Learn more about fundraising CRMs and our top suggestions in this guide.

13 Top Fundraising CRMs for Nonprofit Organizations

Fundraising CRMs, or constituent relationship management systems for nonprofits, are vital for effective revenue generation and donor management efforts⁠. This is especially true as organizations continue to grow.

If your nonprofit is seeking a CRM solution (whether for the first time or to upgrade an existing system), you’ve come to the right place! This list of top nonprofit CRMs has been crafted with organizations like yours in mind, and we’ll highlight key features, benefits, and more for each provider.

At Getting Attention, our favorite fundraising CRMs (in alphabetical order) are:

  1. CharityEngine
  2. Classy
  3. Click & Pledge
  4. DonorPerfect
  5. Engaging Networks
  6. Kindful
  7. Neon CRM
  8. NonProfitEasy
  9. Raiser’s Edge NXT
  10. Salesforce
  11. SalsaLabs
  12. SimplyFundraisingCRM
  13. Virtuous CRM

One key function to consider as you browse this list of suggested fundraising CRMs is matching gift abilities. Research shows that between $4 and $7 billion in available matching gift funding is left on the table each year⁠—largely because nonprofits lack the tools to secure those corporate dollars effectively.

Luckily, more and more nonprofit CRMs are beginning to incorporate matching gift functionality into their toolkit through seamless integrations with matching gift software (the most common by far being 360MatchPro by Double the Donation).

Ready to dive in and discover the perfect donor management system for your organization? Let’s get started.

CharityEngine is one of our favorite nonprofit fundraising CRMs.

1. CharityEngine

CharityEngine offers a number of fundraising solutions, including an online donation platform and fundraising CRM. Their CRM system enables teams to quickly and easily automate fundraising, marketing, and data collection to provide nonprofits with more time to spend on mission-related projects.

Top CharityEngine features include built-out donor profiles, donation pages, payment processing, reporting and analytics, and automated workflows.

Not to mention, CharityEngine donation forms drive matching gift revenue by simplifying the matching process for both donors (through personalized reminders and company-specific instructions) and nonprofits (by automating communications, collecting data, and tracking revenue growth). Since the #1 hindrance for matching gifts is a lack of awareness among supporters, CharityEngine leverage matching git software from Double the Donation to ensure each donor is exposed to matching gift information at multiple touchpoints.

Classy is one of our favorite fundraising CRMs for nonprofits.

2. Classy

Classy is an all-in-one fundraising platform with solutions for donor management, online donations, and peer-to-peer campaigns. This fundraising CRM is designed to provide users with a central hub for campaign and supporter management called Classy Manager. With these tools, nonprofit fundraisers are able to launch and manage campaigns, track performance and donor interactions, and gain a better understanding of their fundraising overall.

Top Classy features include online donation processing, event management, 360-degree donor views, and robust reporting and analytics.

And Classy doesn’t want you to forget about matching gift opportunities, either! This platform integrates with Double the Donation’s comprehensive matching gift tool to enable a searchable matching gift database, automated donor follow-ups and match reminders, and more. They even offer a two-way data sync that allows matching gift information collected in 360MatchPro to flow into Classy’s platform! When donors are encouraged to participate in their employers’ matching gift programs on multiple occasions, they’ll be more likely to request a match and secure more dollars for your cause.

Explore Click and Pledge's fundraising CRM.

3. Click & Pledge

Click & Pledge offers powerful donor management tools built on the Salesforce platform. This innovative fundraising CRM can even help users sort and rank donors based on an algorithm that considers personal donations, amounts fundraised, and gifts within an individual’s network in order to identify their highest-value supporters.

Top Click & Pledge features include automated communications, data analytics, manual donation processing, and a seamless Salesforce integration.

Plus, Click & Pledge integrates with the top matching gift solution, 360MatchPro, to promote matching gift opportunities to supporters, drive more company match requests with automated communications, and boost fundraising revenue overall.

DonorPerfect is a favorite nonprofit fundraising CRM.

4. DonorPerfect

DonorPerfect is a comprehensive fundraising solution that specializes in strategic donor management through targeted communications, multichannel outreach, easy donation processing, and customizable reports. Plus, it can save fundraisers tons of time and resources when they employ DonorPerfect’s extensive automated workflows!

Top DonorPerfect features include payment processing, fundraising event management, online donation forms, and insightful data analytics.

This platform also incorporates matching gift tools and strategies with a Double the Donation integration. This way, organizations can easily communicate the importance of matching gifts to donors and provide targeted next steps depending on the individual’s employer. The easier it is for donors to participate in matching gift programs, the more likely they are to follow through with their request, and the more dollars that go toward your mission!

Engaging Networks is a favorite fundraising CRM.

5. Engaging Networks

Engaging Networks is a multi-faceted fundraising platform with tools for online donations, nonprofit marketing, peer-to-peer campaigns, donor and data management, and more. This eCRM is dedicated to providing users with cutting-edge technology with constantly developing upgrades, newly released features, and a web of seamless integrations.

Top Engaging Networks features include advanced visual reporting, target audience query builders, fundraising performance analysis, and donor profiling and geotargeting.

One of their most impactful integrations is with Double the Donation’s matching gift software, 360MatchPro. Thanks to the Engaging Networks and Double the Donation integration, organizations can quickly boost matching gift revenue by promoting these program opportunities at multiple donor touchpoints. This includes, but is not limited to, during the donation process itself and within a number of automated and customizable email follow-ups.

Kindful is one of our favorite nonprofit fundraising CRMs.

6. Kindful

Kindful CRM is a product of Bloomerang that is designed to build seamless connections between various nonprofit processes to streamline backend efforts and provide improved donor experiences. This platform emphasizes the power of technical integrations with a number of other fundraising platforms to provide an interconnected network of fundraising software that drives success.

Top Kindful features include tracking and reporting, donor lifecycle dashboards, detailed donor and contact records, donation tracking, and wealth insights.

And for many Kindful clients, this network incorporates matching gift software and practices as well. Their matching gift integration with Double the Donation’s comprehensive automation tool allows organizations to promote company matches through personalized outreach and match reminders. Plus, users can configure automated follow-ups to include matching gift instructions, next steps, and guidelines for each individual’s employer, which ultimately results in increased matches and revenue.

Neon CRM is a fantastic fundraising CRM for nonprofits.

7. Neon CRM

Neon CRM is a donor management solution created by the fundraising platform Neon One and designed to scale up alongside organizations of any size. This versatile solution is able to help manage nonprofit fundraising, memberships, events, websites, and more.

Top Neon CRM features include online web forms, grant management, constituent login portals, automated receipting, accounts and relationship tracking, and donation processing.

Plus, their matching gift integration with 360MatchPro by Double the Donation enables organizations to significantly increase matching gift awareness through strategic follow-ups and personalized guidelines⁠—and boost matching gift revenue as a result.

NonProfitEasy is a great choice of nonprofit CRM for fundraising and donor management.

8. NonProfitEasy

NonProfitEasy is a product of the Lumaverse technology company that was built to provide organizations with simple, scalable solutions. Previously known as Fundly CRM, NonProfitEasy makes its goal to “turn one-time donors into lifetime supporters.”

Top NonProfitEasy features include donor communication, event management, pledge and grant tracking, and customizable and predefined data reports.

And with a seamless integration with the industry-leading matching gift tool, 360MatchPro, NonProfitEasy users are able to double supporter donations while saving time and effort through automation. This includes donor information screening to identify match-eligible transactions, customized outreach triggered to remind eligible individuals of matching gifts, and powerful tracking and reporting capabilities with forecasting tools.

Raiser's Edge NXT is one of our favorite nonprofit CRMs for fundraising.

9. Raiser’s Edge NXT

Raiser’s Edge NXT is a nonprofit fundraising CRM built by Blackbaud that provides organizations of all sizes with donor management tools. The Raiser’s Edge NXT is their newest version of the product, which is a cloud-based software that aims to provide the social good community with an easy and effective fundraising solution.

Top RE NXT features include growth opportunity identification, dynamic email campaigns, integrated multichannel techniques, automated workflows, and accessibility from any device.

To incorporate matching gift fundraising efforts as well, Raiser’s Edge NXT integrates seamlessly with Double the Donation’s matching gift software. This enables nonprofits to leverage the most effective matching gift strategies with little to no time and effort required of their fundraising teams. With automated donor follow-ups and match reminders, organizations see significant increases in match revenue!

Salesforce is a fantastic fundraising CRM for nonprofit organizations.

10. Salesforce

Salesforce is a popular CRM solution for businesses and nonprofits alike⁠. Salesforce.com caters to the for-profit side of the sector, while Salesforce.org targets nonprofits, schools, and other mission-driven organizations.

Top Salesforce features include donor-centric relationship-planning, digital-first fundraising experiences, program management and reporting, and grantmaking.

This comprehensive platform also allows Salesforce clients to extend their CRM functionality through a number of technical integrations with partners listed in the Salesforce AppExchange⁠ marketplace—one of which is Double the Donation. When users leverage Double the Donation’s matching gift automation tools, nonprofits can collect two gifts for every one donation solicited by driving matching gift participation.

Take a look at SalsaLabs for a great fundraising CRM.

11. SalsaLabs

SalsaCRM from SalsaLabs is a powerful and effective donor management system. This software works well alongside Salsa’s other fundraising products in addition to a range of other top fundraising solutions⁠—including Double the Donation’s matching gift tools!

Top Salsa features include rich donor profiles, extensive relationship-tracking, automated suggested gift calculations, and unified online and offline gift management.

