How to Get Nonprofit Donations Fast

Will Yang • Dec 12, 2022
Cartoon image of a man holding up a box that contains coins.

Whether you’re a fledgling nonprofit just spreading its wings or a tried and true organization that’s wanting to grow its footprint, there’s one thing that’s always necessary: getting nonprofit donations. 

Nonprofit donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. In this post, we will show you how to get nonprofit donations fast using 5 different strategies. 

Let’s dive in. 

1. Create a Donation Page

A photo of a sample donation page that features 4 small children that will benefit from the donations. The page includes donation options and amount suggestions.

If you don’t yet have a donation page on your nonprofit’s website it’s time to get busy. 

Think of a donation page as the virtual front door to your nonprofit. It’s the place where you tell the “why” of your story and encourages people to get involved by opening their hearts and their wallets. 

Donation pages need to make it as easy as possible for donors to give. They should also be visually appealing.  

If you need help creating a donation page from scratch, consider browsing Keela’s library of donation page forms and picking one that resonates. These forms can be easily customized to meet your nonprofit’s specific needs. 

Here are some more tips to keep in mind when developing the best possible donation page:

  • Be bold with your language. Say “Donate” or “Give.” Don’t mince words or make it hard for a potential donor to find your donation page. Too many nonprofits hide their donation page as if they’re embarrassed to be asking for money. Don’t be one of them.
  • Put the link to your donation page in the navigation menu on your home page. Make it easy for your potential donors to learn how to make a gift. 
  • Use compelling images that tell a story. The right pictures can help engage donors and better communicate your mission. 
  • Be sure your new donation page is optimized for mobile. More and more donors are using their phones or tablets to make gifts. 
  • Be sure your payment processor is PCI compliant. KeelaPay features Level 1 PCI-DSS compliance. 
  • Make sure you have the best possible CRM to keep track of your donors and their gifts. 
  • Thank your donors quickly. 

Ready to Take Your Online Fundraising to the Next Level?

Keela’s online donation pages use smart technology to help nonprofits raise 4x more. Check out our donation page comparison article to choose the best online giving options for your nonprofit.

2. Identify and Reach Out to Potential Donors Directly

Your donor database very likely contains a mix of actual active donors, possibly lapsed donors, and genuine prospects—individuals who might have an interest in your nonprofit’s cause. 

It’s important to keep your donor database organized so that you can reach out to different donors with the right kind of messaging—some donors will have the capacity to give more and some less. And some donors might have a history of consistently giving to your organization while some might have only engaged with your organization once. 

To help identify your best individual donors, utilize Keela’s integration with DonorSearch to get crucial insights about your potential major, middle, and everyday donors. 

By segmenting your potential donors by average gift size to other charities, estimated capacity to give, and interest in your cause, you’ll be able to quickly create a strategy to reach out to the cream of the crop personally and to cultivate others via customized email and direct mail campaigns. Keela’s Smart Ask feature can even help you customize ask amounts per each donor’s capacity to give.

You can also consider creating a monthly giving society. By having a smaller gift donated each month, even less wealthy donors can make a cumulative impact by the end of the year. And, it creates a reliable and consistent revenue stream for your organization.

3. Launch a Crowdfunding Campaign

If you’ve got an immediate need for funding, whether it’s caused by a natural disaster, an unexpected financial shortfall, or a drop in donations, consider launching a crowdfunding campaign. 

Crowdfunding can be done as a totally online event, or as a live nonprofit virtual event with donors making their pledges in real-time. 

When it comes to crowdfunding, Keela’s got you covered. Its peer-to-peer crowdfunding platform allows your donors and volunteers to contact their friends and family on your behalf, helping you raise more money fast.

A word of caution if you live in the United States: Before engaging in crowdfunding, make sure your organization is registered with every state your constituents live in. Most states (40 currently) require registration prior to any solicitation of nonprofit donations, including crowdfunding. The National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) conveniently offers a list of contacts for each state.

Failure to register can result in fines being levied against a nonprofit, investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, and negative publicity.

4. Host a Fundraising Event

The best thing about events is that they can be fun, generate goodwill, and engage your audience. We like to call fundraising events “friend-raising” but you may also find yourself acquiring new donors.

Host an online auction, a live crowdfunding event, a virtual gala, or whatever creative idea you come up with. 

Events do take time to execute properly, and you want to be sure that your proposed event will be a money-maker. Take into consideration staff and volunteer time, as well as overall expenses such as marketing, venue rental, food and beverage, entertainment, etc. 

Here’s some good news: Keela’s integration with Eventbrite makes hosting fundraising events easy. 

You’ll be able to automatically add all event attendees to Keela, keep your eye on the number of tickets sold, see who has RSVPd and collect potentially missing information for your database such as birthdays, addresses, and more.

Free Grant Application Management Template

Use this grant application management template to track what grant applications are in process, approved, or rejected as well as break down your to-do list for each grant.

5. Apply for Your First Grant

Applying for grants is one of the best ways to secure funding for your nonprofit. You can find grant opportunities from private foundations, corporate foundations, family foundations, and even all levels of government. If you haven’t ever applied for a grant, there’s no time like right now. 

So where can you start looking for grants? Instrumentl. 

Instrumentl is a grant prospecting tool that can help you find the very best funding opportunities that align with your nonprofit’s mission and vision. Its smart matching algorithm works 24/7 to find new funding opportunities that match your nonprofit’s needs and notifies you if a deadline or area of focus changes. 

And if you’re a little nervous about how to write a grant proposal, no worries. Instrumentl’s resource library has got you covered. Be sure to also check out Keela’s free resources, too. 

Here are some grant writing best practices to keep in mind before you start writing your application: 

  • Be sure to validate whether or not the potential funder is a good fit for your organization. Do you have mutual interests in the same causes? Does your organization meet the funder’s criteria for applying? (Instrumentl can help you drill down into this specific information thanks to its detailed foundation profiles.)
  • Get your ducks in a row. If in the USA, gather your 501(c)(3) letter from the IRS, an up-to-date board list, an organizational budget, as well as a project budget if the proposal is for a particular project. Depending on the funder’s guidelines, you may need other documentation, as well.
  • Consider contacting the funder, whether it’s the executive director, a program officer, or a grant manager. A quick phone discussion can provide insights and create a friendly connection to help pave the way to success.

To wrap up, we hope our tips about how to get nonprofit donations fast help your nonprofit generate more donations, whether large or small.

See How Nonprofits Use Keela to Create Donation Pages

Get a glimpse of how Keela helps nonprofits to create custom, unlimited, and high-converting donation pages using Keela’s form builder.

A photo of a man wearing glasses, Will Yang. Will is the author of this article

About the author:

Will Yang
Head of Growth, Instrumentl

Will Yang leads growth at Instrumentl, the institutional fundraising platform. Instrumentl brings grant prospecting, tracking, and management to one place. Nonprofits that use Instrumentl apply for 1.5X more grants within a year of adopting it and are able to find more good-fit grants for their organizations. Create a 14-day free account to try it out for yourself.