3 Year-Round Campaigns to Elevate Your Nonprofit Fundraising Strategy

avatar
By Hannah Durbin
Published April 5, 2021
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Nonprofits host their annual time-based campaigns throughout the year, but they often miss out on three specific, year-round initiatives that can live on without an end date and continue to generate income.

Offering these year-round fundraising and donation options is a great way to generate sustainable revenue, diversify your fundraising portfolio, and keep supporters engaged with your mission. Once the campaign is created, it can run on your website indefinitely, reducing your team’s workload while also giving your supporters a variety of ways to get involved.

To further diversify your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy and help support your efforts during low-traffic times, here are three year-round fundraising campaigns your organization should launch if you haven’t already. 

1. Main Donation Page

Generic donation pages often lack the personal touch most donors are looking for when deciding whether or not to make a gift. Even if a visitor hits your donation page with the original intent to donate, an underwhelming first impression, or a poorly structured or distracting page, can leave your nonprofit with a missed opportunity.

A fully customized donation page with a compelling appeal and branded call to action can be the difference between converting a visitor or losing a donation. Follow these 10 best practices to optimize your main donation page for conversion: 

  • Elevate the visual appeal of the donate button on your website. Use a bold color and make sure it’s easy to find at the top of your header.
  • Reduce the number of clicks to reach your donation page. Link the main donate button in your website header directly to your donation page.
  • Enable domain-masking to match your website branding. Consistency is key.
  • Create a concise, compelling appeal on your donation page. Use high-quality images or graphics to support your call to action.
  • Be strategic and purposeful with custom questions on your form. Stick to three or fewer to prevent donors from abandoning the checkout process.
  • Incorporate a recurring giving option. Encourage donors to amplify their impact with a recurring gift. 
  • Provide suggested giving amounts. List these amounts from highest to lowest.
  • Default your suggested giving amount to the second-to-highest value. Drive donors to this suggested amount to encourage a larger gift. 
  • Offer donors the opportunity to cover a portion of the transaction fee. When Classy mode is enabled by default, Classy platform data reveals that 85% of donors choose to cover the fees associated with their gifts. When donors need to opt in, 65% of them choose to cover the fees.
  • Optimize your page for mobile. 60% of traffic on Classy is from a mobile device, and 43% of donations on the Classy platform are made through mobile devices. 
Pro Tip
Sixty percent of people who make a donation on Classy do so in less than one minute, so make sure your form is optimized to support a speedy checkout.

All campaigns built on the Classy platform are automatically optimized for mobile, built with domain-masking, and offer a unique feature called Classy Mode which gives supporters the option to increase their gifts to cover transaction fees. 

In order to take advantage of today’s virtual landscape, it’s crucial to transition your supporters from offline to online givers. Download these six quick tips to unify your offline and online fundraising. 

2. DIY Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Offering your community the option to fundraise with a do-it-yourself (DIY) campaign allows supporters to fundraise for any personal reason or special occasion that they feel passionate about, regardless of the time of year. Whether they want to fundraise for their birthday, an athletic milestone, or even their wedding, they choose when and how to raise money on behalf of your organization. 

DIY fundraising takes the form of a traditional peer-to-peer campaign, but without the pre-set stop date. Fundraisers can access the parent campaign on your website, and then customize their own personal fundraising page to reflect their goal. 

To get started, here are a few campaign elements we recommend:

  • Create a clear custom headline 
  • Include two calls to action (to fundraise and to donate) 
  • Maintain brand consistency on your parent campaign 
  • Hide the progress bar 
  • Display a leaderboard

If you’re looking to elevate your campaign a bit further, here are a few examples from The Salvation Army that your organization can use as inspiration:

impact block example

Use impact blocks to spotlight examples of when a DIY fundraiser might apply. Link each button to a fundraising goal, rather than a donation value, to motivate your supporters. Remember that the fundraising amounts should be higher than a single donation amount.

about the cammpaign example

Break down the process for your fundraisers so that each person feels confident getting their campaign up and running. Explain how to set up a campaign, promote it, and achieve your goal with clear and concise instructions.

fundraisers toolkit example

Provide fundraising resources with key messaging, example emails, social media content, and tangible tips to set your fundraisers up for success, like this toolkit from The Salvation Army.  

In addition to these examples, it’s important to be a cheerleader for your fundraisers by engaging with them throughout their fundraising campaigns and congratulating them for their progress. Classy’s milestone email feature automatically sends an email to thank and encourage donors when they raise a certain amount, giving them the recognition they deserve.

The Classy for Facebook integration is another tool that fundraisers can leverage to extend their reach. After creating an individual peer-to-peer or registration with fundraising campaign page, a supporter can seamlessly push that campaign, complete with their name, photo, and personal headline, to Facebook to create a Facebook fundraiser. Your campaign progress remains in sync so that anyone within your network can view the impact their contribution made.

3. Recurring Giving Campaign

A strong recurring giving program establishes a predictable stream of revenue for your nonprofit, and the consistency and reliability of this revenue source can support your nonprofit during times of crisis or uncertainty.

Recurring donors are over five times more valuable to your nonprofit than one-time donors, and return at a rate of 25% to go on and make an additional one-time gift on top of their recurring gift. The annual aggregate amount of their recurring contributions almost always adds up to more than just a one-time gift, and the increased retention rate of this donor segment can help your nonprofit improve its long-term planning.

By offering a way for donors to connect with your organization on a recurring basis, they remain closely tied to your mission and connected to its impact. This bond inherently increases their loyalty to your organization while also strengthening their relationship with fellow donors. 

To help sustain and grow your impact over time, consider launching a branded crowdfunding campaign, like the LoveYourBrain Foundation, to promote your recurring giving program, its story, and benefits for those who join. Their page draws donors in with a strong headline image and branded visuals. 

headline image example

Here are a few ways to boost the visual appeal of your recurring giving campaign:

  • Build a strong hero block that emphasizes the impact of each gift 
  • Make your campaign distinct with photos, videos, or logos that are unique to your recurring program 
  • Include a list of benefits or incentives that make your recurring donors feel special 
  • Optimize your page for mobile with digital wallets and ACH (you can do this with one click on the Classy platform)

In addition, leverage impact blocks to highlight the different programs within your organization that recurring gifts will impact, or get creative like Love146 and show items people could sacrifice in exchange for a recurring donation.

impact blocks example

Once these year-round campaigns are live on your website, you can focus your time on donor communication and fostering a stronger sense of community. Offering a variety of ways for supporters to get involved gives them the freedom to drive your mission forward on their own terms, and to be creative in the process. 

To further accelerate your organization’s impact, register for the Collaborative: Virtual Sessions today for access to engaging conversations and online sessions led by some of the industry experts and leaders we admire most. Reserve your spot now to learn about fundraising and marketing best practices, current technology, organizational priorities, and so much more. 

The Ultimate Guide to Recurring Giving

Subscribe to the Classy Blog

Get the latest fundraising tips, trends, and ideas in your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing

You signed up for emails from Classy

The email you subscribed is