The Double the Donation integration allows Salsa clients to utilize Double the Donation’s matching gift software, 360MatchPro, alongside their fundraising CRMs and donation forms to automate matching gift communications with donors. This boosts awareness of these programs and their availability while encouraging eligible donors to request matching donations from their employers. Ultimately, these tools result in increased corporate donations and better donor relations.

SimplyFundraisingCRM is one of our favorite fundraising CRMs.

12. SimplyFundraisingCRM

SimplyFundraisingCRM is a fantastic solution that equips nonprofits with innovative donor management tools. Top benefits of SimplyFundraisingCRM include saving time through strategic automation, raising more with effective fundraising solutions, and receiving guided assistance from a panel of expert fundraising advisors.

Top SimplyFundraisingCRM features include automated donor acknowledgments, one-click donor reports, artificial intelligence, simple, step-by-step processes, and data analysis.

Not to mention, the platform integrates with Double the Donation’s most comprehensive matching gift solution to help drive additional revenue from company matches! Through donor screening practices and automated communications, organizations can easily promote matching gifts and encourage supporters to participate.

Virtuous is a favorite nonprofit CRM for fundraising.

13. Virtuous CRM

Virtuous offers a nonprofit CRM that is designed to help fundraisers streamline donor management efforts, improve supporter relationships, and leverage data-rich insights for improved practices.

Top Virtuous features include omnichannel marketing strategies, donor analysis with highlighted opportunities, personalized cultivation and retention plans, and reporting dashboards.

With Virtuous, nonprofit clients can configure their fundraising CRMs to incorporate Double the Donation’s matching gift functionality. This integration allows organizations to increase matching gifts and improve their strategies through automated email follow-ups that contain employer-specific program information and instructions. When more donors request company matches from their employers, the nonprofit receives additional gifts for free!


Did any of these fundraising CRMs catch your eye? The providers listed above are some of our favorite solutions for nonprofit data management, donor relationships, automated communications, and more.

The more efficient your software, the more efficient your organization’s practices will be and the more you can do for your mission as a result. Good luck!

Check out these other educational resources to learn more about effective nonprofit fundraising and engagement strategies:

Read up on top peer-to-peer platforms that help double donations and improve fundraising.

Peer-to-Peer Platforms | 14 Picks That Double Your Donations

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a powerful form of nonprofit fundraising in which organizations equip their supporters to raise money on their behalf. In order to do so effectively, these dedicated individuals require the right tools⁠—or peer-to-peer platforms⁠—to manage their fundraising from start to finish.

This fundraising strategy (also referred to as social fundraising or P2P giving) enables nonprofits to reach larger audiences, engage with new supporters, and raise a ton of funding for their causes.

The first step? Determining the best solution for your team⁠and there are a lot of software choices to explore. That’s why, here at Getting Attention, we’ve crafted this useful guide with reviews of powerful providers. We’ll cover the following:

  1. CharityEngine
  2. Classy
  3. Click & Pledge
  4. Donately
  5. DonorDrive
  6. Fundly
  7. GiveWP
  8. iDonate
  9. OneCause
  10. Neon Fundraise
  11. nSpire
  12. Qgiv
  13. Salsa Labs
  14. Soapbox Engage

These peer-to-peer platforms will equip any nonprofit with the tools they need to raise more through social fundraising strategies. And when you prioritize solutions that offer corporate matching gift functionality as well, you can set your teams up for even greater success.

Are you ready to explore our alphabetized catalog of top suggestions? Let’s dive in!

CharityEngine is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

1. CharityEngine

CharityEngine is an all-in-one nonprofit donor management and fundraising platform designed to aid organizations in a wide range of fundraising efforts. Within their greater online fundraising solution is an innovative peer-to-peer platform that is ready to provide groups and individual fundraisers with the powerful software they need to succeed.

Key peer-to-peer features of the CharityEngine platform include personalized campaign microsites, event management integrations, customizable team and personal fundraising pages, and strategic fundraising goal-tracking tools.

Plus, CharityEngine encourages matching gifts within peer-to-peer campaigns, made possible through a seamless integration with Double the Donation’s matching gift automation tool. With 360MatchPro by Double the Donation integrated with your campaign pages, donors will be prompted to enter their employment information upon submitting their gifts. This will encourage more individuals to request matches and lead to increased match revenue overall.

Classy is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

2. Classy

Classy is a comprehensive online fundraising solution complete with peer-to-peer functionality and a mission to accelerate social impact. Since its foundation, the Classy platform has partnered with over 6,000 nonprofit organizations to collect and process more than $3 billion in donation revenue.

Classy’s top peer-to-peer features include mobile-responsive and easily editable fundraising pages for individuals and teams, built-in tips and expert fundraising guidance, automated email workflows to coach, motivate, and thank volunteer fundraisers, and built-in social and text sharing.

To increase matching gift funding in the peer-to-peer giving process, Classy integrates with industry-leading matching gift software provider, Double the Donation. When donors give, they’re presented with matching gift information within the online donation form and confirmation page, along with follow-up outreach after making their donation. The more donors are aware of matching gift opportunities, the more matches you can secure for your cause!

Click & Pledge is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

3. Click & Pledge

Click & Pledge is a powerful online fundraising platform available to help nonprofits and their dedicated supporters set up and manage effective fundraising campaigns. With a wide range of solutions, including peer-to-peer, in-person, video, event, text fundraising, and more, Click & Pledge has assisted more than 20,000 nonprofit causes to raise over $1 billion overall.

Among other fundraising solutions, Click & Pledge’s peer-to-peer platform incorporates top features such as SEO-optimized fundraising pages, goal and progress tracking through campaign meters, and custom reports and real-time dashboards.

Click & Pledge integrates with Double the Donation as well to provide users with best-in-class matching gift fundraising software. As donors complete their online peer-to-peer giving forms, users are encouraged to enter their employer’s name in an optional search field. If completed, automated follow-ups are triggered via email to encourage donors to take the next steps and request their company match. The easier it is for donors to complete the matching gift submission process, the more matches you’ll likely receive.

Donately is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

4. Donately

Donately is an online solution dedicated to creating innovative and effective online donation forms and fundraising pages. Working with all sorts of nonprofits, churches, businesses, and agencies, this fundraising solution aims to simplify the donation process on both the donors’ end and the organization’s.

Donately’s intuitive tools include a powerful peer-to-peer platform with features such as cohesive fundraising pages that are branded to the organization with personalized aspects from each individual, fundraiser progress tracking bars, and social sharing tools to further spread the word about your campaign.

Since matching gifts are such an easy way to increase campaign revenue without having to reach even more individual donors, Donately integrates with Double the Donation to offer innovative matching gift functionality in their donation process. As supporters complete their donations, they’re encouraged to enter their employer name to be provided with company-specific matching gift information following the transaction. This significantly increases awareness surrounding matching gift programs, leading to boosted engagement and additional corporate matches.

DonorDrive is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

5. DonorDrive

DonorDrive is an online fundraising platform that works with nonprofits, healthcare organizations, and higher education institutions to simplify online giving and assist in raising more for their causes. With a charity fundraising app, virtual campaign functionality, online donation campaigns, peer-to-peer giving, and more, DonorDrive users have the tools they need to power their missions effectively.

Within the peer-to-peer giving realm, DonorDrive offers top features such as personalized coaching, social media integrations, flexible event configuration, automated communication, and real-time data insights.

Not to mention, DonorDrive partners with Double the Donation⁠—the leading provider of matching gift software⁠—to incorporate matching gift fundraising into their online donations and peer-to-peer processes. Within the online giving form, donors are asked to enter their employer’s name. If they do so, they’ll receive company-specific matching gift guidelines and links to their employer’s submission forms upon completing their donation transaction. Eligible donors are encouraged to pursue a company match for your organization, which drives additional revenue to your mission.

Fundly is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

6. Fundly

Fundly is an easy-to-use crowdfunding and peer-to-peer platform for nonprofits and individual fundraisers alike. Fundraisers on Fundly can easily get started raising money for just about any cause they’d like, as well as effortlessly enlist dedicated supporters to join the campaign.

Fundly’s peer-to-peer platform features include a built-in event module, donor density geographic heat maps, individual cause pages, giving levels and incentives, embeddable campaign cards and buttons, and seamless Facebook integrations.

In order to provide best-in-class matching gift functionality in their peer-to-peer campaigns as well, Fundly integrates seamlessly with Double the Donation’s matching gift software. Donors are encouraged to enter their employer’s name during the donation process and are then met with targeted matching gift details on the confirmation page and in email follow-ups. By identifying more match-eligible donations, the integration aids in driving additional matches and boosting total revenue.

GiveWP is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

7. GiveWP

GiveWP is a fantastic WordPress donation plugin option that enables all sorts of groups and organizations to raise money for their mission needs. This open-source suite of tools makes fundraising quick and easy with the goal of “democratizing generosity.” Plus, they offer powerful add-ons to the basic solution with peer-to-peer giving, recurring donations, marketing tools, and more.

Top features of GiveWP’s peer-to-peer platform include fundraising goal progress bars for individuals, teams, and total raised, social sharing abilities with built-in calls-to-action, donation flexibility with funds and designations, integrated sponsorship information, and tribute giving functionality in memory of loved ones.

Additionally, GiveWP integrates with the top matching gift software provider, Double the Donation, to provide users with best-in-class matching gift software alongside their peer-to-peer fundraising tools. During the donation process, supporters are encouraged to enter their employer’s name in an embedded search widget. For those who do, they’re met with targeted match guidelines and forms on the confirmation page, driving next steps and motivating donors to complete the match process for your organization. Thus, resulting in free matching gift revenue and increased donor engagement.

iDonate is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

8. iDonate

iDonate is a modern digital giving solution designed for today’s nonprofits and other charitable organizations to grow their online giving and better reach dedicated supporters. This powerful suite of fundraising software encompasses peer-to-peer fundraising, web and mobile giving, and event management tools for big results.

