In this guide, we’ll walk through all the details of how to start a fundraiser for your nonprofit.

How to Start a Fundraiser: The Nonprofit’s Ultimate Guide

Fundraising comprises a large portion of your nonprofit’s funding. Collecting donations empowers your organization to expand its reach and accomplish its mission.

However, it can be intimidating to start a fundraiser from scratch, especially for newer organizations and less experienced fundraising coordinators. Fundraisers require a certain level of organization, a clear strategy, and a lot of hard work to be successful. From creating your initial goals to developing your marketing materials, there are so many considerations that go into starting a fundraiser.

To help you stay on track, we’ll teach you how to start a fundraiser by walking you through the fundraising process step by step. Along the way, we’ll offer advice on how to pull off the fundraiser of your dreams.

Take a look at the steps we’ll discuss to make sure your fundraising plan is complete:

  1. Determine Your Goals For Your Nonprofit Fundraiser
  2. Select a Fundraising Campaign Type
  3. Develop a Fundraising Plan
  4. Choose the Appropriate Software Before Starting a Fundraiser
  5. Create Marketing Materials To Promote Your Fundraiser
  6. Promote Your Nonprofit’s Fundraiser
  7. Thank Donors For Contributing To Your Fundraiser
  8. Assess the Results of Your Nonprofit’s Fundraiser

It’s our goal at NXUnite to equip nonprofits with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful. Fundraising is such a huge element of nonprofit operations, so it’s important to know how to start a fundraiser properly. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to help your nonprofit reach its fundraising goals.

With that, let’s jump right into it and learn how to start a fundraiser!

Our panels will help you develop a well-rounded fundraising plan.

1. Determine Your Goals For Your Nonprofit Fundraiser

To start a fundraiser off on the right foot, it’s important to set a focus for your campaign by creating clear goals. That way, you’ll build a strong foundation for the rest of the planning process.

The SMART Goal Method

Instead of creating generic objectives, there are some guidelines your organization should follow to make sure your goals are meaningful. The SMART goal model ensures that your goals are action-oriented and targeted to exactly what you want to achieve. Check out the elements of SMART goals:

  1. Specific. Make sure your goals have a clear purpose. It’s not enough to say you want to raise money for your cause. Indicate exactly what the money will go towards.
  2. Measurable. In this case, measurable typically refers to a clear monetary value you’d like to achieve. For example, your goal could be to raise $10,000 during the fundraiser. However, it could also be a certain amount of new donors you want to recruit or the number of returning donors you’d like to see.
  3. Achievable. While it’s good to be optimistic, you’ll also want to be realistic about what your organization can achieve. Don’t set your fundraising amount too high or give your nonprofit too short of a time to reach its goals.
  4. Relevant. Keep your organization’s current overall goals in mind when determining your fundraising goals. That way, your goals will align and make sense for your nonprofit.
  5. Time-bound. Set a deadline for your goals to motivate your organization to achieve them. Otherwise, you might put them off or not achieve them as quickly as you could.
The first step in how to start a fundraiser is to come up with SMART goals.

To sum up SMART goals, we’ll give you an example to refer to. If you coordinate school fundraisers, your goal might be to raise $100,000 over the course of the school year to help build a new playground. This goal is specific because it indicates exactly what the money will go towards. It’s measurable because you’ve assigned a monetary value to your goal.

Your team must determine whether your goals are achievable by evaluating your resources, but we know this one is relevant because it will add value to the school. Lastly, this goal is time-bound because it must be accomplished by the end of the school year.

Other Considerations For Your Fundraiser’s Goals

Now that you know how to create SMART goals, there are two other considerations you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Your definition of success. This consideration ties into the achievable aspect of SMART goals. Do you want to raise a certain amount of money? Maybe you want to secure new donors or retain a certain amount of donors from your last fundraiser. Whatever the metrics you’re using to determine your fundraiser’s success, they will help you determine how much you need to raise and how much you could raise realistically based on your organization’s size and scope.
  • The intended impact of your goals. You might know what the money you raise will physically go towards, but why is that project or initiative important? Returning to our school example, maybe your school wants to build a new playground because it will teach kids the importance of being active. Illustrating this intended impact of the playground when you’re marketing your fundraiser will create a more compelling call to action for potential donors.

Putting thought behind your goals will set your campaign up for success before it even starts by giving participants something to work toward. Once your fundraising goals are solidified, it’s time to choose what your campaign will look like.

2. Select a Fundraising Campaign Type

Once your fundraising goals are solidified, it’s time to choose what your campaign will look like. There are a wide variety of available options for nonprofit fundraisers. Depending on your goals, budget, and resources, you can select the type of campaign that best suits your organization’s audience and needs.

To make it easier to plan your campaign, we’ve divided some of the top nonprofit fundraising ideas into the general categories of online and offline initiatives. Of course, some of these ideas are flexible and can be hosted in either sphere. Additionally, you might choose to combine multiple campaigns to expand your fundraising capabilities—it all depends on what you hope to accomplish!

To help you learn how to start a fundraiser, this graphic lists four types each of online and offline campaigns, which are detailed below.

Online Fundraising Campaigns

A major advantage of online fundraising is that it breaks down geographical barriers, making it possible to connect with more supporters no matter where they live. These campaigns are also convenient for your supporters since they can participate from anywhere. 

