December 11, 2022
30 Online Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits: Creative ways to raise money
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Looking for creative ways to raise money for your nonprofit organization? We’ve got you. 

There are plenty of interesting, innovative, and unique online fundraising ideas to consider for your nonprofit fundraising campaign. In this blog post, we discuss 30 different online fundraising ideas that you can use to get started. 

1. Google Ads for NPOs

One of the biggest benefits of using Google Ads to drive your NPO fundraiser is that it doesn’t have to cost you a penny. In fact, Google offers a Google Ad Grant. This allows nonprofits to promote their causes without biting too much off of their campaign budgets. 

However, getting on the Google Ads fundraiser is just half of the battle. You’ll need to ensure that you use attractive language and/or images to get people to click on your Google Ads fundraiser campaign. Once they’ve clicked on your ad, they will be redirected to your website to learn more. 


2. Email campaigns

Email campaigns have been around for decades. In fact, email campaigns should already be a big part of your NPOs fundraising toolbox. This is where all your hard work in growing your email campaign list over a long time will really pay off. 

Email campaigns are one of the most popular ways to reach a target audience. Why? Because email campaigns are extremely cost-effective and can reach a large number of recipients instantly. 

Keep in mind that your target audience likely already receives dozens of emails a day. In order to really stand out, think about coming up with a catchy subject line that catches the eye. In addition, be sure to include plenty of great visuals and a strong and compelling call to action at the end. 


3. Sell merchandise such as T-shirts, tote bags, and hats

Selling merchandise is a great way to raise funds for your nonprofit organization. T-shirts, tote bags, and hats are all popular items that can be sold to help support your cause. You can sell these items online – platforms like Shopify offer an easy way to create an online store. 

You can also sell your merchandise through local retailer websites. This can be a great option if you have a strong relationship with a local business. 

Finally, selling your merchandise at events is another great way to raise funds. You can set up a booth at community events or fairs and sell your merchandise to event attendees. Whatever method you choose, selling merchandise is a great way to raise funds for your nonprofit organization.


4. Set up an online donation drive

If you’re looking for a way to grow your favorite nonprofit, why not set up an online donation drive? It’s a great way to engage your community and raise awareness for a cause you care about. Plus, it’s easy to get started – all you need is a little planning and some volunteers to help out. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Choose a date and time for your online donation drive.
  • Promote your donation drive through flyers, social media, and word of mouth. Be sure to include all the details (date, time, etc.) so that people know what to expect.
  • Collect donations from friends, family, and businesses in the community.
  • Deliver the donations to the nonprofit organization of your choice.

5. Social Media Campaign

In recent years, social media has become an increasingly important tool for marketing. A well-executed social media campaign can reach a large audience at a relatively low cost, and can generate a significant amount of buzz and engagement.

There are a few key elements that make up a successful social media campaign. First, it's important to have clear goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your campaign? Who is your target audience? Once you've answered these questions, you can start to develop your strategy.


6. Ask for financial donations from individuals and businesses

Individuals and businesses are always looking for opportunities to support causes that are important to them. As a nonprofit organization, you can rely on financial donations from individuals and businesses to help you achieve your goals. 

There are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of receiving financial donations. First, make sure you have a clear and compelling case for why your organization is worth supporting. Second, reach out to individuals and businesses that have supported similar organizations in the past. 

Finally, remember that even small donations can add up, so don't be afraid to ask for smaller amounts. By following these tips, you can increase the chances of receiving the financial support you need to achieve your objectives.


7. Social Media Challenge

 As the use of social media continues to grow, so does its potential as a tool for fundraising. A social media fundraising challenge is a great way to harness that potential and engage your supporters.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your challenge:

  • First, set a goal. How much money do you hope to raise?
  • Next, decide what kind of challenge you want to run. Will it be a competition, like who can raise the most money in 24 hours?
  • Then, decide how you will promote the challenge. Will it be through email blasts, Facebook posts, Twitter messages, or some combination of all three?
  • Social media isn’t just for fun, it’s also a great way to share important information about your charity or nonprofit. The best way to do this is through your website.

8.  Social Media Takeover

If a popular online brand, blog, podcast or social influencer supports your cause, consider asking them if they would be willing to donate their social media account to you for a specific period of time. 

They will then either host you, or post relevant content about your NPO on your behalf. This is a great way to reach more people, and even people that you may not have reached using other means of campaigning. 


9. Hold a raffle

Raffles can be a great way to raise money for your nonprofit organization. By selling tickets to enter the raffle, you can generate income while also increasing awareness for your cause. When planning a raffle, be sure to set clear goals and create a budget. 

Once you have determined the amount of money you hope to raise, you can begin to sell tickets. You may want to consider selling tickets online or through local businesses. In addition, be sure to promote the raffle through social media and other channels. By taking the time to plan and promote your raffle, you can maximize your chances of success.


