As working remotely moves from a gradual trend to a more permanent aspect of global business, different industries are quickly learning how to adapt their work processes to the new normal.
In particular, nonprofit organizations have come to realize that remote culture provides an opportunity to leverage how their teams use technology to not only replace face-to-face interaction, but to improve on it as well.
Engage Critical Communities Online
Many nonprofit organizations are often the lynchpins of their communities, delivering supplies, services, and care to those in need. In America alone, there are 1.3 million nonprofit organizations that feed, heal, shelter, educate, inspire, enlighten, and nurture people in need.
The critical nature of their work makes it imperative that they stay fully functional during a crisis, for example.
The concept of “virtual fundraising,” using online tools for communication, collaboration, and other interaction, has rapidly gained traction among nonprofits. To do it well, virtual fundraising requires nonprofits to build strong digital connections with their three key constituencies—those being served by the nonprofit, volunteers, and donors.
Cloud software has become a way for nonprofits to engage with their key constituencies. When it comes to fundraising, these tools can help boost giving in a significant way. Nonprofits are using everything from team messaging to communicate with volunteers and staff to online meetings for briefing donors. CRM tools let them reach out to people who have expressed prior interest, and silent auction software lets them hold virtual auctions to raise money.
Five Tips for Virtual Fundraising
Virtual campaigns can help keep donors engaged, no matter where donors are located. Here are just a few ways that nonprofits can fundraise – even when volunteers and staff are working from home, using tools that have gained traction in the business world
Virtual Briefings: Keep Volunteers Engaged
One way to keep donors and volunteers engaged is by providing virtual briefings and events. For example, you could host a live video meeting of a nonprofit leader speaking about how you’re helping during a particular time of need in the community. If you need to share files, like PowerPoint slides, make sure you have the capabilities to do so. You want to be able to illustrate the points you’re making.
Additionally, encourage participation. Make sure there’s a way for those who are attending to ask questions, for instance. This is particularly useful if you’re conducting a volunteer orientation virtually.
Crowdfunding: Drive Key Initiatives
If you need to fundraise for a specific project, try a crowdfunding page, then share it through social and email channels.
Peer-to-Peer: Enable Supporter Fundraising
You can also use online fundraising to set up a peer to peer fundraising event. This lets supporters set up their own fundraising pages that link to the main fundraising page.
Online Giving Days: Engage Those Being Helped
Combine virtual briefings with an online giving day for your nonprofit. Promote the event through social media, on your website, and via text messages, and encourage those being helped by your nonprofit to appear in the briefings to share their stories.
Donation Forms: Online Financial Support
Still one of the simplest ways to encourage giving is to include an online donation form on your website. Individual donors and businesses can give what they can to support your mission, particularly during a critical time.
While it’s difficult to shift to an online experience, when it’s done properly, it can open up new ways to fundraise and engage volunteers. Leverage the tools at your disposal to encourage giving and foster communication to help you fulfill your nonprofit’s purpose.
Originally published Apr 01, 2020, updated Aug 21, 2020