5 Ways to Engage Donors on National Nonprofit Day

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By Hannah Durbin
Published July 26, 2021
Reading Time: 5 minutes

On August 17, the United States celebrates National Nonprofit Day to recognize the impact of the social sector and highlight the importance of charitable organizations across the country.

This national holiday offers nonprofits the opportunity to:

  • Spread awareness of their impact to new audiences
  • Thank existing donors for their loyal support
  • Kick off a powerful fundraising campaign to raise money for their missions

Start early and plan to make the most out of National Nonprofit Day 2021. Here are five ways to motivate new and existing donors to show support with a one-time gift or a recurring donation.

How to Nail Your Fundraising On National Nonprofit Day

1. Launch a crowdfunding campaign with compelling impact blocks

Crowdfunding campaigns offer nonprofits a powerful way to share their stories, rally supporters, and fund their programmatic initiatives. Rather than simply informing your supporters that your campaign is important, create a felt experience. You can do this through the use of sensory language, compelling visuals, and creative impact blocks.

To take your National Nonprofit Day campaign to the next level, make sure to:

  • Maintain a style and voice that is consistent with your brand
  • State the core issue you want to address in your campaign
  • Explain how you will address the problem with donor support
  • Showcase the tangible benefits of each donation with customized impact blocks
  • Include relevant visuals or high-quality graphics

Impact blocks ensure a supporter understands where their donation goes, who it benefits, and what it accomplishes. Consider sharing various brief stories about your beneficiaries, or simply describe what each dollar amount can accomplish.

Make sure the donation amounts you suggest on your campaign page align with the typical donation amounts your organization sees, including stretch goals. Keep the number of impact blocks to four or less so donors can easily access your campaign on a mobile device.

Continue Learning: Check out this clip from one of our main stage sessions at the 2021 Collaborative, Applying the Science of Behavior to Reach the Hearts of Donors, for new ways to enhance your nonprofit’s giving experience.

2. Drive traffic to your social posts with #NationalNonprofitDay

Generate momentum with a hashtag on social media to boost awareness of your cause and drive traffic to your campaign page.

When it comes to hashtags, think engagement. Within the first 24 hours of posting, it’s crucial to draw in as much activity as possible for the best chance at expanding your reach to new followers. High engagement signals to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that your post is quality, which means your content is pushed higher up on supporters’ newsfeeds.

To stop your supporters from scrolling past your post, leverage compelling imagery or engaging video to tell your story. Craft a powerful caption with descriptive language, and consider asking donors to leave a comment with a few reasons why they support your organization. Include a link to your campaign page and #nationalnonprofitday, as well as any broader hashtags like #donate or #charity, to expand your reach and join the more extensive conversation.

3. Thank donors with a personalized message

National Nonprofit Day is the perfect opportunity to let your donors know how much they’re valued and appreciated. Personalized communication creates a touchpoint that humanizes your organization and develops stronger donor relationships.

To help show major donors your appreciation, consider a handwritten thank you card or special gift. Let them know you took time out of your day to write an intentional message. You might even pick up the phone and personally thank each supporter for the large impact they’ve made on your organization.

Here are a few other creative ways to say thank you:

  • Newsletter shoutouts
  • Thank you videos
  • Social media posts
  • Show appreciation on your website
  • Custom swag

Continue Learning: Improve your donor stewardship strategy with a powerful thank you video. Watch these five examples to get started.

4. Promote in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities

Working directly with your organization may motivate volunteers to make a one-time donation or subscribe to recurring giving.

Think of creative experiences to get your donors involved this National Nonprofit Day. You can explore ideas such as serving hot meals, handing out water at a 5k, or assisting at a pet adoption event. Promote these opportunities on your website, social media channels, and in your newsletter leading up to the day.

Consider adding an online component to each of your in-person volunteer opportunities to expand your reach and connect with new audiences. If you’re hosting an event for National Nonprofit Day, invite virtual volunteers to spread the word on social media or judge a live contest.

Regardless of what idea you land on, just make sure each volunteer feels valued and appreciated. Establishing that relationship could be enough to keep them coming back or motivate them to start supporting in monetary ways.

Continue Learning: Learn how to get the best work from your volunteers.

5. Encourage donors to amplify their impact with a recurring gift

A well-developed recurring giving program can protect the long-term health of your organization and help you scale. Leading up to National Nonprofit Day, spend some time studying your donor base to identify a list of candidates for subscription giving, how to appeal to them, and how much to ask for.

Send a compelling appeal to your target audience with the following points:

  • Why your organization needs recurring support
  • How recurring support allows you to create more impact
  • The simplicity and ease of online recurring donations
  • The special updates or access granted to recurring supporters

To meet each donor where they’re at, offer multiple recurring gift frequencies. Allow your donors to give a weekly, quarterly, or annual contribution to make budgeting more manageable and reduce their likelihood of churn. Over half of recurring donors prefer to give outside of just monthly increments when given a choice.

On a Classy donation page, nonprofits can present donors with the choice to give on an annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly basis.

Tie your ask back to National Nonprofit Day by telling your organization’s story and providing tangible examples of ways your nonprofit impacts the lives of your beneficiaries. Emphasize how a strong recurring giving program can continue to make this possible and how each individual contribution will make a positive change.

Continue Learning: Discover how to attract, retain, and delight the modern recurring donor.

A Day to Celebrate

With the help of these five steps, start planning how you’ll optimize your donation potential and keep your donors top of mind as you craft your National Nonprofit Day strategy. Remember, telling a compelling story can bring your work to life and help donors make the emotional connection that so often drives giving.

Above all else, take a minute to appreciate the work your organization has done and the impact your efforts have made. National Nonprofit Day is a celebration of you, so share the love with your team and know that our world is grateful for hearts like yours.

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