Here are a few online fundraising campaign types to get you started:

  • Crowdfunding. Leverage the power of social media and gain support from a wide range of people using a crowdfunding campaign. You can request small donations that add up to your goal and ask that followers share your campaign page with their friends and family to engage even more supporters.
  • Text-to-give. Make donating online even easier by meeting supporters where they probably are—on their phones. When a donor texts a keyword to your organization’s five- or six-digit shortcode, they’ll receive a link to your online donation page, where they can quickly fill out the form and make their contribution on the go. To make the most of your text-to-give campaign, ensure your donation page is optimized for mobile use.
  • Matching gifts. Matching gifts are a popular form of corporate philanthropy that allow you to double many of the donations you already receive. When a supporter who works for a company with a matching gift program contributes and submits a match request, their employer will donate the same amount. Embed your matching gift tool directly into your online donation page to prompt donors to check their eligibility and submit match requests.
  • Online shopping. Online shopping fundraisers allow supporters to contribute to your nonprofit by doing something they were probably going to do anyway: purchase everyday items from their favorite e-commerce sites. You likely heard of (or even participated in) AmazonSmile before its 2023 discontinuation, but there are alternative platforms your organization can still leverage to run a similar type of campaign.

The one downside of online fundraising is that it’s often more difficult to form lasting connections with campaign participants. That’s why it’s especially important to follow up with supporters and say thank you after they contribute online.

Offline Fundraising Campaigns

Many people prefer the personal touch of offline interactions, which is where more traditional fundraising methods excel. Plus, offline campaigns can often be combined with online ones or converted to a hybrid format if some supporters would still like to participate online.

Some popular offline fundraising campaigns include:

  • Direct mail. Requesting donations through mail often feels like a more personal outreach method than a digital ask on the supporter’s end. Segment your donors based on how frequently they donate and how much they have donated in the past, then tailor your messages to each segment. Include a prepaid return envelope with each letter, and consider adding a QR code to your online donation page to offer another giving option.
  • Fundraising events. There are many different ways to gather your community in support of your cause, so choose a fundraising event that resonates with your supporters. Popular examples include galas, auctions, 5K races, and a-thon style events like walk-a-thons or bike-a-thons.
  • Major gift solicitation. It’s estimated that 80% of nonprofit donations come from the top 20% of donors, meaning major gifts are essential to your nonprofit’s ability to further its mission. While you’ll use prospect research tools to identify potential major donors online, you’ll need to build relationships with each prospect offline so they’ll be receptive to your ask.
  • Volunteer grants. Similar to matching gifts, volunteer grants are a form of corporate philanthropy that involves your nonprofit’s supporters submitting requests to their employers based on their involvement with your organization. The submission again takes place online, but this time the contribution is based on an in-person activity: the number of hours they volunteer.

No matter which combination of online and offline fundraising campaigns you try, take steps to get your supporters excited about their involvement with your organization.

3. Develop a Fundraising Plan

An effective fundraising plan will keep you organized and on track. It will serve as your roadmap and ensure you have everything you need to make your campaign successful.

To make sure your fundraising plan is comprehensive, here are the elements yours should include:

  1. Goals. Start off your fundraising plan by adding the SMART goals you developed earlier. These goals will guide the rest of your fundraising plan.
  2. Case for support. You’ll want to craft a compelling reason for why donors should support your cause. It’s best to make this specific to the initiative or project you’re raising money for.
  3. Campaign type. Once you figure out which fundraising campaign you’re moving forward with, indicate that in your fundraising plan. Again, you can use any combination of the ones we’ve listed previously or others you come up with.
  4. Marketing channelsChoose which marketing channels are best for your campaign. Examples of marketing channels include social media, email, and your organization’s website.
  5. Timeline. Before starting a fundraiser, set a definitive timeline for your campaign. It might help to develop a campaign calendar to plan out the work that must get done each week.
  6. Budget. Figure out how much you need to spend to make your fundraiser a reality. Think about the costs of fundraising events and initiatives ahead of time so you only spend what you need to.
  7. Corporate sponsors. There are many philanthropic companies willing to assist nonprofits by sponsoring their events, offering matching gifts, and providing in-kind services. Identify how you’ll narrow down potential sponsors for your fundraiser and craft compelling proposals for support.
  8. Team members. Determine which members of your team will be part of this fundraising project and how much external support you’ll need from volunteers. You’ll want to delegate responsibilities to them so everyone knows what to do.
A fundraising plan will keep your fundraiser on track.

Incorporating all of these items into your fundraising plan will set clear intentions for your fundraiser, making it easier to move along with the planning process.

4. Choose the Appropriate Software Before Starting a Fundraiser

Fundraising software is necessary for your fundraiser to run smoothly. From accepting online donations and processing payments to managing donors and volunteers, there are so many aspects of your fundraiser that require software.

Events are one area where software can come in handy. You’ll likely want to take advantage of fundraising software to register and check in event attendees. If your event is virtual, you can provide a link or QR code to participants to make the process easier.

There are also specific platforms for certain types of fundraisers. For example, if you’re hosting a peer-to-peer fundraiser, you’ll want to look into peer-to-peer software, which enables your supporters to securely create individual fundraising pages to share with their networks.

If your organization already uses donor management software, find fundraising software that integrates well with the platform you use. That way, you can automatically import information about your new donors, saving your team time and energy. Later on, you can use that data to reach out to donors and shape future fundraising campaigns.

With fundraising software secured, you’re ready to move on to the next step in how to start a fundraiser.

5. Create Marketing Materials To Promote Your Fundraiser

Nonprofits need to come up with cohesive marketing strategies in order to promote their fundraisers effectively. Think about your campaign as a single story you want to tell. Every promotional material should work together in pursuit of your goals.

