Whether it’s for Giving Tuesday, your annual gala, or a capital campaign, your donors want to give in a way that’s convenient to them. According to a report from the Charities Aid Foundation, the top 5 ways that individuals choose to give are:
- Donation box
- Purchasing goods
To be sure you’re set up to capture the maximum amount of donations, you’ll want to be prepared to accept donations in more than one of the above-listed methods. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ideas for each way individuals may choose to give.
While it’s been shown that fewer people are carrying cash each year, those that do have it on hand, are ready to donate. To take advantage of these donors, try the following tactics.
- “Feed the pig” campaign – a classic piggy bank is a clear indicator that you’re fundraising. Try augmenting the campaign by inviting local artists to decorate them and showcase multiple piggy banks throughout your community. When coupled with some local press coverage and strong social media campaign, your donors will know where to drop their spare cash.
- Spare change bucket – If people aren’t carrying cash, you can safely bet they won’t want to hang on to any heavy change either. Leave a small bucket at the register of any willing community partners to collect whatever spare change people may be looking to offload. Those coins can add up!
Americans spend 6.5 hours online per day on average so you can’t afford to miss out on all the ways to reach potential donors online.
- Facebook giving – as long as your cause has a page on facebook with the nonprofit categorization, you can set it up to accept donations and encourage your community to share your cause.
- Your own website – hopefully you already have a service in place to collect donations on your website! If not, consider a platform such as Classy. If you do have a program in place already, get creative with how you encourage people to give. For example, is there a specific goal you’re working towards? Can a corporate partner match donations? Can you incentivize donors to share the cause?
The use of checks is continually declining as a payment choice but when people want to give larger amounts, they’re still a preferred method of donating.
- Envelope mail campaign – it may be old fashioned, but there’s a reason this type of campaign still exists. A study by the Federal Reserve shows that checks are used as much as credit cards for amounts larger than $100. If you mail out pre-addressed, stamped envelopes with a compelling message, you could see some larger donations roll in.
Perhaps best deployed during spring cleaning season, donation boxes allow donors to give items rather than dollars. If your cause relies on physical items to serve your cause, keep these ideas in mind.
- Place a large, branded box where people are buying/using that item. It’s rare that you enter a grocery store during the holiday season and there ISN’T a food collection box. How about running a coat drive at your local dry cleaners? Or encouraging people to pick up an extra blanket when they enter their favorite home goods store?
- Office drives – offices are a great place to take advantage of a captive audience. Work with a local partner to place a donation box in their office for a minimum of 2 weeks and help them to communicate the need and impact the drive will make.
An altruistic purchase is better than a purchase with no purpose. The rise of companies like TOMS prove that people are willing to spend more when their purchase makes an impact.
- Borrow from current trends – those rubber bracelets really had their moment back in 2004 so keep an eye out for what’s popular now. Higher quality items command a higher price tag and stickers never go out of style!
- Make it available online and in-person – set up an easy online ordering system to sell your goods and if your organization works out of a physical location, set up an appealing display to advertise your goods. If you don’t have a physical location, consider joining a holiday market or setting up a temporary booth in a high traffic area or store.
No matter how you choose to collect donations, the report shows that people give because they care about the cause and trust the organization so it’s important to show how impactful a donation can be. If you implement any of these ideas, let us know by sharing on social media and tagging DipJar!