Matching gifts are a great way for large nonprofits to maximize donations.

4 Matching Gifts Tips for Large Nonprofits

“Buy one, get one” sales are the best. You can walk into the grocery store for a pint of chocolate chip ice cream, see that they’re having a sale on frozen dairy treats, and walk out with two pints of delicious ice cream for the price of one!

Matching gifts are like those sales. You send appeals to donors, collect the donations, and can receive matching gifts from some donors’ employers. Two for the price of one!

However, large nonprofits need to be able to balance all of their day-to-day operations and incorporate matching gifts tactics in order to maximize donations.

For more in-depth information about matching gifts, take a look at this complete guide.

Here are the top four matching gift tips for large nonprofits.

1. Appoint a matching gifts coordinator.

Small nonprofits often don’t have the resources to delegate the role of “matching gift coordinator” to a particular individual. However, larger organizations have the assets that allow one person to direct a matching gift program.

By appointing a particular person to be the leader of your matching gift team, the rest of your organization can focus on their specific jobs. The matching gift coordinator doesn’t have to solely work on matching gifts, but the more attention they can dedicate to helping your nonprofit double its donations, the better.

2. Educate donors about matching gifts.

Use the different ways you already communicate with contributors to let them know about matching gifts:

  • Thank-you emails. When you thank donors for their contribution, use the opportunity to remind them of matching gifts. Adding a line or two about matching gifts will remind donors that they can make their contributions go twice as far.
  • Newsletters. Your nonprofit organization probably already sends out newsletters to let donors know about upcoming events and projects that their donations are helping fund. Why not use this medium to educate donors about matching gifts? Dedicate an entire e-newsletter to the subject, or simply add information about matching gifts at the end.
  • Social media. Use the large following that your nonprofit might have on Twitter or Facebook to educate donors about matching gifts. Incorporate a graphic and a link to your short post to encourage donors to learn more about matching gift programs.

3. Make matching gifts part of your nonprofit’s culture.

It’s all well and good if you can effectively tell donors about matching gifts, but what if a donor calls or emails with a question about matching gifts? While it might be easy to direct them to the matching gift coordinator, it’s better for everyone in your organization to be able to answer basic questions about matching gifts.

Not everyone needs to be an expert, but arming your team with matching gift knowledge will keep everyone informed and able to answer donors’ questions.

You can also incorporate matching gifts into your major giving campaigns, phonathons and other fundraisers. Infusing your nonprofit with matching gifts will lead to increased awareness and revenue.

4. Keep comprehensive matching gifts records.

Your nonprofit should already be compiling information about your donors, but it’s important to keep track of matching gift statistics, too.

Key metrics to track include:

  • How many matching gifts your nonprofit received.
  • The rate of matching gifts (the number of matching donations divided by the total number of donations).
  • The value of the matching gift donations.
  • The percentage increase or decrease on individual donations (the value of matching gift donations divided by the total value of individual donations).

Learn more about what other types of donor information you should be collecting.

By knowing as much as you can about the matching gifts that your nonprofit receives from donors’ employers, your organization can more effectively market matching gifts to new and existing donors.

For more info on matching gift metrics, check out this useful article from Double the Donation!

Matching gifts can be a useful tool for your nonprofit to have in its toolbox. By appointing a matching gifts coordinator, educating donors and the organization, and keeping comprehensive records about matching gift donations, a large nonprofit can maximize the number of donations that it receives.

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A fundraising strategy is an essential element of your nonprofit organization.

Fundraising Strategy Planning: 8 Factors to Consider

As all nonprofits know, putting together a fundraising strategy is no easy feat. It takes time, effort, and a lot of thought.
While “fundraising strategy” can be a broad term that refers to a number of nonprofit efforts, what we’re referring to here is a nonprofit’s generalized, overarching plan for fundraising.

It usually accounts for all fundraising activity that takes place over a 3-5 year period of time.

Fundraising strategies could not be more important for nonprofits. They allow organizations to prioritize their various projects, causes, and efforts and allocate their resources accordingly.

When making a fundraising strategy, your organization will have many factors to consider. Yet having a well-thought-out and definitive fundraising plan in place is well worth it. It will literally pay off for your organization.

To help you start planning, we’ve listed out the 8 major factors to consider when putting together a fundraising strategy.

They include:

In this article, we’ll walk through each to get you on your way to fundraising success!

1. A budget

Unfortunately, it’s a truth of life that you have to spend money to make money.

Although your organization is raising money for a good cause, this rule still applies to fundraising.

To put together a fundraising strategy, you first need to know how much money your organization has to work with.

Since your fundraising strategy will likely account for multiple years’ worth of projects and efforts, determining a budget will be a little tricky.

Your budget will depend somewhat on how much you can raise throughout the span of time covered by your fundraising strategy, so it can be difficult to project exactly how much you’ll have to work with, especially further down the timeline.

There’s one rule of thumb: always underestimate how much you think you’ll be able to spend (leaving a little room for unexpected setbacks, of course).