It can be difficult to create effective marketing materials on a budget, that’s why it’s essential to use the free or discounted marketing tools to empower your mission. This way, you’ll create stunning designs that are also cost-effective. With this in mind, here are some additional tips that will help you elevate your materials:

  • Focus your marketing on the impact your fundraiser will have. Of course, you’ll want to tell potential donors exactly what their money will go towards, but you’ll also want to highlight the underlying benefits of the project you’re funding. Make it clear why this project or initiative is important and what will happen if you don’t achieve your fundraising goals.
  • Using multiple different marketing channels will allow you to reach a broader audience. While you’ll want to tell the same cohesive story to all of your supporters, remember to adapt your message and content to each channel. For example, your social media campaign might feature short videos explaining the fundraiser while your website might contain an entire page dedicated to the fundraiser.
  • No matter which marketing channels you leverage, having well-designed images can help your marketing materials stand out. People are more drawn to images than words, and eye-catching designs can convey more information than you might think. Plus, images can break up large chunks of text to make it easier to read.
  • Feature your corporate sponsors. Corporate sponsorships can provide immense value to your nonprofit, but remember that they’re mutually beneficial relationships. Therefore, include the companies’ logos and details in your marketing materials to recognize them for their support and pave the way for long-lasting partnerships.

If your team has trouble creating its marketing materials, consider outsourcing the design work to a third-party graphic designer. We highly recommend Kwala, a nonprofit-focused graphic design company. By exclusively working with nonprofits throughout the years, they’ve become well-versed in what it takes to design materials that inspire support.

From social media graphics to fundraising flyers, Kwala can help bring your visions to life and spread awareness for your fundraisers in no time. Take this event invitation they created for the Wildlife Rescue Group for example:

Wildlife Rescue Group’s event invitation is a stellar example of the marketing materials you can create for your nonprofit fundraiser.

Whether you want artistic drawings or more realistic designs with stock photos, they’ll work with you to create the perfect promotional materials for your next fundraiser.

Once your marketing materials are ready to go, it’s time to share them with your supporters!

6. Promote Your Nonprofit’s Fundraiser

Your fundraiser could be for an outstanding cause with an organized fundraising plan behind it, but if no one knows about it, you won’t reach your fundraising goals. Promoting your fundraiser will attract new and previous donors to contribute to your cause.

As we alluded to before, your organization can use many different marketing channels to spread the word about your fundraiser. Use any combination of the ones we’ve listed below:

Try out a combination of these different marketing channels to promote your fundraiser.


You can’t go wrong with email marketing. It allows you to reach new and previous supporters and send a variety of different communications related to your fundraiser. Whether you’re informing subscribers about your fundraiser in your newsletter, inviting supporters to a fundraising event, or thanking donors for their contributions, email is an effective way to communicate about your fundraising efforts.


Your organization’s website is the home base for anything and everything about your nonprofit, so it’s a great place to include details about your fundraiser. Potential supporters will get the opportunity to look through other pages on your site to learn more about your organization before they lend their support.

Peer-to-Peer Outreach

One underutilized marketing tool is your supporters. Your existing donors and volunteers are some of your nonprofit’s biggest ambassadors. A genuine referral from one of them can go a long way in amplifying your fundraiser. Have them post about your campaign online and text their friends, encouraging them to donate to your fundraiser. You can even design event invitations or fundraising eCards they can use to challenge others to give to your campaign.

Learn more about designing donation and cause awareness greeting cards for your cause by exploring eCardWidget’s charity eCards guide.


If your nonprofit has a blog on its website, consider posting an article about the fundraiser. You could introduce or recap a fundraising event or provide an update about how much money you’ve raised so far.

Social Media

Social media is a great place to promote your fundraiser because your supporters can repost your content and share it with their own networks. You can also use social media as a chance to have some fun with your fundraiser’s promotion by playing into current trends and making short videos about the fundraiser with your team.

Press Release

See if any local media outlets will share a press release about your fundraising events. That way, you can reach members of your community who may know nothing about your organization.

Related Organizations

Ask your corporate partners, local businesses, or other related nonprofit organizations to help you spread the word about your fundraiser.

Google Ad Grants

The Google Ad Grants program provides nonprofits with $10,000 per month in Google Ad spend. As long as your organization is eligible, you can apply to the program and leverage Google Ads for free to promote your fundraisers and cause.

For help with applying for the program and managing your account, reach out to a Google Grant agency. A professional can take charge of your campaigns, so you can focus on other aspects of your fundraisers instead of writing ad copy.

Takeaway: The best marketing campaigns use multiple marketing methods. As long as you make the effort to interconnect each channel and communicate a cohesive message, leveraging multiple marketing channels will help you reach a larger audience.

7. Thank Donors For Contributing To Your Fundraiser

It’s always important to thank your donors, especially directly after they’ve made a donation. New donors can become life-long members of your community if you put in the effort to form relationships with them. Additionally, you can keep previous donors coming back by showing them you appreciate them.

The way you create a positive experience for donors is through effective donor stewardship. While 55% of US donors prefer to be thanked for their contributions via email, there are several ways to practice proper donor stewardship and leave a lasting impression:

Continue relationships with donors after your fundraiser with good donor stewardship.
  • Thanking donors by emailing them or calling them directly after they donate
  • Sending donors personal thank you letters with tax receipts
  • Treating donors with respect and care
  • Maintaining frequent communication with donors across marketing channels
  • Inviting donors to stewardship events
  • Sending donors reports that illustrate the impact they’ve made on your organization

Donor stewardship ensures that your organization creates and maintains strong relationships with your supporters. That way, your nonprofit can expand its network and build a community of supporters to work with and rely on when you start future fundraisers, projects, and initiatives.

Don’t overlook other supporters at this stage either! Recognize volunteers for any time and skills they used to make your fundraiser successful too. Sending a personalized eCard or quickly calling them can leave a positive impression. Additionally, take the time to publicly acknowledge your corporate sponsors for their contributions. You can do this with a sincere thank-you post on social media.

8. Assess the Results of Your Nonprofit’s Fundraiser

After your fundraiser, it’s essential to go back and look over your goals to see if you’ve accomplished them. This final step is important because it allows you to take the lessons you’ve learned from this campaign and apply them to your next fundraiser.

