Tag Archives: VPs of Development

3 Strategies to Improve Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns

Guest post by CharityEngine

According to the Capgemini 2020 report1, wealth in North America grew by 11% in 2019. Then, when 2020 hit, COVID-19 took everyone by surprise. No one could’ve predicted the immense economic downturn that the virus brought about. In fact, according to the same report, global markets dropped by $18 trillion during the first quarter of the year as a result of coronavirus.

Nobody was exempt from the virus’s impact, including nonprofits. It’s made fundraising especially difficult as many supporters struggle to give during tough economic times. Not to mention, many nonprofits may feel awkward or out of touch when asking for funding when the economy is down.

That’s no reason to stop fundraising though! In fact, now is the perfect time for nonprofits to optimize fundraising strategies. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, to help your organization maximize its fundraising potential. Let’s dive into these top tips!

1. Develop New and Unique Ideas

When you craft or revitalize your fundraising strategy, it’s incredibly important that you fully engage supporters. Overall, this engagement will lead to a higher return on current fundraising and increased retention rates.

An engaging fundraiser will incorporate new and unique campaign ideas. During the age of COVID, this means experimenting with virtual fundraising events. CharityEngine’s virtual event guide2 provides examples of different engaging events you can employ during these tough times, including:

  • Music Nights
  • Cooking Nights
  • Virtual Galas
  • Toastmaster-Style Discussions
  • Online Training and Classes
  • Ask-Me-Anything Events

The only limit on your virtual event plan is your own creativity. If you’re new to virtual events, we recommend looking at the events others have conducted for inspiration. This can help with your planning process as you learn what aspects of the campaign will suit your audience.

2. Save on Payment Processing

Essentially, payment processing is everything that occurs between the time your supporter submits a gift online, and when that gift is deposited in your bank account. However, this is also when you’re liable to lose some of those donations to processing fees.

That’s why your organization needs to carefully select a donation processor. While most online donation software partners with a specific payment processor, there are some that offer their own. When you invest in a solution that offers its own, you don’t have to pay the donation software and processing fees separately, which helps save money3.

No matter what, security should be your number one priority4.

3. Use Data to Reach Donors

If you’ve ever received an email addressed “to whom it may concern,” you understand it’s easy to ignore those types of messages. The solution is leveraging donor data. Using donor data, you can deliver highly-personalized communications that are relevant to supporters’ interests.

With data, you can design a multi-channel fundraising strategy with messaging that resonates with supporters. According to CharityEngine’s multichannel fundraising guide5, this strategy helps “spread the word about [your nonprofit’s] fundraising campaign to a vast variety of people through the use of multiple communication and fundraising channels.”

Data in your CRM helps determine which channels to use, how to address supporters, the type of content that will interest supporters, the types of campaigns supporters may get involved with, and more. Creating donor segments and using them to reach different audiences within your donor database will help increase engagement and boost your fundraising.


  1. Capgemini 2020 Report: Wealth Grew in 2019 but Future Uncertain
  2. CharityEngine – Virtual Fundraising Events: A How-To Guide
  3. CharityEngine – Nonprofit Payment Processing: Understanding the Basics
  4. What Can You do About Data Security at your Nonprofit? Plenty!
  5. CharityEngine – Multi-Channel Fundraising: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know