It’s better to err on the conservative side with your budget. If it turns out you have more to spend on your strategy, you can always figure out where to allocate those resources later on.

2. Goals and targets

You wouldn’t be planning out a fundraising strategy if your organization weren’t working toward something.

It’s important to determine exactly what goal and targets you’re working toward from the beginning, so you can plan out your methods in the way that will be most conducive to achieving your fundraising goals.

Let’s define exactly what’s meant by goal and targets.


The goal refers to the ultimate fundraising goal you want to achieve by the end of your campaign.

While it can be tempting to set multiple goals to make the most out of the resources you’re putting into your fundraising strategy, you should stick to only one clear, measurable, and attainable goal.

Setting only one goal will help your campaign stay focused, which will give you the best chance of success.

All of the efforts and methods you use throughout your fundraising strategy should be helping you reach this goal in some way, even if indirectly.


Targets are the smaller goals you set throughout your campaign.

They’ll help you stay on track and check your progress throughout the time span of your fundraising strategy.

The progress you make by reaching your targets should accumulate to help you reach your campaign goal.

Although your targets will be smaller in scale, they should be equally as determinable and realistic as your goal.

When you schedule your targets will depend on your strategy timeline. Just make sure to set clear deadlines for reaching each one.

If you find you can’t achieve a target, it might be a sign that you need to adjust your goal or your methods.

Setting a goal and targets will focus your fundraising strategy and help it stay on track, so your organization can make progress toward furthering your cause.

3. Methods and timeline

Now that you have your goals and target, it’s time to determine which methods you’re going to implement in order to reach those milestones.

Fundraising strategies can be composed of any number of methods, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Annual giving campaigns
  • Capital campaigns
  • Smaller, targeted fundraising campaigns
  • Digital fundraising campaigns (online fundraising)
  • Peer-to-peer campaigns
  • Advocacy campaigns
  • Fundraising events
  • Donor outreach and stewardship

Each method you use throughout the span of your campaign should help you make progress toward reaching your goal. You should implement a variety of methods to hit on as many of your donors’ interests and preferences as possible.

Additionally, keep in mind that, although your fundraising strategy should be primarily about fundraising, it’s also important to focus on donor stewardship.

Building deeper relationships with your supporters and making a concerted effort to maintain those relationships will establish a more loyal and valuable donor base. While it takes time and resources to build these relationships, they should help you see better fundraising results in the long run.

Once you’ve decided on your methods, it’s time to make a tentative timeline for when you’ll implement each one. This will help you build a marketing plan and ensure you have the resources to allocate to each effort of your strategy.

As mentioned before, most strategies span over a 3-5 year period.

This should give your organization ample time to make progress. At the same time, it doesn’t account for so far in advance that you can’t adjust your methods to accommodate for new developments in the ever-changing fundraising landscape.

Your fundraising methods will get you to your targets and, eventually, your fundraising strategy goal. Plan them out in advance by creating a timeline.

Bonus: Need some unique fundraising ideas? Check out a thorough resource from Double the Donation here.

4. The case for support

Although you and your staff know exactly why your organization is worth supporting, it’s probably not as clear to those outside of your organization.

Getting others to support your cause takes some hard work and convincing.

After all, as nice as it would be, people aren’t just going to throw money at your organization. Before someone agrees to support you, they need to have a good reason for doing it.

That’s where the case for support comes in. It lets your prospects know exactly why your organization and cause are worth supporting.

Before you get further into your fundraising strategy planning, you should draft a case for support that includes:

  • The problem you’re trying to solve (in other words, why your organization exists in the first place!).
  • Your organization’s solution (in other words, what exactly it is you’re doing to alleviate the problem).
  • More generally, how your solution can make a difference.
  • More specifically, who your organization will benefit and how they’ll benefit.
  • What might happen if you don’t succeed (in other words, how the problem could worsen without your help).
  • What sets your organization apart and makes it the most qualified for solving the problem.

With a case for support at hand, it will be much easier to articulate your mission to outside prospects. It will also ensure that everyone within your organization is getting the same message across.

When prospects have a clear idea of why your cause is worth supporting, they’ll be much more likely to contribute to your cause.

5. Prospects

You’ll never make it to your fundraising goal without the help of your donors!

In order to reach your goal, you’ll have to determine who your prospects are and how their various contributions will add up to get you to that goal.

One way to do this is by calculating the arithmetic of fundraising.

The arithmetic of fundraising is a mathematical formula that helps nonprofits determine how many gifts they need to reach their goal and at what amount these gifts must be.

The formula states:

  • Major gifts (the top 10% in quality) will make up about 60% of the funds needed to reach the fundraising strategy goal.
  • Mid-sized gifts (the next 20% in quality) will produce about 15-25% of the funds needed.
  • The smallest gifts (the remaining 70%) will make up the rest of the fundraising goal, the additional 15-25% of funds needed.

While it can be difficult to get an exact number with this formula, it will at least give your organization a good idea of the proportion of gifts you’ll need.
Once you have a better idea of how your fundraising goal will be comprised, it’s time to turn to your nonprofit CRM.

