As a nonprofit professional, you know how important it is to have a steady flow of revenue coming into your organization. Rather than counting on just one or two sources of funding (and potentially leaving money on the table), you need to diversify your revenue streams.
Think of revenue streams like eggs in a basket. As the old saying goes, you can’t bet on just fundraising event success or your annual peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to power your day-to-day operations. By incorporating multiple revenue streams into your fundraising strategy (or putting your eggs into multiple baskets!) you can increase your financial sustainability and expand your budget to pursue larger, high-impact projects. In this blog post, we will explore three revenue streams that can enhance your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy and help you generate more funds while expanding your donor base:
Multiple revenue streams can help your organization better serve its community and carry out its mission. Let’s begin.
To break through the noise online and engage donors directly, your nonprofit needs a strong fundraising channel that feels familiar to donors and makes the donation process simple. One innovative platform to do so is text-to-give.
Text-to-give is a powerful fundraising tool that allows nonprofits to connect with supporters and motivate them to give. Because text-to-give is used via a donor’s cellphone, nonprofits can reach supporters immediately. In fact, text messages have a 99% open rate and a 90% read rate in just 3 minutes.
According to Tatango’s guide to text-to-give, text messaging your supporters can be used to accomplish several key initiatives:
- To encourage supporters to donate towards campaigns
- To provide transparency about the impact of your fundraisers and show donors how their contributions make a difference
- To encourage donations leading up to big events
By leveraging text-to-give, organizations can engage donors in real-time and streamline the entire donation experience. Here’s a breakdown of how this process works:
- Your nonprofit invests in a nonprofit text messaging platform that comes with features like fast messaging speeds, security for your data and campaigns, and subscriber segmentation. You’ll be given a short- or long-code, and then you can brainstorm a creative and relevant keyword.
- Donors opt-in to receive your text messages by texting your keyword to the short- or long-code.
- Your nonprofit sends donation appeals with a mobile-friendly link to your donation page.
- Donors click the donation page link and submit their donation in just a few moments right from their phones.
The intuitive user-friendliness of text-to-give makes it easy for donors to contribute directly from their mobile devices, increasing the likelihood of immediate and spontaneous giving. Because text-to-donate can also be used to nurture donor relations long-term, you can turn donors into recurring contributors to your mission. Text messaging campaigns can also be utilized to promote events, volunteer opportunities, and other initiatives. By incorporating text-to-give into your fundraising strategy, you can tap into the widespread use of mobile devices and reach supporters wherever they are.
Your nonprofit’s online donation page serves as a central hub for accepting contributions. Optimizing your donation page design is crucial to ensuring a seamless and compelling donation experience for your supporters.
To maximize its effectiveness, consider the following three easy-to-implement strategies:
- Add high-impact visuals: Incorporate photos and videos that speak to your mission, align with your brand guidelines, and highlight the impact of donations. Visual content captures supporters’ attention and creates an emotional connection with potential donors.
- Utilize storytelling: Craft compelling narratives that highlight beneficiaries. Position donors as the heroes in your story and demonstrate how their contributions can make a difference. This approach allows supporters to feel connected to your cause and motivates them to take action.
- Simplify the donation process: Streamline your donation form to minimize the number of required fields and steps. A shorter and more comprehensive form increases the likelihood of supporters completing the donation process. Additionally, prominently display your text-to-give keyword and code on the donation page to offer an alternative giving option.
Make sure to market your online donation page widely so donors know how to give. The Double the Donation guide to digital marketing for nonprofits recommends leveraging a multi-channel marketing strategy to increase touchpoints with potential donors and boost visibility. For example, you can share your donation page link in your social media bio and your email newsletter.
Nonprofit fundraisers constantly strive for steady revenue streams and lasting donor relationships—both of which can be achieved through the power of recurring giving. Recurring giving is when donors give to your organization on a regular basis, such as monthly, to support your ongoing annual fundraising efforts.
With a well-structured recurring giving program and the right payment processor, the recurring giving amount will automatically be taken out from donors’ bank accounts each month and transferred to your nonprofit. It’s that simple! You just need to get donors on board with recurring giving by explaining its convenience and how ongoing donations make an impact on the community you serve.
The following strategies can elevate your recurring giving program:
- Send personalized donation requests to sign up for monthly giving. You can do this over email, direct mail, or text by leveraging your text messaging software. Make sure you use a text messaging platform that has extensive segmentation capabilities so you can tailor your donation requests to the individual.
- Communicate the impact of your mission. Share stories and testimonials that highlight the tangible outcomes of recurring giving. Show donors how their ongoing support contributes to the long-term success of your organization and the beneficiaries you serve. For instance, you might generate social media content that shows the latest program you were able to host in the community because of recurring donors’ support.
- Create a dedicated landing page that goes into the details of your recurring giving program so donors know what it’s all about when they visit your website.
Once donors sign up for recurring giving, you can incentivize them to stay involved by creating an exclusive recurring donor club, offering nonprofit merchandise, and publicly thanking them for their support.
Diversifying revenue streams is essential for the financial health and sustainability of all kinds of organizations, from higher education institutions to nonprofits. By incorporating text-to-give, optimizing your online donation page, and promoting recurring giving, you can strengthen your fundraising strategy and create a more stable foundation for your organization. Track the performance of each revenue stream to assess your progress and make necessary adjustments.