Luminate-Online-Matching-Gift-Integration-Guide

Luminate Online Matching Gift Integration Guide

If you are one of the many Luminate customers looking to equip your website with matching gift functionality, you’ve come to the right place! Integrating 360MatchPro into your Luminate pages will revolutionize your matching gift revenue, and we’re going to tell you all about it.

In this article you will find:

Read on to start raising that matching gift revenue!

The basics of matching gifts

In order to understand exactly how 360MatchPro will revolutionize your matching gift revenue, you’ll first need to know exactly what matching gifts are. Matching gifts is a type of corporate philanthropy program often offered as an employee benefit.

When an employee makes a contribution to their favorite nonprofit or educational institution, sometimes their employer will also make a donation to the same nonprofit. Those donations made by employers are known as matching gifts.

Every company’s specific matching gift guidelines are different, but every program includes a standard set of elements:

  • Minimums and maximums: This refers to the actual dollar amount of the initial donation. The most commonly seen minimum is $25, and most maximums are set between $5,000 and $10,000.
  • Match ratio: The ratio defines how much the company will donate in relation to the original donation. The most commonly used match ratio, of course, is 1:1, which means that the company donates the exact same amount as the employee.
  • Employee status: Sometimes, the minimums and maximums or match ratio changes based on the employee’s level of employment. For example, a full-time employee might be eligible for a 1:1 match, while a retired employee is only eligible for .5:1. Or maybe a Senior Vice President has a maximum of $100,000, while a part-time employee is only eligible to match $10,000.
  • Nonprofit eligibility: Some programs specify a more narrow group of nonprofits that they will support. For example, ExxonMobil exclusively matches gifts for educational and cultural nonprofits.
  • Deadlines: There is always a noted deadline, either a specific date (commonly December 31 or April 15) or a timeframe following the original donation (90 days).

Though each company outlines their own eligibility guidelines, the process for claiming matching gifts is always the same:

  1. Employee makes initial donation
  2. Employee submits matching gift request to employer
  3. Employer confirms eligibility of donor, donation amount, and the nonprofit donated to
  4. Nonprofit receives a check!

The most common breakdown in this process occurs at the second step. Unfortunately, a nonprofit can not request a matching gift, the original donor has to do it. Because the donor must do it, making sure that every donor knows about the matching gifts should be a number one priority for every nonprofit and educational institution.

360MatchPro: an overview

Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro is a matching gifts super-platform. 360MatchPro provides automated outreach, actionable insights, and instantaneous donor information capture to drive more matching gifts to completion. This platform almost entirely removes the need for a matching gifts agent within an organization at all.

The 360MatchPro dashboard offers actionable insights into your organization’s matching gift efforts. By presenting the figures of your matching gifts in plain figures as well as on an illustrated graph, it is easy to see where and how your matching gift efforts can be enhanced.

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When using 360MatchPro, you are able to insert Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool straight on to your donation page. Plus, you can use the same embed code to place the search tool on your confirmation page as well as any other pages where you may want to incorporate matching gifts.

Donor employer information is immediately captured through two avenues: self-identification (donor entering their employer in the designated field) and email domain screening. Whenever a donor donates using their corporate email address, that information is stored along with the rest of their information in 360MatchPro.

From there, a donor is automatically sorted into one of the highly customized email streams setup within 360MatchPro. These emails are triggered based on donor eligibility and can be set for any amount of time after their donation is made.

For example, a match-eligible donor will automatically receive an email from the organization they donated to one hour after donating. This email will encourage them to submit their match request forms, with their company-specific forms linked directly. Then it will encourage the donor to report the submission of their matching gift request. This allows the nonprofit to stay on top of their match-eligible donations and the submitted match requests without lifting a finger.

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With 360MatchPro, your organization no longer needs to dedicate time to collecting employment information, sorting through donors searching for match-eligibility, or following up with match-eligible donors. All of that is taken care of instantly and automatically the moment a donation is made.

To learn more about 360MatchPro, check out a demo!

Integrating 360MatchPro into your Luminate Online pages: a step-by-step guide

360MatchPro can be integrated into your Luminate pages. Double the Donation has put together a step-by-step guide (complete with pictures!) to help Luminate users get their matching gift programs in gear!

What we’re going to walk through here is how to get the Double the Donation search tool onto your Luminate donation pages. If you need help creating the Double the Donation element, which will be incorporated onto your page, check out this full technical integration guide.

Step #1: Navigate to the form where you’d like to include a matching gifts field. For this example, we’re going to put it on the donation page.

Step #2: Click on “Design Donor Screens” in the menu on the left side of your screen. Then click “Edit” on the donation form, as illustrated below.

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Step #3: In the editor, look at the column on the top left labeled “Select data elements to include in this form:” and click on the custom element “Double the Donation Company ID.” Then click “Add >”, one of the buttons between the columns, to move this element onto your form. Placement on the form doesn’t matter here, just make sure the element is in the column on the right.

Before moving on, make sure that the box next to “Yes, this field is visible” is unchecked.

Step #4: Add an “HTML Caption” to your form following the same steps you took to add Double the Donation. Then click “Components” and add your Double the Donation widget reusable page. Place this field where you want the streamlined search to appear on your form. We recommend including it somewhere in the billing section.

Note: For step-by-step instructions on setting up your reusable page, check out our full technical integration guide.

See the image below for a walk-through:

Step #5: Save the page and preview it. Make sure that the plugin appears on your form. If it does not, contact support at support@doublethedonation.com.

And that’s all there is to it! Now you’re ready to start raking in that matching gift revenue with 360MatchPro!

Implementation of 360MatchPro

Obviously, the first implementation option is for your organization to follow the steps outlined above (and in our full integration guide) and integrate 360MatchPro into your Luminate pages on your own.

However, for those of us who are not so tech savvy, there is another way. At Double the Donation, we work with several technical consultants who are specifically trained in all things Luminate.

With the help of these tech consultants, your organization won’t need to lift a finger. You can leave it to the experts to get Double the Donation up and running as you sit back and watch the matching gifts roll in.

To learn more about 360Matchpro and how it can revolutionize your matching gift revenue, check out this demo!


Now that you are an expert on matching gifts and 360Matchpro, it’s time to get out there and start claiming some of the $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue that’s left unclaimed every year! Now all that’s left to do is inform every single donor you can about matching gifts and watch the revenue start rolling in.

3 Super Handy Worksheets For Year-End Giving

You know the old saying: “When the leaves turn brown, some serious fundraising’s about to go down.” OK, so maybe I just made that up; but that doesn’t make it any less true. The average nonprofit can expect to receive about half — or even more — of its fundraising revenue in the fourth quarter. And if you haven’t thought about your year-end giving plan before the pumpkin spice lattes hit the shelves, you might not be making the most out of this critical time of year for nonprofits.

At Click & Pledge, we definitely notice the giving spirit come out at this time of year. And while it might seem more appealing to wear a parka in a steambath than to create a year-end giving plan, it doesn’t have to be so stressful. In fact, we put together this guide (and a few simple worksheets) to help you knock out the basic components in just a couple of hours.

So, ditch the parka for a chair and a nice pumpkin spice latte, and let’s dive in.