Their peer-to-peer platform incorporates top features such as a comprehensive fundraiser command center, campaign management with real-time data metrics, and easy campaign building and editing tools for individual fundraisers.

Plus, iDonate offers matching gift fundraising tools through a powerful integration with Double the Donation, enabling organizations to raise more through corporate gift-matching without the added hassle. Organizations that utilize this functionality can choose to embed an interactive matching gift search tool in their donation form or confirmation page. When donors enter their employer’s name in the search widget, they’ll receive company-specific matching gift information via email follow-ups. Donors will be more likely to follow through with the match request process thanks to automated communications, and you’ll receive more completed company matches for your cause.

OneCause is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

9. OneCause

OneCause is an online fundraising and event solution that has grown from a mobile bidding tool to a comprehensive giving platform with abilities for online donations, peer-to-peer fundraising, auction and event management, and more. Since its launch, OneCause has facilitated more than $3 billion in charitable donations from 2.5 million supporters and 20,000 fundraisers.

The OneCause peer-to-peer fundraising platform leverages key features such as dedicated ambassador fundraising, run/walk/ride management, social listening and engagement feeds, gamification through motivation and rewards, and more.

OneCause also incorporates matching gift fundraising in their peer-to-peer software through a native integration with Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro. This partnership aids in collecting donors’ employment information, screening for match-eligible supporters, and providing detailed next steps and links to online forms to encourage donors to submit their matches. By leveraging these tools, organizations identify more matches and secure additional revenue in terms of both company matches and increased individual gifts.

NeonFundraise is one of our favorite peer-to-peer platforms.

10. Neon Fundraise

Neon Fundraise is a product of Neon One, a nonprofit software company with innovative software for donor management, online fundraising, program management, events, web development, and more. Within Neon Fundraise are powerful solutions to manage peer-to-peer and DIY fundraising, virtual events, online donation pages, and ticketing.

Their peer-to-peer platform, in particular, offers top features such as experience-based fundraising, a frictionless, secure donation process for supporters, and automated workflows for receipting, registrations, and other repetitive communications.

To boost revenue and save additional time and resources, Neon Fundraise also integrates with 360MatchPro by Double the Donation to enable innovative, effective, and automated matching gift practices. By securing donor employment information and driving supporters to request more matches, these tools often lead to increased funding and better donor relations overall.

Check out nSPIRE's peer-to-peer fundraising platform.

11. nSpire

Omniweb nSpire is an online donations tool and donor portal from TQI Solutions, a digital agency dedicated to technology, quality, and innovation. This online fundraising platform provides nonprofits with easy-to-use software that prioritizes the donor experience and emphasizes the story behind the fundraising organization.

nSpire’s peer-to-peer fundraising functionality incorporates key features such as easy campaign setup and editing for fundraisers, detailed progress reports toward fundraising goals, dollar amount presets with impact descriptions, and informative fundraising pages with frequently asked questions and top sustainers.

Not to mention, nSpire’s platform integrates with matching gift software from Double the Donation to increase awareness of matching gift opportunities among donors and drive additional match revenue. Donor information is scanned for employment markers that signify match-eligible gifts, which are then followed up on to encourage individuals to request company matches from their participating employers. More matches = more money toward your cause!

Check out Qgiv's peer-to-peer fundraising platform.

12. Qgiv

Qgiv is a powerful fundraising platform designed to assist nonprofit organizations with the tools they need to collect charitable donations online, in-person, and over text.

Qgiv’s peer-to-peer portion of the platform includes top features such as event management for runs, walks, rides, and other pledge-based experiences, intuitive online stores to sell event sponsorships and nonprofit merchandise, email and social media tools to increase reach and awareness of current campaigns, and branded, customizable team and individual fundraising pages.

Additionally, Qgiv’s peer-to-peer platform offers top-notch matching gift features through a native integration with 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. Together, these tools work to identify corporate match-eligible gifts, encourage donors to secure company matches, and increase matching gift (and overall fundraising) revenue significantly.

Check out Salsa's peer-to-peer fundraising platform.

13. Salsa Labs

Salsa Labs is an all-in-one online fundraising solution built on modern, cutting-edge technology to provide nonprofit users with donor management, fundraising, advocacy, event coordination, and marketing automation.

Salsa’s fundraising and engagement system, Salsa Engage, includes comprehensive peer-to-peer functionality that enables organizations to enlist dedicated supporters to fundraise on their behalf. Salsa’s peer-to-peer features include customizable team and individual fundraising pages, targeted donor communications, coaching and fundraiser support, and complete virtual and in-person event management.

To increase matching gift revenue and drive additional donor engagement, Salsa Labs partners with Double the Donation to offer innovative matching gift fundraising tools that work alongside their peer-to-peer software. 360MatchPro by Double the Donation leverages data collected through online donation forms to identify match-eligible gifts and drive these matches to completion. This allows organizations to collect more in matching gift funds and enables donors to make significantly larger impacts on charitable missions that they care about.

Check out Soapbox Engage's peer-to-peer fundraising platform.

14. Soapbox Engage

Soapbox Engage is a nonprofit technology company with a wide range of solutions for fundraising, events, class registrations, directories, advocacy, and more. This powerful platform is built to integrate seamlessly with Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack and Microsoft Dynamics’ Fundraising and Engagement tools.

Soapbox offers intuitive peer-to-peer functionality as well, with key features such as unlimited peer-to-peer campaigns, personal and universal fundraising goal tracking, customizable appeals that maintain an organization’s overarching mission, and seamless donor data collection and reporting.

In terms of matching gift functionality, Soapbox Engage partners with Double the Donation to provide nonprofit users with top-of-the-line matching gift solutions that integrate seamlessly into their peer-to-peer tools as well. Thanks to this partnership, nonprofits identify more match-eligible gifts, and donors secure more corporate match revenue for the causes they care about.


Social fundraising can bring your nonprofit strategy to the next level, but equipping your supporters with the most effective and most intuitive peer-to-peer platforms is a must. Once you have the fundraisers and the tools you need, you’ll be all set to launch and manage a lucrative campaign. Good luck!

Looking to learn more? Browse these additional fundraising and marketing resources for nonprofits:

Explore our favorite online donation tools that can help match nonprofit donations.

Online Donation Tools | 18 Choices That Help Match Gifts

Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes utilize online donation tools to collect and process financial contributions from supporters. At Getting Attention, we’ve compiled this list of top solutions, complete with summaries, reviews, and features of eighteen fantastic software providers.

Our favorite online donation tools include:

  1. Blackbaud
  2. CharityEngine
  3. Classy
  4. Click & Pledge
  5. Donately
  6. DonorDrive
  7. DonorPerfect
  8. Engaging Networks
  9. Fundly
  10. Fundraise Up
  11. Funraise
  12. iDonate
  13. Givebutter
  14. Qgiv
  15. RaiseDonors
  16. Salsa Labs
  17. Soapbox Engage
  18. Virtuous

Whether your organization is looking to get started with a digital fundraising platform for the first time or simply aiming to upgrade an existing system to unleash increased functionality, our list of top providers is here to help. And remember⁠—you’ll want to keep an eye out for fundraising software that will assist your team in boosting matching gift revenue as well.

Ready to drive digital fundraising revenue with top online donation solutions? Let’s jump in with the first review of our suggested solutions.

Blackbaud is one of our favorite online donation tools.

1. Blackbaud

Blackbaud is a vast nonprofit technology company that provides organizations with powerful online donation tools, innovative donor management systems, effective marketing solutions, and more since 1981. Among their fundraising solutions are Blackbaud Online Express, Blackbaud Luminate Online, and Blackbaud TeamRaiser⁠—each of which enables nonprofits to collect online donations for their causes.

Although functionality varies between their various products, key features across Blackbaud’s online donation tools include easy-to-build, flexible online giving forms, pre-designed and mobile-friendly form templates, consistent branding, and data analytics.

Many of Blackbaud’s online fundraising products (including Online Express, Luminate Online, and Raiser’s Edge NXT) also integrate with Double the Donation’s matching gift fundraising software to boost awareness and encourage donors to submit match requests. When donors are motivated to secure company matches for their favorite causes, they’ll stretch their impact farther and deliver more dollars to charitable organizations like yours.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

CharityEngine is one of our favorite online donation tools.

2. CharityEngine

Initially providing technology to businesses and nonprofits since 1999, CharityEngine has exclusively focused on nonprofit solutions since 2013. This online fundraising platform offers both donor management and online donations in addition to marketing, event management, workflow automation, and more.

Top features of CharityEngine’s online donation tools include one-time and monthly giving functionality, integrated and secure processing for credit card, ACH, and PayPal payments, and custom form builders.

And if you’re wondering, CharityEngine integrates with Double the Donation’s matching gift software as well, providing users with best-in-class 360MatchPro functionality. This comprehensive tool allows organizations to screen for match-eligible donations, automatically follow-up with donors, and drive more matches⁠—and more match revenue⁠—for charitable causes.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!


Classy is one of our favorite online donation tools.

3. Classy

Classy was founded in 2006 as a nonprofit event-hosting platform which has since expanded to become an all-in-one fundraising solution and provide organizations with online donation tools, peer-to-peer fundraising, and donor data management.

Among Classy’s key features include mobile-optimized design, modern and cohesive branding, campaign progress bars, social fundraising activity walls, custom questions and donation amounts, and more.