Obviously, you’ll definitely want to scope out the prospects who have the potential to donate major gifts, but it’s also helpful to focus on donor retention.

While they won’t be able to give as much up front as a major gift donor would, recurring givers generally give about twice as much as major donors during their time supporting the organization. As such, you should definitely give retention a prominent place in your fundraising strategy.

The last step is to determine how you’re going to cultivate these prospects. With which methods will you target each to help you reach your goal?

Analyze your prospects to figure out how their contributions will help you achieve your fundraising goal. Then, create a plan for reaching each with the methods you’ve devised.

6. Staff and volunteers

Of course, to put together a successful fundraising strategy, you’ll also need the help of many hands.

You should determine how many staff members and volunteers you might need to ensure that all efforts of your strategy are covered.

Think of all of the methods you’ll be using. Which staff members and volunteers are necessary to pull off these methods?

You’ll definitely need someone in charge of overseeing the campaign, but here are some other key players your organization might need some or all of the following:

  • Development associates
  • Directors of annual giving
  • Major gift officers
  • Special event coordinators
  • Volunteers at fundraising events
  • Membership coordinators
  • A marketing team

Of course, since all nonprofit efforts are in some way concerned with fundraising, all of your staff members will likely play a role in your strategy efforts at some point. However, it’s still good to think about how everyone will factor in to make sure you’re not overlooking someone important.

Make sure you have enough manpower from the beginning, so that you’ll have enough hands to help you throughout every step of your fundraising strategy.

7. Digital tools

There is a wider range of technology available to nonprofits now than ever before.

While it’s certainly possible to fundraise without digital tools, in order to make the most out of your fundraising campaign, you’ll definitely want to recruit the help of some fundraising software.

Fundraising software comes in many shapes and sizes, but all types of platforms have one thing in common: they were built to help nonprofits make fundraising smarter and easier.

To be more specific, fundraising software houses all data sources in one place to give nonprofits the deepest insights into their donors and fundraising efforts. Organizations can then use these insights to keep improving their fundraising strategies.

Some major types of fundraising software include:

  • Donor management or nonprofit CRM
  • Online fundraising
  • Event planning
  • Online advocacy
  • Email marketing
  • Volunteer management
  • Member management
  • Grant management
  • Mobile fundraising
  • Comprehensive or all-in-one fundraising
  • And more!

To determine which type might be right for you, think about the methods you’re using throughout your strategy. For example, if one of your main focuses is to increase supporter advocacy actions, you probably want the help of online advocacy software.

There are so many different types of platforms out there that you’re sure to find one that will assist you in your efforts and bring your fundraising to the next level!

8. Board buy-in

Seeing as your board of members are the ones who manage the finances, you’re not going to get very far if they don’t approve your fundraising strategy.

Once you’ve gone through all of the other considerations listed here and have a concrete plan in place, it’s time to pitch your strategy to the board.

While pitching to the board might seem like a hassle, it’s actually an advantage. Your board members are there to help you determine whether or not your plans are realistically sustainable for the organization before you spend the time and money on executing them.

So, what’s the best strategy for pitching to the board? Here are some tips:

  • Outline the benefits. Like you, your board wants your organization to be the best it can be. How will your fundraising strategy further your organization’s cause?
  • Be upfront about costs. Your board holds the purse strings, and they’re going to ask about costs. Be as transparent as possible. Use your budget to illustrate why you need the financial resources and exactly where you’re going to allocate them.
  • Anticipate the questions. Fundraising strategies are complicated, and your board members aren’t the ones who are on the ground fundraising for your organization on a regular basis. As such, they’re bound to have questions. Make sure you have the answers to these questions by anticipating anything your board might ask in advance.

For all of these tips and more, check out Salsa’s tips for making the perfect pitch.

Although selling your strategy to the board will take some effort, it won’t be impossible. If you can show your board how your strategy will further the aims of your organization, they’re sure to say yes.

While putting together a fundraising strategy requires a lot of planning and thought, it will be much easier when you start with the right considerations in mind.
If you’ve adequately planned out all of the factors listed here, there’s no reason why your strategy shouldn’t be a success!


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Nonprofit conferences can be a game-changer for your nonprofit.

8 Awesome Donor Engagement Tips for the Modern Nonprofit

As technology becomes increasingly advanced, the nonprofit sector is changing rapidly.

To stay up with the times, organizations must figure out how to incorporate new technology and communication channels into their donor engagement strategies.

It can be difficult to determine how to introduce new strategies into your fundraising efforts and overall operations.

Not only will you have to naturally reallocate your resources, but you’ll also likely need some time to figure out the technology required to assist these efforts.

Never fear! We might not be able to teach you how to use your technology, but we can provide you with some engagement tips for organizations on the cutting edge.
They include:

  1. Rethink your fundraising strategy.
  2. Enable online donations to better engage donors.
  3. Provide mobile giving options.
  4. Engage donors on Snapchat.
  5. Host a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
  6. Create a viral video to engage with donors online.
  7. Make calls-to-action clear and compelling.
  8. Let software help with donor engagement.

