Donations are an essential component of any nonprofit organization. Fundraising for nonprofits allows organizations to fund their missions, pay overhead costs, develop educational programs, and make improvements that will benefit future clients who utilize their services. Because fundraising is likely the primary means of income for most charitable organizations, it can be a massive undertaking.
After the events industry experienced unprecedented lows in the last few years, fundraising events had to endure the pandemic just like any other business that relies on events for profit, advertising, and networking. However, as event restrictions are becoming less and less restrictive, many experts are predicting a full rollback of live events and meetings — and that includes nonprofit fundraisers.
Continue reading to find out some of the various methods in which nonprofits use fundraising events and various other methods to support their cause as we predict what will happen in the next year with nonprofit events.
How do nonprofits raise funds?
Nonprofits use fundraising through various digital and traditional methods to engage both individuals and corporations to provide various ways to donate to their cause. These nonprofit organizations can be philanthropic, religious, artistic, educational, or scientific in nature. As long as any money an organization receives from fundraising is spent on the related cause or maintaining the organization itself, the group can qualify as a nonprofit.
Modern technology and the ability to reach potential donors on a global scale have allowed for nearly endless fundraising opportunities for nonprofit organizations. Over are the days when nonprofits could only reach out to solicit donations through phone calls, mailing donation requests, or hosting in-person-only events.
Now that the world has changed drastically in the past few decades, let’s have a look at some of the most popular types of fundraising that nonprofits use to support their causes in the modern age:
Virtual Fundraising Events – Virtual fundraisers are held in an online setting and are traditionally held on Facebook Live, Youtube Live Streaming, and Zoom calls – but in the age of social media, there are a myriad of other resources to stream your virtual fundraising event. Some other methods of streaming your event include: Twitch, Tango, TikTok, Instagram Live, Vimeo Livestream, Periscope, Dacast, YouNow, JW Live, Broadcast Me, Zype, IBM Cloud Video, and many more. Keep in mind that you can simultaneously broadcast your event over multiple platforms with the right equipment.
Online Fundraising – Online fundraising is more simple than a fundraising event, and involves posting a fundraising campaign on your nonprofit’s website, advertising your charitable cause, and watching donations come in. This type of fundraising is great for donors that live busy lives and can make a financial contribution on their own time.
Event Fundraising – Fundraising events come in various shapes and sizes – from concerts, to bake sales, picnics, dinners, entertainment shows, galas, auctions, and more. These events can take donations in various ways, from ticket sales and reservations to games, ticket drawings, silent auctions, and other activities throughout the event.
Hybrid Fundraising Events – Hybrid fundraisers include aspects of both an in-person and virtual event. These events usually simultaneously combine offline and online experiences in order to gain the most viewers and attendees. Although simply live-streaming your event is a great way to gain traction with your campaign, the best hybrid experiences are multi-channel and interactive. These events allow the hosting organization to appeal to and engage their audience at both their physical venue and to their at-home viewers online. As we continue in the post-pandemic era, it’s expected that hybrid events will continue to gain popularity for both nonprofit and for-profit sectors since these compound events allow organizations to make the most of the tools at their disposal.
Auction Fundraising – Auction fundraising is a great way to solicit donations while also giving your donor something valuable in return. For-profit businesses will often donate goods or services to these auction fundraisers in order to promote their business – this is a great way to include a massage, a free night’s stay at a resort or valuable items like jewelry or fine wines along with your auction.
Peer-to-peer fundraising – Peer-to-peer fundraising involves individuals asking for donations from their friends, family, coworkers, and other peers in order to fund a cause. Thanks to social media, peer-to-peer fundraising has been embraced by nearly a third of all organizations and is the most popular tactic for reaching donors in the modern age. In fact, 39% of Americans say they’ve donated to a charity based on a request from a friend or family member and 33% of nonprofits worldwide use peer-to-peer fundraising with platforms like Kindful, Classy, Qgiv, Bonfire, Donately, OneCause, Facebook, GoFundMe Charity, or other peer-to-peer fundraising platforms. Perhaps the best thing about peer-to-peer fundraising is that when supporters fundraise on your behalf, they are essentially recruiting new donors and giving your acquisition rates a boost at no cost to your organization. Peer-to-peer fundraising is the most common way to fund events like marathons, walkathons, fun runs, and cycling events. Some of the most important steps to remember when using peer-to-peer donors are to choose the active donors as supporters, offer support and training for your new supporters, and ask your donors to tell a personal story that outlines their reasons for donating to your cause.
Major gift fundraising – A major gift is usually defined as a single donation of $1,000 or more. These gifts are typically the largest single donations that a nonprofit receives and are used to fund specific projects, meet fundraising goals, or go into general programs that help an organization accomplish its mission. Major gifts can be in the form of legacy donations, corporate gifts, and individual donations. Additionally, donors can receive tax benefits for donating a substantial amount of money to charitable organizations and play an important role for both parties involved. If you’re considering starting a major gift fund, some of the most important things to remember are to ask for the right amount, form a major donor club for extra perks for large donations, and practice your pitch to potential major (or minor) donors.
Recurring donations – Recurring giving is when a donor elects to make regular, ongoing donations to your organization instead of a one-time gift. Although donations that are given on a recurring basis are generally smaller amounts, the aggregate amount that they give over the course of a year almost always adds up to more. These donations are often used to help your organization forecast future donations for budgeting purposes. If you want to start encouraging donors to make recurring contributions, you should set up your online donation page to accept these kinds of donations. Alternatively, for direct mail donations, you can send donors information about the ease and convenience of recurring donations and encourage them to send in their contributions on a monthly or quarterly basis. Keep in mind that not every donor will want to give on the same schedule so it’s important to offer weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly donation periods.
