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7 ''Quick and easy'' ways to raise more money for your non-profit

OK, I admit it – the title of this post is a little misleading. Nothing is really, truly easy when it comes to fundraising. But – and anyone who has been fundraising for more than a few years can back me up on this – some things are easier than others. Joe Garecht shares seven techniques to help you increase your income.

Lots of nonprofits need to raise more money in a hurry, for one reason or another. And many of those organisations start the process of raising more with extremely complex, time-consuming plans. They write huge grant proposals, cold call large donors, or try to hold a new gala event.

These are hard ways to raise more money. There are lots of ways to raise money quickly, and without nearly as much hassle as a complex grant proposal or a new government contract. So, without further ado, we present quicker and easier ways to raise more money in a hurry: 

1. Upgrade Current Donors
There are no better prospects for larger donations than your current donors – and asking them to upgrade their gifts by giving more is the very definition of “picking the low-hanging fruit”. As a general rule of thumb, if you want to raise 10% more at your nonprofit this year than last year, then your best bet is to ask each of your current donors to give 10% more this year. Getting donors to upgrade is far easier than finding a new donor to start giving for the first time. The best way to get donors to upgrade is to ask them directly. People don’t give (or upgrade) unless they are asked.

2. Reactivate Lapsed Donors
People who used to give to your nonprofit, but no longer do are another major type of low-hanging fruit for your organisation. Think about it – these are people who used to give to your nonprofit, then for one reason or another stopped giving. There’s a good chance that if you reengage them the right way, they will consider giving again. As with all fundraising, the best way to approach lapsed donors is with a personal visit. If that’s not possible, then try using a phone call. For lower-level donors, you may also find success with snail mail or e-mail. Lapsed donors won’t start giving again unless they’re asked.
3. Focus on Sponsors for all Regular Events
If you need to raise more money in a hurry, setting up a new event is probably not worth the time and hassle. However, if your nonprofit has regularly scheduled events, a great way to raise more money for your organisation is to raise more money through the events you’re going to have anyway. And the best way to accomplish this is to focus on bringing in new sponsors and upgrading past event attendees to become sponsors. The profit on most nonprofit events comes disproportionately from sponsors. Sponsors provide more “bang for your buck”, and more possibilities for your limited fundraising time. If you want to rapidly raise more money – start finding new sponsors (and upgrading current ones) as soon as possible!
4. Ask for Referrals
The single best place to find new donor prospects is inside the contact lists of your current donors, board members, volunteers and staff members. When was the last time you talked with your current donors to ask them to introduce you to their friends, clients, suppliers, and colleagues? What I mean is . . . how many of your board members and donors have you sat with, one-onone, as part of a cultivation meeting, and directly asked, “Can you introduce me to two or three of your colleagues who might also be interested in learning more about our work?”
5. Launch a Crowdfunding Campaign
Has your nonprofit harnessed the power of sites like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, DoJiggy Pledge or to run a crowdfunding campaign for your organisation? Online crowdfunding campaigns are a great way to raise quick funds for your nonprofit. Every nonprofit has the power to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, and it takes less effort than you might think.

6. Send out a Fundraising Letter with a Matching Donation Challenge
Want to know how to send out a fundraising letter to your current donors and get them to give more than they ever have before, without having to make it sound like the organisation is having a funding “emergency”? Try a matching donation challenge! Ask one of your larger donors to pledge a large amount as part of a Rand-for-Rand matching challenge for your next fundraising letter. Then, send out a letter to your entire housefile telling donors that every gift they make will be matched by a generous donor, but only if the donation is received by a certain deadline. 

7. Turn Corporate Event Sponsors and in-kind Donors Into Annual Donors
Does your nonprofit have a long list of corporate event sponsors and/or businesses that make in-kind donations (or silent auction donations) to your organisation? If so, have you tried turning those donors into annual donors who give cash to your annual fund?

Corporate and in-kind donors give for the marketing benefits you offer them, but they also likely have a strong affinity for your cause and your organisation. Leverage your relationship with them by going out and sitting down with them to ask them to consider making a monetary donation to your organisation, in addition to their event sponsorship and/or in-kind donations. Remember, like all donors, they won’t say “yes” until you ask! 


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