Sep 3, 2021

Empower your online fundraising campaign donors


You likely run an online giving campaign such as an annual appeal or #GivingTuesday. But, there are likely opportunities to add another online fundraising campaign, based on gaps in your fundraising calendar, special needs that arise, or mission celebrations that arise.  

As we’ve shared before, many nonprofits reported an increase of new donors in 2020. Online fundraising operates without capacity limits or geographical barriers – unlike in-person opportunities. 

What can you do to maximize the impact of your online fundraising campaigns to best support your mission?  

(Over) Share  

Hopefully, your fundraising technology allows you to host unlimited fundraisers, so standing up a new fundraising campaign doesn’t cost your organization more startup money or time wasted learning a new platform. If not, seek one that does allow you to have unlimited campaigns.  

Once you get your campaign stood up, make it easy for your donors to give in the way they want to! Share a countdown in newsletters, on social media, or even on printed invites. Share your text-to-donate keyword everywhere, even as just a P.S. line in your communications.  

Make your communication dynamic! There are easy-to-use, free tools, where you can level up your graphics. Anyone can be a videographer these days, and social posts with videos get far more engagement and views.  

Your supporters need to feel appreciated and celebrated. Consider a dollar amount threshold, and publicly thank donors of the past and people who are giving to your current campaign. Segment your donors by annual giving amounts, acknowledging those who are your biggest supporters. When people see others are giving, it becomes the best kind of contagious.  


Your donors, supporters, and volunteers give their money, time, and talent to your organization because they see hope in your mission.  

Celebrate that! 

You have history at your organization – founding date, milestones (100,000th graduating student, # of FDA treatment approvals, $xx,000 in financial support given, etc.), and more. There are also national days of celebration – such as National Nurses Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, and awareness months that your supporters would be inspired by.  

Do you have dollar amounts tied to specific mission needs? Such as annual cost to educate a student, weekly cost to fund a research fellow, or cost to keep your food bank or animal rescue open for a day? Encourage people to give those amounts or derivatives of those amounts. For example, a week of funding might cost $15,670. If that were the case, could people give $15.67 or $156.70?  

And, you may have greater success if you segment your donor base and send more personalized communication to those segmented groups. For example, consider pulling your top supporters out of the regular communication cadence and have senior-level staff reach out to them directly. Or, do a special appeal to gala guests, while acknowledging their attendance and giving history at your gala.  

Personalizing your reach-out will help your supporters feel like they matter to both you and your organization.  


There are things you can do to make it easy and fun for people to give.  

If your fundraising management solution offers embeddable forms for you to put directly on your nonprofit’s website, use it. That allows you to easily capture new donors and interest.  

Offer special benefits to donors to incentivize giving. Even something as simple as, “Give $20 or more on this day and be entered to win a swag basket! ” can be the difference between someone giving NOW or not.  


People love a good-hearted competition. Add a voting competition to encourage your community to give! You could have vote options for every class in your school, favorite adoptable puppy, or food bank location. Whatever your mission deliverable, there is likely a voting option people would rally behind. 

Consider adding a peer-to-peer element to your online campaign. You likely have high-level volunteers, such as board members and committee chairs, who would be willing to ask their personal networks for support. Be better prepared to expand your reach with a technology that allows you to add these champions into your campaign at no additional cost. And, give people frames and hashtags to share on social when they give or set up a peer-to-peer page. If you give people enablement, they will use it. 

Do you have the opportunity to offer a corporate or major donor funding match? We’ve shared stat before, but did you know that simply announcing that there is a match increases donations by 19 percent and increases the probability that someone gives by 22 percent? If you have donors who typically give at a high level, consider asking them to be your match funding.  

Your community will rally for your mission if you give them the information that inspires and the tools to do so! 


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What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County