Hopefully, by the time we’re done, you’ll have a better understanding of how other organizations are capitalizing on all of the technology available to them to engage donors in a modern way.

1. Rethink your fundraising strategy.

In order to introduce new donor engagement techniques into your overall fundraising strategy, you’re going to have to rethink your existing strategy.

What we’re referring to here is mainly how you approach your relationships with your donors.

Fundraising strategies have changed drastically for nonprofits in recent years. Traditionally, organizations have run multiple isolated campaigns throughout the year to reach their goals.

There’s also been an emphasis on procuring the majority of funds by cultivating major gift donors.

Although your major gift officer still plays an integral part at your nonprofit, many organizations have already discovered that these long held values are no longer holding up.

The main problem is that running a lot of separate campaigns and focusing on just a small group of donors leaves little room for frequent donor communication and developing more meaningful relationships.

That’s why organizations have been making a shift and placing a greater emphasis on donor stewardship.

The current trend is toward more continuous fundraising that focuses on frequent outreach and cultivating many recurring donors at smaller giving levels.

Recurring donors are much more valuable for nonprofits. In fact, it’s estimated that, throughout their lifetime with the organization, they’ll actually end up giving about two times more than major donors.

So, what’s the best way to encourage donor retention?

Well, there are actually a few:

  • Approach donors personally: Getting to know your donors and targeting them with individualized outreach strategies will allow them to form more personal relationships with your nonprofit that are more likely to result in recurring giving.
  • Run an annual campaign: The continuous and long-term nature of annual campaigns make them an ideal opportunity for outreach and stewardship.
  • Establish a dedicated recurring giving program: Offer and encourage recurring giving anywhere you accept donations. Furthermore, your organization should have the necessary tools in place to process recurring gifts efficiently.

With a greater emphasis on forming deeper and more long-term relationships with donors, your donor base should be much more engaged.

2. Encourage online donations to better engage donors.

Now it’s the case that about 75% of nonprofit activity will happen online.

As such, your organization should, without a doubt, be accepting online donations.

Convenience is a one of the biggest factors in determining whether or not donors will engage with your organization, and online giving is super convenient.

There’s no more having to mail in a check or showing up at your organization’s events with cash in hand. Instead, they can give from the comfort of their homes!

While online donation forms are a must for the modern nonprofit, not all are created equal.

Here’s how to ensure that your online donation pages will successfully engage your supporters:

  • Include the link everywhere, even in offline communications, like direct mail.
  • Keep forms to one page and required fields to a minimum.
  • Offer clearly defined giving options that show donors exactly where their contributions are going.
  • Brand your page so people always know they’re interacting with your organization.

These are, of course, just a few of the best practice tips for donation pages. There are many, many other ways to enhance them for optimal donor engagement.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you want to make online giving as easy and straightforward for donors as possible.

Anything even remotely complicated could deter them from submitting their donations and further engaging with your organization.

Offer online giving and make it convenient, and your donors are sure to give!

3. Provide mobile giving options.

Mobile giving is technically a branch on the tree that is online fundraising, but it deserves a specific mention.

As you can probably guess, mobile giving is when donors make a contribution from a mobile device, primarily a smartphone or tablet.

About 90% of American adults now own smartphones, and about 50% of web surfers are browsing from a mobile device.

With mobile being such a popular medium, of course you should incorporate it into your engagement strategies.

There are a few mobile giving options your organization can choose.

While text-to-give is probably the most popular, some other forms of mobile giving include:

  • Mobile-responsive online donation forms.
  • Mobile giving applications.
  • Mobile emails.

Mobile giving is a particularly effective strategy because it meets donors where they are and allows them to give from literally anywhere, as long as they have their phones!

Additionally, your organization can use mobile as an outreach strategy.

Many organizations have established mobile lists that allow supporters to subscribe to receive text communications.

Because text outreach is so new, it’s a great channel to experiment with.

Some organizations have even been engaging their donors through fun text games that raise awareness of their cause.

People love mobile and are constantly on their smartphones, so think of how you can creatively use mobile as an engagement strategy.

4. Engage donors on Snapchat.

Social media is one of the most popular communication channels of the modern age.

While many nonprofits have already experimented with popular sites like Facebook and Twitter, there’s recently been a trend in social media toward more visually-based sites over social networking sites.

Why? In the day and age of information overload, it’s more difficult to capture people’s attention with text than it is with graphics.

In fact, studies show that digital content featuring a colored image is 80% more likely to compel viewers to read that content.

To take this a step further, if you can limit the amount of text in your post to just a sentence or even a few words, your organization will really be ahead of the game when it comes to capturing your followers’ attention on social media.

One of the most cutting-edge trends in social media and fundraising lately is Snapchat.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the platform yet, Snapchat allows users to send their friends a picture or video that appears for only 10 seconds or less.

Although it seems like such an impermanent social media site wouldn’t be suited for engagement, its instantaneous nature can be very compelling in this day and age of instant access.