A great way to assess the results of your fundraiser is to ask your donors or event attendees for their feedback by sending them a survey. That way, you can get another perspective on what worked and what didn’t from fundraiser participants rather than leadership.

Additionally, there are some questions you’ll want to review with your fundraising team to evaluate your success. These questions may include:

Take the time to review the results of your fundraiser in order to make the next one even more successful.
  • Did you meet your initial goals?
  • Which marketing methods were most successful in achieving your goals?
  • Which marketing methods were unsuccessful?
  • Did you set an appropriate budget?
  • What were some successes that you should replicate when starting your next fundraiser?
  • What were some failures or shortcomings that you should avoid for your next fundraiser?
  • Are there any ways you could have used your resources more efficiently?

Taking the time to reflect upon your fundraiser will make your next one even more successful. Even though your team is likely busy with other projects, putting in a little time now means you’ll save time later in the planning process for future fundraisers.

Conclusion & Additional Resources

Now that you know the steps for how to start a fundraiser, it will be easier to stay organized and get the job done. Each time you host a fundraiser, you’ll get more familiar with the planning process, leading to more successful fundraisers.

In this guide to how to start a fundraiser, we touched upon many different considerations that go into fundraiser planning. We know you might have some further questions about how to host an effective fundraiser, especially if you’re a first-timer.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of resources that go beyond the basics of starting a fundraiser. These articles tackle more specific fundraiser tips and tricks that will help you along your fundraising journey. Check them out below:

Learn more about how to start a fundraiser by attending one of our panels or webinars.
Connect your nonprofit with local businesses.

4 Tips for Connecting Your Nonprofit With Local Businesses

Whether you’re seeking sponsorship, volunteer support, or joint marketing opportunities, establishing partnerships with businesses in your community is a powerful way to enhance your nonprofit’s impact. However, developing these partnerships can be challenging, time-consuming, and confusing without a strategic plan in place. 

In this guide, we’ll explore four tips for connecting your nonprofit with local businesses. From identifying potential partners to creating win-win collaborations, these insights will help you build strong cross-sector relationships that support your mission and drive positive change.

1. Research and Identify Potential Partners

To identify potential partners in the community, a nonprofit can follow these steps:

  • Define your objectives. Nonprofits often seek partnerships when organizing a large-scale fundraising event, launching a community initiative, or implementing a specific program that requires additional financial resources and support.
  • Research local businesses. Conduct thorough research to identify businesses in the community. Utilize online directories, local business associations, chamber of commerce listings, and social media platforms to identify potential partners.
  • Ensure your values align. Evaluate the values, missions, and corporate social responsibility initiatives of the identified businesses. Look for businesses that have a natural connection or alignment with your cause or mission. For example, a dog daycare business would be an obvious match for an animal shelter since they have similar clients and services. 

Reach out to the identified businesses to introduce your nonprofit and express interest in exploring a partnership. This can be done through phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings. 

2. Establish Clear Benefits

As you connect with local businesses, introduce your mission and communicate the benefits of a partnership. These may include: 

  • Community development: Partnering with a nonprofit allows businesses to contribute to community development and address social issues which can have a direct impact on their growth.
  • Elevated brand reputation. Collaborating with a nonprofit allows businesses to align themselves with a mission or social good cause, which can enhance their brand reputation and perception among customers, employees, and influencers in the community. 
  • Increased brand awareness. Add the business’s contact information and logo to marketing materials like fundraising flyers, event invitations, and partnership-related emails to increase their brand visibility. Or, create a personalized video about your sponsor and post it to your social media pages.
  • Employee morale and engagement. Most employees value working for a socially responsible company. Creating matching gift programs, introducing volunteer opportunities, and sponsoring local nonprofits can improve their satisfaction. 
  • Tax benefits. Businesses may be eligible for tax benefits or incentives when they donate or support nonprofit organizations. These financial incentives can provide a tangible benefit to the business, helping to offset costs or improve their bottom line.

Customize these benefits to suit the specific goals, needs, and sectors of the businesses you’re approaching. For example, a pet rescue organization might ask a dog trainer to financially support their upcoming adoption event. In return, the pet rescue will use Gingr’s pet business software to promote the dog trainer’s services, potentially leading to an influx of new customers. 

3. Create Tailored Partnership Opportunities

Develop opportunities that cater to different types and sizes of businesses. Offer a range of options, such as:

  • Sponsorship opportunities: Sponsorships come in the form of financial or in-kind contributions. To incentivize larger gifts, Double the Donation’s guide to corporate sponsorships recommends creating tiered benefit packages that correlate to the level of support given. For instance, when you receive a donation of $10,000 or more, you might mention the business in a speech and display its logo on partnership-related materials. Businesses that give less than this might receive a social media shoutout instead. 
  • Joint initiatives: A joint initiative is a collaboration between a nonprofit and a partner organization, in which both work to create a mutually beneficial event, program, or campaign. It involves pooling resources and networks to achieve a greater impact than either organization could achieve alone. 
  • Employee engagement programs: Employee engagement programs focus on involving employees of a business or organization in volunteer activities, fundraising efforts, or other activities that support your nonprofit’s mission.
  • Research collaborations: Nonprofits and businesses might partner together to research studies or projects related to their missions. For example, an animal welfare organization might partner with a dog boarding business to research the safest, most effective accommodations. 

After presenting a business with a partnership opportunity, gauge their interest and thank them for their consideration, regardless of their decision. That way, they will be left with a positive impression of your organization.

4. Demonstrate Impact

If a business agrees to be your partner, take notes throughout the partnership, making note of successes and areas of improvement. 