Plus, Classy emphasizes matching gift opportunities by working seamlessly with Double the Donation’s matching gift automation tool, 360MatchPro. With this software, Classy clients are able to embed a matching gift search tool directly within their online donation forms, providing each donor with the opportunity to determine their matching gift eligibility. The more donors are aware of matching gifts and how they work, the more likely they are to secure this additional revenue source for your organization.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!


Click & Pledge is one of our favorite online donation tools.

4. Click & Pledge

Click & Pledge was founded in 2000 as a way to provide their local United Way with easy online donation tools to increase fundraising efforts. In the decades since, this platform has grown to collect over $1 billion in donor funding across more than 20,000 causes.

Top Click & Pledge features include customizable online donation pages with click-and-drop editing functionality, options to embed forms as an iFrame, overlay, or secure standalone link, and recurring gift abilities with flexible options and frequencies.

Click & Pledge also offers matching gift solutions through a technical partnership with Double the Donation’s matching gift automation tool, 360MatchPro. With these integrated solutions, organizations using Click & Pledge can easily embed Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool in their online giving forms, which collects employment data and triggers automated follow-ups. As a result, more donors will be aware of matching gifts (and their employers’ programs in particular) which leads to increased match revenue overall.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

Donately is one of our favorite online donation tools.

5. Donately

Founded in 2013, Donately began as a partnership with creative agency Fifty & Fifty to provide nonprofit organizations with easy online donation tools and close the gap in the online fundraising software market. Designed with simplicity and user-friendliness in mind, Donately now serves over 1,000 charitable organizations.

These powerful features include custom donation forms, text messaging and mobile giving, beautifully designed landing pages and campaign hubs, and secure payment processing through credit card, ACH, or PayPal.

In addition, Donately offers matching gift fundraising functionality thanks to an integrated solution with Double the Donation. This way, nonprofit users can easily incorporate matching gifts throughout the donation process, providing donor touchpoints within the online donation form, confirmation page, email follow-ups, and more. By doing so, organizations increase awareness of matching gifts and drive a significantly higher number of matches to completion.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!


DonorDrive is one of our favorite online donation tools.

6. DonorDrive

With roots stretching back to 1997, DonorDrive (formerly known as Global Cloud) is a nonprofit fundraising platform that aims to make giving as easy as possible. Through custom charity fundraising apps, donation campaigns, virtual fundraising, and peer-to-peer efforts, DonorDrive enables organizations to receive support in a wide variety of ways.

Top features of DonorDrive’s online donation tools include same-day payment transfers, mobile-friendly, visually appealing, and coding-free donation pages, flexible giving methods, real-time campaign insights, and more.

To raise even more, DonorDrive offers a native integration with Double the Donation’s best-in-class matching gift automation solution. The partnership with 360MatchPro by Double the Donation allows users to incorporate matching gift reminders within the donation process, on the confirmation page after submitting their gift, and through automated email outreach. This enables DonorDrive clients to identify match-eligible donations within the platform and collect more dollars for their missions.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

DonorPerfect is one of our favorite online donation tools.

7. DonorPerfect

After initially being founded in 1985 as a way for a small number of nonprofits to computerize their fundraising records, DonorPerfect was bought by SofterWare in 1989. Since then, they’ve grown to one of the largest fundraising platforms available to organizations of all shapes and sizes.

DonorPerfect’s online donation tools encompass several key features, including embeddable, branded donation forms, intuitive customization abilities with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder, suggested giving levels, and recurring gift functionality.

In order to provide matching gift fundraising abilities, DonorPerfect has partnered with Double the Donation to help market matching gifts throughout the online donation process using automated email outreach and more. This enables organizations to raise more in matching gift funding and build better relationships with individual and corporate donors.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

Engaging Networks is one of our favorite online donation tools.

8. Engaging Networks

First created in the UK in the year 2000, Engaging Networks has since expanded to power organizations and reached over 10 million users in more than 190 countries across the globe. In the decades since, they’ve continued to pride themselves on their ongoing innovation, with new features and upgrades being released on a regular basis.

Among these top features include online donation tools that support any language or currency, single or multi-step donation forms with native A/B testing, simple recurring gift management for both fundraisers and donors, and one-click giving for returning supporters.

Thanks to a partnership with Double the Donation’s automated matching gift tool, 360MatchPro, Engaging Networks provides integrated matching gift fundraising functionality alongside their online donation tools. This allows nonprofits to encourage matching gifts among donors, leading to improved matching gift conversion rates and increased match revenue overall.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

Fundly is one of our favorite online donation tools.

9. Fundly

Founded in 2009, Fundly is a powerful fundraising solution with crowdfunding and peer-to-peer campaign functionality for nonprofit organizations, individual fundraisers, and anyone in between.

Fundly’s online donation tools offer top features such as customizable, mobile-friendly donation pages that work on any browser or device, social fundraising abilities with social media sharing buttons and updating campaign walls, and a free Fundly iOS mobile app for easy campaign management.

To provide its clients with matching gift functionality as well, Fundly offers a native integration with the top matching gift software provider, Double the Donation. When Fundly users enable Double the Donation’s search tool on their online donation forms, they can boost awareness of this underutilized giving opportunity to donors and raise more for their missions in company match revenue.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

Fundraise Up is one of our favorite online donation tools.

10. Fundraise Up

Fundraise Up, created in 2018 in response to poor donation form experiences from a donor’s standpoint which uncovered a clear technology gap, is a modern solution with easy-to-use online donation tools and more.

Top Fundraise Up features include animated and sticky donation buttons that can be easily placed on any page of your website, pop-up donation reminders and message bars, customizable and embeddable donation forms, and gamification tools like goal meters, stat counters, and impact sliders.

Fundraise Up offers an innovative and seamless integration with Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro to equip nonprofit users with matching gift abilities. This partnership allows organizations to embed a matching gift search widget in their online donation forms. Plus, it even incorporates unique matching gift upsell features that assist in both boosting initial donations and driving more matches.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!


Funraise is one of our favorite online giving tools.

11. Funraise

Founded in 2015 by nonprofit staff members looking for an improved way to raise money online, Funraise is a powerful online donation tool aiming to do just that. This all-in-one fundraising platform encompasses online donation forms and pages, peer-to-peer and social fundraising, donor management and reporting, and more.

Funraise’s online donation tools offer innovative features such as customizable and embeddable giving forms, mobile-friendly fundraising solutions to reach donors where they are, visually appealing fundraising website templates, and recurring gift functionality.

Not to mention, Funraise enables clients to make the most of matching gift fundraising through a seamless integration with industry-leading matching gift software provider, Double the Donation. Equipped with Double the Donation’s embeddable matching gift database, organizations can increase awareness about company gift-matching among donors and drive additional corporate revenue for their causes.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

iDonate is one of our favorite online donation tools.

12. iDonate

Since 2011, iDonate aims to make digital fundraising easy and accessible for all kinds of nonprofit organizations and supporters. As a result, iDonate is a powerful fundraising platform that offers traditional online donation tools, text-to-give functionality, peer-to-peer giving, event fundraising, and more.

This innovative solution incorporates top fundraising features, including embeddable and customizable online giving forms, mobile-first fundraising design, seamless designated fund abilities, multiple gift types, and recurring donation management.

iDonate also incorporates corporate matching gift fundraising into their online donation system through a native integration with Double the Donation. By partnering with Double the Donation’s matching automation software, 360MatchPro, iDonate clients can embed a searchable matching gift database widget on their online donation forms or confirmation pages. When donors interact with the widget, automated matching gift follow-ups are triggered through email, encouraging individuals to secure company matches and do more for your cause.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

Givebutter is one of our favorite online donation tools.

13. Givebutter

Givebutter began in 2016 as an idea by a group of students to create an improved crowdfunding platform for students and student groups to raise money for their various needs. In the years since, it has continued to expand to become one of the top providers of low-cost online donation tools in the space.

Among Givebutter’s most noteworthy features include real-time and dynamic social feeds to leverage social proof, personalized links and pages, multi-team fundraising, and goal bars and countdowns for increased gamification.

And thanks to a native integration with leading matching gift provider, Double the Donation, Givebutter clients can easily leverage matching gift promotion within the online donation process. If donors select their employer when prompted on a Givebutter donation form, they’ll be provided with a direct link to that company’s matching gift request form on the confirmation page. This increases awareness surrounding matching gifts and results in more corporate dollars flowing to nonprofit organizations.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

Qgiv is one of our favorite online donation tools.

14. Qgiv

Founded in 2007, Qgiv was built as a way for nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and political groups to accept donations and other payments online. Since then, Qgiv has grown to be a leading online fundraising software company with innovative solutions for donations, events, data management, and more.

Top features of Qgiv’s online donation tools include fully branded donation forms with single-step or multi-step layouts, customizable fields relying on conditional logic to collect the right donor data for your needs, and automated, personalized email receipts and donor communications.

Qgiv encourages organizations to promote matching gift opportunities as well, and the process is streamlined from start to finish, thanks to an integration with Double the Donation. When organizations enable matching gift functionality through 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, they can easily promote match opportunities throughout the giving process, trigger automated follow-ups, and drive total revenue and engagement.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

RaiseDonors is one of our favorite online giving tools.

15. RaiseDonors

RaiseDonors was created more than six years ago to equip donor-centric nonprofit organizations with powerful online donation tools to raise more. Plus, their software integrates with various CRMs, payment processors, email marketing tools, and data analytics systems to provide a seamless technological experience.

Popular RaiseDonors features include a fast, flexible donation page builder, automated and personalized thank-you pages and follow-up emails, prepopulated forms with donor data, flexible payment methods and currencies, and incentive offers to encourage larger donations.

