How to identify corporate sponsorships with 360MatchPro

How to Identify Corporate Sponsorships [With 360MatchPro]

In today’s corporate world, employees and consumers are becoming increasingly focused on supporting socially responsible businesses. Consequently, more and more companies are developing philanthropic programming. And nonprofits looking to raise much-needed funds for their causes are turning to corporate giving as a way to build mutually beneficial business relationships!

As a nonprofit fundraiser yourself, perhaps you’ve recently developed a strategy in order to leverage matching gift opportunities (one of the most prominent forms of corporate philanthropy) for your mission. Maybe you’ve even invested in a matching gift solution to automate the process, better engage with your donors, and collect more individual and corporate funding for your cause.

Now begs the question: what other types of corporate philanthropy are on the table⁠, and how can you begin leveraging these initiatives for your organization?

For many nonprofits, corporate sponsorships are the answer you’re looking for⁠—and 360MatchPro by Double the Donation makes the process as easy as can be.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to identify corporate sponsorships⁠ for nonprofits (and how your team can best pursue the opportunities) by exploring the following topics:

Like matching gifts, corporate sponsorships offer a win-win situation for the nonprofits and businesses that partake. However, many organizations have no idea where to begin when it comes to scouring for partnership opportunities, near and far.

Here, we’ll examine the best tips, tricks, and tools available for doing so (and what you can do with the tools you may already have). Let’s dive in!

The Basics of Corporate Sponsorships for Nonprofits

Corporate sponsorships are a particular form of support nonprofits receive from corporations, often for a specific purpose such as an event or other project.

Learn how to identify corporate sponsorships by learning the basics.

Benefits include not only the increased funding provided by corporate partners but also significantly elevated exposure and awareness brought to your organization through strategic co-marketing efforts.

Corporate sponsorships can come in many forms as well, including:

  • Financial ⁠— This is your most typical type of corporate sponsorship agreement and takes place when a company provides financial support to a nonprofit cause.
  • In-kind ⁠— In-kind sponsorships occur when a company donates non-monetary goods and services to an organization. This may include free or reduced-cost event space rentals, catering services, or even business gift certificates and products for prizes.
  • Media ⁠— Finally, media sponsorships are a unique type of corporate partnership where a company partners with a nonprofit organization in order to take on the cost of promoting the event⁠—such as with radio advertisements, TV commercials, or printed materials.

Then, regardless of the type of sponsorship offered, the nonprofit typically agrees to recognize the company through event or project marketing content (i.e., signage, merchandise, online advertising, and more).

How Matching Gifts and Corporate Sponsorships Work Together

Matching gifts and corporate sponsorships go hand in hand as two particularly powerful forms of corporate giving. Here’s what you need to know:

Matching Gifts

Matching gifts are one of the most popular examples of corporate philanthropy among companies and their employees and nonprofits and their donors. Essentially what occurs with this type of giving program is that businesses agree to provide funding to qualifying nonprofits in order to match charitable donations their employees make to the causes. Thus, individual donors function as arguably the most essential players in the partnership. Companies that offer matching gift programs will typically provide donation matches to a wide range of nonprofit causes that their employees support.

Corporate Sponsorships

On the other hand, corporate sponsorships take place when companies provide funding to nonprofit causes based on particular agreements made between the company and the nonprofit. Though donors and employees can certainly vie for these types of initiatives to occur, any one individual does not typically play a particularly hands-on role in corporate sponsorships being developed. Businesses that participate offer corporate sponsorships for nonprofits typically contribute larger amounts of funding to a smaller number of organizations as compared to employee matching gift programs.

The difference between identifying corporate sponsorships and matching gifts

However, the two concepts do see significant overlap as well. Specifically, both matching gifts and corporate sponsorships function as strategic partnerships between nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses, and each philanthropic opportunities offer unique and substantial benefits to both parties involved.

3 Ways to Locate Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities Using 360MatchPro

With more than 32.5 million businesses operating in the United States alone, that’s a lot of potential sponsorships for nonprofit organizations. But how can they know where to begin their efforts⁠—and target their outreach toward companies that are the most likely to respond positively to partnership inquiries?

Here are three things fundraising professionals can do to identify top corporate sponsorship opportunities using Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro functionality:

1. Locate top matching gift companies.

Companies that offer matching gift programs are likely to be some of the best prospective corporate sponsors. After all, they already show an interest in philanthropy and supporting nonprofit causes, which can provide you with an existing “in” to the conversation.

If your organization has access to a 360MatchPro account, locating these companies is made even easier. Double the Donation’s automated matching gift platform offers a detailed dashboard that provides invaluable information for nonprofits about their donors. The page includes daily tracking of donations flowing in to the system, the amount of identified matching gift dollars, real-time donor engagement statistics, and a list of the “top 10 companies” being looked up in their search tool.

Here's how to identify corporate sponsorships with 360MatchPro dashboard

Specifically, the top companies tool (which can also expand to show all companies contributing donation matches) provides an opportunity for nonprofits. With this functionality, users can quickly locate additional context on some of the most valuable companies to approach for corporate sponsorship opportunities and more.