Then, in your outreach, explain the impact that the partnership has made on your nonprofit and the community as a whole. Share success stories, testimonials, or data that highlight the tangible outcomes of your programs or initiatives. This builds credibility and instills confidence in other potential business partners, showing them how their involvement will make a difference.

Remember, connecting with local businesses requires building meaningful relationships based on shared values and mutual benefits. By taking a strategic and personalized approach, your nonprofit can form valuable partnerships that amplify your impact and strengthen the communities you serve.

Perfect your nonprofit website’s ‘About’ page with these six tips.

Perfecting Your Nonprofit Website’s ‘About’ Page: 6 Tips

Your nonprofit website’s About page (or menu) gives visitors more information about your mission, how you work toward it, and other crucial details about your nonprofit’s background. That may sound straightforward, but it doesn’t mean this page should be an afterthought in the web design process.

On the contrary, your website’s About page is an opportunity to tell your story in an engaging way, promote accountability and transparency, and ultimately recruit more supporters to your cause. It’s one of the first resources many potential new supporters will review to get a sense of what you’re all about, making it a critical part of the donor journey.

Make your About page work for your nonprofit’s digital marketing efforts by designing it using these tips: 

  1. Offer a clear mission and vision statement.
  2. Describe your strategic plan. 
  3. Introduce your leaders.
  4. Recap your organization’s history.
  5. Provide financial details.
  6. Spotlight recent news updates or research.

As we work through each tip, we’ll also highlight examples of effective nonprofit About pages from Kanopi’s roundup of the best nonprofit websites. Check out that resource for even more examples and consider how you can adapt each best practice to meet your organization’s unique needs. Let’s get started!

1. Offer a clear mission and vision statement.

The first thing you should explain on your About page or within your About menu is why your organization exists. Give visitors a clear understanding of what your organization does and why by highlighting your mission and vision statements. 

Your mission statement should describe your organization’s foundational purpose and how you work toward that goal in one or two sentences. For example, if your organization works to end child hunger in the United States, your mission statement might be something like “We work to end child hunger nationwide by partnering with local communities to develop free food banks for families in need.” 

A vision statement illustrates what the world would be like if your organization was able to achieve its mission. So, using the same example, your vision statement could say “We fight for the day when food insecurity has been eliminated in the United States.” 

Check out Habitat for Humanity’s mission and vision statement page for a clear example of how to make these statements succinct and impactful. The page reads:

  • Our mission: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
  • Our vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. 

If you already have a mission and vision statement for your nonprofit, feature them in a prominent spot on your About page. If you don’t (or if you’re looking to update those statements), this is the perfect opportunity to meet with your team and brainstorm new ideas that better summarize your organization’s work. 

2. Describe your strategic plan. 

After drawing in visitors with your compelling mission and vision statements, they’ll be curious about exactly how your organization brings those ambitions to life. Make sure your About page includes details about your organization’s strategic plan, including your primary projects and programs. 

For example, The Nature Conservancy’s “How We Work” page includes plenty of details about how the organization carries out its conservation mission, including: 

  • Influencing policy
  • Researching sustainable conservation solutions
  • Working with the private sector
  • Partnering with local communities
  • Developing new technologies

Each section also includes a call to action (CTA) button letting visitors learn more about each initiative. 

3. Introduce your leaders.

One of the most essential functions of your nonprofit’s About page is to foster trust between website visitors and your organization. When audience members see who is in charge of your nonprofit and their impressive credentials, you’ll show them that your organization is in good hands. 

Here are some of the individuals you might highlight on your leadership page: 

  • Board of directors
  • Senior managers
  • Regional managers/directors
  • Subject matter experts

It’s also helpful to include a short bio for each individual to give visitors a sense of their background and experience. For instance, the CARE leadership page lets visitors click on each name and review short profiles for each board member or global management team member. 

4. Recap your organization’s history.

Show prospective supporters the positive impact your organization has made over time by recapping your history on your About page. 

Highlight key dates and significant milestones such as: 

  • Your organization’s founding date
  • The tenures of notable leaders
  • Significant or very successful projects
  • Major policy changes your organization influenced 

To make your story more engaging, create an interactive or visual timeline with key dates of your journey. Take a look at the World Wildlife Fund’s History page as an example. This page includes a timeline grouped by decade with pictures to illustrate each step of the story. 

This is also a great opportunity to link to your digital donor wall, highlighting the individuals that made your organization’s progress possible!

If your organization uses a top content management system like Drupal or WordPress, you can search for a design widget or module to build your timeline. It might also be helpful to work with a web designer who specializes in nonprofit projects to bring your vision to life and ensure your timeline is as engaging and visually appealing as possible. 

5. Provide financial details.

Another essential aspect of building trust with website visitors is promoting accountability through financial transparency. Be clear about how you use your funding and where your organization stands financially. This will go a long way toward convincing potential donors that your nonprofit is worthy of their gifts

Include the following details on your About page: 

  • Annual reports
  • Details about how you use funding
  • Charity ratings
  • Values and fundraising code of ethics

For example, Doctors Without Borders’ robust financial accountability page highlights the organization’s financial, annual, and activity reports, fundraising ethics, and more. The website even includes a fixed footer that breaks down exactly how donors’ gifts are used, reassuring supporters that their donations are being handled responsibly. 

6. Spotlight recent news updates or research.

Show website visitors that your nonprofit is actively involved in a number of initiatives by highlighting news updates and research on your About page. Be sure to spotlight the following: 

  • News articles about recent projects. Your nonprofit might be in the news from time to time for different projects or events. Make the most of this publicity by sharing recent news articles or clips on your website. 
  • Press releases about internal updates from your nonprofit. You might publish press releases to announce changes at your organization, such as when you hire a new CEO or reach a milestone goal. 
  • Recent research and reports you’ve published. One of your organization’s public services might be conducting research in your cause area. Make this information easily accessible for interested website visitors. For example, the research page on the Girls Who Code website highlights recent reports about women and girls in tech. 