So, how’s it done?

There are a couple of ways organizations can use Snapchat:

  • Cater the content you use for other social media sites to Snapchat’s platform. Keep text short and use striking graphics to really make your content stick in supporters’ minds.
  • Urge your supporters to Snapchat your live events. The footage of actual attendees enjoying your event can really convince others that your organization is worth supporting.

Although Snapchat might not be the best way to accept donations, it’s another place where you can share your content in an innovative way and meet supporters where they are.

5. Host a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

Peer-to-peer campaigns are very trendy in the fundraising world right now, and they provide another great strategy for engaging your supporters on social media.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with them, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns mobilize your supporters to fundraise on your behalf by requesting donations from their peers.

Running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is beneficial for organizations in many ways:

  • They’re one of the most active forms of donor engagement.
  • They grow your reach, since your fundraisers are leveraging donors’ networks too.
  • They take some of the stress of fundraising off of the organization.

When done right, they allow nonprofits to increase their fundraising results, since they have so many fundraisers working on their behalf.

It’s not as difficult to organize a peer-to-peer campaign as it may seem, especially with the right peer-to-peer fundraising software.

With this software, your organization can give donors the tools to build personalized donation pages that they can link to on social media.

Since they’re linked up to the platform, the donations procured from your fundraisers’ pages will be processed directly by your organization.

P2P software platforms also provide organizations with social sharing buttons that make it easier for fundraisers to share their donation pages.

With these tools on their side, fundraisers can raise money relatively independently and share your cause in a way that’s personally meaningful to them.

Many organizations also opt to host a fundraising event at the end of their peer-to-peer campaign.

The event can be a great place to interact with your fundraisers in person and acknowledge their hard work.

Peer-to-peer fundraisers actively engage your supporters so they’ll have an even deeper connection to your organization.

6. Create a viral video to engage with donors online.

Video has quickly become one of the most engaging forms of content out there.

In the day and age of information overload, users are really looking for things that are going to grab their attention, and video has it all.

It’s a multimedia form in and of itself, including eye-catching visuals, movement, sound, narratives, music, and more!

While some organizations worry about production costs, creating a viral video doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.
Including compelling content is what matters most.

For the best chance of your video going viral, follow these tips:

  1. Keep it very short. One minute is the ideal.
  2. Get straight to the point. Let viewers know from the beginning what you video is about and what it hopes to accomplish.
  3. Evoke emotion. Whether it be laughter or sadness, people will be much more engaged if your video makes them feel something.
  4. Explicitly encourage sharing!
  5. Create opportunities for engagement throughout your video that will allow donors to keep interacting with your organization.
  6. Teach viewers something. Gaining applicable skills from your video is much more valuable for people than just listening to a recitation of information.
  7. Share your video in all of your digital correspondence.

Above all: Make your video heartfelt.

If viewers can see how passionate you are about the cause, they’re more likely to be moved and stick with your video the entire way through!

Videos are one of the most modern and attention-grabbing ways to engage supporters online!

7. Make calls-to-action clear and compelling.

One of the biggest reasons that supporters don’t take action is because they’re never explicitly asked.

Although this might not seem like a big deal in theory, think about it:

If donors aren’t completely sure of what next steps to take, it will greatly reduce the chances that they’ll actually engage with your organization.

We already touched on how important convenience is to engagement, and it will be very discouraging to supporters if they have to puzzle out what happens next.

This point might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many organizations still make the mistake of not including a clear call-to-action in the correspondence.

If you want to get ahead of the game, make sure you include a clear call-to-action in all of your outreach.

Although your calls-to-action will often be donation asks, there are plenty of other ways to engage supporters and build
relationships with them.

Here are just a few ideas for your CTA. Ask supporters to:

  • Follow your social media pages.
  • Subscribe to your email or mobile list.
  • Visit your website.
  • Attend or volunteer at an event.
  • Comment on your social media or website blog posts.
    Take an advocacy action, like signing a petition or writing to a local legislator.
  • Participate in a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
  • And more!

No matter what you’re asking, display your call-to-action prominently and make it clear how supporters can take the next steps.
Additionally, avoid the temptation of including multiple calls-to-action in each piece of outreach. Multiple different or conflicting CTAs can be confusing and distracting.

If supporters know exactly how to engage, there’s a better chance they will. A call-to-action does just that!

8. Let software help with donor engagement.

Your organization doesn’t have to go at engaging donors alone!

Luckily, there’s a wide range of fundraising software to make the engagement process easier and help you reach your fundraising goals.

Some common fundraising platforms include:

  • Donor databases or nonprofit CRMs.
  • Online donation software.
  • Peer-to-peer software.
  • Advocacy software.
  • Text-to-give and mobile giving platforms.
  • Email and social media marketing software.
  • Comprehensive fundraising software.

Here, since we’re discussing donor engagement in particular, we’ll focus on donor databases.

