Top 10 Nonprofit Online Fundraising Tips for the Holidays


Children aren’t the only ones looking forward to getting gifts for the holidays; this is also the most important time of the year for charitable giving. Making the most of this opportunity requires far more than depending on the generosity of the season or making your website red and green. Money is tight in these tough economic times, so nonprofits must be extra savvy and convincing if they want to keep those numbers up this year. In no particular order, here are our top 10 nonprofit online fundraising tips for the holidays.

10. Remind them it’s TAX DEDUCTIBLE! We’re still recovering from a major recession, so people who would have donated a few years ago may not have as much incentive to donate. Give them one: Remind them about the tax deduction for charitable donations. If you’re on the fence about clicking that “donate” button, aren’t you a little more tempted by the magical words, “tax deductible?”

9. Start early, remind often (but not too often) In today’s digital world, people are preoccupied, and therefore forgetful. They need reminders. Since everyone is not online while your messages are going out, they’re not going to see every update anyway. Just make sure you don’t put up too many reminders. Nobody likes to be spammed; that’s you lose followers.

8. List this year’s accomplishments, along with plans and needs for next year People like to know where their money is going, and they want to see it’s going to good use. One idea is to publicize your accomplishments and show the world the great work you’ve done. Do some blog posts. Post Twitter and Facebook pictures from the field. Let everyone know what’s planned for next year and what you will need. This will create a tangible reason to donate and an increased likelihood of higher donations. Go ahead; brag a little!

7. Optimize and use keywords You could have the greatest, most beautiful holiday-themed nonprofit website on the planet, but what good is that if nobody sees it? Being on page 15 in Google’s search results is not going to bring in donations. Optimize your website with the right keywords (hint: It’s the holidays) so that someone can actually find it and donate.

6. Campaign more aggressively Sure, your donations may increase during the holidays without any extra effort, just because it’s giving season. But why not put your all into this opportunity to increase your donations even more? Many charities create separate holiday microsites, more e-mails and social media updates, and are becoming more direct with asking for money.

5. Suggest gift ideas from your organization’s gift shop. Pitch gift ideas—but not just any gift ideas. Pitch your own gifts. If you have T-shirts or mugs for sale, these could be perfect holiday gifts. It’s also great way to engage followers and get revenue while promoting your cause.

4. Don’t pause your regular campaigns to make way for the holidays Just because you have this shiny new holiday campaign, doesn’t mean the other ones are no longer important. They are the reason you have your current donors, and they will keep things going after the holidays are over. It also shows sincerity and dedication to your cause, which is appealing not only to donors, but the people you’re helping as well.

3. Target messages by segments Asking a poor college student to donate $1,000 is about as smart as asking a millionaire to donate $10. Segment your email list! You don’t want to over-ask some people and intimidate them from donating, but you don’t want to under-ask others who may be willing to give more. Also, think about how your messaging should differ between social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Your Twitter followers may have different behaviors than your Facebook followers.

2. Offer gift and tribute donations A new popular trend is allowing donors to make donations on another’s behalf. It’s holiday appropriate since it’s a gift, and it’s unconventional without being cheesy.

1. Thank donors for their support Wouldn’t it be nice if some of these holiday donors actually stuck around? Increasing the number of monthly donors and sustaining the ones you have will require letting them know that their support is appreciated. Remember: There are people behind those numbers.


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