10. Organize a walk or run race

Do you want to increase awareness and funds for your nonprofit organization? A walk or run race is a great way to do both! Here are some tips to get started:

  • Decide on the date, time, and location of the race. Consider factors such as weather and traffic patterns when choosing a date. And be sure to pick a starting time that will allow participants to finish the race before it gets too hot or too cold.
  • Promote the race through social media, flyers, and word of mouth. Be sure to include information about how people can sign up and what the registration fee is.
  • On the day of the race, set up a course that is clearly marked and easy to follow. Have water stations along the route so that participants can stay hydrated. And don't forget to have someone at the finish line to hand out medals or prizes!

11. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital through the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and investors. This type of fundraising has grown in popularity in recent years as a way to finance projects or startups. 

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe have made it easier than ever for people to raise money for their ventures. By harnessing the power of social media and word-of-mouth marketing, entrepreneurs can reach a larger audience of potential donors. 


12. Manage a charity auction online

If you're looking for a novel way to fundraise for your nonprofit organization, consider hosting a charity auction online. An online auction can be a great way to reach a wider audience and generate more excitement and buzz than a traditional silent auction. 

Plus, it's easy to set up and manage an online auction using one of the many platforms available. When choosing a platform, be sure to select one that is user-friendly and offers a wide range of features, such as the ability to accept online payments, share social media posts, and track bids. 

Once you've selected a platform, you'll need to promote your auction and get people to bid. One great way to do this is by partnering with other nonprofits or businesses that can help promote your auction to their network. 

You can also use social media, email marketing, and other digital channels to spread the word. With a little creativity and effort, you can successfully manage a charity auction online that helps your nonprofit achieve its fundraising goals.


13. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Similar to crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising is a highly effective way to raise funds for your campaign. The main difference is that peer-to-peer fundraising relies on individuals creating their own mini crowd-funders for your cause. Each participant relies on their own personal network to generate interest and donations. 


14. Charge admission to a special online event or performance

Many nonprofit organizations rely on donations and grants to support their work. However, these sources of funding can be unpredictable, making it difficult to plan for long-term expenses. 

One way to generate additional revenue is to charge admission to special online events or performances. For example, a theater group could sell tickets to an online benefit concert featuring local talent. 

By charging admission, nonprofits can raise funds while also raising awareness for their cause. In addition, this type of event can be an excellent way to engage potential donors who may be interested in supporting the organization in the future.


15. Host an online fashion show

An online fashion show is a great way for a nonprofit organization to raise additional funds. By hosting an online fashion show, you can not only showcase the work of local designers but also raise awareness for your cause. 

In order to ensure that your event is successful, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, you will need to secure a venue and publicity for your event. Next, you will need to choose a theme and design a runway that reflects your organization's values. 

Finally, you will need to select models and outfit them in clothing that fits the theme of your show. With careful planning and execution, a fashion show can be an excellent way to raise funds and awareness for your nonprofit organization.


16. Matching Gifts

Matching gifts is a great way to generate interest into your online fundraiser. The idea here is simple and very effective. An individual donates an item (money, gift card etc), and it is matched by an online business or website. To do this right, be sure to contact corporate partners or well-known online retailers or e-commerce sites. 

The corporate partners that you approach should be willing to match a gift up to a certain amount. Once you have established this arrangement, promote your gift matching campaign across all of your fundraising channels including email campaigns, social media campaigns, your website and so on. 


17. Create online giving pages

Create a constant passive income stream by creating a giving page on your NPO campaign website. Visitors to your site can make a donation on your giving page whenever they visit your page. It is vital to create a well-designed page in order to maximize donor potential. 

A few design ideas include adding as much information to your giving page as possible. This can (and should) include your NPO mission statement, as well as information about what each donation will go towards. When potential donors have as much transparent data as possible, they are more likely to make meaningful donations to your cause. 


18. Create an ‘In Kind’ wishlist drive

Your NPO will need more than just monetary donations and funds. There are always other areas of your organization that need attending to. This is where creating an ‘in kind’ wishlist really comes in handy.

In kind donations are generally donations that are made to nonprofit organizations that are not in the form of money. These non-cash donations are usually from a variety of online businesses and corporate entities. In kind donations can include web services, logo design, bookkeeping or accounting services and so on. 

Advertising in kind drives works in much the same way as cash fundraisers do. Use your social media channels and other fundraising platforms. A good idea is to create an online pledge page. Businesses or individuals that wish to donate in kind services in place of cash donations can then register their offer or contribution on that page. 


19. Register with Amazon Smile

The Amazon Smile program allows Amazon online shoppers to donate 0.5% of their product order amount. Shoppers are then able to select the charity of their choice from an available list. 

To benefit from the Amazon Smile feature, all you need to do is to register your NPO with Amazon. Be sure to add a link to your website that will take visitors to the page, instead of the regular Amazon storefront. It is also a good idea to create an additional email and social media campaign that encourages your community to use the Amazon Smile page instead.