And thanks to the RaiseDonors and Double the Donation integration, organizations can quickly and easily enable matching gift automation within the online donation process. Donors will be met with matching gift information on the online donation form and confirmation page and again through automated email outreach. These additional touchpoints drive matching gift revenue, equipping nonprofits to close the knowledge gap and make the most of this underutilized source of funding.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

Salsa is one of our favorite online giving tools.

16. Salsa Labs

Founded in 2003, Salsa Labs is a technology company that is dedicated to providing charitable organizations with innovative fundraising, advocacy, and engagement solutions. In 2015, Salsa merged with DonorPro to enable premier donor management functionality as well.

Salsa’s online donation tool, Salsa Engage, incorporates key features such as beautifully designed, customizable giving forms, an easy-to-use visual form designer, machine learning and formula-driven fundraising asks, text campaigns, and more.

Salsa also integrates with 360MatchPro by Double the Donation to provide users with comprehensive matching gift functionality. This partnership allows nonprofits to automatically screen donor data for match-eligible supporters and drive matches through personalized outreach, resulting in increased revenue with little to no time and effort required.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!

Soapbox is one of our favorite online giving tools.

17. Soapbox Engage

Soapbox Engage was created in 1999 in response to a widening technology gap noticed by nonprofit organizations across the globe. As a part of the PICnet information technology ecosystem, Soapbox works to deliver easy-to-use fundraising apps and solutions to nonprofits of all shapes and sizes.

A few of Soapbox Engage’s most integral features include real-time donation form integrations with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, flexible payment options from Authorize.net, Braintree, CyberSource, iATS, PayPal, Stripe, and TouchNet, and peer-to-peer campaign management.

Plus, Soapbox Engage offers a matching gift integration as well, partnering with industry-leading matching gift software provider, Double the Donation. 360MatchPro by Double the Donation works seamlessly alongside the Soapbox donation app to remind donors of matching gifts at multiple touchpoints, provide company-specific instructions and next steps, and more. The easier it is for donors to request matches from their employers, the more you’ll likely receive for your cause.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!


Virtuous is one of our favorite online giving tools.

18. Virtuous

The Virtuous fundraising platform was built in 2014 with an aim to grow generosity worldwide through simplified online giving experiences. This comprehensive solution incorporates a powerful nonprofit CRM, numerous automated workflows, marketing and event management, and giving solutions.

Online donation tools from Virtuous offer key features such as smart gift suggestions, intuitive online donor portals, personalized and frictionless giving experiences, and custom donation form and page builders.

Virtuous also offers innovative matching gift functionality through an integration partnership with Double the Donation. Thanks to this solution, Virtuous clients can easily incorporate Double the Donation’s search plugin in their online donation pages, prompting donors to select their employer with an optional donation form field. If a donor finds their company, automated emails are triggered to inform the donor about their match-eligible donation. This increases the total number of matches secured overall while providing new and impactful engagement opportunities as well.

Learn more about the product or get a demo today!


As digital fundraising becomes increasingly prevalent across the nonprofit sector, the need for effective online donation tools is more important than ever before.

We’ve run through several of our favorite fundraising solutions above⁠. Now, it’s time to choose the software that’s right for your organization and get set up with powerful virtual fundraising practices for your team. Good luck!

Learn even more about nonprofit fundraising and donor engagement with our other educational resources:

6 Tips to Adjust Your Year-End Fundraising Strategy for 2021

At the start of a new year, it’s a great time for your organization to take an “out with the old, in with the new” mindset when it comes to your fundraising efforts. 

In this period of self-reflection, you might be looking to transform your fundraising plans to start seeing improved results. Start by analyzing your previous year-end fundraising strategy to discover opportunities to adjust and improve.

Your year-end giving plan is one of the most important aspects of your overall fundraising strategy for each year. DNL OmniMedia’s guide to year-end giving explains why this time period is so crucial for fundraising—not only does the holiday season put people in a charitable mindset, but the end of the year also represents the final opportunity for supporters to make tax-deductible donations before the new year. 

The stats reflect the importance of this period. According to Nonprofits Source, around 30% of annual giving happens in December, with about 10% of all annual donations coming in the last three days of the year. 

To adjust and improve your year-end fundraising strategy and maximize your fundraising gains in the new year, there are a few key tips to implement:

  1. Analyze your data from 2020.
  2. Consider virtual fundraising strategies
  3. Build relationships all year round
  4. Make a plan to start early
  5. Look for new revenue sources
  6. Partner with a tech consultant

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at each of these tips and offer solutions along the way to get your year-end strategy in top shape with plenty of time for planning and organizing. As they say, the early bird gets the worm (or rather, the increased fundraising boost!), so let’s dive in. 

1. Analyze your data from 2020. 

Before you start looking ahead and constructing your year-end fundraising strategy for 2021, look back to your data from 2020 to get an idea of how successful your fundraising efforts were last year. 

Dig into your organization’s database to analyze past fundraising data. Use this information to find what your organization does well and where you have opportunities for improvement. 

For example, if your organization discovers that a lot of your supporters RSVP’d for year-end virtual events and gave a donation on top of their registration fee, you should maintain this as a primary part of your year-end campaign. However, you may also find that your email open rate is lower than expected, meaning there’s an opportunity to better optimize your email marketing strategies.

Keep these discoveries in mind as you construct your year-end plan for 2021.

2. Consider virtual fundraising opportunities. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of virtual fundraising and amplified its use in the nonprofit sector. This trend for virtual fundraising opportunities is unlikely to go away, so learning how to incorporate it into your strategy now will help you in the future.

If you’re looking for virtual fundraising ideas, there’s no shortage of unique, fun opportunities to get people excited and inspired to contribute to your cause, especially around the year-end holiday season. A few options include:

  • Hosting a virtual cooking class that guides participants through a holiday recipe
  • Putting on a “most festive pet” photo contest where people “vote” on their favorite by contributing a donation in the name of their favorite photo
  • Selling tickets to a Netflix Party fundraiser featuring a film that relates to your mission or the holiday season 

These ideas and many more can be found on Fundly’s list of virtual fundraiser options, which includes specific ideas for nonprofits, schools, teams, and clubs, and more groups. These types of fundraisers serve a dual purpose of giving your supporters a fun activity to look forward to while also raising contributions to your organization.

3. Build relationships all year round. 

While the end of the year provides a great opportunity for raising funds, you don’t want to only reach out to your supporters at the end of the year. By building relationships throughout the year, you can increase your year-over-year retention rate and even increase your year-end donations. 

Focus on building relationships through stewardship activities and personalized outreach. For example, you can:

  • Host events and activities to show that you care about your supporters without asking them to open their wallets each time. In these appreciation events, show your supporters how much they are valued and the impact of their contributions to your organization. 
  • Personalize outreach to your supporters by using their names in all communications and taking their interests into consideration. Consider segmenting your donors or volunteers by common interests to simplify this process, ensuring you’re only giving people information that’s relevant to them. 
  • Keep people engaged all year online by maintaining your social media and website presence. This provides easy access points for volunteers and donors to get updates on your organization and donate when they’re inspired to do so.

Strong relationships are not only the foundation of your fundraising strategy, but your organization as a whole. Fostering the ongoing support of your volunteers and donors is crucial to maintain your supporter base year after year. 

4. Make a plan to start early. 

Year-end fundraising isn’t just about the month of December. In fact, many nonprofits really get things up-and-running in late summer (such as in August) or even earlier, when you can start marketing your upcoming events and lay the groundwork for the busy final months of the year. 

Therefore, it’s important to start planning for your year-end fundraising campaign early, so you don’t have to scramble as December approaches. This plan should include:

  • Your Giving Tuesday Campaign. Giving Tuesday is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and will probably be one of your busiest donation days of the year. Make sure you’re prepared for the day by rolling out a marketing plan a few weeks ahead of time on all your social media pages, your website, and your email newsletter. 
  • Holiday considerations for your supporters. Lean into the holiday good cheer by emphasizing the idea of the “season of giving” and focus your messaging and communication materials on this idea.
  • Emphasis on the last few days of the year when fundraising is most lucrative. Plan your biggest communications push for these last few days of 2021, where donors have their last chance to make a tax-deductible gift for the year. 

Careful planning guarantees that when the end of the year rolls around, you can be confident that you’ve increased awareness of your year-end events. This allows you to focus on executing your fundraising campaigns effectively and efficiently. 

5. Look for new revenue sources. 

For the new year, consider diversifying your revenue sources to widen the pool of donation options for supporters. For instance, in addition to your current year-end fundraising plans, you might try:

  • Incorporating matching gifts and volunteer grants. Corporate matching gifts are opportunities for companies to match contributions that their employees make to charities and nonprofits. Volunteer grants work in a similar way—companies reward a nonprofit with a donation once an employee volunteers a specified number of hours with that nonprofit. Encourage your supporters to investigate if their companies already have these programs or are interested in starting them.
  • Launching a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. While most in-person peer-to-peer fundraisers are still not possible, you can still host a successful fundraising campaign by incorporating the P2P framework into a virtual or socially-distanced event. This guide to virtual peer-to-peer fundraising includes several ideas for events that encourage participants to raise money before participating, such as virtual 5Ks or trivia competitions. 
  • Seek grants for specific projects. Take this opportunity to revamp your grant-writing strategy by identifying certain projects that would most benefit from grant funding. Be sure to implement the features of effective fundraising grant-writing—creating a unique proposal for each application, describing the similarities in the mission of your organization and the funder, and making your request captivating and unforgettable. 

Instead of relying on the same type of revenue year after year, expanding your funding sources can help you discover areas of untapped fundraising potential. 

6. Partner with a tech consultant. 

A nonprofit tech consultant can help your nonprofit get organized and strategize for online fundraising opportunities. 