When a user views this data, they can easily navigate to the company’s website and retrieve contact information to get in touch. From there, they can utilize the company’s status as a top matching gift company as a rapport-building tool to get their foot in the door.

For example, a nonprofit may communicate something like this to a business with which they’re interested in partnership:

“Our organization has received 620 donations and $28,000 match identified dollars from your company in the past year. We see that you are dedicated to charitable giving, and it seems that we have a lot in common already! Are you interested in partnering with our team as a corporate sponsor for our upcoming fundraising event?”

2. Utilize custom redirects for ineligible donors.

Unfortunately, not all companies offer matching gift programs⁠—but that doesn’t mean you should remove them from your list of potential corporate sponsorships.

In fact, existing donors who work for companies that do not match employee donations can be some of your greatest allies in the process! And Double the Donation makes it as easy as possible to empower these individuals with the tools they need to pitch charitable giving opportunities to their employers with custom redirects and powerful suggested next steps.

Let’s take a look at this idea in action! Here’s an example of a custom redirect from the Denver Rescue Mission:

Here's how one organization identifies corporate sponsorships with a custom redirect.

This organization sends follow-up emails after its donors have been identified as likely ineligible for a matching gift. The message includes a link to a dedicated web page that provides information on other ways the donors can make an impact without existing matching gift programs in place. And that’s something your team can do, too!

We recommend including a number of ways that the receiving donors can get further involved with your nonprofit⁠—even after determining that their gift is not able to be matched by their employer. For example, consider encouraging supporters to take the following next steps:

Make a recommendation for matching gifts.

For companies that don’t have existing matching gift programs, encourage donors to reach out and float the idea upwards. An employee may get in touch with their employers’ HR department to discuss the possibility of launching a matching gift program. To further simplify the process for your donors, you might even provide a customizable template they can use to pitch matching gifts and highlight the business value available to the company.

And who knows? They might end up developing a matching gift initiative after all!

Look into additional workplace giving opportunities.

Let’s say a donor’s employer doesn’t offer a matching gift program. That’s not to say they don’t have any workplace giving initiatives in place! Encourage donors who work for non-matching gift companies to look into additional corporate giving opportunities they may be eligible to participate in.

Thousands of companies offer volunteer grants, while others may provide annual grant stipends, paid volunteer time off, etc. The possibilities are endless, and all can have a positive impact on your organization.

Multiply their impact in other ways.

Perhaps the donor’s employer is not interested in launching any workplace giving opportunities just yet. That doesn’t mean the donor themselves is not able to amplify their impact on your cause! At this point, be sure to provide recommendations for other ways an individual can get further involved.

For example, if an individual has contributed a one-time donation, see if they’re interested in getting involved in a recurring monthly giving program! Alternatively, you can highlight other ways they can bring value to your cause, such as by volunteering with your organization or even taking on a peer-to-peer fundraising role.

You already know that your donors are invested in your organization and its cause. Having a strategy in place for getting match-eligible donors involved in their employers’ matching gift programs is great. But you don’t want to neglect those who have been identified as match-ineligible, either.

Luckily, if you have 360MatchPro, guiding said donors toward additional opportunities for support is a must. And you don’t have to worry about following up with individual supporters, thanks to your customizable and automated email streams that lead the way!

3. Reach out to companies without matching gift programs.

Sure, your donors can be some of your strongest advocates for corporate partnership opportunities. But you can also reach out to potential sponsors yourself to propose business partnerships and build relationships! One of the best ways to do so starts with the same companies your donors work for that have been determined not to offer matching gift programs.

Consider reaching out to some of these top companies. You can start with a simple template like this:

“Hi! We see that more than 35 dedicated donors to our nonprofit are employed by your company. Unfortunately, however, it looks like you don’t offer a matching gift program. Because we already have so much in common with us, we were hoping you might be interested in developing a mutually beneficial corporate sponsorship.”

For the best results, be sure to highlight whatever value proposition you can provide your corporate sponsors in terms of your upcoming event or project. Not only will these companies be inclined to build a relationship based on the overlap between your two teams, but they’ll also be able to examine the tangible benefits made available by the partnership.


Increasing revenue through corporate philanthropy is an excellent objective for nonprofits of all shapes, sizes, and missions. And learning how to identify corporate sponsorships is one of the best steps you can take to get there!

For the greatest results, be sure your team is equipped with the tools you need for ongoing, substantial success. For matching gifts and corporate sponsorship opportunities, Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro offers the best-in-class technology to drive matching gifts to completion, uncover potential sponsorships, and more.

