13 tricks to make a successful online fundraising campaign

This week I wanted to go over some quick tips I’ve come up with through experience and also gathered online to help with launching, running, and communicating with people about an online fundraiser.   The swarm feed is pretty straightforward, meaning you post an image and descriptions and let the community donate to your cause. But taking one extra step could make your campaign that much more successful.  These 26 tips are helpful for someone searching for “How to start a fundraiser online” and tips about using mobile devices to make your campaign a success. 


1. 56% of all emails are read on a mobile device which makes responsive online giving pages even more crucial for email fundraising success.  So make your outreach something easy for someone using a phone to interact with.

2. 78% of all potential donors have at least one social media profile.  Reaching out using these mediums are important and can be more personalized.  Spamming though can then also be over looked and make your outreach seem disingenuous. 

3. Text messages have a 98% open rate, meaning you can almost guarantee they will be read by your audience, making a great mobile giving experience more important than ever.  That little red notification is powerful.  People check their texts.

4. Donors are 4 times more likely to connect with your nonprofit when they are contacted on their mobile phone. Use phone number validation to identify the mobile numbers you may already have in your donor database.  Just like on our swarm social network, we want real people, with real devices to connect in the most real time type of connection.

5. Mobile-friendly event registration forms increase submissions by 34%. This is important to keep in mind when using event fundraising technology to register your guests.

6. Engage registrants with compelling stories leading up to your event. Short videos are best!  Think about personal selfie style types of videos, script out what you are going to share and then record, or script out your plan and go live on facebook. 

Basics of a text-to-donate keyword donation and tips for email campaigns.

  • Compose a text to a shortcode phone number
  • In the message: include keyword, pledge amount & donor name
  • In the reply text: include your organization name
  • Add your mobile-friendly donation link
  • Don’t forget to include an unsubscribe option
Essentials of an event donation page
  • Custom donation page branding (organization or event logo)
  • Recurring gift options and suggested donation amount
  • Credit card fields (Apple and Android AutoFill compatible)
  • Donor data fields
  • Custom fields for any other data collection
  • Customized donate button text

7. 1/3rd of all online donations are a result of peer-to-peer fundraising and nearly 90% of donations come from Millennials and Gen Xers!

Crowdfunding & Peer to Peer Fundraising Best Practices
  • Conduct organized training to orient crowdfunding volunteers
  • Encourage participants to customize their page
  • Attach direct impact to each dollar and explain gift benefits
  • Be transparent about costs to encourage good stewardship
  • Provide a fundraising guide to encourage peer-to-peer activities (garage sales, bake sales, run/walks, etc.)
  • Create a journal framework for people to share their stories
  • Always bring it back to your mission and goal!

8. Tips for Nonprofit Crowdfunding Success:

  • Ask for participation across all social networks
  • Utilize keywords and links for easy promotion across channels
  • Use your unique voice to tell your story along with donation asks
  • Include bold, bright images and compelling video and provide clear instructions within each to boost participation
  • Encourage your audience to get their personal networks involved by sharing posts and asking them to fundraise with you
  • Keep your audience updated as you reach milestones along the way
  • Show supporters how they will be making a difference by donating or fundraising on your behalf
  • Thank and recognize donors and fundraisers for participating
  • Post often, across all networks—they won’t all be seen!

9. For every 1,000 email subscribers, the average organization has 355 Facebook fans, 132 Twitter followers, and 19 Instagram followers. Education was the only segment where Twitter followers outnumbered Facebook fans.

10. Cultural groups were the only segment to have a larger audience in a single social media channel than on email. For every 1,000 email subscribers, Cultural groups had 1,639 Facebook fans.

11. Organizations posted to Facebook an average of 1.3 times per day and tweeted an average of 3.8 times per day. Cultural groups were the most active on Twitter, with an average of 7.7 tweets per day, while Rights and Wildlife/Animal Welfare groups led the pack on Facebook with an average of 2.0 posts per day.

12. Engagement with social media posts vary by segment, with Wildlife/Animal Welfare groups seeing the highest rates of engagement on both Facebook and Twitter, while Hunger/Poverty organizations saw the lowest engagement levels. Average engagement rates were 5.4% for Facebook and 1.6% for Twitter. – M+R Benchmarks Study

Social Media Tips to Remember
Each Social media marketing channel need to have different messages and imagery. Posting to Facebook requires a different message than posting to Instagram—even if you are using photos in both places.
People use different social media channels for different reasons and your nonprofit organization needs to customize to those levels of expectation.
Essential Social Media Fundraising Components:
  • Keywords and shortlinks for easy promotion
  • Mobile-friendly forms
  • Embed logos, photos, and videos
  • Custom fields for donor data collection
  • Secure donation pages
  • Suggested donation amounts and recurring gift options
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising integration
  • Automatic email receipts and SMS notifications
Key Components of the Best Fundraising Videos:
  • Evoke the senses when telling your story with images and stories that viewers a reason to believe in your cause.
  • Relatability is key, so tap into what resonates by creating a familiar persona that incorporates your organization’s message and aspirations
  • Cast powerful characters, passionate people from your org or benefiting from your mission create empathy to help viewers relate to and get them behind your cause
  • Know your audience. Target your story for a direct and specific purpose—if you don’t know who you’re talking to, the right people won’t be listening
  • Passion is paramount, so keep your purpose in mind and add in some depth to match the tone and feel of your organization
  • Humility helps everyone–connect your audience to your org in a sincere way to create trust in your mission and get people involved.
Guarantee Success with Fundraising Videos that Work:
  • Use social media: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Create a following in the community by reaching out to influencers.
  • Give it time—even the best campaigns don’t succeed overnight.
  • Immediacy is essential, so be sure your images reflect timely stories that are important to your organization and to your viewers
  • Create a visual narrative to encourage liking and sharing.
  • Start small—you don’t need a big budget to have big impact.
  • Reach out to the community to find those willing to dedicate time to help you create a great video for your cause.
Important Email Marketing Stats:



  • Make sure that you always have at least one image near the top of the email so that you can engage readers before they have to scroll.
  • For highest click-through rates be sure to link a line of text (top), your image (middle) and a button (bottom) to the URL you want people to visit. If you are asking for a donation be sure that your link, button or image goes to a mobile-friendly online donation page
  • A/B test email subject lines to 10% of your list and use the top performer for the remaining 90%. Most email marketing providers make this step easy.
Know the Numbers
Over the last 15 years, mobile has become an increasingly essential component of fundraising. The statistics below show how mass text messages from nonprofits are the gold standard for connecting donors to the causes they care about.

I want to thank http://www.mobilecause.com/online-fundraising-guide/ for providing me with the content.  

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Logan Duginske