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If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably noticed something, which is your friends celebrating their birthdays or an event in their lives with a crowdfunding campaign.

Welcome to more fundraising with technology.

Una Osili, an economics professor and philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University said in an article for TIME,“We have seen a rise in crowdfunding and peer-to-peer funding.” According to the professor, this is happening for two reasons:

  1. Donors are seeking to personalize their giving to philanthropic causes, and they’re comfortable with asking friends and the people they know to help them to support a charity close to their heart; and,
  2. Technology continues to revolutionize society, including the nonprofit sector, and with a few taps on a mobile, people can raise money for their favorite causes in less time than it takes for them to drink a cup of coffee.

The question now for every nonprofit leader and fundraiser is how they can leverage the power and comfort-level that people have using technology and social media to raise money for their favorite causes?

There are three strategies that your fundraising team should be using to ensure that you’re tapping into this new opportunity to raise money from your supporters with the use of technology.

  1. Relationships matter. It’s often said that “fundraising” is transactional and “development” is about building relationships, which will give you the money you need for your cause. In the digital world, it’s vital to create relationships. Social media is all about relationships and social networking. Without a doubt, it’s crucial for your nonprofit organization to develop meaningful relationships with your donors and volunteers in the digital world, as well as outside of it. Building a relationship also means smartly asking when the moment arrives, and you’re using technology to make an ask. People, especially today, need to see messaging and giving levels that make sense for them. Remember, we live in a world of algorithms, and so donors and supporters expect that charities also know the appropriate ask to make for their support.
  2. Invite sustaining gifts. Since it’s become so easy, just a few moments of anyone’s time, to support a good cause, one of the key messages you should be communicating is that you need people to give recurring gifts. If someone gives you one contribution of $100, that’s awesome. But, if they give you $10 a month for 12 months, their $100 one-time donation instead becomes $120. Additionally, donors who are sustaining givers to an organization will remember to ask their friends for support when their birthdays and important milestones, such as weddings or anniversaries, come around the calendar.
  3. Speaking of birthdays and anniversaries. Since it’s effortless now on platforms such as Facebook to raise money for a favorite cause, one of the best things your fundraising team can do is to ask people for their information, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Yes, just ask. By getting this data from your supporters, you can accomplish two things: 1) you can show them that you remember them on their birthday or anniversary (who doesn’t like to be remembered?); and, 2) the birthday wish can serve as a reminder of your organization or group. You also have the opportunity to ask them to remember your cause on their special day by telling them how to quickly raise money for your charity on a social media platform.

Technology is evolving fast, and it’s important for nonprofit leaders and fundraisers to understand that because people have become accustomed to ease, on-demand interactions, and personalization, charities also have to be smart about how they fundraise with technology. If you’re mindful of the strategies explained above, your organization will be able to use your fundraising technology more effectively.

Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact”(Free Digital Download)


© 2019 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved