Excellent programs and fundraising are both integral parts of a successful nonprofit or social enterprise. In this article, I’ll leave you to your programs; however, if you’re looking for some quick ideas about how to improve your overall fundraising, here are some fast things to implement.

donate buttonDonate Button

Many nonprofits, I recently read do not have a simple website. This is unfortunate and a big mistake. Resources are important, but with everything happening more and more online, it’s absolutely necessary to have an online presence. Once you set one up, which is very inexpensive these days and well worth the investment, make certain your donate button is always present no matter what page your website visitor views. While you’re at it, don’t be shy about asking for the gift on your web pages and all of your collateral material. There should always be a call to action to give or support your efforts in some fashion.


A blog is a very good way to provide your followers and supporters with a quick value ad. If they are supporting your nonprofit, it’s because they are interested in your work. Write articles and stories about the overall mission of your work. For example, if you happen to be a nonprofit that deals with cancer, provide content on your blog that talks about patients (always being mindful of privacy) and the successes they may be having in fighting the disease. You can also write articles, perhaps, about new research that is being worked on by doctors, researchers and scientists. There’s always a way that you can write articles which will be interesting and informative to your readers, thus making them want to come back, read more and donate!

Google Ad Grant

Google has a great opportunity for nonprofits and social enterprises to promote their brand on the Internet. If you’re not doing it already, take a few minutes and check out Google Ad Grants. For eligible organizations, Google will provide $10,000 per month of in-kind Google AdWords, which enable you to promote your brand and organization on this powerhouse search engine. The vast majority of Internet searches are done using Google. If you’re looking for another way to get your name out there, it’s worth a few minutes to see if your eligible to apply, and if you are, do so!

Get Your Board On Board

Recently a fundraiser I know spoke to me about a new client he just signed. It took months, actually almost a year, of education on the role and responsibility of the board as it relates to fundraising for the organization. It’s an ongoing misconception by board members in countless nonprofits throughout the country that once they have a fundraiser on board, they’re no longer tasked with fundraising. The fundraiser will do it! Wrong. The fundraiser needs to have the participation of board members in order to successfully fundraise. Major donors, corporations and foundations understand that oftentimes fundraisers are “hired guns” working part-time or on a consulting basis. They want to connect with someone who has a vested interest in the success of the organization. That means the CEO and board members have a responsibility to lead fundraising and participate as actively as possible.


I can’t say this enough and my team knows it. Less is more. If you can get a photograph or short video to tell your story, it has a very good chance of attracting attention and being shared on social media. These days, anyone can take excellent photographs and videos on their smartphones and manipulate them with available apps to make them look even better. Your smart phone is probably always on you. Get in the habit if you see a picture to take a picture. Then promote it on your website and social media. Stay front and center by regularly updating the visuals you use, which will bring people to your website and more support. Compelling imagery is a motivating factor to encourage people to take an action either in sharing your visuals or donating.

Finally, whatever you do keep things fresh and dynamic. Your website and social media should never be static, old and dated. There’s too much riding–including money–on keeping things vibrant and current. Ask your team to always think out of the box and test out new and different approaches that can impact your bottom line.



Author of “The Rise and Fail of Charities In the 21st Century: How The Nonprofit World Is Changing And What You Can Do To Be Ready”.


© 2015 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.