Interested in learning more about corporate fundraising? Check out these other educational posts from Double the Donation:

  • Why Workplace Giving Matters for Nonprofits + Companies. Workplace giving programs such as matching gifts and volunteer grants can make a substantial impact on the nonprofits and companies that participate. Learn more about the benefits of workplace giving and how you can utilize the initiatives for your cause.
  • Corporate Giving Programs: The Ultimate Fundraising Guide. Corporate giving programs are not limited to matching gifts and corporate sponsorships! Find out everything there is to know about some of the most popular and effective philanthropy programs offered by companies across the globe with this detailed guide.
  • Matching Gift Databases: Our Comprehensive Guide for 2022. Matching gift software can make a huge difference for matching gift fundraising as well as other forms of corporate giving. Dive into this resource that highlights what to look for in a matching gift database and how it can help your team raise more.

Learn more about identifying corporate sponsorships and increasing matching gifts with Double the Donation.

How to Pick a Fundraising Consultant for Your Annual Fund

Note

Don’t forget to grab our Free Guide to the Top Fundraising Ideas.


If you’re looking for ways to amp up your annual fund, then you should consider hiring a nonprofit consultant. Fundraising consultants are professional advisers that can offer your nonprofit effective solutions to improve your annual fund.
Since there are so many different nonprofit consulting firms out there, the search may seem like a daunting task. However, with a few strategies, you can find the right adviser for your nonprofit.
Let’s take a look at six strategies you can use to start your search on the right foot.

  1. Set up clear and actionable goals.
  2. Determine what services you need.
  3. Find a firm with annual fund experience.
  4. Work with a consultant that can connect often.
  5. Consider the cost of a consultant.
  6. Narrow down your picks and request proposals.

If you’re looking for more strategies to improve your annual fund, check out this helpful guide.

How to pick a nonprofit consultant for your annual fund - Set up clear and actionable goals

1. Set up clear and actionable goals.

Before you can start searching for the right nonprofit consulting firm, you need to come up with your goals. Your goals can be anything from a timeline of when you want to have a nonprofit consultant hired to what you want to achieve once you hire someone. Create as many goals as you need to create a clear picture of what you want to gain. 
Goals are important because they not only help you see what you’re trying to achieve, but they also help your fundraising consultant figure out the best solution. If you can’t give your adviser a clear idea of what you want, he or she doesn’t know what direction to take.
Setting goals helps you point out the areas in your fundraising you need help with and gives your nonprofit consultant somewhere to start when coming up with solutions.
While improving your annual fund may be your overall goal, it’s not specific enough. If you want assistance that’s tailored to your nonprofit, you’ll need to be as detailed as possible.
To figure out your goals, you should start by determining where you need the most support. Your nonprofit may need help:

  • Honing in on what makes supporters give.
  • Creating a plan for your year-end fundraising.
  • Writing an impactful appeal.
  • Finding unique ways to interact with donors.

The important part is to figure out where you need the most help so that the professional can focus on those areas.

The takeaway: Goals set the groundwork for what you need. They give you more than just a way to measure success. Goals help your nonprofit consultant figure out what direction to take so that you can reach the best possible outcome.

How to pick a nonprofit consultant for your annual fund - Determine what services you need

2. Determine what services you need.

Now that you’ve got your goals, it’s time to assess how a nonprofit consulting firm can help you. By knowing what services you need, you can narrow down your choice to those that only offer what you need. In order to know what services you want, it’s important to know what a fundraising consultant can do.
That way, when you do hire someone, you can both start your project on the same page and with the same expectations.
In general, every firm offers slightly different services. We’ll cover some of the nonprofit consulting services you can expect to see among most firms:

  • Conduct research on your donors’ giving behaviors.
  • Create fundraising strategies.
  • Assist you with hiring nonprofit professionals.
  • Motivate and educate your staff on all things concerning fundraising.

In addition to the services mentioned above, many consulting firms specialize in a particular aspect of fundraising. For instance, digital fundraising consultants can design and develop customized fundraising solutions to meet your nonprofit’s needs.
Let’s say your organization is using Luminate, a fundraising tool created by Blackbaud; you might hire a digital consultant to customize your Luminate system to help track and market matching gifts to boost your annual fund.
Once you have a better idea of what a consultant firm can offer, you can start figuring out which services align best with your needs. You may need just one service or a combination of all that the firm has to offer.

The takeaway: The more you know about what a nonprofit consultant offers, the better idea you’ll have about whether or not you need their services.

How to pick a nonprofit consultant for your annual fund - Find a firm with annual fund experience

3. Find a firm with previous annual fund experience.

While a nonprofit consultant can’t guarantee you success, working with someone that has previous experience planning annual fund strategies gives you a higher chance of having positive results.
We’ll take a look at three things that your fundraising consultant should be knowledgeable in.

A. Matching gift programs.

As you are probably aware, matching gift programs can help you double your donations. Matched giving requires a lot of promotion and education in order to encourage donors to submit a request to their employer.
You want to hire a fundraising consultant that has prior experience working with the various matching gift programs.
If you choose a nonprofit consulting firm that already has knowledge on this subject, they can help you figure out how to best incorporate matching gifts into your appeals. They might even be able to suggest different services that can help make matching gift promotion easier.