Merchandise Fundraising – Merchandise fundraising is when your supporters make a charitable donation to your nonprofit and in return, they receive custom apparel, goods, or other items relating to your cause. The proceeds from selling this special merchandise goes towards funding the mission of the organization. While some nonprofits will have the infrastructure in place to set up physical stores to advertise their merchandise, many choose to set up an online shop on their website to sell their unique items on the internet.
Helping Angels of Peru is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that provides basic medical needs, clothing, blankets, nutritional foods, footwear, and educational materials for the children in poverty-stricken areas of Cajamarca Peru, and the surrounding areas.
Due to the pandemic, this organization has been unable to host its annual Gala Fundraiser for the last 2 years. Fortunately, thanks in part to a donation by Rentacomputer.com, they were able to hold a successful fundraiser this year after a pandemic break. Rentacomputer.com spoke with one of the leaders of Helping Angels of Peru and found out that they needed a projector in order to show the efforts made in the past on trips to Peru and to highlight their sponsors and contributors that make these charitable trips possible. That’s when one of Rentacomputer’s Tech Travel Agents, Randy Moore, decided to reach out to his superiors to see if the company could donate a projector to support a worthy cause. Rentacomputer.com was happy to provide a projector that would be perfect for hosting slide shows – an Epson Moviemaker – to the Helping Angels of Peru charity.
Helping Angels of Peru is entirely a volunteer organization – all board members have regular jobs and receive no compensation for their efforts with the nonprofit. The organization’s goal is to be able to sponsor and pay for technical college tuition for a handful of kids that want to pursue technical degrees but don’t have the financial means to support their education.
Incentives to donate
Knowing why individuals donate is a great way to more effectively advertise your nonprofit fundraiser. The fact of the matter is people, businesses, and organizations donate to causes for a variety of different reasons from internal satisfaction to tax incentives – and everything in between. Here are some of the most common reasons why people and businesses give to nonprofit organizations:
Desire to help – Many people like to help people in their various communities around the world. While some are inclined to donate to local community charities, others support larger internal nonprofits. All in all, the desire to help others is one of the primary reasons for donating.
Internal Satisfaction – Some people feel better about themselves when they donate to a good cause. Going hand in hand with a desire to help others, the impact of the donation is not lessened by the fact that the donor naturally feels better about themselves for giving to charity.
Personal Connection – Many people choose to donate to causes or organizations with which they have a personal connection. For example, cancer survivors and their families are more likely to donate to a cancer research institute because their lives have been affected by cancer.
Societal Expectations – Although it sounds negative, peer pressure is a big reason why many people choose to give to a nonprofit. When friends, family members, or coworkers support a cause, their peers are more likely to donate.
Tax Incentives – Some donors give to nonprofit organizations because of the charitable deduction against their taxable income if they choose to itemize their deductions.
Impulsivity – Sometimes people decide to donate on a whim, with no research. Maybe the advertisement for the charity made them feel like they could help the cause and they decided to donate. People can sometimes feel impulsively generous.
Predicted Uptick in Fundraising Events and Donations
After a long break due to pandemic-related cancellations and closures, there is no doubt that people are looking to get back to events, meetings, and travel. Charitable events and nonprofit galas are no different – people haven’t had an in-person avenue to donate to worthy causes for the past year and are looking for an incentive to donate.
Now that everyone is familiar with health and safety protocols after living through the pandemic, the public is finally ready to go back to attending events in full swing. Some people haven’t been able to gather for in-person events for nearly three years, creating a pent-up need for networking. After all, the ability to connect face-to-face, share experiences, discuss coping strategies, and talk about future predictions is one of the most important facets of in-person nonprofit gatherings.
If you’re planning an upcoming charity event, make sure you provide plenty of social and networking opportunities for your attendees.
With interest in attending in-person events returning, we can expect event spaces to book up quickly. In fact, event planners are starting to become concerned about compression.
In the past few years, we would already be hearing about a multitude of canceled events – but this isn’t the case for 2022. The events that didn’t get canceled for 2022 are still on the books. On top of that, all of the 2020 and 2021 re-books are getting pushed forward now that the events industry is ready to host in-person events again. So if you’re planning an event this year keep in mind it’s best to book your venue at least 8 months in advance!
While event spaces may book up fast, there is one thing you can count on when it comes to your fundraiser: technology rentals. In fact, renting technology for your gala is a great way to navigate around supply chain issues that have plagued the country since the pandemic and Russia/Ukraine controversy.
Now isn’t the time to gamble on a new shipment of equipment arriving on time, especially if it’s coming from overseas. Not only are technology rentals your cheapest and quickest bet, but it’s also the most reliable right now due to the current state of the global supply chain. On top of that, with technology rentals you won’t have to worry about shipping delays, product installation, tech support, or even product recommendations – companies like Rentacomputer.com are experienced with renting technology during a pandemic and are always looking for new and innovative ways to provide the very best support.
Are you considering technology rentals for your fundraising event? Our account manager Randy Moore specializes in laptops, tablets, smartphones, internet hotspots, accessory rentals, and much more. Randy will gladly handle any questions you may have in regards to rentals to make your fundraiser easier. Contact Randy today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 225 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form today.