When you’re in the business of taking donations, you are probably looking for more than money—or at least you should be. Organizations need more than just cash flow, after all, and there are several ways that people can get involved and give back. When you’re doing your fundraising, make sure that you make this clear and reach out to people for things other than monetary donations. This is also helpful for those in your audience who also might not realize that you can benefit from more than just a cash donation.
One-time donations are great, as are recurring gifts. People can also plan gifts for certain occasions or milestones, or donate something besides money (time, materials/products needed/etc.) to help out the nonprofits that they connect with and want to assist. However, this type of donation is considered as one-time even if they donate multiple times during the year because there isn’t a planned recurring schedule of when and how the donation will be made.
Recurring donations are always ideal—that means that people will commit to regular donations for a specific period, giving the organization the chance to rely on a steady flow of cash that can make scheduling and forecasting even easier.
Time Is Money, Too: In-Kind Donations
Depending on the type of nonprofit you run and the various events or groups that you are working with, you can always ask people to donate their time instead of money. Most nonprofits are more than willing to work with volunteers, and when you offer this, you might get more interest than you anticipate. The point is, don’t pigeonhole your nonprofit by only asking for monetary donations (here is a guide on how to ask for donations). There are plenty of ways that people can contribute to help your organization grow.
Also known as “in-kind donations,” this could be any kind of goods, services, expertise, or time that is going to alleviate stress and provide support for the organization. If volunteers are doing the work, fewer people need to be paid by the organization. Ask for things that you need, if you don’t want to stick to just money, or encourage people to give what they deem fit. You might be surprised at just how many great donations you get that aren’t just cash.
Get Creative and Get Rid of the Limits
The best thing you can do for your organization is to go beyond fundraising for cash donations and seek out other ways that people and other companies can support your mission and the overall operations of your nonprofit. There are truly no limits to how you can use donors and their offerings, whether they’re financial or of another form.
And if you really want to take things to the next level, consider rewarding big donors with recognition walls showing off their contributions which can also be custom-made based on your organization’s needs. This will make people feel appreciated and give you a unique, high-class way to show off your donors and show them appreciation at the same time. When people feel appreciated, they’re going to give more. Take your donation “thank you” process to another level and diversify your definition of donation in the first place, and watch how people respond in kind.