B. Online donation software.

Optimizing your online donation forms is key if you want to encourage donors to participate in recurring giving and gift matching. Find a fundraising consultant that can suggest online donation form best practices.
Additionally, you want to find a firm that is familiar with donor abandonment and how to avoid it. The more your consultant knows about donors’ giving behaviors, the better he or she can guide you on how to make your forms better.

C. Unique ideas for communicating with supporters.

You should look for a nonprofit consultant who can offer you a new perspective on how to approach your annual fund.
For instance, if your nonprofit’s past annual fund communications have been largely through direct mail, in-person events, and phone calls, you could consider bringing someone on with a background in online marketing and fundraising to give your next campaign a new edge. The consultant could help coach you through a complete digital strategy from email to social media.
Essentially, you want to find a consultant who can help you both improve upon what you’re already doing and add new skills and approaches to your repertoire.
With new ideas, your consultant can help you discover different, unique ways to communicate with donors and build those long-lasting relationships. Ultimately, lasting relationships with your supporters will help motive them to give regularly.

The takeaway: When you find someone with the right skills and prior knowledge on annual funds, you don’t have to spend time explaining concepts and can start working on solutions right away.

How to pick a nonprofit consultant for your annual fund - Work with a consultant that can connect often

4. Work with a consultant who can connect often.

Communication is key to working successfully with a nonprofit consulting firm. Establishing communication from the beginning means that there will be less confusion later.
Connecting often with a consultant is important because your nonprofit can:

  • Get regular updates on your annual fund plan and strategies.
  • Communicate your concerns promptly so that the consultant can make changes early on.
  • Explain all your needs and what you hope to achieve.

Depending on your nonprofit consulting needs, you may want to choose a local consultant.
Finding a local fundraising consulting firm will help to ensure that you both are familiar with your nonprofit’s donor community and outreach.
This regional bond can help your nonprofit feel more comfortable with a fundraising consultant and spend more time developing in-depth strategies that target your local demographic’s needs and interests.
That being said, finding a firm that’s close by isn’t always feasible. Plus, remote nonprofit consultants present their own strengths that can be extremely beneficial.
Since remote consultants won’t have the luxury of dropping by your office at the drop of a hat, they’re more likely to stay on schedule (and ensure that your nonprofit does, too!). Additionally, remote consultants can bring a fresh perspective and a different frame of reference to the table.
If you’re considering nonprofit consulting firms that are further away, always make a note to ask them how they communicate with their clients. For instance, having the majority of interactions via email might not be the most ideal approach seeing as some messages might get misinterpreted or overlooked.
Instead, make the effort to have more direct communications with non-local firms through regular phone or video chat sessions.
It’s also a good idea to meet with your nonprofit consulting firm in person as often as you can, especially early in the process so that you can clearly explain all your needs and gain a solid understanding of what plan they have in place for your nonprofit.

The takeaway: Connecting regularly with your nonprofit consultant is important because it allows you to know immediately how things are going to be planned. Plus, you can voice your concerns as soon as they arise.

How to pick a nonprofit consultant for your annual fund - Consider the cost of a consultant

5. Consider how much a consultant will cost.

Not every nonprofit consulting firm will cost the same, and there are no set guidelines on how a consultant is paid. Some may charge by the hour or day while others may charge per project. Additionally, you might be charged food, travel, hotel fees, and other expenses. It all depends on the firm that you decided to work with.
As you consider the price of a nonprofit consultant, ask yourself what’s most important. Do you want: 

  • Someone that meshes well with your nonprofit’s culture?
  • A consultant with lots of experience handling similar nonprofits?
  • A firm that can offer creative and unique suggestions for your annual fund strategy?

Once you’ve figured out what is crucial for your nonprofit, you can start to narrow down your options. Perhaps paying a little extra for the skills and characteristics you need won’t seem like such a bad thing in the long run.

The takeaway: The cost of a fundraising consultant is inevitable; make sure that you get the best return on your investment. Consider what services or skills you want from your firm and then compare prices.


How to pick a nonprofit consultant for your annual fund - Narrow down your picks and request a proposal

6. Narrow down your selection and request a proposal.

Before you make your final choice, it’s a good idea to request a proposal or ask your top firms to pitch their suggestions. A proposal will give you a better idea of what each nonprofit consulting firm suggests you do to improve your annual fund. In other words, it will give you a taste of what to expect.
The proposal can be a formal, in-person presentation or a document that firms send to you with their suggestions. Either way, you should request the same type of proposal from all your top picks to be consistent.
When you request your pitches, give the nonprofit consultant some time to really come up with solutions. If you give them too little time, they’re likely going to send you general pitches that aren’t specific to your nonprofit’s needs. Give them at least 3 weeks to submit their solutions.
After every firm turns in their proposal or presents their pitch, take some time to consider every firms’ suggestions. As you take each one into consideration, make sure you ask the following questions:

  • Did the firm offer you solutions specific to your nonprofit’s goals?
  • Were they confident in their solutions?
  • Did they offer any statistics to back up their suggestions?