1. Outline Your Objectives

A plan is only as good as its goals. That means you should look to accomplish something feasible, concrete, and measurable with your year-end giving plan. Start by considering these questions:

  • How much fundraising revenue did you earn during last year’s campaign?
  • What could be done differently to make this year’s campaign better?
  • How much do you expect your budget to grow this year?
  • What, if any, holes do you foresee with your programming budget that need to be addressed?
  • Why is it important that we address these budgetary concerns with our year-end fundraising?

For something more concrete, try filling out this sentence:

“For this year-end giving plan, our organization’s priority is to insert specific result to insert specific organizational need(s) to address.”

There’s another important aspect here: timing. How long do you plan to run your year-end giving campaign? On one hand, your end-date should almost unanimously be at least January 1. That’s because every year, the most donations happen in the last week of December. You can even extend the deadline for those patrons participating in corporate matching gifts programs that usually implement a grace period.

Whether you choose to kick off your campaign with a Halloween Haunt, or a Giving Tuesday marathon, or a donation drive starting December 1 — it totally depends on your organization’s preparedness and donor base. Go back to your data from last year’s campaign to see when it was launched, and whether donations played a significant impact during a specific time frame.

2. Tell The Story

Most donors are driven by an organization’s mission, not necessarily the numbers. It’s a lot easier for people to digest your mission with your organization’s story, rather than plain statistics.

Stories create social bonding experiences, which cause your brain to release oxytocin, a chemical partly responsible for creating lasting memories and strong emotions. Even the most beautiful annual report infographic doesn’t compare if it’s flooded with statistics.

What are some of the stories that have popped up out of your organization over the last year? What’s the real-life, human story behind your fundraising goal? Instead of talking about X number of people you’ve served or plan to serve, focus on one person’s story.

There are endless ways to tell that story. Maybe it’s a mini-documentary, or a blog post, or a podcast, or a photo collage. It’s up to you to decide what’s both powerful and feasible for your organization. However you do it, there will be multiple ways to let donors know about that story. Which brings us to…

3. Define Your Communications Channels

So now that you have an idea of what you want to do, you’re going to need to find out how you’re going to accomplish it. At this point, it’s a good idea to look at how patrons interact with your organization. Who are they? What are their goals for your organization? What interests them the most? If you’ve never developed a donor persona before, it’s time to make like a high school biology student and dissect.

A good place to start is with traditional demographics like age, gender, and income; but don’t stop there. Get to the nitty-gritty, and you can even be a little imaginative. Is your typical donor a tennis enthusiast who checks her email between sets? Perhaps they’re really into drone-racing and watch how-to instructional videos. Whatever their thing may be, use those insights to carefully craft and deliver your message.

Also, try to create at least three donor personas. Your organization may have subsets of typical donors interested in different aspects of your organization.

Once you have these personas mapped out, that’s when you can start determining how you’re going to deliver your message. Make a list of all your communications channels. That might include social media, email, your website, direct mail, or more.

This is where your donor personas come in handy. Review these channels and see where each persona may spend most of their media time, and what channels are best received. From there, you can determine how often you’re going to reach your segmented audiences on what specific channels.

Try using the worksheet below to help you identify your donor personas.

4. Determine How You’ll Measure Results

Your year-end fundraising plan needs to be measurable, or else you won’t know how well you’re doing (or how to improve for next year). To measure your success, you’ll need to introduce Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, to your objectives and communications plan.

No two communications tactics will have the exact same KPIs. For example, you wouldn’t measure the success of your email sends via Facebook Likes. Rather, KPIs are measurements of end-goals you want your donors to take when interacting with that medium.

Go back to your goals and objectives and map them out next to your communications plan. Then, take each component of that plan and define your KPIs. Try to go beyond standard vanity metrics like email open rates or page views. Get specific.

Examples

  • If you have paid Facebook ads and your goal is for your social audience to donate to your website, one KPI would be to measure the number of donations that came through your website via social media referrals.
  • If your email newsletter is meant to drive people to a year-end campaign video, one KPI would be the number of times that video was watched. To dig further, a more specific KPI would be how long they watched that video, and whether that view led to any donations.

Use the handy-dandy worksheet below to map out your objectives, strategies, and KPIs to keep track of your year-end giving plan.

5. Set Your Budget & Determine Costs

So you’ve done the first half of your year-end giving plan. Now comes the part that many love to loathe: budgeting and timekeeping. This should be an estimate of everything you’ll need to pull of your campaign. That may include determining costs for:

  • Staff time and salaries
  • Tools and software usage
  • Design and print materials
  • Logistics (stamps, shipping, etc.)

The most important part here is determining your return on investment, or ROI. If you’re spending more to run your year-end campaign than you expect your goal to achieve, you’ll need to adjust your communications plan to be more practical.

Ideally, your budget should be somewhere in between a rough estimate and hyper-precise. If you spend too much time and analysis estimating the project, you won’t have any wiggle-room if your plan needs to be more flexible. On the other hand, too rough of an estimate means your budget has too much room for margin of error.

Here’s another worksheet to help you determine your year-end campaign costs for each item. You can also revisit this worksheet later to review your year-end campaign’s revenues.

6. Compose Your Calendar

Once your budget’s in order, it’s time to map out your deliverables, or when each piece of your campaign will go into action. A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Schedule your campaign around key dates like Giving Tuesday, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. These affect the timing of your creative materials and their efficacy.
  • Work smarter, not harder. If you try to communicate too-much-too-often with only a handful of channels or creative materials, that may have the opposite effect of what your organization wants to achieve.
  • Be flexible. There will likely be a point during your campaign where your plan isn’t going as expected. Make sure you monitor your results regularly and be ready to make changes if that’s the case.

You will also want to share your calendar with your team so everyone stays on the same page. Google Calendars are a great way to go. We also use HootSuite to map out and schedule our social media posts.

7. Visualize, Analyze, & Improve

You’ve executed every deliverable with ease, and you’ve made your schedule flexible enough to give a Cirque du Soleil acrobat a run for their money. But: did it work?

It’s easy to get lost in the planning and deliverables and forget that meeting your goal was the most important item. As with any major campaign, it’s crucial to follow up and review what worked and what didn’t.

There’s a number of ways to accomplish this. Go back to those KPIs you created at the beginning of your planning phase and see how well they stacked up. A good donor management and event management system will help you readily look up your transactions, and determine which avenues through which they came.

You can also run a post-mortem meeting with your team so everyone has the chance to review and make suggestions for next year. This piece comes highly recommended, because it brings the team together and serves double-duty as the official end of a project.

Whatever you decide to do, pat yourself on the back. Get excited for the upcoming year, because you have another 9-10 months before you do it all over again!

Double the Donation-Fundly-partnership-feature

Fundly Integrates Double the Donation Matching Gift Tools

Atlanta, GA (October 17, 2018) — Double the Donation is proud to announce a new integration with NonProfitEasy’s Fundly CRM. This 360MatchPro integration into Fundly CRM will provide users with industry-leading matching gift functionality. Fundly is used by nonprofits to revolutionize the way they serve their communities.