Keeping relevant news and research updates front and center offers another opportunity for supporters to get a sense of what your mission looks like in action. Visitors will be able to see what your current priorities are and even identify new ways they can get personally involved. 

Once you’ve perfected your About page using these tips, you’re ready to unveil it to the world! Promote it across your digital marketing channels by sharing a link on social media or including the link in your paid search ads

Remember, if you’re looking for expert advice and tips on how to craft top-quality About pages, don’t hesitate to reach out to a nonprofit web designer. These professionals can leverage their expertise to help you design content that speaks to your unique audience. 

Title: "4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Nonprofit's Event Revenue" 3 People stand in front of stacks of coins and cash.

4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Nonprofit’s Event Revenue

Pulling off a successful event involves a lot of moving parts. You have to plan logistics, assess your staff’s capabilities, and get the word out to your supporters. Whether you’re hosting an annual auction or trying out a brand new bike-a-thon fundraiser, there are plenty of ways you can improve your event and generate more funds for your nonprofit.

In this article, we’ll walk you through four methods using the example of a hybrid silent auction. As we get into more detail, keep your specific needs and goals in mind, and tailor these tips to your own event.  

1. Create a plan centered on your audience.

When you create a fundraising plan for your event, make sure you make decisions based on your specific audience. Put yourself in your supporters’ shoes, and plan your event around their interests. You might choose a new location based on previous donor feedback or schedule the event later in the year to capitalize on your donors’ end-of-year giving habits.

Be sure to include all of these essentials in your fundraising plan:

  • Timeline. Plan out deadlines around sponsorships, auction item procurement, and when invitations need to go out. Consider how much time you’ll need for marketing the event to your supporters, as well.
  • Division of staff responsibilities. Build teams and committees around your areas of need. For our auction example, you should have an item procurement committee to request items and arrange for pickup or delivery.  
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your success. Will you measure your success by the amount of money raised? By attendance? By overall auction performance? Set specific metrics so you know how well you are doing.

Make sure everyone on your team understands their responsibilities for the fundraiser to ensure it runs smoothly and generates as much revenue as possible.

Gather information from past events to discover what worked and what didn’t. If you don’t have data or feedback from past events, don’t hesitate to survey your donors now to gauge their interests.

2. Add an online component.

Adding an online option to any event will create a more engaging, accessible experience for your attendees. When your guests are fully engaged, they’re more likely to donate! Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you may need to research the ways you can successfully incorporate these elements. Let’s go back to our example of a silent auction to see what an online component could look like in action. 

In an auction, you will reach more supporters if you make your auction accessible to remote users with quality auction software. Imagine if you are hosting an auction to benefit your school. Offering the option to participate remotely will encourage support from family members of students who live near and far.

Tools like mobile bidding also simplify and speed up the bidding process for in-person guests–leading to more excitement and more funds!

3. Market your event using multiple channels.

Marketing can feel scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know your supporters well, as we talked about earlier, you will know where they are hanging out online. Take stock of all your marketing channels, then expand your efforts based on where your communication will be the most effective. If your supporters are mostly on LinkedIn, for example, promoting on Snapchat might not be the most efficient use of your time and resources. 

Use these tips to make the most out of your marketing strategy:

  • Promote your event on the social media channels you know your supporters spend the most time on. Target your audience in every communication. 
  • Connect your marketing channels to drive more traffic. If you post event flyers at a local restaurant, add a QR code that leads to a social media post or even your event website with more information.
  • Consider automating some of your donor outreach using your CRM to free up more staff time for other event planning needs.

The wider you can spread the word about your event, the more you’ll boost attendance and revenue. 

4. Maximize fundraising opportunities.

Build elements from other fundraising campaigns into your event to add variety to how your guests and supporters can give. 

In our example of a silent auction, this could look like promoting an ongoing text-to-give campaign on your auction website. When you send announcements out to guests about mobile bidding during the auction, provide your text-to-give information in case attendees want to make additional donations along with their bids.

Almost any fundraising campaign can be added to your event to maximize revenue, such as:

  • Promoting matching gift opportunities. This strategy has worked for nonprofits for decades. Donors become much more engaged when they know their money will go farther, and matching gifts are a great way to do this.
  • Selling branded merchandise. Everyone loves to take home SWAG! Have t-shirts, mugs, or reusable bags printed up with your nonprofit’s logo, and sell them at your event.
  • Announcing an upcoming peer-to-peer fundraiser. Recruit your supporters to become involved at a personal level, using the power of their spheres of influence to raise money. 
  • Placing a donation box at the event. Some events will ask guests to bring canned goods, jackets, or shoes to the event, providing an opportunity to have tangible, fast results that advance your mission.

Think about your fundraising strategy for the year and look for opportunities to support another fundraiser at your event. Your decor could even include information about future events!

Whether you decide to use a hybrid silent auction as your primary fundraising model or modify these tips so that they are more cohesive with another method, nonprofits everywhere can benefit from this combination of strategies. 

When the event ends and your fundraiser has come to a close, review your metrics. Use this information to make any necessary adjustments for future events, and in turn, you’ll experience more successful events that drive more funds and move the needle for your organization.

Learn more about ways to get the most of out a product fundraiser

The Top 5 Reasons to Leverage a Product Fundraiser

The considerations that must take place when starting a fundraiser can be overwhelming, but the first step is always determining what type of fundraiser you want to run. There are thousands of choices with pros and cons to each, but product fundraisers can be particularly successful in raising money for your cause. We’ll look at five benefits to running a product fundraiser.