Donor databases, also known as nonprofit CRMs, provide nonprofits a centralized place to store all of their donor data, including:

  • Name and other biographical information.
  • Contact information.
  • Demographics
  • Donor relationships.
  • Social media profiles.
  • Donation and volunteer history.
  • Past event attendance.
  • Interests and affinities.
  • Customized fields with organization-specific data.
  • And more!
  • All data sources can communicate with each other to give your organization the most complete pictures of your donors.

When you understand your donors more deeply, your organization can better target individual donors with personalized outreach strategies that are more relevant, and thus, more likely to engage.

Without fundraising software, it’s much more difficult to pinpoint your donors’ preferences.

When your data sources are isolated from each other, they can’t inform each other and will only give you partial insights into your donors.

For the most personalized and engaging outreach strategies, turn to software for help!

Different donor engagement strategies will work best for different organizations. It’s impossible to know what will really strike gold for your nonprofit.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to incorporate some (or all!) of these strategies to freshen up your fundraising methods and add some much-needed modernization to your organization.


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Peer-to-peer campaigns are a great way to engage donors and shake up your fundraising strategy.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns: The Basics

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are one of the biggest trends in fundraising right now.

While peer-to-peer campaigns offer many benefits to both donors and nonprofits, many organizations are nervous to try them out a strategy that’s rapidly changing as technology advances.

Their hesitancy is understandable. It’s much more comfortable to stick to what’s tried and true.

However, no risk means no reward. If your organization wants to see better fundraising results and keep up with the times, you’ll have to embrace change!

Hosting a peer-to-peer fundraiser is a great place to start. They’re a fairly easy and affordable effort for nonprofits to execute.
Here, we’ll take you through the basics of a P2P campaign and help you get started with your very own.

We’ll cover:

  1. What Is a Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign?
  2. The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
  3. Considerations to Make When Planning a Campaign
  4. The Anatomy of a Typical Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign

By the time you’re done reading, hopefully you’ll be convinced that peer-to-peer fundraising is worth a try!

1. What Is a Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign?

Before we get too deep into peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, we should first define exactly what they are.

Peer-to-peer campaigns mobilize donors to fundraise on behalf of a nonprofit organization.

Fundraisers will raise money by asking for donations from their peers, usually on social media.

Peer-to-peer also goes by many other names, including:

  • P2P fundraising
  • Crowdfunding
  • Social fundraising
  • Team fundraising
  • Grassroots fundraising

Although many of these names are used to denote slightly different tactics, for the most part they can be used synonymously to describe similar efforts.

The takeaway: Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns allow nonprofits to leverage their donors to fundraise on the organization’s behalf.

2. The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is really a win-win for both nonprofits and donors.

Here I’ll break the benefits down by organization and supporter and touch briefly on why peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are great for each.

The benefits of P2P for nonprofits:

1. It expands your reach.

The main benefit of running a peer-to-peer campaign is that it grows your supporter base.

By getting your supporters to leverage their own networks, you’ll be able to reach new supporters that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

And, since your campaign will be reaching a wider audience, hopefully you’ll be able to increase your fundraising results, too!

2. It establishes trust.

Nonprofits are constantly facing the problem of building trust with their donors.

Often, donors are hesitant to give to an organization because they’re not exactly sure what their donations are going toward.

Some worry that their money might be funneled into nonprofit operations instead of going directly to the cause.

Peer-to-peer solves this problems by establishing a mutual connection between prospective donors and nonprofits.

When people see that one of their peers trusts your organization and is passionate enough about it to fundraise for you, they’ll be more confident about giving!

3. It’s cost-effective.

Let’s face it. Fundraising is expensive.

Luckily, peer-to-peer is one of the most cost-effective fundraising strategies out there!

With supporters fundraising for you, you can cut a lot of the costs that come with planning and outreach.

Plus, most of the action will take place on social media, and most sites are completely free to use.

4. You can build deeper donor relationships.

Because your donors will be actively involved with your organization, peer-to-peer campaigns are an excellent way to build deeper relationships with them.

Throughout the campaign, you should have many opportunities to interact with fundraisers and get to know them better.

Since you’ve formed a deeper relationship with your donors, they’ll be more likely to contribute to other campaigns in the future.

The benefits of P2P for supporters:

1. Individuals can be as involved as they want.

If your donors are participating in your campaign, it’s clear they want to get involved with your organization in some way.

The great thing about peer-to-peer campaigns is that they allow your supporters to have more control over their level of involvement.

While some donors will opt to reach out to their entire network, others will only make appeals to a select few. And that’s okay!

The beauty of P2P is that fundraisers can own their own involvement and share your cause in a way that’s personally meaningful to them.

2. It strengthens their networks.

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns aren’t only strengthening your organization’s networks, they’ll strengthen fundraisers’ too!

The campaign will give supporters an excellent opportunity to connect with their peers in a new way.

Working toward a good cause is one of the best ways to bring people together.

Hopefully, your P2P campaign will result in a whole new philanthropic community!

3. Donors will take the lead.

Those who have been involved in your organization for a long time are likely looking for new ways to engage with you.