This integration allows Fundly CRM users to fully automate the matching gift process, exponentially increasing their matching gift revenue while reducing time spent on collecting matching gifts. With this integration, Fundly users can turn on this functionality directly through their Fundly CRM account.

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“In deciding which matching gift tools to offer our customers, we found Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro to be the most comprehensive and easy-to-use platform,” said Lomesh Shah, President and Co-Founder of NonProfitEasy. “We are so excited to offer our users the opportunity to double their donations with ease, efficiency, and accuracy.”

360MatchPro allows users to automatically track the match-eligibility of their donors, the status of those potential matches, and the revenue raised in matching gifts. Most importantly, 360MatchPro’s automated and customizable email follow-up vastly increases the amount of matching gift requests successfully driven to completion.

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The biggest hindrance to matching gifts is lack of donor awareness. With 360MatchPro, Fundly CRM users are able to automatically identify match-eligible donors through email domain capture as well as self-identification directly on their donation forms.

“We are so excited to see that Fundly has integrated our matching gift tools into their CRM, offering all of their users a chance to enhance their matching gift programs,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “There are 15 million people in America who are eligible for matching gifts, and we’re looking forward to seeing how Fundly CRM users connect with those donors.”

Double the Donation has the most extensive database of existing matching gift programs, including more than 20,000 companies, subsidiaries, and spelling variations. Use of this database affords organizations the opportunity to follow through on every possible corporate matching gift donation.

Match-eligible donors are presented with simple, streamlined information about the matching gift program that they qualify for. They are also presented with direct links to the appropriate online forms or downloadable PDFs required to submit their matching gift requests.

Find out more about Fundly CRM at https://www.fundlycrm.com/.

Check out our list of top donation buttons to learn about the best option for your nonprofit!

Top 10 Donation Buttons to Raise More Funds Online

As more and more nonprofits are focusing their fundraising efforts towards online campaigns, the versatility and functionality of donation buttons has grown.

The features required of these buttons have shifted as online fundraising has increased in popularity, but how can you know which product is right for your nonprofit’s needs?

We’ve chosen 10 of our favorite online donation buttons and explained the best features, so you can choose which donation button is right for you.

Use the navigation tool below to make finding what you need even easier.

  1. Fundly – best crowdfunding donation button
  2. Double the Donation – best matching gifts donation button
  3. DonorBox – best recurring gifts donation button
  4. Snowball – best text-to-give donation button
  5. Bonfire – best merchandise fundraising donation button
  6. Qgiv – best all-in-one online donation button
  7. Donately – best custom donation form builder
  8. Edco – best donation button for education
  9. DonationForce – best donation button for small nonprofits
  10. iDonate – best donation button for large nonprofits

If you’re ready to learn more, let’s get started!


Fundly is a top donation button provider.

1. Fundly – Best Crowdfunding Donation Button

Donation Button Overview:

Fundly’s easy-to-use crowdfunding platform is a great way for both individuals and nonprofits to raise money for a good cause. This donation tool is shareable on many social media platforms, is mobile-optimized, and allows you to keep supporters updated easily.

Standout Features:

We love that with Fundly, you can add personalized messages, photos, and videos to your crowdfunding page. You can even update your friends with a blog-like style of posting, which you can do from anywhere with the free Fundly app!

Fundly’s support system is also stellar: they help you set up your campaign, and are available all the way through till the end.

Takeaway:

If you’re looking for a socially-driven donation button tool to help you reach your goals, Fundly is the platform for you.

Use Fundly's donation buttons to maximize your crowdfunding success.


Double the Donation is a top donation button provider.

2. Double the Donation – Best Matching Gifts Donation Button Add-On

Donation Button Overview:

Double the Donation offers a powerful corporate philanthropy database for your nonprofit, so that your donors can be made aware of their employer’s matching gifts policy.

Double the Donation offers two options: one is a widget included directly on your website or donation page, and the other is a webpage hosted by Double the Donation, branded to your website, that offers the same information.

Double the Donation’s easily accessible matching gifts database makes every donation button twice as effective.

Standout Features:

Because Double the Donation’s database can be included right where your donation button is, donors are encouraged to follow up with their employer about matching gifts and maximize the impact of their donation for your nonprofit.

The database is frequently and rigorously updated, so you never have to worry about having out-of-date or incorrect information.

Takeaway:

Double the Donation takes your matching gifts strategy to the next level by making the necessary information easily accessible for all.

Double the Donation can make any donation button more effective.


DonorBox is a top donation button provider.

3. DonorBox – Best Recurring Donor Donation Button

Donation Button Overview:

DonorBox is an online donation button provider that allows you to embed their donation widget directly onto your page or create a dedicated donation page with your nonprofit’s branding.

With their donation pages, you can pre-fill custom amounts with descriptions so donors know what their donation does, offer multiple language options, and include employer donation matching information.

Standout Features:

With DonorBox, your recurring donors maintain full control over their relationship with your nonprofit. DonorBox also offers donors the option to cover processing fees, and their donation buttons are optimized for all sizes of browsers.

Takeaway:

DonorBox is a great donation button provider for nonprofits who are looking to prioritize their recurring gift donor retention strategy, as well as those who need the option to have their donation buttons in multiple languages.

DonorBox's donation button is versatile and easy to use.


Snowball is a top donation button provider.

4. Snowball – Best Text-To-Give Donation Button

Donation Button Overview:

Snowball offers an innovative two-tap solution to nonprofits so that donors are less likely to abandon the donation process partway through. From their phones, mobile users can select the amount of money that they want to give and then confirm their donation through an email.

Their text-to-give and peer-to-peer solutions are also just as easy to use and secure for donors.

Standout Features:

In addition to their fabulously simple method of completing their donations, the donation buttons that Snowball offers are fully customizable to your nonprofit’s branding.

Snowball also keeps track of all of your donation data, so that you can manage your donor and donation information while assessing your progress towards your fundraising goals.

Takeaway:

Snowball’s inventive and simple donation button is a great feature for anyone who is ready for a more intensive mobile donation campaign.

Snowball's two-tap system makes their donation buttons super simple.


Bonfire is a top donation button provider.

5. Bonfire – Best Merchandise Fundraising Donation Button

Donation Button Overview:

Bonfire combines merchandise selling with fundraising through their unique online donation button. With Bonfire, you create your t-shirt design, choose your profit margin and customize your donation page, and then start your campaign!

Because Bonfire puts the donation button on the same page as the purchase button, supporters of your campaign can help your cause both through buying your t-shirt and donating directly to your cause.

Standout Features:

The best part about Bonfire is that there is no inventory necessary. Bonfire prints and ships your shirts after they’ve been ordered, so there’s no chance of your campaign running out of t-shirts.

Bonfire also offers empathetic and helpful support through their “Happiness Team”, who are happy to help make sure your fundraiser is successful.

Takeaway:

Bonfire’s combination of effective donation button and fun merchandise options are a great fundraising option for nonprofits looking to raise funds while rewarding their supporters.

Bonfire's combination of donation buttons and merchandise fundraising is super effective.


Qgiv is a top donation button provider.

6. Qgiv – Best All-In-One Online Donation Button

Donation Button Overview:

Qgiv provides nonprofits with the software they need to run all kinds of fundraising campaigns, from online donation buttons to peer-to-peer fundraising pages to handheld kiosks for fundraising events.

