by Kate Vandeveld

These days, online fundraising is everywhere. And it should be – it’s a powerful tool that allows organizations to easily and efficiently reach a large number of people, securing donations from those who care most about their causes. Last year, online giving increased almost 14% over 2012 and continues to rise, making online fundraising increasingly compelling for a growing number of organizations. 

But because these online fundraising campaigns are so widespread, it’s important for organizations to utilize unique tactics that help them to stand out from the crowd. Here are some impactful ways you can take your online fundraising efforts to the next level:

1. Build a Team of Fundraisers

It is often difficult for individuals to make major gifts to the organizations they stand behind, no matter how passionate they are about the cause. So instead of pushing for large monetary contributions, ask supporters to join your ‘fundraising team’ and start their own personal campaigns. 

As an example, charity: water’s birthday campaigns are extremely successful, with nearly 60,000 people already participating. In these campaigns, individuals ‘donate’ their birthdays to the cause, asking for contributions from friends and family in lieu of presents. To learn more about crowdfunding platforms, and which one is right for you, check out our recent post.

2. Join a Day of Giving Campaign

Another really successful way to raise money for your organization is by participating in a ‘giving day.’ These campaigns are often hosted on crowdfunding platforms and support a group of organizations whose missions are similarly aligned or based in a common area. Because giving days support a number of organizations, they build a significant level of hype around a key issue. This is of great help to smaller organizations that lack marketing resources, as they are no longer solely responsible for spreading the word. Additionally, the fact that they are so short-term creates a sense of urgency that inspires people to donate in the moment instead of waiting until later when the opportunity to participate has passed.

One example of a giving day is the Spring2ACTion campaign hosted by Razoo on April 9th. The 24-hour Spring2ACTion campaign supported a variety of non-profits from the Alexandria area, raising over $1 million from over 7,500 unique donors in just one day. To get involved in a similar event, just search for giving days that are raising funds for organizations in your area or focused on your specific mission. If you’re interested in hosting your own giving day, check out the Knight Foundation’s Giving Day Playbook to get started. 

3. Give People Options 

A great way to maximize participation is to give people multiple ways to get involved. While some people prefer to donate cash, others might not have disposable income. However, most organizations have other needs that their supporters can fulfill without making strictly monetary contributions.

More Than Me, a non-profit organization that supports the education of women and girls in the West Point Slum of Liberia, provides its supporters with multiple ways that they can provide support – donating airline miles and hosting an awareness-raising ‘Promise Party,’ just to name just a few.

4. Develop Partnerships

Sometimes, the best way to get people to donate to your cause is by offering them something in return. This creates a mutually beneficial scenario for all parties: the organization, its partner companies, and its supporters.

goods for good, a non-profit that builds the financial capacity of African communities so they can provide orphan care, partners with outside companies that in turn donate a portion of their proceeds to the cause. For example, if you purchase a specific bottle of wine from a partner company, the company will make a $3 donation to goods for good in your name.

No matter your cause or campaign, there are numerous ways to take your online fundraising efforts to the next level. With a little extra creativity, you can provide people with new options for supporting your organization and ways to make an impact on the world.

What’s one way you’ve seen an organization’s fundraising strategy stand out from the rest? Let us know if the comments below, or post via Facebook and Twitter.