5 Ideas for Maximizing Your Online Fundraising Revenue

With the power of the internet at our fingertips, your nonprofit’s potential to raise funds and engage supporters has never been greater. However, with this increased opportunity comes the need for innovative strategies that inspire donors to give generously.

In this guide, we’ll explore five ideas for leveraging online fundraising and maximizing your revenue. From optimizing your online donation process to embracing social media, these strategies will supercharge your fundraising campaigns.

1. Optimize Your Donation Page

To generate revenue online, you need a donation page. Located on your nonprofit’s website, this page provides essential information about your campaign and projects and makes it easy for donors to give.

Take these steps to ensure your donation page is optimized: 

  • Add a clear and compelling value proposition. Your donation page should clearly communicate the value and impact of a donor’s contribution. This can be achieved by highlighting your organization’s mission and goals, showcasing success stories, and explaining how donations will be used to make a difference.
  • Include branding. According to NXUnite’s guide to graphic design, consistent branding is crucial for building trust and reinforcing your organization’s identity. Ensure that your donation page has the same logo, color scheme, and typography as the rest of your website.
  • Provide multiple donation options. Offer a variety of donation options, such as one-time gifts, recurring donations, or legacy giving, to cater to different preferences. Additionally, accept different payment methods, such as credit card or ACH, to make donating even more convenient for supporters.

Focus on creating a streamlined and intuitive gift experience for donors. Make donation forms as concise as possible and use clear headings, bullet points, and instructions to guide supportersthrough the process.

2. Leverage Social Media 

The viral nature of social media can help your campaigns gain momentum and garner support from a wide audience. However, with so many organizations vying for followers, likes, comments, and shares, it’s not enough to simply create an account on your preferred platform.

To stand out, you will need to:

  • Create compelling visual content. Share images or videos of the people or communities your organization has helped, success stories, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your work. Compelling visuals are more likely to grab your followers’ attention, which can broaden your reach and increase your fundraising potential.
  • Run fundraising campaigns and challenges. Use features like Facebook Fundraisers or Instagram Donation Stickers to allow users to donate to your cause directly through their preferred platforms. You can also create social media challenges or contests related to your cause, asking participants to donate and nominate others to do the same.

Remember to track and measure the success of your social media posts, not only in terms of funds raised but also in terms of engagement, reach, and supporter acquisition. Adjust your strategies based on what works best for your nonprofit and your audience to continually improve your online fundraising efforts.

3. Host Virtual Events

Virtual events are often more cost-effective than traditional in-person events, as they require fewer resources for venue rental, catering, and travel. Plus, they break down geographical barriers to your fundraising campaigns, allowing people from around the world to participate and lend their support. 

Whether you choose to host a virtual gala, webinar, or online auction, keep these tips in mind to ensure the event is a success: 

  • Choose the right virtual platform. Ensure that the platform you choose aligns with your event goals and audience engagement needs. For instance, when hosting a virtual auction, it would be beneficial to invest in a mobile bidding platform that includes features like countdown timers, leaderboards, and real-time updates on bidding activity. 
  • Engage your audience. Boost engagement and encourage active participation through live polling, Q&A sessions, and chat rooms. This will help create a memorable experience that inspires action.
  • Test and rehearse. Technical glitches can disrupt your virtual event, so it’s important to test your equipment, internet connection, and any third-party tools well in advance. Run through the entire event with your team to iron out any issues and ensure smooth transitions between segments. 

After the event, send personalized thank-you messages to participants and include a short survey to gather feedback about their experience. Use these responses to guide future event-related decisions.

4. Send Personalized Email Campaigns

Through strategically crafted email campaigns, you can inform your audience about your mission, upcoming events, and urgent fundraising needs. Use your CRM to get to know donors on a deeper level and make targeted asks by: 

  • Segmenting your audience. Rather than sending one generic email to your entire list, segment your audience into smaller, more targeted groups based on their demographics, interests, and past interactions with your organization and tailor your messages accordingly. 
  • Using the donor’s preferred name. While it may seem trivial, addressing donors by name can make them feel valued and recognized. To streamline the process, consider investing in an email marketing service that allows you to automatically add names to your message’s greeting. 
  • Referencing past interactions or donations. If the recipient has previously attended an event, donated, or volunteered at your organization, reference these interactions in your email to show that you remember and appreciate their history with your organization. For example, you might say, “Thank you for your generous support during our last silent auction.” 

Track metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribe rates to assess the effectiveness of your email campaigns and make necessary improvements. For instance, if your open rates are low, consider personalizing your subject lines so that they stand out in a donor’s inbox.

5. Utilize Matching Gift Programs

Matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy in which for-profit businesses agree to financially match donations made by their employees, often at a 1:1 ratio. This means that if an employee donates $100 to your nonprofit, the company will contribute an equal amount, essentially doubling their donation.

To incorporate matching gifts into your online fundraising strategy, you should: 

  • Educate your supporters. Include information about matching gifts in your newsletters, on your website, and in your social media posts to ensure donors are aware of matching gift programs and understand how their donations can have double the impact. 
  • Include matching gift information in donation receipts. When donors make a contribution, include a reminder about matching gifts in the donation receipt. This can prompt donors to take action and submit matching gift requests to their employers.
  • Use dedicated matching gift software. To maximize your matching gift revenue, Double the Donation recommends investing in software that streamlines the process. Look for tools that can automatically identify matching gift opportunities, remind donors to submit requests, and provide resources for donors to check their eligibility. 

In addition to promoting matching gifts, explore other corporate giving opportunities, such as cause marketing, volunteer grants, or sponsorships, to maximize your revenue. 

Now it’s time to put these ideas into motion. Remember, fundraising isn’t just about revenue. It’s about building relationships with donors and working together to create a meaningful impact on your cause. With dedication and a personalized approach, you will succeed in your online fundraising endeavors. 


Al McDonald is the Chief Product Officer for TravelPledge and author of the e-book “The Definitive Guide to Silent Auction Fundraisers.” Al has helped thousands of nonprofits exceed their auction goals through auction item procurement and advice. Al understands that successful auctions are hard work and is committed to delivering practical advice that will move the needle for you today.

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