Their team provides support for your nonprofit as you build your donation forms and start your campaign, and the software easily integrates into your other programs so that you can make sure that you have a 360-degree understanding of your donors.

Standout Features:

Qgiv offers amazing features such as fundraising thermometers and other gamification techniques, as well as options for donation buttons such as GiftAssist.

GiftAssist gives donors the option to cover the processing costs on their donation, so that more money goes straight to their favorite nonprofit.

Takeaway:

Qgiv’s huge suite of features and easy-to-use interface for both nonprofit professionals and donors makes this a powerful donation button provider.

Qgiv's suite of donation software supports their donation buttons everywhere.


Donately is a top donation button provider.

7. Donately – Best Custom Donation Form Builder

Donation Button Overview:

Donately provides beautiful online donation tools that are fully responsive with any mobile device, so that you can reach your followers wherever, whenever.

They provide donation buttons to both individuals and nonprofits, so whatever you need to raise money for, they’ve got you covered. You can easily share your donation page on social media or through email, too.

Standout Features:

In addition to their custom donation buttons, Donately offers beautiful fundraising pages and donor management solutions. By using their forms, you can track the important information from all of your donations, as well as the ability to input cash or offline donations into your data set.

Takeaway:

Donately’s pages are super customizable, so you can easily make your donation button match your individual needs.

Donately's donation buttons are customizable and easy to set up.


Edco is a top donation button provider.

8. Edco – Best Donation Button for Education

Donation Button Overview:

Edco is a donation button provider that caters specifically to teachers and other education leaders. The team leader builds the page and starts the fundraiser, and then the team members (parents, students) promote the page and share it amongst their social circles.

People donate, and then you can receive your funds through check, ACH transfer, or reloadable prepaid debit card!

Standout Features:

We love how easy it is to share this donation button with your social network. You can share your campaign on social media and through direct email, all through Edco. They even provide you with templates!

Takeaway:

Edco is the perfect donation button for teachers, coaches, or parents to raise money to ensure their child’s success, no matter if you’re fundraising for a school trip, a sports team, or something else.

Edco's donation buttons make fundraising for students a snap.


DonationForce is a top donation button provider.

9. DonationForce – Best Donation Button for Small Nonprofits

Donation Button Overview:

DonationForce is a powerful donation button provider for nonprofits just starting up. It’s impossibly easy to set up, so that you can be accepting donations online in just minutes.

Once you’ve set up your account, you have access to key data and metrics from all your donations and you can seamlessly integrate DonationForce’s software with ticket pages for your events, matching gifts databases, and your email marketing platform.

Standout Features:

DonationForce is a powerful donation button because it offers a lot of features for a low price. With the DonationForce suite, you get a fast and secure donation process, automated receipts, and a fully mobile-responsive donation button.

Takeaway:

DonationForce offers a great donation button for nonprofits who are ready to start accepting online donations, but don’t need to invest in a personalized software yet.

DonationForce provides great donation buttons for smaller nonprofits.


iDonate is a top donation button provider.

10. iDonate – Best Donation Button for Large Nonprofits

Donation Button Overview:

iDonate makes donating super easy by embedding their online fundraising solution right onto your nonprofit’s website, blog, or Facebook page. Their donation buttons are easily customized to fit your brand, and everything is mobile-responsive.

Their multifaceted online giving platform offers everything from text-to-give to peer-to-peer fundraising, and all of their services can stream donor data into either the iDonate Backoffice CRM or into your nonprofit’s existing CRM.

Standout Features:

Our favorite part of iDonate is how easy it makes online and mobile giving for large nonprofits. They offer chapter management solutions so that each branch of your organization is able to fundraise to the best of their ability.

No matter where it needs to be or what it needs to do, a donation button from iDonate can help your large nonprofit optimize its online donation strategy.

Takeaway:

iDonate’s combination of hyperfunctional online giving tools and supportive staff are a boon to any nonprofit ready to try a new donation button.

iDonate provides beautiful donation buttons for larger nonprofits.


Congrats! You’re now prepared to choose the right donation button for your nonprofit. If you’re interested in learning more about some other fundraising best practices, don’t hesitate to check out these additional resources:

  • 10 Best Salesforce Apps for Nonprofits. Step up your tech game with these great apps. Take any strategy, from charity auction management to accounting and beyond, to the next level with these suggestions.
  • 15+ Best Crowdfunding Websites. If you’re looking for more information on Fundly, or on any other crowdfunding websites, check out our list of favorites for more options and information.
  • Online Petitions Guide from Salsa Labs. If you’re engaged in any sort of advocacy, you’re going to want to read this guide from Salsa on the 5 best tips to building your electronic petition. Don’t miss out on these smart strategies!

 

The Importance of Website Maintenance for Your Nonprofit

You’ve spent hours closely reviewing design and functionality details and your new website is officially up and running. You’ve triple checked everything to make sure it runs just the way you want it and you couldn’t be more excited to have an up-to-date, donation-processing digital home for your organization.

So now what? Let’s think of your website like a car. Your set of wheels needs a mechanic’s attention every so often and your website will also need the same T.L.C. Here is a list of the most important items to stay on top of when it comes to your website maintenance so that your site can continue fundraising for you.

Assigning a Site Mechanic

First thing’s first, you need to assign someone the role of managing the new website . Assigning responsibility to one person ensures that there is no confusion and , makes sure that your recent investment remains a priority and never slips through the cracks. Ideally, this person will manage content, written and visual, to make sure that the information on your site is regularly updated and visually appealing.

Lots of organizations look to their communications person or team for their expertise on this, but anyone familiar with your organization’s day-to-day will work great for content updates. When it comes to more backend and technical to-do’s, having a second tech-savvy person, ideally a developer, around is key. If you don’t have anyone on your team who has this skill set there are other options. Most web design agencies offer website maintenance plans to help with this or are available on a per-request basis to assist you.

WordPress/Plugin Updates

If you’re launching a new website, then chances are that it’s been made in WordPress. WordPress is one of the most user-friendly content management systems (CMS) and has regular updates like all technologies do. Each update includes more advanced security settings and overall site performance so these are important to keep up with.

When update time rolls around, you’re going to want to call a developer. These updates aren’t always compatible with other features and plugins included on your site. So you need to be sure that there is someone with the proper know-how to catch any glitches and avoid bigger headaches. If you are confused by any aspect of the update process, call an expert. Trust us, it is worth a little extra cash to ensure that your site is updated properly.

Hosting & Domain Upkeep

Every website requires housing , and this is where your hosting provider, or server, comes into play. Think of your hosting as the garage for your car and your domain as the name that goes on your reserved parking spot.

These two things are generally purchased through the same company but can also be purchased separately if needed. Your hosting, once set up, won’t require too much attention. However, your provider is the one to call for site backups (we’ll talk more about this next!) and any site loading issues. If you have a good hosting provider, you shouldn’t have to get in contact with them too often.

Site Backups

If you’re going to remember one thing from this article, it should be the importance of site backups. Your hosting provider can make these backups for you, or you can use a website plugin that also allow you to save a backup directly on your computer like All-in-One WP Migration. A site backup is a mirror copy of your site at the moment it is taken. If anything does go wrong, these backups can be restored and get your site back to normal.