Of course, you can add to this list with other questions that are important to you.
Now it’s time to make your choice! Use all the information you’ve gained about each firm to help you decide which one is best for you.

The takeaway: Requesting a pitch is one way to get a better understanding of what each nonprofit consultant suggests your nonprofit do to improve your annual fund. Use this step as a way to narrow down your options and pick the best solution.


With these tips, you can start searching for the fundraising consulting firm that best fits your needs. Look for a firm that meshes well with your nonprofit’s culture and has prior experience working with similar organizations.

If you would like to learn more about hiring a fundraising consultant, check out these helpful resources: 

  1. 11 Top Fundraising ConsultantsNow that you’ve got tips to help you hire a fundraising consultant, it’s time to start your search. Check out this list of our top consultants.
  2. Top 10 Fundraising Consulting Firms As you begin looking, you might realize that not every consultant offers the same services. Check out these consulting firms to find one that meets all your organization’s needs.
  3. Nonprofit Fundraising IdeasLooking for more ways to boost your annual fund? Get our full list of fundraising ideas to help you raise even more funds this year!
  4. Nonprofit Tools and Best Practices. In addition to consultant tips, 501 Commons provides resources that every nonprofit organization can take advantage of. Check out what they have to say about choosing a consultant, plus more.
  5. Top Fundraising Consultants in Ohio and IndianaIf you think that hiring a local consultant is the best option for your nonprofit, check out our list of consultants located in the Midwest.

11 Online Fundraising Ideas: Raise Money in the Digital Age!

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Don’t forget to grab our Free Guide to the Top Fundraising Ideas.


We all know that online fundraising is quickly taking the nonprofit world by storm. More people than ever are making their charitable contributions via online avenues. That’s why we’ve compiled 11 of the best online fundraising ideas that can help your nonprofit raise more money in the digital age!
Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  1. Crowdfunding
  2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising or Virtual Events
  3. Matching Gift Drive
  4. T-Shirt Fundraising
  5. Online Donation Forms [Free or Paid]
  6. Online Giving Days
  7. Text-to-Give Campaign
  8. Online Auctions
  9. Viral Fundraising Campaign
  10. Online Cashback Websites
  11. Donation for a Vote

Tools mentioned:

Let’s take a look at each of these online fundraising ideas in more detail.

Crowdfunding is an online fundraising idea that uses social sharing to raise money and awareness.

Online Fundraising Idea 1: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is proving to be one of the most popular ways for nonprofits and individuals alike to raise money for causes, projects, or events that they care about.
For those new to the term, crowdfunding essentially makes use of a nonprofit’s or individual’s existing network of supporters, friends, family members, coworkers, peers, and even acquaintances.
Nonprofits and individuals can set up crowdfunding pages and then share those pages on social media sites and via email.
A typical nonprofit crowdfunding page looks like this:
Fundly's crowdfunding pages make online fundraising quick and simple.
Most crowdfunding platforms allow nonprofits to:

  • Upload images and videos.
  • Write a detailed description.
  • Post updates and comments.
  • Share the campaign across social media sites and email.
  • Set up giving levels or tiers.
  • Send out automatic acknowledgements to donors.
  • Track metrics like number of donors, average donation amount, and total amount raised.

If you want to make the most of your nonprofit’s crowdfunding campaign, follow these best practices:

  1. Interact with your supporters: Your donors want to know how your online fundraising campaign is going! Keep them in the loop by posting updates and responding to their comments on your crowdfunding page.
  2. Post at least 4 photos or videos: Media gives your donors some context and allows them to see exactly what they’re donating to. Make sure that your photos look professional and highlight the people, animals, or communities that your nonprofit serves.
  3. Set up giving levels: Including donation tiers or giving levels on your campaign page allows donors to select the one that they prefer. To create an even bigger impact, you can list out the specific actions that your nonprofit can accomplish with each donation amount.

Main Takeaway: Crowdfunding is one of the best online fundraising ideas for nonprofits. Most crowdfunding platforms enable you to get up and running in just a few minutes, and you can start raising money from your supporters in no time!

Bonus: Start your crowdfunding campaign today!

Peer-to-peer fundraising is an online fundraising idea that uses supporters to fundraise on your behalf.

Online Fundraising Idea 2: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising or Virtual Events

Peer-to-peer fundraising or virtual events are a type of fundraising that many nonprofits pair with fundraising events like walkathons, marathons, and in-person events that need to be transitioned to virtual.
Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns typically follow this structure:

  1. A nonprofit sets a goal, determines a timeline, and plans a peer-to-peer event.
  2. The nonprofit reaches out to loyal supporters and asks them if they want to participate in the fundraiser.
  3. If supporters are willing to participate, they then set up their own online fundraising pages (with the nonprofit’s help). These individual pages link up to the nonprofit’s main peer-to-peer fundraising page.
  4. Individuals reach out to their networks to ask for donations on the nonprofit’s behalf.
  5. Supporters’ friends and family members make donations via the individual’s peer-to-peer fundraising page.
  6. The nonprofit collects the donations, acknowledges and thanks supporters and donors, and hosts the (typically active) event.