1. Easy to organize

In contrast to fundraising events, which usually require months of planning and extra expenses like venue or catering costs, starting a product fundraiser is simple. To get started, you’ll just need to follow these steps:

  • Establish your goal and deadline
  • Choose a product fundraising partner
  • Choose a product to sell
  • Set up your physical or digital order form

Not only is the set-up easy, but selling is simple, too. No volunteer training or workshop is needed to teach someone how to sell. This is helpful for a fundraiser with a strict timeline since it requires very little planning and can be started or stopped at any time.

Running a fundraiser where your volunteers already know their roles is helpful, but they might not be needed at all in a product fundraiser. Depending on your organization, there are plenty of alternatives when it comes to selling your product. For example, you can leave a stack of order forms on the receptionist’s desk or accept orders completely online. If you’re selling products to fundraise for a school, you can give the product to the students and have them sell it.

2. Easy to market

Marketing is important for all aspects of a nonprofit, but product fundraisers are particularly easy to promote. Since they’re a tangible fundraiser, products make for great photo opportunities. Taking pictures of the items you’re selling can make nice social media posts promoting your products and fundraising goals.

Visuals are particularly influential when it comes to getting people interested in your cause. Feathr advises using compelling images to capture people’s attention as they’re scrolling through their social media feed. For example, if you’re selling food, detailed pictures of tasty snacks you’re selling can be really enticing.

Your product could also represent your organization in some way. Sell merchandise with your organization’s logo on it and supporters might be inclined to buy because they’d like to publicly show their support for your nonprofit. As an added bonus, selling something that displays your logo will make your supporters brand ambassadors. By wearing your logo, they’ll provide greater visibility for your brand.

3. Donors get something in return

Product fundraisers make it easier to raise money because people who wouldn’t normally donate to your cause might be interested in buying a product. These buyers might be incentivized by the fact that they could get something in return for giving, seeing your fundraiser as a purchase rather than a donation..

On the flip side, if your buyers are supporters of your organization, they might feel more connected to your nonprofit when they get something in return for donating. They’ll also be encouraged to give knowing that the money from their purchase is funding a good cause. No matter who the buyer is, this is an effective way to raise money because they’ll get a high return on their investment.

4. Reach a wider audience

Product fundraisers also make it easy to reach more of your supporters and wider community by selling both in person and online. Here are some ways you can advertise your nonprofit and its fundraiser outside of your organization’s immediate community of supporters:

  • Social media
  • Your website
  • Word-of-mouth
  • Flyers
  • Partnering with local businesses

There are opportunities for sales in more places than you can imagine. For example, if students are selling cookie dough to raise money for their school, they might take order forms to a parent’s office after school. Their parent’s coworkers might be interested in buying cookie dough and placing an order to support your school.

5. Flexibility in product choice

The best part about product fundraisers is that they’re fully customizable! There’s a wide variety of things you can sell and the sales timeline is completely up to you. If you have a target audience in mind as you’re organizing the fundraiser, choose a product you know they’d like.

Also, consider when you’ll be running the fundraiser. Products can be seasonal, and this can work to your advantage.

For example, ABC Fundraising suggests selling Christmas ornaments as a fundraiser for a church during the Christmas season. Members of the congregation will be interested in buying ornaments regardless of your fundraiser, but will be especially motivated by their affinity for their church. You could even get the children in the church to make ornaments as a fun Sunday morning craft and sell those ornaments for the fundraiser.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to ideas for effective product fundraisers. Choose an idea that appeals to your audience the most and customize your fundraiser to work well for your organization. No matter what idea you choose, the benefits of product fundraisers can make a huge impact on your nonprofit.

5 Association Web Design Tips to Boost Member Acquisition

Did you know that it takes just 50 milliseconds for online users to form an opinion about your website, which ultimately determines whether or not they like it and if they’ll stick around? In half the time it takes most websites to even load, your online visitors have already made snap judgments about the value of your website and – by extension – your association or member organization.

Every one of those curious scrollers who winces and clicks away is a potential new member, you’ve just lost to something as easily-solvable as simple web design changes.

So, how do you start tackling poor association website design and determining which design elements will turn casual visitors into happy new members? If you’re at a loss for where to start, never fear—we’ve prepared these tried-and-true association website best practices to boost your online member acquisition:

With digital engagement on the rise, it’s more important than ever to use your website as an attractive, interactive hub to enhance the member experience and entice visitors to hit the registration button.

Optimize accessibility for any user, on any device.

First things first: your top priority is making sure that your website actually works when users click through it.

This sounds easy enough—if every site visitor were a digital native with a fiber optic internet connection and a desktop computer. Unfortunately, the reality is a lot messier, and many potential and current members aren’t going to fit that mold.

To ensure that every site visitor has the same smooth, seamless online experience no matter when, where, or how in the world they’re navigating your site, take a look at these UX best practices

  • Optimize your website for all devices, especially for mobile users.
  • Cut down on load speeds by compressing images, minimizing redirects, and removing unused code.
  • Use high-contrast colors for text and graphics, allowing visually-impaired site visitors to see your content.
  • Include alt-text with all images, which describes visual content for users who might have a poor internet connection or use screen readers.

There are many small but important steps you can take to open up your website to a vast new audience of online users. However, there’s a limit to how much you’ll be able to tweak your website without some serious technical experience.

For best results, consider investing in a dedicated association website builder. A user-friendly CMS allows even the most technically-challenged association professionals to make effective changes to your website. Use drag-and-drop features, customizable templates, and member-specific design toolkits to make an association website that will blow users away—and encourage them to head straight to your membership registration page.

Use visual storytelling to capture the member experience.

Once users have successfully loaded your site, you’ll want to make the most of that precious half of a second where they’ll be judging whether to explore further or run away screaming.

This is where visual storytelling becomes your best friend. To immediately capture visitors’ attention and draw them into the narrative of your association, incorporate vibrant, professional images across your major web pages.