We recommend doing at least one per month so that all of your content changes are up-to-date in the backup. If your organization makes very regular content changes, then we recommend doing two or more a month to ensure all of your form entries and content updates are included. This will save you time from having to re-update text and images since you are essentially reverting to a previous version of your site.

Incidentals

Incidentals isn’t a word that anyone likes, but it is a reality when we look to maintain something long term. We don’t always expect to find out that our car is leaking oil, but it is an urgent matter to fix relatively quickly. Your website is no different.

Maybe there was a piece of code that was accidentally deleted and you’re not sure how to replace it. Perhaps you fell prey to malware or spam that needs to be removed. Having someone who can handle this quickly and accurately is essential. For these cases, the best solution is to contact your web developer or you on-staff IT person to make sure the proper solution is found.

Your website is your most important tool in giving communities the information they need and is essential for your organization to remain relevant in a digital age. It’s something that takes time and detail to properly complete and needs to be maintained for any sort of longevity. Keep all of these tips in mind as you navigate website maintenance!

Author Bio

Kyle McClure is the Growth & Partnerships Manager at Elevation, a full-service nonprofit web design agency. Kyle, a born and raised Pittsburgher, started in the nonprofit world during college when he interned for some of the Burgh’s favorite performing arts organizations. He began at Elevation as a project manager in 2016 with experience ranging from customer and donor relations to PR & marketing. A culture junkie, you can find Kyle planning trips, trying new restaurants, and searching for shows.

5 Tips to Making a Difference in Your Community This Summer

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer. While most of us equate summer with pleasure and relaxation, many others look at summer with a sense of dread. If you are financially strapped, summer means no access to subsidized meals for your children and childcare headaches as they are home from school.

Summer is also a stressful time for nonprofits. Need is high and donations are typically low. The good news is that summer is actually a great time to get involved with your favorite local charity. With businesses in summer mode, kids home from school and retired people itching to get out and enjoy the season, summer offers plenty of opportunities to do fulfilling acts of charity and still have time to laze away in the hammock.

Here are some helpful tips to get you started in what may be your most fulfilling summer ever:

  1. Identify local need. Helping to build up your own local community is extra fulfilling because you can witness the impact of your efforts first hand. Think about what cause moves you most. If reading is your passion, speak to your local Boys and Girls Club to see how you can impact young readers. Perhaps you can hold a book drive or establish a reading competition complete with charts and prizes! Or the charity may tell you the need is actually for school supplies so local kids have the tools to succeed in school. Whatever you choose, when you identify a charity you wish to support, be sure that it’s a worthy and legitimate organization by checking it out on a site like charitynavigator.org.
  2. Get kids, family and friends involved. You’ve made the decision to help, why not increase your impact exponentially by asking friends and family to join your cause. As mentioned above, kids are home and looking for something do and it’s never too early to teach a lesson of compassion and community. And, don’t forget the seniors. They are often overlooked but they can be amazing sources of ideas, enthusiasm and support – consider them your secret weapon!
  3. Bring your skills to the table. You can make an even bigger difference when you capitalize on your unique abilities. If you dabble in photography, why not offer to take photos at the next food pantry event to submit to your local paper, share online or add to their website. If you are great at planning parties, why not use your powers for good and organize a fundraising party for your favorite charity? If you are a runner, plan a neighborhood fun run and collect canned goods as an entry fee. You’ll find the more of yourself you put into your effort the more rewarding it will be.
  4. Virtual volunteering is a thing. When we think of volunteering we often envision lifting boxes, painting a room or building a swing set. But, the reality is that we are all busier than ever and working on-site at a charity event may just not work for us. Remember that virtual volunteering is a wonderful way to lend needed support to charity. From helping with website design, making phone calls or running an online fundraising or shopping event, don’t underestimate the impact you can make in your community right from your couch. You can even tap into your social networks and use social media for good when you run an online charity event made for social sharing with YouGiveGoods.com, an online giving platform that enables you to raise most-needed goods for any charity.
  5. Start small. The issues and problems that cause people (and animals!) distress run deep and won’t be eradicated any time soon. But every effort, no matter how small, makes a difference. Set reasonable goals for yourself, don’t shoot for the stars from the start. Learn and grow from your efforts and plan for each charitable outing to be bigger and better than the last.

Sure, summertime relaxing is good for you but helping others is also proven to be good for the mind, body, and soul. So take the plunge this summer and make it memorable by adding philanthropy into your plan.

 

Lisa Tomasi is the founder and president of YouGiveGoods, an innovative giving platform founded in 2012. Lisa has been involved in philanthropy ever since she was aided by the American Red Cross following the devastating 1989 San Francisco earthquake.  YouGiveGoods giving events enable individuals, companies, schools and groups to make a tangible impact in local communities by getting new, needed goods to charities. When not working with the amazing YouGiveGoods team, Lisa is at her other full-time job – raising four daughters with her husband, Paul.

5 Must-Know Ways to Get More from Luminate Online Today

Did you know that 360MatchPro can be integrated into your Luminate Online pages? Check out our integration guide!

Luminate Online Marketing is a comprehensive online fundraising and marketing solution that can equip your nonprofit with the tools to better understand and engage supporters as well as enhance your online fundraising performance.

As you likely already know, Luminate can help organizations like yours do a lot. But when you know how to maximize your Luminate experience, you’ll be able to get even more out of this expansive platform—and you’ll have the fundraising results to show for it.

In this post, we’ll walk through 5 steps to get the most out of your Luminate Online platform:

  1. Start with a clear plan for using Luminate Online.
  2. Clean up and migrate your data effectively.
  3. Take advantage of Luminate add-ons.
  4. Customize your Luminate Online platform.
  5. Thoroughly train your staff on Luminate Online.

With our help, you’ll be a Luminate Online expert in no time!

1. Start with a clear plan for using Luminate Online.

Before you can get started with using Luminate, you need to know exactly what you want this software to do for your nonprofit.

Because Luminate is so multifaceted, your nonprofit must develop a plan for how the platform will support your goals specifically. This plan will not only give you a starting point for using Luminate, but it will also provide a clear direction for any customizations or integrations that you’ll require.

To devise your Luminate Online fundraising strategy, get together with your nonprofit team to answer the following questions:

  • What are our fundraising goals? In addition to an overarching monetary goal, your organization should also set secondary fundraising goals for each quarter, specific campaigns, or fundraising events.
  • What online fundraising tools will help us meet our goals? Do you need customizable online donation or event registration forms? What about more specific giving channels, such as eCommerce stores, peer-to-peer fundraising, or mobile giving? (Hint: you may need to integrate solutions to build your ideal platform.
  • What aspects of our current strategy have worked in the past? Which need to be revisited? Generate reports on your most recent campaigns to analyze where you’ve fallen short and where you’ve exceeded expectations. Then, determine which Luminate Online features you’ll use to enhance (or refocus) your existing fundraising strategy.

If you have a general idea of your fundraising goals but aren’t sure where or how Luminate can fit in, consider seeking the help of a specialized nonprofit technology consultant.

