Are you the director or manager of a nonprofit organization (NPO)?

Well, I appreciate the fact that you bring good to the world.

But I also know that fundraising may turn a tough and challenging task for a NPO.

That’s why I collected the following ten tips on how to raise funds to launch your philanthropic projects:

#1 Mobilize Volunteers for Your Nonprofit

Charity is a significant part of the US economy. In 2014, Americans spent about $358 billion on charity, which is 2% of the GDP. Despite the difficult situation in the economy, donations were up by 7%, exceeding the pre-crisis peak. Volunteering has even more startling statistics: in 2014, about 25.3% of American adults spent over 8.7 billion hours dedicated to nonprofit causes. Each of those engaged in volunteering devoted about 140 hours per year.

#2 Consider the Scale of Your NPO

As a rule, big nonprofit organizations are much more successful in fundraising. Let’s turn to the statistics one again. In 2014, American NPOs that fundraised more than $0.5 million increased the amount of funds received by 10.4%. At the same time, smaller NPOs with budgets of $100 000 – $500 000 collected only 3% more funds than in the previous year. Moreover, the smallest NPOs earned 8% less than in the previous year. One of the reasons for a poor survival rate of small NPOs is that they have higher unit costs for raising funds.


#3 Try to Retain Old Loyal Donors

Not only is the volume of funds raised important, but also how much of the money was supplied by old loyal donors. According to US statistics, only about 40% of people donate twice to the same NPO. It means that most organizations do not have enough tools to encourage and motivate their donors. And that’s the gap that you may turn into the strongest competitive advantage.

Attracting new donors is more expensive than retaining old ones. Moreover, as a rule, new donors are not as generous.


#4 Choose the Right Fundraising Measures

NPOs have to decide whether to ask for a specific amount or provide donors with the option to select the level they consider reasonable. In the USA, about 75% of requests for donations do not contain a default donation level. Well, sometimes NPOs designate a specific donation amount – for example, $10 or $50. As statistic shows, 90% of fundraisers who indicate the approximate amount suggest a relatively small amount of money.

The University of Chicago conducted an experiment to fundraise for the development of the University of Wisconsin. Funds were collected from alumni through telephone calls. The first group of potential donors was asked for a possible donation of $20 while the second group one was asked to decide for themselves how much money to contribute. The total donations were much higher from the first group despite the lower donation size. Overall, giving a landmark turned out to be a winning strategy. Perhaps this is because the “default option” helps indecisive people to determine whether or not to donate.

#5 Research the Optimal Amount of the “Default Donation”

Requesting too large sums dramatically reduces the number of donors. This is mainly because the potential donors are unable to accede to the requests of the fundraisers. About a half of the donors give as much as they were asked. Approximately 30% of potential donors refused to donate since they were unable to comply with the request.

Money Computers

#6 Provide Information about Major Donors

Research conducted by the Universities of Indiana and Pennsylvania showed that public information about others’ spending can boost the fundraising process up to 10%. The most winning option is to report the benefactors of major gifts. Nobody wants to seem parsimonious!

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Thus, be sure to include the “donate as much as you can” button.

#7 Maximize Your Donation Request

There was an experiment in which one group of participants was asked how much they would donate to a school that was going to buy holiday presents for a group of children from poor families. Later, a second group was asked, 1) how much they would spend on one child and 2) for a group of children. The second group’s average donation was two times higher than the first group. Crystalizing and communicating the scale of your needs can attract larger donations.


#8 Include a Clear Call to Action (CTA)

Often, NPOs often use a CTA with too much text and very few pictures. When we read text, we simply recognize that there is a problem. But when we also look at a picture, we can both visualize the problem and clearly understand it. Since about 80% of people respond to visuals, you can’t afford to miss including a photo and video material in your CTA.

#9 Don’t State the Problem as an Unsolvable

Don’t overstate the seriousness of a problem. No one will spend money on an obviously lost war. Create a positive attitude by saying something like, “Yes, the problem is hard, but with your funds, we can solve it together. The situation is not hopeless – you can help us!” Create a sense of urgency.

Money and Love

#10 Use Fundraising Online Platforms

  • Causes. Create communities of supporters, develop a volunteer base, and launch campaigns to raise money. To receive donations in the US through Causes, a nonprofit organization should be registered as a 501c with the US Internal Revenue Service.
  • Crowdrise. You can benefit from Crowdrise that aims to complement already existing methods of raising money and finding volunteers. Standard accounts are free, but there is also a paid account for $299 per year. Crowdrise holds 5% of the donations made through the site, as well as a commission of $1 for donations of less than $25, or $2.50 for donations of $25 and above.
  • FirstGiving. FirstGiving serves non-profit organizations by helping them to plan, implement and evaluate their online fundraising campaigns. NPOs can subscribe and receive donations on a weekly basis, paying approximately 5% in commissions. Also, supporters of an organization can create their own page dedicated to raising funds for the benefit of the organization.

Fundraising is an art and a business at the same time. It’s impossible to fundraise without confidence in your idea and a strong desire to sell people a unique product, appealing to the donor’s moral conscience.



Lucy Adams is an outsourcer from and  She’s a generalist ready to bring to life your blog ideas. Don’t miss the chance to collaborate with this diligent writer. Fast and grounded response guaranteed.

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