How To Shift To Online Fundraising When We Can’t Gather

ClaireMarch 30, 2020

How To Shift To Online Fundraising When We Can’t Gather header image

In December, we surveyed 2,502 nonprofit professionals to learn more about their fundraising confidence. The majority of fundraisers shared that they were somewhat or very confident that they would raise more money in 2020 than they did in 2019. They also told us they found the most effective fundraising tactics to be making in-person asks/phone calls and holding events and auctions.

But so much has changed in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In another recent survey about how the coronavirus is affecting events, 87.6% of the 700 nonprofit professionals shared that they had planned to host an event in the next 3-4 months. Of the 615 professionals who had planned to host an event, 68.1% had already canceled or were planning to cancel the event.

Does that mean there’s no hope of reaching your fundraising goals?

How The Coronavirus Has Affected Online Giving

From what we’ve seen with the nonprofits that use Kindful, this isn’t a time to despair. In fact, online giving has increased across our customer base. When we compared the week of March 15 to an average week in 2020, we found that online gifts* are up by 163.74%. Total gifts given increased by 152.64%.

If your fundraising confidence has been shaken by this recent turn of events, we hope that gives you some relief. As you can see, people are still being generous with their money. And with the ability to accept donations online, now’s a great time to think more about your online fundraising strategy.

So what do you do now that you can’t connect with your donors in person?

Here are a few examples of how nonprofits have shifted to online fundraising.

1. If You Want To Turn Your Event Into A Virtual Event

In a letter to their community, the Pat Tillman Foundation** shared that “the mission will go on.” Because they won’t be able to hold their run in Tempe, Arizona, they transitioned the 16th Annual Pat’s Run into a virtual run. In their words: “Different streets. Same day. Same mission.”

Is your event one that you could hold virtually? If you were planning an in-person run or hike, you may also be interested in seeing how the Hiki for Haiti Challenge is organized. If your event involved an auction, check out how Upaya hosted the Upaya Virtual Gala and conducted their online live auction.

You can also consider planning an online peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that’s completely virtual.

2. If You Want Or Need To Cancel Your Event

Love146 decided to cancel their annual Red Gala in 2019. In lieu of hosting an in-person event, they invited their supporters to Not a Red Gala. They explained their reasoning for canceling the event and shared how people could support them virtually.

If you’re in a position where you can’t create a virtual version of the event you were planning to throw, you may want to create a landing page and invite people to donate the cost of the ticket they would have bought to your organization.

3. If You Just Want To Reach Out And Ask For Donations

See our tips for communicating with your audience during the coronavirus outbreak. We also encourage you to see how Naomi’s Village* asked for donations in their email update and how Covenant House Greater Washington* created a rapid response landing page.

Looking for more resources on responding to the COVID outbreak? Check out our Coronavirus Resource Center.

Go To Nonprofit Coronavirus Resources »

*These numbers only reflect gifts given via Kindful’s online fundraising tools.

**indicates the organization is a Kindful customer

Schedule a live demo with our team, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.

Filed Under:   Fundraising