A consulting firm with experience helping nonprofits utilize Blackbaud products (particularly Luminate) can provide the insight you need to map out a strategic plan for your new software.

Plus, your nonprofit tech consultant can help bring that plan to fruition by helping you customize, develop, and implement Luminate to meet your unique needs.

2. Clean up and migrate your data effectively.

Data is at the core of nonprofit organizations.

Think about it: without accurate, complete sets of data, it’s almost impossible to understand your supporters and design engagement and fundraising strategies that respond to their lifestyles, preferences, and goals as a part of your organization.

With that in mind, your organization should take the Luminate Online data migration process very seriously.

As you transfer constituent information from your existing fundraising software or CRM to Luminate Online, you’ll inevitably run the risk of losing or damaging data. To mitigate that risk, there are a few considerations to keep in mind prior to the data migration process:

  • Work with a data migration specialist. Especially for larger organizations with massive stores of donor information, the data transfer process can be complex. By working with a nonprofit tech consultant who focuses on data migration, you’ll alleviate some of the stress associated with migrating data.
  • Clean your database beforehand. Transferring messy data (such as outdated information, duplicate profiles, or lapsed donor data) will only set you up for more work going forward. You should go through your data with a fine-toothed comb before migrating any profiles to your new Luminate system.
  • Establish data entry best practices. When multiple staff members are responsible for inputting data, there’s always a chance that their practices will differ, leading to a greater chance of inconsistencies and errors. Combat that by creating a well documented data entry standard and training staff on your current best practices.

When your data is neat and well organized, you’ll easily be able to use it to inform your fundraising strategies. And after all, what good is data that you can’t use?

3. Take advantage of Luminate add-ons.

Luminate Online is highly versatile on its own, but you still may find that you need more specialized online fundraising features than what the base product provides.

If that sounds like your nonprofit, you’re in luck! Luminate Online offers helpful add-ons to expand the core product and give organizations like yours exactly the tools they need for fundraising success.

If you’re a veteran Blackbaud user, you may already be familiar with these add-ons, but let’s recap what the tools can do:

  • Luminate Advocacy was designed for nonprofits with grassroots fundraising initiatives in mind. With this add-on, you’ll have access to tools such as the letter-to-the-editor generator, integrated vote data, and personalized action centers for your supporters.
  • TeamRaiser is Blackbaud’s powerful peer-to-peer fundraising platform. With tools to help you plan your peer-to-peer event, communicate with supporters, and personalize your fundraising pages, TeamRaiser can connect with Luminate or be used on its own.
  • Luminate Content Management System offers a fully integrated web design and content manager for nonprofits using Luminate. With Luminate CMS, you’ll be able to holistically manage your web presence alongside your other online fundraising efforts.

Because these add-ons were built to work seamlessly with the Luminate Online system, you won’t have to worry about cumbersome integrations or headache-inducing data migrations. The platforms will naturally sync up to your existing Luminate platform and extend its functionality without any extra work on your end.

Bonus: Like the rest of your Luminate system, you can customize your add-ons to develop a personalized fundraising experience. Learn how to get started with TeamRaiser configurations by reading this resource from DNL OmniMedia!

4. Customize your Luminate Online platform.

Established nonprofits need unique solutions to meet their digital fundraising and marketing needs. Enter Luminate Online!

One of the greatest perks of the Luminate platform is that it can be customized to meet your organization’s needs in a truly unique way. Essentially, there are two paths through which your nonprofit can adjust your software:

  • Configurations, i.e., developing a custom solution by making adjustments in the backend of Luminate Online.
  • Integrations, i.e., combining your Luminate Online system with other Blackbaud solutions or third-party platforms.

You’ll likely need to implement both types of customizations to develop the most well-rounded solution.

But before you get started shopping for new software to pair with Luminate or making changes in the software, you should make sure your nonprofit can answer these important questions about how you’ll handle the customization process:

  • What configurations or integrations will you implement? Common integrations include nonprofit CRMs and dedicated fundraising software, but you’ll need to assess your own organization’s specific needs to determine what customizations are most important to achieving your fundraising goals.
  • Who will take the lead on customizing Luminate? For both configurations and complex integrations, you’ll need the help of either a robust IT department or an experienced nonprofit tech consultant.
  • Can your budget accommodate the customizations? Not only will you need to purchase any external software you want to integrate with Luminate, but you’ll need to ensure you can afford a web developer or technology consultant to help manage the process.

Once you’ve adapted your software accordingly, your nonprofit will be left with a totally one-of-a-kind software solution that was built to meet your needs and help you achieve greater success than ever before.

5. Thoroughly train your staff on Luminate Online.

Some lightweight online fundraising solutions are easy to find your way around with little-to-no guidance; generally speaking, Luminate is not that software.

While Luminate Online is certainly user-friendly, your organization will almost definitely need some assistance when you implement the platform and begin to use it for the first time.

Look at it this way—with software that can do so much, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing every member of your staff is well-versed in how to make the most of it?

Luckily, training doesn’t have to be a guessing game. There are a variety of resources at your nonprofit’s disposal to learn everything you need to know about using Luminate:

  • Blackbaud training. Blackbaud offers specific training courses to help nonprofits of all skill levels understand and implement their products. By subscribing to Blackbaud Learn, your organization can gain access to on-demand training videos and online classes.
  • Online community and support. For one-off questions or implementation help, you can crowdsource support through the Blackbaud community forums. Or, seek help from Blackbaud’s team of experts via their online support chat.
  • Nonprofit tech consultants. If you’re in need of comprehensive training to get up and running on Luminate, your nonprofit would likely benefit from working with a nonprofit tech consultant who can train your staff on any and all areas of the Luminate system.

Without some form of training and expert counsel, your nonprofit won’t know the extent to which Luminate can impact your fundraising strategy—and you won’t be able to reap all the benefits!

Luminate Online is a powerful tool for your nonprofit (if you know how to get the most out of it).

With these tips, your team should be well-prepared to implement Luminate and propel your organization to total success. Now it’s time to start fundraising like never before!

Author Bio

Carl co-founded DNL OmniMedia in 2006 and has grown the team to accommodate clients with on-going web development projects. Together, DNL OmniMedia has worked with over 100 organizations to assist them with accomplishing their online goals. As Managing Director of DNL OmniMedia, Carl works with nonprofits and their technology to foster fundraising, create awareness, cure disease, and solve social issues.

Shoe Drive Fundraising: A Mini Guide for Schools and Clubs

Read our Aptify review and discover a top alternative.

Aptify Review | Our Assessment and Software Comparison

An association management software purchase isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Your nonprofit, organization, or association needs to find a solution that can provide smooth operations and a positive member experience.

One of the first ways to ensure that you’re getting the best software is to look for solutions that other associations like yours have found success with. In your search, chances are you’ve come across Aptify.

As a firmly established solution on the market, Aptify is a popular choice for association management! But before you make your decision, make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

In this post, we’re going to discuss:

  1. An Aptify review, complete with history and features.
  2. Common shortcomings of Aptify software.
  3. Our top pick for associations looking for an alternative.

Ready to get your facts straight? Let’s jump into it!

Read Double the Donation's Aptify software review.