This individual peer-to-peer fundraising page is linked to the nonprofit’s primary fundraising page.
This peer-to-peer campaign follows a few best practices that we’re a huge fan of:

  1. They include several images: Both the nonprofit’s main page and the individual’s campaign page have images and videos that allow supporters to see exactly what their donations are going toward.
  2. They describe what the contributions will help accomplish: Each page highlights the need for homes and volunteer time in Austin. Both pages have giving tiers that describe what a donation amount will be able to buy. For example, $300 will buy a stove, while $500 will buy a roof.
  3. Each description is detailed: A good peer-to-peer campaign description is the key to encouraging people to donate to your cause. Without it, people won’t know why you’re raising money! This campaign has listed out the reasons for fundraising and lets people know why building homes in Austin is important.

Main Takeaway: Peer-to-peer fundraising is a type of online fundraising that enables your nonprofit to raise more money and acquire more donors. As your supporters reach out to their networks, your nonprofit can introduce more people to your cause and mission.

Bonus: Check out the top 15 peer-to-peer fundraising platforms for nonprofits!

Organizations can hold matching gift drives to double the impact of their supporters.

Online Fundraising Idea 3: Matching Gift Drive

Take online giving one step further by encouraging your donors to search for the matching gift programs for which they might be eligible. Companies of all sizes will often match (or more than match) their employees’ donations to nonprofit organizations!
There are even useful tools you can embed directly onto your websites or campaign emails. Here’s how the National Audobon Society incorporated a user-friendly search tools directly into their ways to give page:
Check out how the National Audobon Society incorporated matching gifts tools into their site.
For a fundraising campaign, create some buzz by asking a local company or major donor to match donations made on a particular day. Time sensitive drive campaigns work well because they create urgency, a good motivator for supporters. Plus, since each donation goes twice as far, donors will be more likely to participate.
Best of all, and unlike ongoing corporate matching gift programs that apply to eligible employees, matching gift drives don’t have restrictions on who can participate!
The key to a prosperous matching gift drive is promotion. Get the most people to participate by sending emails to your donors on the days leading up to the event. 
Social media is also an effective place to promote your online fundraiser. If your museum is running a matching gift drive, for example, you can publish posts on Facebook and Twitter that tell donors any tickets purchased or contributions made during your drive will be doubled by your sponsor.
Also, let donors know about the many ways they can contribute. Provide your donors convenient ways to give, such as:

  • Donation pages.
  • Text-to-give.
  • Mobile-responsive forms.
  • Crowdfunding pages.

The more fundraising options donors have, the more likely they are to make a donation.
Additionally, if you’re hosting a giving day, but only accept donations through a form on your website, this limits the number of people that can contribute to your cause. 
Always ensure that you have a variety of ways to collect donations before launching your matching gift drive.

Main Takeaway: Knowing that their gifts will double for a limited time is a great motivator for donors. Use that knowledge to your advantage and host a matching gift drive.

Bonus:  For matching gifts year-round, check out another example of how Mercy Corps helps their supporters determine if their employer matches donations on their branded matching gifts page from Double the Donation.

Another online fundraising idea is a t-shirt fundraiser.

Online Fundraising Idea 4: T-Shirt Fundraising

Another effective way for nonprofits to fundraise online is by selling t-shirts. Your nonprofit can deisgn t-shirts as merchandise for your organization and sell them online to your supporters.
T-shirt fundraisers are a fun, engaging way to raise money for your nonprofit because they allow supporters to show their love for your organization while still getting something back in return.
For supporters who many not be able to donate as much as they would like due to financial limitations, t-shirt fundraisers offer them the opportunity to contribute to your cause without breaking the bank.
Your nonprofit can get started by promoting t-shirt sales in conjunction with different fundraising campaigns. For example, you might sell holiday-themed t-shirts during year-end giving to capitalize on the seasonal spirit.
Even further, the t-shirts you sell can double as marketing materials for your nonprofit’s brand. When people see their friends wearing your organization’s shirts, they may get inspired to start contributing to your nonprofit.
T-shirt fundraising is a great way to raise money quickly.
When choosing an online host for your t-shirt fundraising initiative, select one that:

  • Offers plenty of t-shirt customization options.
  • Allows you to upload original designs for your shirts.
  • Gives you the freedom to set your own t-shirt prices.
  • Charges a low-overhead fee so you can keep more of your profits.
  • Gives you the ability to customize your nonprofit’s t-shirt sales page.

As your organization starts selling t-shirts, remember that customization is key! Supporters are more likely to buy your organization’s shirts if they feel the product (and sales process) reflects the brand they have come to know and love.
Bonus: Learn more about selling t-shirts to raise money for your nonprofit with Bonfire!

Organizations should accept donations through online fundraising forms.

