This guide explains how digital fundraising platforms can improve nonprofit outreach.

How to Improve Outreach with Digital Fundraising Platforms

Nonprofits must use their resources wisely to get the most value out of the tools in which they invest. Much like you’d multitask by using several internet browser tabs or taking notes while reading, nonprofit leaders can take advantage of the multipurpose value of fundraising software.

Among the various digital tools available to nonprofits, fundraising platforms offer unparalleled opportunities to engage donors and attract potential supporters. In this guide, we’ll explore four strategies for using the capabilities of digital fundraising platforms to improve nonprofit outreach:

Digital tools can power nonprofit missions in ways beyond their intended purposes. Before revamping your marketing approach, consider how your existing tools can garner support for your cause.

Accommodate your supporters

As a nonprofit leader, you’re likely already aware that donor retention is more cost-effective than acquisition. Therefore, your first step in improving outreach should be to accommodate your existing supporters through convenient donation asks.

Digital fundraising platforms offer numerous ways to conveniently reach and impel supporters to take action, such as text-to-give fundraisers. According to Snowball’s text-to-give fundraising guide, mobile giving is a “mutually beneficial” fundraising strategy since donors use the technology daily and can easily make a donation.

Successful outreach accommodates supporters by simplifying communications and donations. Other fundraising platform capabilities that accommodate supporters include:

  • Recurring giving: Provide an option within your donation portal for supporters to sign up for recurring gifts. Donors can choose the frequency of their gifts and the donation will be made automatically, just as they might use an auto-pay feature for monthly bills or subscriptions.
  • Matching gifts: With an autosubmission tool, nonprofits can collect matching gifts from corporations without any additional work from the donor. Supporters simply make a gift and let the fundraising tool double it by collecting a contribution from the donor’s employer.

Aside from offering communication and donation tools, your digital fundraising platform will also collect donor data, which your nonprofit should use to plan its outreach. For example, you might promote recurring gifts to a donor who has a history of donating monthly. Or, use employer data to determine if your supporters would be eligible for a matching gift program. When you use this information to guide your outreach, you’ll send the right message to the right supporter.

Expand your audience

The expansive reach of virtual communication is no mystery—with digital tools, your nonprofit can connect with local, national, and global audiences! Fundraising platforms spread nonprofit messages to larger audiences with capabilities such as:

  • Peer-to-peer tools: Invite supporters to share your fundraising campaign and raise money on your nonprofit’s behalf. Your nonprofit’s message will reach supporters’ friends and family members, who otherwise might not have seen or acted upon a donation request. Digital tools can help your supporters create customized campaign pages and easily collect donations.
  • Storefronts: Use your fundraising platform to create a digital storefront that sells branded merchandise to supporters. Not only will the sales raise money for your organization but you’ll also expand your outreach through brand ambassadorship when your donors wear branded t-shirts, hats, and other merchandise.
  • Crowdfunding capabilities: In a crowdfunding campaign, supporters share your nonprofit’s donation page through social media, digital messaging, and word-of-mouth. Donors’ social circles may be an audience you’ve never reached before, and will likely be more receptive to the fundraising request when it comes from a friend.

To further expand your reach, combine your larger marketing strategies with your fundraising tools. For example, if you plan to engage in social media marketing, launch a peer-to-peer campaign through your fundraising software. You can then use this platform to streamline the social media campaign rather than making individual posts on each channel.

Optimize your website

Your nonprofit’s website serves as the central hub for information about your organization. Here, donors learn about your mission, programs, campaigns, and opportunities to get involved. Before you ask existing or potential supporters to take action, ensure they have updated and reliable resources, such as:

  • Your organization’s background: Explain your nonprofit’s origin, mission, and plan to fulfill its purpose in a visually appealing way to capture the attention of site visitors. Tectonic’s guide to video storytelling recommends using visuals to create a powerful narrative and provide the audience with an immersive experience. Your platform’s campaign page tools can help your storytelling efforts by creating mobile-friendly pages that resonate with supporters.
  • Tools to participate in events: Use your fundraising platform’s tools to simplify the ways a supporter can take action on your website. For example, you might offer mobile bidding for your virtual auction or create an event landing page with an easy-to-use registration form.
  • Details about your cause and projects: Transparency is important when it comes to asking for support, which is why your nonprofit should clearly explain how donors’ contributions are used. Use data from your fundraising software to illustrate the impact of previous campaigns and collect donations for ongoing initiatives.

After using fundraising software to optimize your website, you can further improve your outreach by gaining visibility on Google. Leverage Google Ads to promote your most important pages and attract new supporters to your website.

Offer engaging ways to get involved

While fundraising platforms can boost your digital marketing efforts, the ultimate goal of nonprofit outreach should be to motivate supporters to take action. The right fundraising platform will host concurrent campaigns to give your supporter a myriad of ways to get involved.

For example, your auction platform might also host text-to-give fundraisers. That way, donors who prefer the experience of attending an event can participate in the auction, while supporters who live far away might donate via text message. Outreach that promotes a variety of ways to give will appeal to more supporters and increase engagement.

Getting started with fundraising platforms

Don’t let the powerful capabilities of digital fundraising tools go to waste—evaluate your platform to determine which features you can leverage for improved outreach. If you haven’t chosen a platform yet, use these strategies to guide your search. The right fundraising software will help you drive real results for your mission!