How to ask for donations: 6 tips for success
June 3, 2021
June 3, 2021
So you’re ready to start fundraising for your organization, but you’re not sure where to start or how to ask for donations?
Getting the ball rolling for your fundraising program can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Understanding how you can ask your supporters for donations and the methods they can use to do so is your first step to reaching your goals.
We’ll walk you through the ways that individuals donate, and then how you can reach them with that request!
You know your audience best, so you can choose which of these options will best suit your donor’s needs and set your organization up for success.
Find out how your supporters prefer to donate
So first, you should look at the different ways your supporters prefer to donate:
- Online: The most popular place to ask for donations from individuals is through different online channels.
- Mobile device: A mobile donation is any gift that is made with a smartphone, like through text to give or QR codes.
- Phone calls: Supporters often like the personal touch of an actual conversation through a phone call asking them to donate.
- Direct mail: Sending fundraising letters is a proven tactic for asking for donations from individuals.
Once you figure out the ways you think your donors will best respond to your fundraising campaign, you can incorporate those into your fundraising strategy!
Using a few or even all four methods is great, but it can be more effective to focus on building the best content and strategy around a single method.
Choose an online fundraising platform
You’ve likely already set up your bank account, phone number, and have a mailing address for physical checks, but an important step in receiving donations is choosing an online fundraising platform where you can receive donations online.
Fundraising online is the easiest, most cost-effective, and most efficient way to raise money! A donation platform like Anedot that allows you to create customizable landing pages is the best way to receive those donations.
Anedot does even more than your average platform by equipping you with tools to raise more money, like text to give and donor recovery messages, at no additional cost. You can even give your donor the choice to cover our small processing fee.
But no matter who you choose for your fundraising platform, finding a platform that allows you to create donation pages is key. From there, you can get to work!
Now that you have your tools set up to receive donations, here is the important part: asking for donations. There are many ways to ask your supporters for gifts without sounding too pushy.
These are the easiest and most effective ways to each them with that request.
1. Add a donate button to your website
You’ll need to promote your donation form, and there's no better place to do it than on your website.
Put a large “Donate Now” button on your website to ask individuals who come to your site to give.
2. Ask for donations through email
Email is an inexpensive way to reach a large number of people quickly and frequently.
Your organization should build an email list and send out monthly or even weekly emails keeping your supporters up to date. Every email doesn’t have to be an ask, but you should always include the donation page link in your newsletters or other communications.
If you are sending an email asking for donations, make sure you explain the impact donations are making from within your organization, and what their donation would do for you.
Emails are only worth sending if you write a great message that makes people want to give!
3. Use social media as a fundraising tool
Asking for donations on social media is a more casual way of communicating with your audience that you can use on a regular basis.
The goal here will be small-dollar donations because using social media as a fundraising tool is almost more about spreading the word about your cause.
But there is definitely a benefit in asking for contributions on your platforms. People can share your posts and reach new potential supporters that may not have heard of your cause.
In each post, provide a link to your donation form and explain why you’re asking for contributions. Try to post pictures and videos to make your post even more catchy!
4. Ask for donations over the phone
Using phone calls to ask for donations is a tried and true fundraising tactic.
You never really need a specific reason to call up a few of your supporters to ask for a donation.
A phone conversation is a good opportunity for you to talk up your organization and the specific campaign you’re running and then explain to a donor exactly how their donation can help make an impact.
You can always ask your volunteers who are already passionate about your mission to help with this task!
5. Use text to give to receive donations
Have your organization capitalize on the fact that everyone uses their phone and is very likely to read a text message.
Texting your donors and asking them to make a contribution will boost your contribution levels because it is quick and convenient for your supporters to give.
There are many platforms and different ways to incorporate this into your fundraising plan, but this is one you should definitely look into!
6. Reach out to donors with direct mail
Appeal letters are a great way to reach out to major gift donors, loyal supporters, and businesses.
Direct mail appeals lend a certain formality to a donation ask, a factor that is important when making an ask for a sizable donation from an individual or a business.
Fundraising letters are a good way to keep the recipients updated on your organization and the projects you need help funding.
Make sure you provide detailed instructions on how the recipient can take the next step to support your cause. You could include the URL of your online donation page, a self-addressed reply envelope so that donors can make their gift, or add a keyword and a phone number that allows them to use text to give to make the donation.
No matter if you choose to use some or all of these methods, you can add them to your fundraising plan and start raising money for your cause!