Online Fundraising Idea 5: Online Donation Forms

One of the most traditional ways to raise money online is through the tried-and-true online donation form. In many cases, donation forms allow you to brand your page and create special fields to capture specific, related information.
Best of all, online donation forms can be mobile-friendly so even more of your supporters have access. 
Since there are many customization capabilities available, your organization can create a form that is completely unique to your brand.
There are many vendors available that offer both free donation forms and paid donation forms.
Here is an example of what your online donation form could look like:
Optimized online donation forms are key to success in digital fundraising.
As you can see, the Water Project does a lot of great things with their donation form:

  • First, the donation form has preset giving buttons, making it easy for the donor to choose a gift amount.
  • Secondly, donors have the option to set recurring gifts.
  • Last, the option to share contributions on Facebook and Twitter is predominantly displayed.

All these features not only help boost your awareness and funds, but they also make the giving process convenient for your donors.
Of course, if your organization wants all of these features (and more!), you’ll have to choose an excellent fundraising software provider.
Look for a vendor that has a responsive technical support team and an easy-to-use interface; you shouldn’t have to be an expert in CSS and HTML to create a professional-looking form. With a simple donation form builder, your organization should be able to drag and drop the elements you want to use and customize them to fit your needs.
If you’re using a fully customizable platform, you’ll be able to create a form that is unique to your organization or recruit a technology consultant who can design a form catered to your needs.
When creating your online donation forms, be considerate of your donors’ time and keep your donations quick and simple.

Main Takeaway: Creating a convenient and beautifully designed donation page starts with finding the right software. Find a provider that offers the features that will make donating quick and easy.


A great fundraising idea for nonprofits is holding an online giving day.

Online Fundraising Idea 6: Online Giving Days

The most common online giving day is #GivingTuesday, a national day of charitable giving started a few years ago by the 92nd Street Y in New York.
While your nonprofit might already participate in #GivingTuesday, that doesn’t mean that you can’t organize your own online giving day for your supporters!
Just so we’re clear, an online giving day is a 24-hour period where a nonprofit tries to raise as much money as possible from its supporters.
An online giving day has to have a lot of digital promotion and advertising to make it effective. Reach out to your supporters:

  • With emails.
  • Over social media.
  • Via text message.
  • On your website.
  • With videos.

These digital outreach methods should contain information about your giving day such as the time, ways to donate, what the funds will go toward, and how supporters can get more involved.
Here’s an example of an animal nonprofit that promotes #GivingTuesday on Twitter:


Of course, Twitter has character limitations, so this tweet had to be short and sweet. Your other digital promotions for your giving day can go a bit more in-depth and include more specific information about your online fundraiser.
Whatever route you take, make sure that you explain what the funds are going toward and provide supporters with a link to your online donation page.

Main Takeaway: An online giving day can be an energetic and fast-paced way to raise money for your cause. Electrify your donor base with lots of digital promotions and encourage them to give as much as they can in just 24 hours!

Bonus: Take a look at these #GivingTuesday promotional resources.


Holding a text-to-give campaign is an excellent online fundraising idea.

Online Fundraising Idea 7: Text-to-Give Campaign

Text-to-give came on the scene as a digital fundraising method in 2010 when millions of dollars were donated to the American Red Cross to support victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Since then, text-to-give (or text-to-tithe for churches) has become a mainstream way to raise money for any organization or cause!
Today, text-to-give tends to work like this:

  1. A donor will text a keyword to a specific number that has been assigned to a nonprofit.
  2. The donor will receive a link as a text message.
  3. The link takes the donors to a mobile-responsive donation page where they can make a contribution.

It’s that easy!
When choosing a text-to-give tool, look for a provider that is PCI-compliant, which means the company follows strict rules to ensure a high level of security.
Ease of use and integration are also vital characteristics to look for in a text-to-give tool. You want the giving process to be quick and simple for donors as well as have a way to export data to your CRM.
Many nonprofits, schools, and churches use text-to-give technology as an online fundraising avenue throughout the year, but it’s also a popular donation method during fundraising events. One of your speakers can make a live appeal and ask people to give with their cellphones (all of your attendees will likely have their phones in their pockets or purses!).

Main Takeaway: Text-to-give is quickly becoming one of the most popular online fundraising ideas. Don’t get left behind by this fundraising trend!

Bonus: Check out the ultimate guide to text-to-give.

Online auctions are a great digital fundraising technique!

Online Fundraising Idea 8: Online Auctions

Online auctions are essentially digital silent auctions that are more cost-effective and are open to all your supporters, increasing fundraising potential even more.
For your digital venue, you can opt to use auction software or an online marketplace like eBay to host your online auction. 
Just like with any charity auction, you’ll need to procure items and experiences that excite your guests and encourage them to place bids.
Look for unique items that your guests won’t be able to find anywhere else. Look at the following suggestions to help you get started:

    • Sports memorabilia.
    • Backstage passes to a concert.
    • Tickets to an exclusive museum exhibit.
    • And so much more!