Peer-to-peer fundraising takes this a step further by essentially allowing them to work for your organization.

They’ll gain new insights into your organization by seeing how fundraising works from the inside.

And although your organization will still have to manage the campaign, P2P will take a little of the pressure of fundraising off of your shoulders.

The Takeaway: Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns offer many unique benefits to both nonprofits and their supporters.

3. Considerations to Make When Planning a Campaign

Introducing any new effort will naturally require a reallocation of resources.

Before you start planning out your peer-to-peer campaign, make sure that your organization can realistically accommodate this effort.

Here, we’ve laid out some primary considerations that organizations must think about before they can start peer-to-peer fundraising.

Do we have supporters who are willing to participate?

Of course, to host a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you need people who are willing to fundraise!
Make sure that your organization will have enough supporters to realistically achieve your fundraising goals.

The number you need will depend on the size of your organization and how much money you hope to raise.

You can gauge supporters’ interest by conducting a survey in your email campaigns or on social media.

If your organization also has longstanding supporters who have frequently participated in your other campaigns, it’s probably also worth reaching out to them individually and asking if they would like to participate.

Do we have the right staff to run a campaign?

Just because your supporters are fundraising for you doesn’t mean that your organization can just check out!

You’ll need a dedicated team to motivate fundraisers and make sure you’re on track to reaching your goals.

Primarily, you’ll need to determine which staff member will be in charge of managing the team and the campaign in general.

You’ll also need some staff members to manage particular aspects of the campaign, such as:

  • Online fundraising
  • Offline fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Social media
  • Event planning

Peer-to-peer campaigns consist of many various efforts. Make sure you have a cross-functional team on your side for the best chance of success.

Is our board on board?

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns will be a major investment for your organization.

What I’m referring to here isn’t so much monetary cost (although you’ll probably have to get the buy-in on a P2P fundraising platform) as it is the investment of time.

Any new effort is a risk for your organization. You have to spend time and staff resources learning and navigating a new strategy that isn’t guaranteed to pay off.

A decision of this magnitude will require a buy-in from your board.

You’ll want to pitch as soon as possible to determine if your organization can even host a peer-to-peer campaign in the first place!

Need some tips on convincing your board? Salsa has the perfect article for you!

Have we found an excellent P2P platform?

Because peer-to-peer is such a specialized effort for nonprofits, it requires the help of software.

Peer-to-peer software will provide supporters with the unique set of tools they need to fundraise on your behalf.

There are many different P2P platforms out there.
The type you choose will depend on the needs of your organization, but in general you should be looking out for these features:

  • A wide set of tools and capabilities.
  • A user-friendly interface.
  • Scalability.
  • Easy setup.
  • The proper amount of support and training.

When you find the platform that’s the perfect fit, your fundraisers are more likely to see success!
The Takeaway: Make sure you’ve made all of the necessary considerations before you start planning to ensure that hosting a peer-to-peer campaign is realistic for your organization.

4. The Anatomy of a Peer-to-Peer Campaign

Before you start planning a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you’ll need to know what a typical campaign looks like.

Here, we’ll take a look at the anatomy of a P2P campaign in steps, so you can start planning your very own!

Step 1. Set a goal and market your campaign.

The very first step to any fundraising campaign will be setting a goal.

It will be much easier to determine a realistic goal if you know how many supporters you have fundraising on your behalf.

For peer-to-peer, defining your goal will be a little different.

Since there are many people fundraising for you instead of just the organization, you’ll have to set an overall goal and individual goals for each fundraiser.

When everyone knows exactly how much they have to contribute to reach your goal, it’s much more likely that you’ll actually reach that goal.

Once you’ve defined your campaign and have a clear goal to share, start marketing your campaign from all channels to let the rest of your supporters know it’s going on and to encourage them to contribute.

Step 2. Get fundraisers set up and launch your campaign.

To start raising money, your fundraisers will need the proper set of tools.

As we touched on in the last section, this requires the right peer-to-peer fundraising software.

While P2P software will have many features that will help your campaigns run more smoothly, we’ll focus on the most important one here: online donation pages.

Why is it the most important?

Well, without online donation pages, your fundraisers would have no way of accepting donations!

Your P2P platform will allow each fundraiser to build a personalized donation page that they can share in their social media posts.

The donations collected from these pages will automatically be processed in the platform so you can oversee each fundraiser’s participation and ensure you’re reaching your goals.

Before the campaign gets started, your organization should help each fundraiser create their own page and make sure that they can successfully accept donations.

Once everyone has a working donation page, it’s time to launch! Fundraisers can start posting and asking for donations.

Step 3. Keep engaging your fundraisers and oversee the campaign.

Your fundraisers should be all set up and fundraising for you.

However, it’s still important to reach out to fundraisers and keep engaging them.

This will not only keep them motivated, but it will also give your organization the opportunity to form deeper relationships with your supporters.

Throughout the campaign, interact with your fundraisers on social media. You can do this in a number of ways, including:

At this stage, you should keep a close eye on how your fundraisers are doing at meeting their individual goals.