The beauty of the Amazon Smile initiative is that it does not cost the shopper anything extra. Amazon takes the percentage off after purchase and adds it to the relevant NPO listed with them. 


20. Create a virtual scavenger hunt

A classic and fun activity given a modern twist. The idea behind a scavenger hunt is quite simple. A number of special items are hidden within a given area and participants are tasked with finding them within a given period of time. Adapt the classic scavenger hunt for today’s internet user by creating a list of items on your website. Participants will then need to find the items listed, either online or within your local community (or both). 


21. Create a virtual talent show

From The Voice to America’s Got Talent, who doesn’t love a good talent show? While talent shows are traditionally held in the ‘real world’, creating a virtual talent show is just as popular. In fact, a virtual talent show holds some advantages over the traditional version, since there is no need to hire a venue, rent production equipment and so on.

The online version of a talent show would involve participants to submit performance videos. Create a Zoom call and have each performance voted on by the Zoom community. You can then raise funds by either charging a fee to attend the Zoom talent show or invite viewers to buy votes to see their favorite win. 


22. Create a virtual trivia night

Trivia nights are possibly one of the most popular events in the world. Traditionally held in local pubs and community centers, they’ve been a popular way to raise funds for various projects. However, since the advent of Covid 19, pub trivia quizzes have come to a standstill. 

Of course there is nothing stopping you from hosting a virtual trivia night online. The principle is exactly the same and can be just as much fun to participate in. Simply set up a webinar via Zoom or similar conference app. Next, allow teams to register for the event by giving a predetermined donation amount to your fundraiser drive. 


23. Online workshop or class

The pandemic has meant that most of us have had to resort to online resources for things that we would normally do in person. This includes educational activities such as workshops and classes. 

There are many opportunities available now for NPOs to arrange and offer online workshops and classes in a wide range of interests. This can include popular interests like cooking classes, arts and crafts workshops, photography, music, mixology, and many more. Make use of your social media platforms to organize workshops and classes around fundraisers and drives.


24. Create a fitness challenge event

Health awareness and fitness can often compliment nonprofit organization ethos and goals. Fitness challenges are extremely popular, especially when community involvement is promoted. Since most of us are online more now than ever before due to lockdowns and pandemics, online fitness challenges are on the rise in popularity. 

You can create a set or series of workout challenges or goals that participants will need to meet in order to move up in levels. This is also a great opportunity to collaborate with a well-known gym or fitness center and tie in some of the other fundraising ideas listed in this article. 


25. Set up a virtual craft fair

Online craft sites like Etsy are extremely popular. Everyone loves to buy handmade crafts. Consider creating a virtual craft store to which you can invite your community/supporters to browse or shop. Then, invite crafters and artisans to set up virtual mini stores on your website. Fundraising opportunities can be found by charging a small fee for each virtual booth and/or collecting a percentage of each sale. The virtual craft fair is a win-win as online artists get exposure (sell products) and shoppers find unique, one-of-a-kind items to buy, all while raising funds for your cause. 


26. Sell branded merchandise online

Creating branded merchandise can be a great way to incentivize your supporters to donate more. Merchandise ideas can include sweatshirts, baseball caps, keychains and water bottles that display your NPO logo or even campaign slogan. By purchasing your merchandise, donors can find a stylish way to show how much they care.


27. Create a virtual livestream telethon

Telethons have always been a popular way to raise funds and have been seen on TV for decades. Consider taking the traditional idea of a telethon online. A virtual telethon is a great opportunity to include popular personalities or influencers along with various live entertainment. Be sure to also include interviews with fundraising beneficiaries. 


28. Offer membership perks

Encourage donors to become members by offering a variety of membership perks. This can help to incentivize a more consistent engagement level by rewarding people that have shown greater support for your cause. A reward level or tier system which can offer various membership packages can be used to motivate ongoing donations. Offer various perks for each level from low to high for example, newsletters for basic tiers moving up to branded merchandise for higher tiers. 


29. Virtual award ceremonies or galas

Host an online award ceremony or gala to attract greater interest to your NPO. Virtual galas are proven to attract larger audiences and can be a fun and engaging way to raise funds. In addition, unlike real world events, there is no need to rent space or be concerned with additional overheads such as parking or food and beverage costs. 


30. Create a virtual happy hour

Everyone loves a happy hour and they can be a great tool for fundraising. Members can enjoy interacting via online video conferencing platforms like Webex or Zoom. Virtual happy hour events can include topic-based discussions, activities, and other activities. Create fundraising opportunities by selling tickets to your virtual happy hour event. 

Kick start your fundraising and donor relationships by checking out our Donor Management toolkit

The toolkit allows you to: 

  • Easily manage every donation and donor contact
  • Keep in touch with your dedicated donors
  • Create instant, shareable reports to make strategic decisions


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