Skip to main content
Membership Management

5 Tips to Boost Your Association’s Online Fundraising Efforts 

MemberClicks Avatar MemberClicks April 19, 2018
Table of Contents
4 min read

With so much already on your to-do list, it can be a little overwhelming to start brainstorming new ways to increase your donation total from the previous year. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration.

How do you want to target your members AND their industry friends? What about targeting those folks outside of your industry? Or reaching out to business partners in your industry? How do you make your fundraising efforts seem sincere?

While all of these questions will help you determine how to direct your message, it still doesn’t show you how to actually implement these best practices. Take a look at five tips to help you simply boost your association’s online fundraising efforts.

1. Use visual proof to build credibility

Much like advertising, it can be hard to find a fundraising voice for your association in the noise of the online world. With so many organizations looking for donations (understandably!), you’ll need to immediately draw in your potential donors with some compelling content. What better way to accomplish this goal than by using some motivating visual proof (photo or video)!

Start by sifting through your association’s saved marketing collateral from previous fundraising efforts as well as visuals that highlight those that will be impacted directly from your fundraisers proceeds. We encourage this technique considering that most of your audience will probably view any fundraising effort as another way to give an organization MORE of their money. However, providing demonstrative visuals will help gain you the trust (and time) your association needs to drive your fundraiser’s point home.

2. Provide a recurring monthly donation option

So let’s say that you have convinced your audience to dedicate funds to your association’s cause and become full-fledged donors. Congrats – that’s winning most of your battle! However, when it comes to your donors actually completing the transaction, you have another opportunity  to strike for more funds.

Most associations only provide an option to donate once, but why not suggest making your donation a monthly occurrence? Chances are that while most people will just go with the one-time donation (due to available funds as well as security concerns), getting even a handful of folks to sign-up for more is just putting extra funds toward your fundraiser!

Click through to learn about MemberClicks’ membership management software tools, MC Trade and MC Professional.

3. Encourage donors with a token of gratitude

Let’s face it: most people love trading or exchanging! It almost offers the same feeling that you get when you’re receiving a mystery gift. While most of your donors will probably just enjoy the gift of giving to a good cause, it’s always nice to show some form of appreciation. Depending on your available man power and additional funds, be thoughtful about what gift would be feasible as well as desired by your audience.

Some ideas include:

  • Drink ticket to your next association event
  • Special content guide related to your industry
  • Magnet bumper sticker with some fun industry jargon (and your logo!)
  • Mini-calendar (including your association’s events)

4. Using emailed receipts to promote other CTAs

Most of your donors are going to want copies of their receipts when it comes to any fundraiser transaction. So, if you’re going to be emailing them anyway, you might as well take full advantage of pitching other ways for them to be more involved! See this as an opportunity to recommend subscribing to additional association news, provide a link to a landing page for another fundraiser, or just post your association’s upcoming calendar. 

Remember that many of your donors may not be members already, so you are still trying to “woo” many of them to jump on the bandwagon and join your association. Make sure that you’re thoughtful about your marketing in these emails so that your messaging can apply across membership status. However, if you’re looking to be more specific, don’t forget that you can segment your emails so that the content changes depending on their membership status!

5. Be transparent with how donations are spent

Your donors are going to want to know that your association is putting their money to good use. You can easily ease their mind by providing annual reports of where the money is coming from and how it’s being spent. These logs will allow you to show your donors and potential donors your income vs expenditure, raising the chances they will likely donate to more of your fundraisers in the future.

A couple key categories to cover include:

  • Donation income totals by location, source, and average gift size
  • Donation expenditure totals by fundraising, relief, advocacy, and administrative cost

For any membership group, raising non-dues revenue is an essential part of overall success. But people are cautious about spending extra money, particularly in an uncertain economy, and your association might be feeling some of that pain. If your organization is struggling to raise extra funds, don’t worry – we can help. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Non-Dues Revenue!

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.