• Hasti Davda

Digital-First Fundraising Strategies



We are going through an unrivalled and uncertain times globally. There is a health crisis, economic breakdown, leadership turmoil, matters of social justice and environmental challenges to tackle all at once. During these times, leveraging the benefits of technology and making the most out of it is the only way forward.


When it comes to Nonprofits, the top two changes charities made to combat the pandemic were to go digital and invest more in technology. During the pandemic, 27 percent of organisations with high digital maturity exceeded their fundraising targets, compared to just 7% of organisations with low digital maturity. Here are the top 5 digital- first strategies to maximize fundraising in 2021.


1. Optimize the donation experience

According to the Mystery Donor Report, Quantifiable effect was the most widely used technique on donation websites, with 16 percent using it as a motivation to donate. Salesforce comes with an in-built system to make the donation process smooth and efficient. It has all the necessary features like a space for compelling messages, monthly ask, custom ask amounts and a place to designate funds and cover fees.


Donation message is one of the most critical parts of the donation process. With a well crafted and compelling message, a value is added and it is more likely to reach the donors. Asking for a hefty donation all at once can be difficult for so many people so it is important to do a monthly ask of no minimum amount.


2. Personalize donor communications


We are living in the times of high-end technology, digitalization which gives us the power to personalize and customize everything possible around us. According to a Nonprofits trend report 2020, just about a third of nonprofits monitor metrics like email deliverability, social impact, and marketing conversion which is seemingly a very low rate.


Some of the nonprofit organizations have used the Salesforce products like nonprofit cloud, NPSP, marketing cloud and social cloud and built strategies that have proved to work during the pandemic.

  • Focusing on the need based journey.

  • Optimize for data, test and automate

  • Create disasters and response campaigns

  • Integrate social and ads.

These strategies have resulted in an increased 289% ROI on ad spend, 588% of quarterly goals, 84% new donors and 208% revenue goal.


3. Find and convert known supports

According to a fundraising productivity report, Just 26% of fundraising professionals say their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system has good data. It is a comparatively easier process to convert known supports for donations rather than fetching new ones. There is a homeless shelter in Atlanta serving 1000+ people who have used a few strategies and processes to have a significant amount of impact in the donation process with Salesforce.

  • Defining personas and segments

  • Map out journeys

  • Capture supported data

  • Create engagement plans for segments

  • Design campaigns and communications

  • Follow up

After implementing these strategies, they have seen 50% growth with digital donors, 37% revenue growth and saved about $10k annually in data cleanup simply by incorporating NPSP, Pardot and Appexchange.


4. Reimagine events into experiences


During the COVID-19 outbreak, it was impossible to conduct live events with a lot of population. Hence these events had to be shifted virtually to recreate a similar effect. 68 percent of nonprofits said they had to accelerate their move to digital events or programmes. With the digital events, they were able to raise $115M for Rise Up New York, grow donor base by 300%, raise $500k for Boston public school students, 95% new donors were generated for Farm Aid organization and so on and so forth making the virtual event a great success.


5. Empower productive fundraising anywhere

When the 3rd edition of the Nonprofit trends report was to analyze, it said Sixty-eight percent of nonprofits said they have increased their technology investment to allow workers to work from home. When buildOn an organization working exclusively and dedicatedly to eradicate poverty and illiteracy used Salesforce’s services like NPSP, pardot, Appexchange, Salesforce anywhere, salesforce index and Analytics combined with strategies like:

  • Consolidate data sources and views

  • Trigger prospect research on wealth data

  • Institutionalize engagement process

  • Automatically capture communications

  • Notify of new donors and donations

This impacted 130% year on year increment in giving, 23% increase in funds raised and 100,000 masks distributed globally.


Fundraising strategies also entails giving enough space and making room to be flexible enough which is termed as Fundraising Agility. Agility refers to a company's ability to predict, sense, and react to internal and external changes in their environment in ways that have a greater effect. True agility strikes a balance between pace and stability.


Gradually every organization will need to take a digital approach to thrive and make a difference in the world. These strategies are sure to work if implemented properly. In case you want to boost your organization’s digital strategy Apphienz’s Salesforce experts are at your fingertips whenever you need us. We write weekly blogs on various latest and relevant topics for our readers to gain more insights on latest Salesforce products.