors to seamlessly select a timeframe for recurring donations during the giving process.

5. Segment Your Messaging

Some messages are more effective with one group or generation than another. Modern donors prefer to receive messaging that is catered to them, rather than generic mass emails. Nonprofit fundraising experts at Elevation suggest using a database or nonprofit CRM to categorize your donors.

You can send one message to your “subscription givers” and a completely different email to your once-a-year big donors. Instead of sending one message to all of your potential supporters, use segmenting to send relevant messages to the appropriate people.

6. Appeal to Social Users with Peer-to-Peer Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns

Nonprofit Fundraising 9 Best Practices for Reaching Modern Donors

Younger people just entering the workforce may not have large cash reserves, but they tend to be socially well connected (especially online). Imagine the reach your campaign can have if young donors share the information with their hundreds or thousands of social media followers!

Running a peer-to-peer campaign — where instead of giving directly, individuals raise money for your cause from their peers and social network — is a great way to engage a missing segment of would-be modern donors. Expand your reach by sending your undiluted brand and message directly to people who don’t already follow or support your organization.

Donors who give using the Givelify platform are prompted to share their generosity on social media right from the receipt screen. Encourage your supporters to make use of this feature and watch them spread the word.

7. Thank Your Donors

Not only is it good manners to say thank you, but the younger generations truly appreciate the acknowledgement. The best way to encourage future giving is to let past donors know how important their support is to your cause. When they feel seen and appreciated by your organization, modern donors will be more inclined to give again.

About the Author

Amanda Slodysko

As an Account Associate, Amanda ensures our members receive top-notch service and helps guide organizations through the signup process. She also volunteers with a political nonprofit.

Amanda Slodysko