Generate excitement before your event by creating an auction catalog with images and a description of each item (or experience) and teach registered guests how to place bids to prepare them for the big day. Plus, with dedicated auction software (like OneCause) you can track the progress of your online auctions in real time:
Online charity auctions make it easy to engage your donors and raise funds.

Main Takeaway: Online auctions make it possible for supporters from all over the world to participate and are cost-effective so that you can raise the most money from your event.


Viral media campaigns are a very effective online fundraising idea.

Online Fundraising Idea 9: Viral Fundraising Campaign

You’ve likely heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but you may not know just how successful that particular viral fundraising campaign was.
In just a month and a half, the ALS Association was able to raise $115 million (and tons of awareness!) for ALS research by asking people to pour cold water on their heads.
Another example of a viral fundraising campaign is “Movember.” For this viral campaign, men grow out their facial hair during the month of November and make donations in support of men’s health.
These are just two of the many viral fundraising campaigns that nonprofits have started. Why not start your own?
Keep these tips in mind before trying to launch a viral fundraising campaign. And remember, it might take a few months or even more than a year for your campaign to go truly viral.

  1. Don’t ask for too much. You aren’t going to receive a ton of donations if you ask for $500 every time. Instead, ask people for small contributions like $5, $10, or $20. Once a campaign goes viral, all of those little donations will add up!
  2. Create a memorable hashtag. Hashtags help group your social media posts and make your nonprofit’s message easier to find on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Create a memorable and punchy hashtag. Use it in all of your social media posts and encourage your supporters to use it, as well!
  3. Get to the point. A viral campaign has to be focused and targeted. It’s not the time to explain every single detail of your nonprofit’s mission. Instead, boil down your vision to a few key points and use them interchangeably throughout the duration of your campaign.
  4. Make use of all of your digital channels. Post on Facebook. Tweet out a promotional message. Snap a picture and post it to Instagram. Start a Pinterest board. Send out emails. Use every digital communications channel at your disposal!

Main Takeaway: It might take time to get a viral fundraising campaign off the ground, but if you can do it, your nonprofit’s mission and vision will be made known to supporters across the country and even around the world!


Cashback websites are a great way to boost your online fundraising!

Online Fundraising Idea 10: Online Cashback Websites

Online cashback sites can be used by nonprofits as well as individuals who are looking to raise a little extra money while doing something that nearly everyone loves: shopping online!
Let’s break down how most online cashback websites work:

  1. Someone in your nonprofit needs to buy office supplies or something else online.
  2. The staff member begins their search for office supplies at an online cashback site.
  3. Once the items have been purchased, a percentage of the total amount is deposited into a cashback account.
  4. Your nonprofit can withdraw the cashback amount at regular intervals (typically monthly or quarterly).

Common cashback sites include:

 
While cashback sites aren’t going to help your nonprofit break any fundraising records, they are an easy way to raise more money from online shopping. Signing up for most of these cashback sites is easy, and everyone in your nonprofit can participate!

Main Takeaway: Online cashback sites can supplement your existing fundraising efforts. If your staff does a lot of online shopping, sites like Ebates and Amazon can be an easy way to raise extra funds!


Donors love online voting campaigns!

Online Fundraising Idea 11: Donation for a Vote

The donation for a vote online fundraising idea gets your supporters engaged in a silly challenge in return for their contributions.
Here’s how this fundraiser works:

  1. Create a list of silly challenges that your staff or volunteers are willing to complete.
  2. Create a poll, asking your supporters to vote (with a donation) for the challenge they’d like to see your team complete.
  3. At the end of the poll, record your team completing whatever challenge received the most votes and post it on social media.

The challenges you pick should be interesting and if possible, related to your cause in some way.
In the video, thank your supporters for their contributions, and mention how the funds will be used to further your cause.
Supporters will get a kick out of seeing you do a silly task, and you’ll raise more money for your cause!
Not only will donors like seeing a hilarious video, but they’ll also appreciate that you want their opinion and input. Plus, supporters will encourage their peers to vote so they can see their favorite challenge win. 

Main Takeaway: Donation for a vote is a fun (and potentially viral) way to raise money for your cause. Makes sure to choose your challenges and continue to encourage your supporters to vote.


We hope that these 11 online fundraising ideas have inspired you to go out and try some different fundraising techniques.
For more ideas and tips, check out these helpful resources:

  • 80+ Fundraising IdeasCouldn’t find what you were looking for with our online fundraising ideas? Check out our full list of ideas. You’re sure to find the perfect fundraiser for your cause!
  • Church Fundraising IdeasIf you’re looking for ways to raise money for churches and other faith-based organizations, we’ve got a list of ideas that will help you reach your goals.
  • School Fundraising IdeasSchools need to find family-friendly ways to raise money and engage their students. Check out this list of top ideas from Fundly to get started!
  • Top Online Donation Tools. If you want to start fundraising online, you’ll need software to accept donations. Use this list of top tools to find online donation software for your organization!