If someone is falling behind and needs a little help, your organization can provide them with some extra support to help get them back on track.

It’s also a good idea to be keeping an eye on your donor data.

With peers submitting their donations through your fundraisers’ pages, you’ll be receiving a wealth of new supporter information.

Stay on top of recording this data so you can welcome new donors and thank them for their contributions!

Step 4. Thank contributors and celebrate with an event.

Your fundraisers have spent a lot of time and effort helping your organization reach its goals and work toward your cause.

Make sure you thank every single one properly and sincerely.

One of the best ways to acknowledge fundraisers is by hosting an event. (For some ideas, check out Salsa’s list of fundraising event ideas here.)

At the event, you can publicly acknowledge fundraisers and celebrate their contributions. It’s also an excellent opportunity to interact with many of your supporters in person.
Often organizations will even center their campaign around an event.

Activity-based events like marathons are especially suitable for P2P campaigns because peers can determine their donation amounts based on how well fundraisers do in the event.

For example, peers could pledge $10 for each mile run or pledge a larger amount that will be given once the fundraiser successfully completes the marathon.

This is a great motivator for both fundraisers and donors.

Donors will be able to put their money toward something more tangible, while fundraisers will have a fun incentive for going above and beyond in their fundraising.

While hosting an event in conjunction with your P2P campaign isn’t necessary, it can be a great strategy for making your campaign even more successful.

The Takeaway:
The typical peer-to-peer campaign consists of many steps that require action on the part of both fundraisers and the organization.

Well, there you have it, folks! You’re now versed in the basics of peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.

If you think a peer-to-peer campaign might be the perfect new addition to your fundraising tactics, now is a perfect time to get started. Good luck!


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Matching gifts are a great tool for turning donors into major givers.

5 Ways Matching Gifts Can Create Major Gift Donors

Matching gifts are a great way to get a double scoop’s worth of donations from your donors and their employers for the price of one. But did you know that promoting matching gifts can also be a great opportunity to transform your donors into major gift contributors?

Check out these five unique ways that matching gifts can help you keep donors and turn them into major gift donors!

1. Matching gifts show you’re a good steward of donors’ funds.

Donors who will stay with your organization over time and make larger donations want to make sure that your nonprofit is making the most of the donations you are receiving.

When you promote matching gifts to first-time donors as well as dedicated contributors, you are letting them know that you are a good steward of their and their employers’ donations.

Donors will see that your nonprofit is taking advantage of all available resources and not just asking them repeatedly for donations.

This results in a trusting relationship which means bigger and more consistent contributions from donors.

Check out more information about increasing donor retention through matching gift programs.

2. Reaching out about matching gifts can make a positive impression on donors.

When you use social media, newsletters, or pages on your website to promote matching gifts, you are sending a message to donors. You’re letting them know that they can make their own donations go further by taking a few minutes to research matching gifts.

When donors see that an organization is only asking them to look into matching gifts instead of their wallets a second time, they are more likely to contribute in the future.

Future gifts might also mean larger donations, so make sure you’re letting donors know about matching gift programs on a variety of platforms.

3. Thank you notes that feature matching gifts can help turn one-time donors into repeat donors.

A donor makes a contribution and has done her homework about matching gifts. She filled out and submitted the paperwork to her employer. You even thanked her for her initial donation!

But, did you know that sending a thank you note to a donor when their company’s matching gift comes in can be a great way to turn a one-time donor into a major gift donor?

Sometimes, matching gifts don’t come in for weeks or even months after the initial donation. A donor might have already forgotten that they submitted a request for a matching gift!

By thanking them for their initial donation and their employer’s matching gift, you can remind them of the impact that their donations are having on your organization and encourage them to donate more next time.

Learn more about writing thank you notes after receiving matching gifts with these tips from Double the Donation.

4. Matching gifts can turn individuals into volunteers.

When donors feel connected to your organization, they are more likely to volunteer at special events that your nonprofit hosts.

While there are multiple ways for your organization to connect to donors, one of the best ways is to promote matching gifts to them. When donors know that you can maximize their donations through gift matching, you’re more likely to capture and keep their attention.

That captured attention can be turned into action during events!

Donors who take time to get their gifts matched tend to be more philanthropically minded and will be more inclined to volunteer at events.

5. Fundraising matches can result in major gifts.

If your nonprofit hosts a fundraising run or walk, encourage your participants to look into fundraising match programs that their employers might offer.

Fundraising matches are a variation of matching gift programs. They differ in that a company will match the money raised by an employee for a walk or run instead of just the employee’s singular donation.

If a donor’s employer offers a fundraising matching program, your nonprofit can benefit not only from having your donor’s contribution matched, but also the donations they receive from pledges. This will result in more major gifts made to your nonprofit.

If you’re looking to transform your one-time, small gift donors into major contributors, try promoting matching gift programs to increase the chances that donors will continue to give to your organization.

While there are a number of other ways to increase donor retention and encourage major giving, promoting matching gifts can be a useful tool in your toolbox.


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