When searching for a nonprofit strategy consulting firm, you’ll want to connect with a firm that understands your nonprofit’s fundraising goals and has the experience necessary to offer recommendations for future actions. 

Nonprofit tech consultants can help with tasks such as:

  • Implementing new technology. This may be helpful if you’ve decided that new tech will help you solve some of the challenges you encountered in 2020. For example, if it’s been awhile since your last website update and users have noted that it’s slow or difficult to navigate, a tech consultant can help figure out the best strategy for a redesign.
  • Analyzing your online fundraising efforts from 2020. Sometimes, having a third-party analyze your fundraising efforts helps ensure that you didn’t miss anything when analyzing yourself. For example, a consultant may notice an opportunity for your organization to take a stronger multi-channel approach to fundraising rather than relying on just one or two fundraising platforms. These experts can bring fresh eyes and insights to enhance your plan moving forward.
  • Developing analytics and data maintenance strategies. Nonprofit tech consultants offer backgrounds in data analytics that can set up your team to manage data more effectively. They can dive into your Google Analytics, for instance, to assess current website performance and implement new integrations to make the most of your online presence.

If you feel that your team could use a little extra push this year, a tech consultant might be the last piece of the puzzle your organization needs to confidently carry out your year-end fundraising strategy for 2021.


By following these recommendations, you can start your nonprofit off on the right foot this year and get a jumpstart on your year-end fundraising plans. Although the end of 2021 might seem far off, it’s never too early to line up your game plan for your year-end strategy to make sure you’re maximizing fundraising opportunities this year. Happy planning!

Is Direct Mail Dead? Here’s Why Fundraising Experts Say No

In today’s society, digital communications have become the norm. This doesn’t mean that direct mail is dead! Nonprofits looking to stand out from their competition incorporate both virtual and direct mail marketing into their strategies. 

When you implement direct mail marketing, your team is sending a fundraising appeal to a potential or existing supporter’s mailbox. These are effective for asking for a donation, announcing an event, or reporting on progress toward your goal.

Our GivingMail nonprofit fundraising overview confirms that physical mail should be a main component of your multi-channel marketing strategy. The biggest benefit of sending a letter is the chance to motivate donors with a story about your cause. If your team is still on the fence about sending direct mail, consider the following facts:

  • Direct mail can have a median ROI of 29%. 
  • People remember print better than digital communications. 
  • Direct mail can be combined with digital strategies. 
  • 70% of donors feel more valued with direct mail. 

With this compelling information, your team has all of the right reasons to implement direct mail into your next fundraising strategy. Let’s dive in!

Direct mail can have a median ROI of 29%. (source)

Direct mail is absolutely worth it when you use it as a working part of a well-defined marketing strategy—especially when you consider it has one of the highest ROI of any fundraising channel..

Your ROI relies on the effectiveness of your messaging, so write your mailers with specific goals in mind. Think of how your wording can raise brand and campaign awareness. Try incorporating these tips into your writing:

Send it to the right people. 

Foremost, your letters should be going to the donor segments that are inclined to respond well to your letter. To start this process, you should segment your audience using your donor’s data, paying attention to those who want to receive direct mail vs. those who don’t. You don’t want to waste time and money sending materials to people who are not likely to engage with your appeal.

Hook your reader from the start. 

The opening lines of your fundraising letter will make the difference in whether it’s read or not. In choosing a hook, try catering to your reader’s interests and concerns. Use compelling language and create interest surrounding your topic. Depending on your mission, you’ll be able to open with a line such as:

  • A moving statistic
  • A call to action
  • A question
  • An anecdote

With these, you’ll grab your audience from the start, and increase the chances they’ll want to find out more about your cause and even contribute their own hard-earned dollars.

Speak directly to your reader. 

Focusing on your reader can help increase their likelihood to participate in your cause. Write directly to the recipient and explain why you’re choosing them to be your audience and how their participation can benefit them. Include details about volunteering and giving opportunities and how they can be the hero of your campaign. 

Effectively writing to your reader will involve including inclusive language such as “you”, or “our”. For example, write: “Your support has helped feed X families in need,” rather than “The organization has fed X families in need.” The personal approach is always the more effective option when calling readers to action.

End with a clear call to action. 

Make the point of your letter obvious to readers. Don’t be afraid of conversational calls to action, such as, “What does this mean for you?” or “Here’s how you can get involved.” They’ll feel inclined to help out, and it’ll feel natural and conversational rather than formal. Be sure to include resources for how to give and get involved, and offer a method of contact for questions and concerns they may have after reading your letter.

Speaking to your reader as though they’re the hero of your mission will go a long way in increasing your mail’s ROI. Be sure to make your hook and purpose clear to increased readership and success. For more information on writing for specific campaigns, check out this in-depth fundraising letters template library for your needs. 

People remember print better than digital communications. 

If you need another compelling reason to incorporate mailers into your communication strategy, consider that a study found recall for print advertisements is 70% higher than digital

This recall can benefit your organization by leveraging brand awareness in your community. When your readers recall your organization’s name or logo after seeing it in their mail, this creates an association in their mind. Then, when they see your logo or name as a sponsor of an event or on their social media feed, they’ll recognize you!

For example, if someone reads about your upcoming event in a mailer, then sees an advertisement for it on Facebook, they’ll be more likely to remember the event as they run across it later. This simple association can turn a reader into an active participant in your organization.

GivingMail’s guide to direct mail for nonprofit organizations further explains how to create a physical mailer that will efficiently stick in the minds of your readers. Remember, creating a lasting impression with your letter involves tactful visual components as well as effective wording. However, this doesn’t mean you should rely only on direct mail but rather that you should use it in support of your marketing strategy overall. 

Direct mail can be combined with digital strategies. 

As mentioned before, you can absolutely ask for donations with direct mail fundraising appeals. However, you should also combine your approach and support digital appeals with your direct mail for a well-rounded communication strategy.

In asking for donations in your campaign overall, have one streamlined call to action across every platform so as to not muddle your ask, as well as create a repetitive recall in your reader’s minds when they see your deliverables. This guide suggests  that you use a combination of platforms such as:

  • Email
  • Telemarketing
  • Social media platforms 
  • Websites

All in all, it’s a fantastic idea to support your digital fundraisers with direct mail marketing. And, in turn, to support your donation request letter with digital marketing strategies. This multi-channel approach will ensure more people read your message, increasing your impact. 

70% of donors feel more valued with direct mail. (source

Finally, when direct mail is done well with personalized introductions, well-constructed appeals, and information leveraged from your CRM, you have the potential to show that you care about your supporters for more than their wallets. This helps build your donor relationships and can result in higher donor retention rates. Here’s how:

  • People experience tons of digital marketing. However, the mail someone receives will be paid attention to, as they go through it on a daily basis. 
  • It’s more personalized. Sure, digital marketing costs money to run, but a physical mailer provides value as well. It communicates that the recipient is valued enough to be sent a physical item that costs your organization ink, paper, and postage.

You care about your supporters, and they’ll feel this sentiment when you go the extra mile to mail a letter to their home!


Direct mail surely isn’t dead. Your organization should take advantage of the benefits of sending a mailer. You’ll be sure to stand out from the clutter of digital promotions, effectively communicate your message in a personal way, and help supplement your overall marketing efforts. Get to writing, so that your mission can gain support in a whole new way!

4 Steps to a Powerful Marketing-Fundraising Partnership—Better Together

Marketing and fundraising are two halves of a whole. But when they don’t operate that way, the outcome of each team’s efforts is far less than it could be, diminishing an organization’s ability to engage its base (and so, to make its desired impact).

Unfortunately, that’s the deal in so many nonprofits. As fundraising leader Mal Warwick cautions, when marketing and fundraising teams stand firm in their respective corners, the disconnect becomes a huge obstacle to raising money and everything else!

So many of us—both nonprofit communicators and fundraisers—agree, yet don’t know how to close the gap. But there are proven ways to bring these teams together. Read on to learn about Fairleigh-Dickinson University’s (FDU) deliberate, well-articulated re-structuring approach and results, followed by my four-step process to bring marketing and fundraising into a productive partnership.

Let’s Be Lovers, Not Fighters:
4 Steps to Closing the Marketing-Fundraising Divide

1. Start at the top.

If bridging the marketing-fundraising gap is the goal, the pathway to getting there has to be supported by your leadership. Your organization’s executive director, supported by the board, must be the one to guide (or, in some cases, push) these two teams into active collaboration and ensure they stay there.

“The heads of development and marketing have to accept that they are oxen pulling the same wagon, a wagon labeled ‘increasing community support’,” says Tom Ahern, a leading authority on donor communications.

If your executive director isn’t focused on bridging this destructive gap, here’s how Kivi Leroux Miller suggests you move her along that path:

  • Ask the leaders of your organization to outline the top three actions an ardent fan would take in order to support you in a given month. Odds are that at least one of those steps, but not all three, will be related to fundraising.
  • Discuss how your marketing and fundraising staff can work together to encourage that fan to follow through on all three actions. This moves the conversation away from traditional to-do lists and toward a more holistic view of how you are relating to your supporters, while encouraging them to be an active player in your organization’s community—for the long-term.

2. Articulate shared priorities as the core of a common agenda, but don’t forget the WIIFM (what’s in it for me)

As long as your marketing and fundraising teams have distinct goals, they won’t be effective partners. How could they be, each pointed in its own direction?

But if tasked with a common agenda, the landscape changes. A marketing-fundraising partnership is the only way to get there. Here are two useful models:

At the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, the marketing and fundraising teams each have specific responsibilities but work closely together to advance their shared priorities: 1) Building and strengthening relationships with key supporters (partners, donors and others); and 2) generating revenue via fundraising and beyond. “This ethos starts with the directors and permeates our staff,” says Jim Siegel, Executive Vice President for Marketing & Communications.