Aptify Review

Founded in 1993, Aptify is one of the more established legacy AMS options on the market.

The solution’s main selling point is its flexibility. The way the software works is pretty simple, in theory: the entire system is built upon the Aptify Rad platform, which never changes. This platform allows your association to store and search member data, create reports, and sell merchandise online.

From there, associations can add on a total of 21 applications, including:

  • CRM
  • Accounting
  • Committees
  • Events
  • Subscriptions
  • eCommerce
  • Fundraising

Another key feature of the Aptify AMS is its permissions. Data housed in the system is available to all administrative users, for them to create reports and use to make informed decisions from as they wish.

As you can see, Aptify provides an immensely powerful software solution! But it’s a double-edged sword.

As is often the case with such wide-ranging legacy programs, Aptify’s extensive library of complex features can lead to some significant drawbacks for users. Keep reading to see if your organization or association would run into common problems that Aptify users face!

Read the shortcomings of Aptify software reviewed.

Shortcomings of Aptify Reviewed

Overwhelmingly, Aptify users discover that while they want to take advantage of the software’s flexibility, they aren’t able to. That’s because it’s difficult to navigate the software platform without extensive IT knowledge, which many nonprofit and association administrative teams don’t have.

This difficulty extends beyond the modules that come with the Aptify AMS platform. If you encounter a need that these pre-built modules can’t meet, you’ll need to consider third-party applications.

Aptify has launched a beta version of the Aptify Marketplace, where the team has put some of their point solutions up for download. Since it’s a beta platform, not all the kinks have been worked out, including kinks in the installation process. As such, your team will still need extensive technical expertise with SQL to install these extensions on your own.

Not sure you have the capabilities to customize the Aptify platform yourself in-house or the resources to outsource this complex process? Why not consider a solution that promises no coding necessary for out-of-the-box features or third-party extensions?

The top Aptify alternative is Fonteva.

Top Aptify Alternative: Fonteva

For ease of use and ease of customization, the top association management software solution on the market is Fonteva.

Fonteva is true-cloud association management software built entirely native in Salesforce, the word’s most popular, innovative, and secure cloud CRM. That means you can reach your member data anywhere, any time.

The software is highly user-friendly, with drag-and-drop reporting and configurations making it easy to customize the platform to your association’s needs through simple configuration — no knowledge of coding needed! 

Even if you discover that you need to meet a specific need with a third-party application, you don’t have to worry about messy coding and troubleshooting just to make the integration happen. Fonteva is built native in Salesforce, so any of the thousands of apps on the Salesforce AppExchange will integrate as easily as any other.

Still worried you might not be able to customize the platform exactly to your needs? Don’t worry! When you implement Fonteva, you can rest assured you have world-class support in your corner, including:

  • Online documentation, including free online training videos.
  • Onsite training and classroom training to fit your schedule.
  • Fonteva’s full in-house, on-call customer support team.
  • The online Fonteva Users Network success community (see screenshot below!).
  • Salesforce documentation, user support forums, and customer support.

Fonteva for Associations offers many channels of support that Aptify doesn't.

These resources give your association the support and confidence to get exactly what you need out of your association management software solution.


Every association’s needs will be different, so it’s worth taking the time to find the perfect solution for your association, organization, or nonprofit. The most popular solution isn’t always the best for everyone!

Thinking about other association management software vendors before making a purchasing decision? Check out these additional resources before going too much further:

Improve your fundraising plan with these 6 tips.

6 Simple Fundraising Plan Tips [With Free Templates!]

Your nonprofit’s fundraising plan is the backbone of your success as an organization.

Without a solid fundraising plan in place, there would be nothing to guide your fundraising efforts and no way to tell if your nonprofit is on track to meet your goals.

Before implementing any change in fundraising strategy, you need to have an official fundraising plan in place. To get you started, here are 6 simple tips to consider:

  1. Gain fundraising plan input from key stakeholders.
  2. Develop goals (and challenges)!
  3. Set a fundraising plan timeline.
  4. Determine your fundraising methods.
  5. Build corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.
  6. Tailor your case for support.

Bonus! Once your fundraising plan is in place, you should periodically assess your strategy. Check out Double the Donation’s ultimate fundraising strategy assessment to stay ahead of the curve!

Ready to get started on your fundraising plan? Let us break these tips down into a bit more detail.

You can improve your fundraising plan by gaining input from key stakeholders.

1. Gain fundraising plan input from key stakeholders.

Stakeholders are an important part of your nonprofit’s team. Not only do they help fund your organization’s philanthropy, but they typically have final say over big-picture fundraising decisions.

Since a fundraising plan outlines a nonprofit’s key activities, it is important to get support from these board members and other key stakeholders.

There are a couple of ways you can gain input from your stakeholders:

  • Experiential input. You can ask stakeholders directly about what fundraising strategies have worked well for your nonprofit in the past. Inquire about past fundraising activities, strengths and weaknesses. Take their feedback into consideration and be sure to demonstrate to them how you address their input.
  • Consultant interviews. You might find it helpful to bring in a fundraising consultant. They can conduct stakeholder interviews to determine what is most important to your board and how to get everyone on the same page when designing your fundraising plan.

Remember: Your nonprofit’s board members are just as passionate about your organization’s mission as you are. Do not think of their approval as a bureaucratic hurdle to overcome, but rather an important step towards improving your fundraising plan.

You can improve your fundraising plan by developing goals and challenges.

2. Develop goals (and challenges)!

When designing your fundraising plan, your final product should reflect your nonprofit’s primary goals above all else.

It is easy to fall into the trap of vaguely fundraising without an endpoint in sight, but to stay on track your nonprofit needs to actively work toward a defined set of central goals.

Before designing your fundraising plan, your nonprofit needs to sit down and agree upon what goals to prioritize across all levels of your organization. Your goals should be:

  • Specific, actionable, and measurable. Do not just decide to increase fundraising revenue, or plan to retain more donors. Set numeric benchmarks and timelines, and decide how you will tackle these goals.
  • Evaluated against metrics. You cannot accurately assess your progress towards achieving a goal without having metrics in place to track your success. Diligently monitor consistent metrics so you can see how well you are improving and when you need to make changes to your fundraising plan.

(Bonus tip! Be sure to collect valuable data when carrying out your fundraising plan to help evaluate these metrics and shape your future fundraising plans. Check out Fundly’s guide to nonprofit CRMs for an idea of how your nonprofit can maximize the power of your donor database to improve your fundraising strategy.)

Additionally, one way to help your nonprofit stay on track is to identify upfront what potential challenges or obstacles you will face in the process of achieving your goals.

Some obstacles you might encounter could be:

  • Seasonal fundraising dry spells
  • Low donor retention
  • Failure to obtain major gifts
  • Poor fundraising event attendance
  • Inadequate online engagement

For example, an animal shelter that wants to increase donor retention by X% over the summer months might identify the challenge of supporters being less engaged during this season since they may be traveling or caring for children on summer vacation. To reach their goal, they’ll need to recognize this challenge and develop strategies to overcome it.

Remember: Use your nonprofit’s history to guide you in identifying roadblocks and deciding on goals. Every nonprofit has its unique strengths and weaknesses and when designing a fundraising plan, it is important to know going in what is reasonable to expect from your organization.

