The holidays are a wondrous time for fundraising (and finding new donors!). People are more generous during the holidays and you can easily raise much-needed funds for your nonprofit plus build your donor base with new supporters. A big, loyal donor base is critical to the long-term sustainability of your nonprofit.
You see, the more donors you have, the more money you can raise on an ongoing basis and the more stable your revenue will be each month. Knowing you can count on your donors when you need them will help you sleep at night!
The bad news about finding new donors is that there’s not a list somewhere you can get of people who will give. But, the good news is that there are ways to find new donors that are easier than others and sometimes free to use. If you do the work, you can bring in dozens – maybe hundreds – of new supporters before the end of the year.
You ready? Here are some of my favorite ways to get new donors during the holidays.
Idea #1 is to ask everyone in your current sphere to give to your nonprofit.
It seems obvious, but I bet there are people around you right now that you haven’t asked yet and who would probably give it you did ask. Don’t be shy to ask friends and family to give, especially if you can tell them how their donation will help those you serve.
Most of these people will give simply because it’s you who asked. They love you and trust you and want to see you succeed.
Be sure to post requests on your social media and tag friends and family there, too. I don’t know about you, but I’m connected to way more people on Facebook than I have in my email or phone, and it’s easier to ask for their help on Facebook. I know it can feel weird to ask, but remember that you’re not asking for you – you’re asking for those you serve.
Fundraising is all about relationships and idea #2 is to leverage the power of relationships in a peer-to-peer campaign.
This type of fundraising started with a specific goal and a handful of committed folks like board members and volunteers who each agree to ask their friends and family to give toward that goal.
Imagine you’re raising money for scholarships for 114 students on a waiting list for your programs. If you can get 10 people involved in your peer-to-peer campaign and each one recruits 10 donors to each sponsor 1 student, you’re nearly done!
If you use an online tool like MobileCause or QGiv, it’s super easy for them to set up their online fundraiser and email a link to their friends or share on social media. The holidays are a great time for this, but anytime is a good time for peer-to-peer fundraising to bring in new donors!
Set up a way for people to donate to your nonprofit in honor of someone for the holidays. You’ll need to provide the donor with a card or a small token to give to their friends, family, or customers if the donor is a business, to let them know about the donation.
Then, ask your board, volunteers, and supporters to consider reaching out to their friends to let them know about this opportunity to give to a good cause in someone’s name instead of buying items the recipient doesn’t want or need.
I once had a donor make a $10 donation in honor of each of his clients – his 500 clients! That was an amazing $5,000 donation and I had to recruit several volunteers to help me prepare the note cards for him.
People are used to virtual events right now and it’s easy to set up an online gathering. You can celebrate your wins from this year, showcase your programs, and invite people to give so your nonprofit can do even more good in the coming year.
Ask board members, volunteers, and your own friends and family to attend and each bring a guest.
A Future for Every Child started hosting Zoom gatherings last year with a simple one-hour program that had some fun elements along with an inside look at how their programs work. They found it to be an effective way to find new supporters for their nonprofit when current supporters brought their friends along. If you have a matching gift for the event, it can provide additional motivation for people to give.
This is one of my favorite quick Facebook Fundraisers!
This strategy focuses on a small solvable problem that’s well defined and invites people to make an impact by giving just $5. It’s a great way to raise money, raise awareness, and get new donors.
Pick something you need to raise just a few dollars for. Post it on your nonprofit’s Facebook page or better yet, set it up as a fundraiser on Facebook. Then share, share, share! Tag your friends and ask for their support. Ask them to share, too.
If you pick the focus for the fundraiser, people will eagerly support you and you’ll reach your goal quickly. And you’ll likely get some new supporters, too!
There are dozens more ideas you can try to bring in new donors, like speaking to groups where your ideal donor prospects are members or attendees, doing co-promotions with businesses who target the same people as you, or even getting your story in the news.
Of course, all your holiday fundraising activities should be part of your annual fundraising plan along with revenue projections and donor nurture plans. That’s how you’ll put the pieces in place to create a fundraiser to fully fund your nonprofit, allowing you to make a bigger difference in the world.
About the Author: Sandy Rees
Sandy shows founders and leaders of small nonprofits how to fully fund their big vision so they can spend their time changing lives instead of worrying about money. She has helped dozens of small nonprofits go from “nickel-and-dime fundraising” to mastering donor-based fundraising, inspiring their donors to give often and give big. Learn how to raise the money you need to fund your new nonprofit without begging, doing without, or paying out of your own pocket.
Click here to learn more about Get Fully Funded.