The advancement leadership at FDU made a radical change a few years ago, as it merged the development and communications teams. The teams had worked side-by-side in the same room for many years, but  with distinct goals and paths of activity, says Dina Schipper, Director of Public Relations. The merger shifted the entire team’s reporting to the Senior Vice President for University Advancement. But most importantly, “the shift introduced a tri-fold focus to the newly-merged team—supporting fundraising, recruitment and overall institutional branding, which, in time, significantly enriched its donor profiling strategy,” says Schipper.

The results are striking: Schipper describes a greater awareness among her colleagues of what outreach is underway and increased ability to coordinate themes and timing. “Nothing says more about the success of this merger than the fact that we’ll be closing out our large and successful capital campaign within the next year,” she says.

In addition, Schipper cites the unified team’s single focus as the source of its increased impact in asking, training and supporting the University’s board members, alumni and other supporters to double as effective ambassadors. Bravo!

3. Identify what’s working—from each “side”—and do more of it

Start by asking your marketing team to identify the top three successes from the fundraising team, and to integrate those approaches into its own work. And vice versa.

Don’t forget to identify what isn’t working, and do less of it. Kivi suggests that each team give the other a “free pass” to make any single change to each other’s work, without protest or arguments, for a week. If your marketing director can make only one change to a fundraiser’s email appeal, what will it be? And what single change will the development director make to the marketer’s blog post?

This practice forces each team to focus on what is truly most important to them, gives each some level of control and encourages them to better understand each other without arguing over the merits of the requested change.

Note: Organizational change experts Chip and Dan Heath, authors of  Switch, advocate this approach as the most reliable path to positive change.

4. Build on real, compelling success stories—well-honed and widely shared —as the foundation of your fundraising and marketing collaboration

Here’s a fact you might not know: When the same strong stories are used by both marketing and fundraising teams, your organization wins via increasing awareness, building engagement and boosting positive responses and actions (e.g., we want to be a part of a winning organization.) Showing via stories works; repetition does too.

Fundraiser Janet Levine recalls the pattern that emerged from her years working in advancement in higher education. “Working together enabled us to create a powerful approach—for example, we wrote press releases on key stories; those stories were re-purposed into newsletter articles; shared with our Board members to help them be more effective messengers for us, and served as the focus of our direct mail appeals,” says Levine.

The FDU advancement team scored a huge post-merger win when Bruce Springsteen participated in FDU’s  WAMFest (Words and Music Festival), co-presenting a seminar with poet Robert Pinsky. It’s no surprise that the Boss’ visit was a huge media relations opportunity for the university—the story was covered by the Associated Press and other media venues throughout the world.

But that was just the beginning! The team created “experience packets” with videos and transcripts of the Springsteen-Pinsky program and others, plus press clips as leave behinds in visits to grantmakers funding in arts and culture, an area they hadn’t reached out to previously. And, as you can imagine, alumni are thrilled to tell the tale of Bruce on the FDU campus!

What is your organization doing to move marketing and fundraising into a more productive partnership? Or, if you’re stuck with a huge divide, what’s keeping you there? Please share your experiences here.

5 Steps to Newsletters that Keep Donors Close (Part One)

Read Part Two Now

Your organization’s relationship with your donors is like any other relationship you have; it requires focus and nourishment, forever. That’s the only way to keep your donors satisfied, engaged and, hopefully, giving.

In fact, most fundraisers are doing a poor job of it, with donor retention rates plummeting to an all-time low of 39%. That means donors are likely to cut your organization from the list next time round.

You have to stop the attrition: “A 10% improvement in retention can yield up to a 200% increase in projected lifetime value, as with higher retention significantly more donors upgrade their giving, give in multiple ways, recommend others, and, ultimately, perhaps, pledge a planned gift to the organization,” says fundraising expert Adrian Sargent.

That’s mammoth potential, and your donor newsletter is a vital tool for getting there. Here’s how:

1) Stop Asking, Start Sharing

Before you write a line, set up the right frame for your newsletter. The primary goal is to reshape your donor relationships from the transactional to one that’s more personal, productive and long-term—the triad of donor retention.

The only way to get there is to get beyond the ask. After your heartfelt and prompt thanks for a donor’s first gift, you want to invite her further into your organization­­.

Make her feel acknowledged, appreciated and right at home—just as you would invite a new-ish friend over for dinner when you’re ready to get one step closer.Your style, schedule, family, aesthetic and cooking finesse are all laid open during that visit. In much the same way, your donor newsletter invites donors in to experience your organization’s (and community’s) personality, promises and values in a way far richer and more meaningful than ever before.

2) Establish an Imaginary Editorial Board

You fundraise day in and day out, making it challenging to remember that your organization is just one of many elements in each donor’s life. Think about your own giving—how often do you think about the nonprofits you support in the course of a typical day?

To counteract the urge to talk to folks like you, rather than your donors, you need to consciously step into their shoes to identify what to focus on and how to make that your content easy to digest and remember.

A reliable path to content connection is to launch an imaginary editorial board, comprised of personas (how-tos here) representing up to nine of your most important donor segments.

Next, create one-page persona profiles like the one below. Liz Henkel represents the “Retired Women, Annual Gifts $200-$500” segment so important to one of our clients, a foundation that supports a regional parks network.

enewsweb

Then spend some time with your board members by surrounding your desk with these profiles. When I work on the foundation’s newsletter, I’m writing to Liz and the foundation’s other donor personas. I couldn’t ignore them, even if I wanted to. It works!

3) Match Your Content Formula with Your People

Use your newsletter to spend time with your donors in two channels—print (if you’re your donor base includes 55+ers) and email—each with distinct content. Shape your print newsletter as a rich, immersive visit, and your e-newsletter as a quick check-in call.

Send this newsletter to donors only, so your voice stays clear and focused. This includes ALL active and recent donors, not just selected segments, with the option to opt-out.

Your Print Newsletter

One of the most common errors I see in print newsletter production is using a different content mix for every issue. Although this “whatever we’ve got” approach may make it easier for you to get the newsletter out the door, it makes the product far harder for your donors to absorb and diminishes the likelihood they’ll do so.

Instead, create a content formula or mix based on your personas’ wants and interests. Consistent use of this formula will makes it easier for you to be seeking and creating the content you need on an ongoing basis, and for readers to recognize your newsletter at a glance (increasing probability that they’ll read it).

Prioritize the elements donors focus on most: photos, headlines, photo captions and articles, and include:

  • Pull quotes: Highlight important or meaningful quotes.
  • Photos: In the twice-yearly donor newsletter I create for one client organization, we showcase one or two beneficiaries (including children whenever we can) in a enewsweb2few photos. We caption each photo with a description of what’s going on, and then connect that activity to donor support. Who can resist a photo with mini-story like the one at left?
  • Success stories: Show how donor support leads to visible impact. This is great material for the first page.
  • Donor-created content: Testimonials should top your list.
  • Coming attractions: New programs, services, locations present a golden opportunity to show donors what you can do with more money.
  • Program updates: What have you accomplished and how have your donors helped?
  • Issue or cause updates: Highlight what’s changing, why that matters and how your organization is adjusting accordingly.
  • Donor profiles: Select profile subjects who most of your donors will relate to.
  • Letter from your executive director: Do this only if you must and then, never on the front page.

Note that there’s no hot news here; we’ll address that in your eNewsletter

You can change your content formula when the insights you gather and assess—from your donors, the trajectory of your issue or cause and more—indicate that makes sense.

Your Email Newsletter

Your donor eNewsletter’s main job is to remind supporters your organization is active in moving your cause forward. This is where you can update them on hot news or share an immediate call to action.

Content options mimic those for your print newsletter, in short form. eNewsletters function more like a quick drop-in than the leisurely visit of the print newsletter experience; so keep your content brief.  Include one or two content features in each newsletter, but no more than a single call to action.

With Key Messages Everywhere

Weave your key messages—conveying your organization’s promise, impact and appreciation of your donors—throughout all print and online newsletters.

Donor Newsletters Done Right Will Help Keep Your Donors Close

Follow these steps to strengthen your relationships with your donors and increase your retention rate. Promise!

Read Part Two Now

What—if any—feedback do you get on your donor newsletters? Please share it here, along with newsletter suggestions for your donor-loving peers! Thank you.

 

5 Steps to Newsletters that Keep Your Donors Close (Part Two)

Donor-loss danger ahead!  An all-time low 39% donor retention rate means donors are likely to cut your organization from the list next time round.

You have to stop the attrition: “A 10% improvement in retention can yield up to a 200% increase in projected lifetime value, as with higher retention significantly more donors upgrade their giving, give in multiple ways, recommend others, and, ultimately, perhaps, pledge a planned gift to the organization,” says fundraising expert Adrian Sargent.

That’s mammoth potential, and your donor newsletter is a vital tool for getting there.

Here’s how:

Read Part One first

4) Use this Proven Format Formula—Makes Reading Easy and Satisfying

Your Print Newsletter

You’re lucky enough here to have a well-tested format formula for your print newsletter, created fundraisers at the Domain Group in the 1990s. It still works!

The Domain formula includes:

• Page count: Four to six pages (in tests, adding more pages did not produce more revenue)
• Short articles
• Write for skimmers (use superstar headlines, bullets and lots of white space)
• Send to donors only, but ensure it goes to ALL donors
• Make the voice personal (the word “you” dominates) rather than institutional; get one-to-one
• Focus on progress updates (tell donors how much they have changed the world through their gifts)
• Include a response envelope
• Mail in an envelope

Source: Tom Ahern

I’d go one step further to suggest you:

  • Design a 4-page (11×17) newsletter, that folds to 8 ½ x 11
  • Print it four-color (it’s cheaper than 2-color in most cases)
  • Test the outside envelope with your list. I’m not as convinced of its value.

