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6 digital tools to achieve fall fundraising success

May 31, 2023
A group of nonprofit professionals crowd around a shared desk and shake hands after deciding on their fall fundraising plan.

For most nonprofit organizations, the fall season marks an important push for donations. With GivingTuesday and year-end campaigns just around the corner, it's the perfect time to engage with donors and raise much-needed funds to support your organization's purpose. 

But in today's digital age, online fundraising is essential for your organization’s success. That's why we've compiled a list of six digital tools that will set your fall fundraising campaigns apart from the competition. Let’s get started!

Why is fall fundraising so important? 

Fall fundraising takes place in the final quarter of the year, at a time when generosity is typically at its peak. With the holiday season approaching, people are often in a giving mood and are more open to making charitable donations. Additionally, many companies and individuals are looking to make end-of-year donations for tax deduction purposes. 

By taking advantage of this seasonal trend and leveraging the following digital tools, nonprofits can maximize their fundraising efforts and drive meaningful support to their programs and initiatives.

Top 6 tools for successful fall fundraising 

A successful digital fundraising strategy starts with the right software. Consider leveraging these tools to bring in revenue for your nonprofit this fall:

Dynamic ask strings

A dynamic ask string calculates suggested gift amounts based on the giving history of each individual donor. This approach is designed to increase the likelihood of receiving a donation by suggesting an amount that is tailored to the donor's desire and capacity to give. 

For example, if a donor has given consistently in the past, the ask string might suggest a donation amount that is slightly higher than their previous contributions. On the other hand, if a donor is relatively new to the organization, the ask string might suggest a lower amount or invite them to make a first-time donation. 

To ensure your dynamic ask strings are relevant, invest in a CRM well before the fall fundraising season so you can collect donor data throughout the year. 

One-click donations

One-click donations give donors the ability to support your nonprofit with just the press of a button. Rather than having to fill out lengthy forms, this streamlined process encourages donors to follow through on their desire to support your purpose.

For the best results, invest in a fundraising platform like Bonterra Donor Engagement Fundraising which has one-click functionality and allows donors to save their credit card information for faster checkout. By making the donation process as easy and seamless as possible, you can attract more donors and raise more funds during the fall fundraising season. 

Cover costs

As you prepare your fall fundraising toolkit, be aware of the costs associated with online donations. Most payment processors charge transaction fees, which may include: 

  • Credit card processing fees: Credit card companies typically charge two to three percent of the donation amount depending on the type of card used, such as whether it’s a credit, debit, or international card. 
  • Platform transaction fees: Most online fundraising platforms take a portion of the donation amount, which can range from one to five percent, as well as a flat fee per transaction.

To offset these costs, add a field to your online donation form that invites donors to increase the size of their gift. For instance, you might say, "Did you know that your donation can go even further? Click here to add $2 to your donation to cover the processing fees and ensure that 100% of your donation goes to support our cause."

Sustainer upsell lightboxes

A sustainer upsell lightbox is a pop-up that appears during the donation process to convert one-time gifts into monthly donations. The idea is that a smaller amount given consistently adds up to a larger annual contribution. For instance, if a donor who made a $200 annual gift instead chose to give $20 monthly, your organization would receive an extra $40 over a 12-month period.

Here’s an example of a sustainer upsell:

"Monthly giving is one of the best ways to sustain our programs throughout the year, and it’s a more convenient way to make an impact over time. Before we process your one-time gift, will you consider converting it to a smaller monthly gift of $20 instead?"

The message is clear, compelling, and provides a tangible reason for donors to consider converting their one-time gift into a recurring donation. By framing it as a way for the donor to make an even greater impact, the organization can appeal to their desire to make a difference and encourage them to take action toward supporting the cause on an ongoing basis.

Digital advocacy forms 

Whether you’ve been engaging in advocacy for years or are just building your program out, digital advocacy forms are an important way to engage supporters beyond donations and channel their energy into action. 

Keep in mind that these forms, which can include petitions, surveys, and pledges, should be focused on your fall fundraising initiatives. For instance, if you’re hosting a webinar on the topic of climate change, you might encourage attendees to sign petitions, contact elected officials, and commit to individual actions to reduce carbon emissions. 

With Bonterra Supporter Engagement’s Advocacy solution, you can quickly set up and use email, social, and click-to-call advocacy tools, enabling supporters to amplify shared messages efficiently. 

Mobile messaging

Mobile messaging—also known as short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS)— is becoming an increasingly popular mode of communication for nonprofits. Texts are a direct and personal form of communication that help target individual donors. 

To take advantage of mobile messaging, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Keep messages short and impactful. Mobile messages should be concise and attention-grabbing, with a clear call to action.
  2. Personalize messages when possible. Use supporter data and segmentation to tailor messages to specific groups of supporters.
  3. Time messages strategically. Send messages at times when supporters are most likely to be engaged and responsive, such as after a successful event or in the lead-up to a deadline.

In addition to these tips, combine mobile messaging with other outreach tactics, such as email marketing or social media, to create a cohesive and effective fall fundraising campaign.

A final note about fall fundraising

By leveraging these digital tools, your nonprofit can reach a wider audience, engage new supporters, and grow your donor base during the important fall fundraising season. For more information on successful fall fundraising, download our guide, 3 strategies to boost year-end fundraising starting now

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