You can improve your fundraising plan by setting a fundraising plan timeline.

3. Set a fundraising plan timeline.

Staying on top of your goals also means staying on top of your fundraising plan’s timeline.

Fundraising plans typically plot out a 3-5 year timeline for your nonprofit, with the first year being very detailed and the following years becoming less defined.

Your fundraising plan’s timeline should be developed into an annual fundraising calendar that details the year’s worth of activities for your organization.

Set a fundraising plan timeline.

When developing your timeline, keep a few things in mind:

  • Milestones. Structure your timeline around a set of core milestones. These will both guide your progress and help you regularly assess your fundraising strategy.
  • Accountability. Your timeline (and subsequently, your fundraising calendar) should clearly identify what departments are responsible for individual fundraising activities. This will help keep the different arms of your nonprofit on track and help your departments prioritize tasks throughout the year.
  • Accessibility. Your timeline and calendar should be easily accessible to all members of your team, regardless of their department or role. Every team member should be aware of what other departments are up to; this way, they will have a better sense of the big picture of your organization and how your core fundraising goals are being achieved.

Not sure where to start when designing your fundraising plan timeline? Consider enlisting the help of a fundraising consulting firm. If you need a recommendation, DonorSearch has got you covered with their list of the top 11 fundraising consulting firms in the field!

Remember: During the design process, your fundraising timeline should be as specific as possible and you should hold yourself to the timeline as much as you can. However, if you find you are not progressing as quickly as you had planned, identify the roadblock and always give yourself room to edit the timeline if necessary.

You can improve your fundraising plan by determining your fundraising methods.

4. Determine your fundraising methods.

A common thread among these tips has been specificity and when plotting out your fundraising plan, it is doubly important to specifically determine your fundraising methods.

It is not sufficient to simply say you will raise $XXX by such-and-such date. You need to plan out how you will raise that money and from whom you will solicit donations.

Fundraising is not a one size fits all process, and you should curate your fundraising methods with your prospects in mind. For example, consider these fundraising methods and how they serve prospects:

  • Online donation pages. If your donors cannot all come to you, meet them where they are. Online donation is simply convenient; for nonprofits interested in prospects in varying geographical locations, utilizing optimized online donation tools is a must.
  • P2P fundraising. For nonprofits seeking to grow their network of donors, P2P fundraising is a great way to engage constituents online and leverage the power of their social network to help your organization reach a broader audience.
  • Text-to-give. Mobile giving is a fundraising style that has been growing in popularity over the last several years. Like online donation pages, text-to-give fundraising makes it convenient for donors to give. Additionally, because donors are not tied to a desktop, they may consider donating more frequently.
  • Fundraising events. A strategic fundraising event help you engage donors and bring in major donations, too! Just make sure you plan out your fundraiser well in advance so you have plenty of time to consider important elements, such as the type of event, when and where to host it, and what technology you’ll need to pull it off.

Remember: You should consult your nonprofit’s existing data when determining which prospects to pursue and which fundraising methods best serve your prospect pool. Consider past data and metrics when determining fundraising methods, as well as what has worked for other nonprofits of a similar donor makeup and mission as yours.

You can improve your fundraising plan by building corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.

5. Build corporate partnerships into your fundraising plan.

Corporate partnerships can be important sources of revenue and support for nonprofits.

When designing your fundraising plan, develop a strategy that will help you achieve corporate partnership so that you do not bypass such a valuable asset.

If you already are partnered with a corporation, consider these ways to leverage that relationship during the fundraising plan design process:

  • Event sponsorship. Your corporate partner could agree to sponsor a fundraising event for your nonprofit. With their name and notoriety attached, prospects may be more inclined to participate in your fundraiser.
  • Challenge grants. Your corporate partner might be amenable to offering your nonprofit a challenge grant. With a challenge grant, your organization and your partner agree upon a specific fundraising goal. If the goal is met, they might match the amount of funding raised or commit to donating an agreed-upon sum.
  • Matching gifts. One of the simplest ways to incorporate corporate philanthropy into your fundraising strategy is to seek out a matching gift tool. In a matching gifts program, a corporation agrees to match the donations of their employees either to a certain percentage of the donation or to a consistent maximum value. With a tool like this one offered by Double the Donation, donors can quickly determine whether their donation might be matched by their employer.

Take a look at DTD’s matching gift tool in action! The donor simply types the name of their company into the tool, and then DTD searches their database to see if they are matching gift-eligible.

Partnering with a corporation for a matching gifts program is an effective way to boost fundraising efforts.

Remember: Every nonprofit has unique needs and that extends to any relationship you have with corporate sponsors. You do not have to go after a partnership with a multi-million dollar company if that does not suit the scope of your organization. Partnering with small local businesses can get the job done, especially for regionally-focused nonprofits.

You can improve your fundraising plan by tailoring your case for support.

6. Tailor your case for support.

Your case for support underpins the success of your nonprofit, but it is often taken for granted when designing fundraising strategy.

Organizations and hospitals often create cases for support when they launch a capital campaign. These documents outline every detail of the campaign from how the funds will be used to the ways supporters can contribute.

Moreover, the case for support acts as an effective promotional tool to help educate potential donors on the importance of your cause. The content in your case for support can easily be posted on your website or published in a brochure.

While they’re common practice for capital campaigns, organizations should create a case for support as a part of any fundraising strategy.

Donors will not give to your organization unless you have a compelling case for support, so you need to take the time to thoughtfully develop your case.

Your case for support should answer these important questions:

  • What is our mission?
  • Why should donors give to this cause?
  • Why should they give to our organization in particular?
  • How much should donors give?
  • What specifically will our nonprofit do to achieve our mission?

At all levels of engagement, your nonprofit should actively communicate with donors the ways that your fundraising strategy addresses your case for support. The more compelling your case, the more likely it is that donors will give to your organization.

Remember: Your case for support should govern your fundraising strategy. Just as you should choose fundraising methods that target your prospects, you should similarly design your fundraising plan with your case for support as a foundation.


Your fundraising plan is the single most important tool in your arsenal when enacting a new fundraising strategy. Get closer to achieving your nonprofit’s fundraising goals by designing a detailed fundraising plan today!

Additional Resources

  • Conduct a Fundraising Feasibility Study: 6 Steps to Success. Capital campaigns can help your nonprofit reach larger goals as part of an effective fundraising plan. But first, you need to conduct a capital campaign feasibility study before your campaign can begin. With our step-by-step guide, your feasibility study is sure to give you the information you need to succeed!
  • Top 5 GoFundMe Alternatives. After developing a fundraising plan, your nonprofit may decide to pursue crowdfunding as a way to meet your fundraising goals. You might initially consider GoFundMe as a crowdfunding host, but don’t make your choice so quickly. There are many other crowdfunding sites just like GoFundMe (but better)! Check out our guide for some awesome alternatives.
  • 14 Charity Auction Tools. Similarly, your nonprofit might choose to hold a charity auction as a fundraising event. Not only are auctions great ways to raise funding, but they’re also useful events to strengthen your donor relations. Be sure to consult our guide to the 14 best charity auction tools that are perfect for nonprofits of any size!