On the fundraising content, it’s more implicit than explicit. You do want to put the opportunity out there and make it easy for folks to give. In addition to including a response envelope like the one below, mention your donation page web address and the speed and safety of online giving frequently and clearly.

enews650

This response envelope makes it clear how to give clear, and easy to do so.

Your Email Newsletter

43% of all emails are opened on mobile devices. That means your single most important formatting to-do is ensuring your e-news is easy to read, and click on, via smartphones and tablets. Make it happen now.

Otherwise, make your emails brief, punchy and a pleasure to view and read. Follow usage patterns closely to see what issues, calls to action, layout, subject lines and other elements drive interest and action, and which don’t.

Two must-includes here, beyond the content:

  • A big, bold Donate Now button
  • Links to follow your organization on social media channels, and to share your e-news content there as well.

donate

Source: Nonprofit Tech for Good

5) Set an Ambitious but Realistic Schedule, and Meet It

I recommend that you publish your print newsletter quarterly, and your e-newsletter once or twice monthly.  If that print newsletter schedule is absolutely impossible—due to budget and/or time limitations—send two print newsletters annually, timing them to arrive four weeks before your late spring and year end appeals

Of course, twice (or even four times) annually means that your publication is more of an update or progress report than a true e-newsletter. So set expectations (and name your publication) accordingly.

But whatever schedule you commit to, meet it! I know that can be hard. We’re a 1½- person firm so I face the same kind of time and budget limitations you do.  But breaking a promise is bad news, shouts “who cares,” and undermines your organization’s credibility.  Just don’t do it!

Read Part One here

What feedback do you get on your donor newsletters? Please share it here, along with newsletter suggestions for your donor-loving peers in the field! Thanks.

Increasing Visitors and Donations in the Shadow of the Great New York Museums (Case Study)

Back in the fall of 2003, when Mark Albin, Newark Museum deputy director of marketing and public relations, started his new job, he faced what seemed like an overwhelming challenge.

The Challenge – Low Numbers All Around

Museum visitors were few and far between to this incredible art and science resource with a planetarium, a restored 19th-century mansion, representative works of American art, historical galleries and much more.

But low visitation wasn’t the only issue. The low number of visitors capped funding (many funders gauge gifts on visitation, among other factors; and most major donors evolve from the visitor base) and, ultimately, the Museum’s impact.

A tough a way for a new staff member to start off, despite his marketing expertise.

The Strategy: Shaping the Marketing Response to Audience Perceptions

Albin, who has spearheaded a host of museum marketing efforts from Liberty Science Center to the USS Intrepid, didn’t know off hand how to boost numbers. But he knew audience research was the way to find out. “We needed to know why folks who weren’t coming to the museum weren’t coming; or what visitors liked about it,” says Albin.

After all, the Museum hadn’t talked to its audiences for a decade or more. And the last decade was one in which Newark has evolved to a generally safer, cleaner and culturally-prolific place (especially with performance venue New Jersey Performing Arts Center/NJPAC), and the Museum had expanded as well.

After some initial brand discovery work with Museum colleagues, during which Albin took their pulse on how they perceived their own areas of work and the Museum overall, he turned to external audiences. Albin launched a full-scale getting-to-know-you campaign, including focus groups, onsite surveying and phone interviews. “We got in touch with target audiences. culture consumers within the five-county/30-mile area the Museum focuses on, including those who knew the museum and those who didn’t,” he recalls.

These phone interviews, in combination with focus groups implemented for various audience segments – museum members, family visitors, and families and individuals who had never visited the museum – generated some very useful findings.

Members and others who had visited the Museum were very positive about their experiences. But they cautioned Museum staff against increasing visitation too much. These supporters were invested in keeping a good secret to themselves, to a certain degree.

Prospective visitors (who had never been to the Museum) had absolutely no idea what collections and events the Museum featured. Most (88%) had heard of the museum, but 90% of those who knew of it mistakenly believed it featured the history of Newark or Newark artists. Of equal concern was the fact that these prospects thought the Museum had only one to three galleries (there are 80) and didn’t know where the Museum was, although most had been to NJPAC, just blocks away.

The Solution: Clearer Messaging, Broader Outreach and an Energized Core of Staff Brand Evangelists

“We knew that establishing a clearer understanding of what the Newark Museum offers was the first step to increasing visitation,” says Albin. “But that in itself was a tall order.”

After all, how do you clearly, succinctly and broadly convey the value a diverse cultural institution provides to its varied audiences. Albin knew that the right tagline was the place to start, as those few memorable words would be the core of the campaign he would role out to engage neighbors in the five counties.

Tagline creation is among the most challenging of marketing endeavors, because you have so little (less than 12 words is a must, six or less ideal). But writing shorter is always harder – just ask any short story writer.

Albin narrowed his focus to two essential points: The Museum’s many and varied galleries, and its collections and exhibits in art (offering inspiration) *and* science (offering exploration). This pithy and descriptive, yet intriguing, tagline was the powerful result of all this hard work:

80 Galleries of Inspiration & Exploration

The Museum’s graphic identity was tweaked to convey modernity, activity and excitement with a new palette of colors and typefaces to be used consistently throughout online and print campaigns. However, Albin left the logo – an urn developed by architect Michael Graves who designed a major addition to the museum in 1990 – untouched. He resisted the impulse to complete the graphic switch at this time, looking forward to the 2009 centennial which will be heralded by all-new iconography.

Nice restraint, Newark Museum team. It’s never a good idea to change logos twice in five years.

What Albin and his team faced next was choosing the right strategy to get the word out to NJ culture vultures. Since the initial marketing goals were building awareness and visitation, and targets lived in five surrounding counties, broadcast marketing (reaching everyone in a certain geographic area, rather than targeting specific groups within those areas) was the way to go.

Moving forward quite boldly, as the need for investment in marketing was inarguable, the Museum rolled out its campaign via:

  • Billboards on area highways
  • Frequent radio ads
  • Full-page ads in local newspapers such as the Newark Star-Ledger.

The third leg of the Museum’s branding stool was Albin’s training of colleagues in what visitors needed to know, and how to talk about the range and depth of collections and programming in the arts and science arenas. “Since we had engaged them in the branding process right up front, my colleagues were eager to integrate the new Museum messaging into their daily conversations with colleagues and museum visitors,” says Albin.

Results: Museum Visitors at All-Time High

The Newark Museum hasn’t tested tagline recognition, but visitation figures confirm the success of the new look and tagline. The Museum is headed into a third straight year of double-digit percentage increases in attendance. Some shows are generating even bigger gains: The 2006 Spring exhibit generated 112% higher attendance than that the previous year. An increase in giving is sure to follow.

Albin says the Museum brings 300,000 people into downtown Newark each year, which makes the Museum a great partner for NJPAC.

Museum staff members are pleased with the Museum’s new identity, and now find it much easier to succinctly convey an understanding of where they work. Win-win, Mr. Albin.

Next Steps: Promoting Permanent Exhibits, Enhancing Understanding of Museum Offerings and Engaging Niche Audiences in More Active Involvement

A marketer’s job is never done. So Mark Albin is hard at work on next steps, and ramping up for the 2009 centennial.

He’s working on:

  • Motivating niche audiences to get to know the Museum. Mr. Albin hopes a new photographic and video show called “India: Public Places, Private Spaces” will attract the Indian populations of Middesex and Morris counties.
  • Engaging specific audiences to become more active. From my own personal experience, family members receive countless mailings from the Museum inviting us to kids activities, special events (which are indeed special) and Museum-sponsored vacations. We definitely participate in many more of the family activities than we would if the mailings didn’t keep the Museum top of mind. I couldn’t forget the Museum, even if I wanted to.
  • Going beyond the tagline to effectively promote the Museum’s permanent collections.

The Museum has some incredible holdings, including an extraordinary collection of Tibetan art. But not surprisingly, permanent collections just don’t get the same level of attention as the special exhibits. Albin is striving to change that via a campaign consistent with the new brand.

But the strongest sign of the Museum’s marketing success is its continued focus on audience research. Albin implemented major visitor studies in fall 2006 and spring 2007. Those findings are complemented by visitor surveys that have been distributed almost every time I visit the museum, where respondents are motivated to participate by the lure of great prizes.

Take a cue from Mark Albin’s focus on audience research as the key to effective marketing. Its enabled the Newark Museum to increase visitors and giving in just a couple of years. Imagine how the strategy can grow your organization’s marketing impact.

5 Storytelling Tips for Your #GivingTuesday Campaign

Guest author JennNonprofit Storytelling #GivingTuesdaya Sauber is a crowdfunding and digital marketing expert at CauseVox, a peer-to-peer fundraising software for nonprofits.

The beauty of a movement like #GivingTuesday is that the nonprofit world gets to shine in the midst of the chaotic and overwhelming madness that is the holiday retail season.

But let’s face it: when your nonprofit is one of hundreds, or thousands participating in this growing global giving day, making your story stand out can be an intimidating task. You’ve got a short lead in to December 2, and then you have 24 hours (less if you think about when people are awake and online) to inspire people to give.

So how do you amp up your fundraising appeal in a way that encourages people to click that donate button? Use the power of storytelling! Here are a few of my favorite tips to consider as you craft your storytelling plan for #GivingTuesday.

1) Make your story relevant

When planning a move, people always say “location, location, location.” For #GivingTuesday, it’s of the utmost importance to keep things relevant. And we’re not just talking about staying on topic to your mission—but think of the time of year, think seasonal.

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