From Pulitzer-worthy candids of your event guest speakers in action to Instagramable snapshots of members, these snackable images instantly convey what your association stands for (and what you can offer users if they join).

Of course, pictures aren’t the only visual element to pay attention to. Don’t forget to build your membership website with:

  • The tactical use of white space
  • Concise, action-oriented text
  • Complimentary color palettes 
  • Clean, striking typography 

When you bring all of these pleasing elements together, you’ll have created an irresistible feast for the eyes that not only wows new site users but also engages current members.

Tease users with sample content, previews, and perks.

Now that you’ve survived that roller coaster of the first minute visitors spend on your website, you have to continue feeding their interest to successfully attract new members. 

Remember that actions speak louder than words. So, rather than writing some long-winded appeal for users to give your association a chance, give them a taste of what they’re missing out on!

Take a page from the MemberClicks guide to building a membership website and strategically organize your association website for the public (including prospective members) so that they can access and sample enticing content. In particular, you’ll want to allow anyone to view your: 

  • Event calendars and promotional materials
  • Key webpages, such as landing, about, and event pages
  • Surface-level versions of your member directory
  • Engaging resources that are useful to your members, such as informative podcasts

You could even offer tastes of event content, downloadable resources, educational materials and other small samples of everything your association has to offer. If users want more, all they need to do is sign up.

Leverage the promotional power of your member directory.

The online member directory is probably one of the most underrated marketing tools in your association toolkit. 

At first glance, your directory may just seem like a glorified list. But in reality, it can be a critical tool for member networking, digital engagement and (you guessed it!) public promotion.

Think of it as an online pamphlet that prospective members can flip through to see just how many passionate members have taken the dive to join your association. And for a small price, they, too, can access the full high-powered network of fellow professionals.

Be sure to invest in an association management system that can integrate seamlessly with your website. This will allow you to upload your directory directly into your CMS and automatically update member information as new members join and existing members tweak their profiles.

For inspiration on how to create and customize your own online member directory, check out Wild Apricot’s member directory templates.

Test, test, and test again.

When in doubt, test, test, and test again. 

There’s no such thing as a perfect association website, and there will always be room for you to improve, adjust, and revamp elements of your site to maximize engagement and push individuals toward your registration page. 

Use regular A/B testing to see how different versions and elements of your website perform and what steps you can take to constantly improve the online user experience. 

This is especially important as web technologies continue to evolve and user expectations get higher and higher for what they want to see from your association web platform. 

There are many moving parts to consider to build out a truly awe-inspiring, member-acquiring association website. To guarantee that you end up with a beautiful, functional web platform rather than Frankenstein’s monster, use these key tips and tools to guide you through the creative and technical process.

From investing in the right website builder and AMS solution to mindfully organizing your site’s visual elements, these insights should give you the confidence and power to create a membership website for the ages.

Learn more about the Microsoft Ad Grant in this comprehensive guide.

The Microsoft Ad Grant: An Essential Nonprofit Tool

If you’ve been in the fundraising world for a while, you might be familiar with the Google Ad Grant program. Google provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 per month in ad spending to help boost their organizations’ reach online.

However, you may not know much about Microsoft’s new program, Ads for Social Impact, which functions similarly to the Google Ad Grant program. As of June 2022, Microsoft offers nonprofits $3,000 per month in ad spending for platforms such as Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, MSN, and Microsoft Edge.

Although the grant amounts differ between the two programs, both can help you spread awareness of your organization’s mission and raise money for your cause.

Our mission at NXUnite is to provide nonprofits with tools and resources that will set them up for success. We believe that the Microsoft Ad Grant is one such tool that will help organizations spread their missions and reach their fundraising goals. We’re happy to offer this guide so nonprofits can learn more about the program and how to enroll. Here are the topics we’ll cover:

We have a lot to review, so let’s get started!

For help managing your Microsoft Ad Grant, reach out to Getting Attention.
First, we'll go over the basics of the Microsoft Ad Grant.

Microsoft Ad Grant Basics

Microsoft’s Ads for Social Impact program serves to help eligible nonprofits drive traffic to their websites and reach their fundraising and marketing goals at no cost to these organizations. The Microsoft Ad Grant covers $3,000 per month in ad spending for ads on multiple Microsoft-owned websites.

Since Microsoft Ad Grants cover so many different platforms, it can be difficult to picture what an ad created by a participating organization would look like. We’ll walk you through an example on Yahoo so you can visualize how a Microsoft Ad for your particular organization might look.

Let’s say that someone in your community is passionate about protecting wildlife. While checking their Yahoo email, this person might do a quick search for “save the turtles.” Yahoo will return a results page with the phrase “Ads related to: save the turtles” at the top. Underneath, there will be links to websites dedicated to protecting wildlife. These organizations are using Microsoft Ads to boost their reach and spread their mission online.

Here is an example of a nonprofit ad being promoted using the Microsoft Ad Grant program.

Nonprofits enrolled in the Microsoft Ad Grant program receive unique benefits that distinguish Microsoft’s program from Google’s. Your organization might already leverage paid search opportunities with Google or Microsoft. For nonprofits that use Google Ads, they must create a separate account for the Google Ad Grant program. In contrast, organizations that already use Microsoft Ads can apply their Microsoft Ad Grant directly to their existing account, allowing them to keep all of their campaigns in the same place.

Another difference between the two programs is the required account restrictions. Since Google Ad Grant accounts are separate from typical Google Ad accounts, there are more restrictions put on Google Ad Grant accounts, including minimum click-through rates, minimum quality scores, and maximum cost-per-click. In Microsoft’s program, all of your Microsoft Ads are under one account with none of these restrictions. That way, you can use the grant just as you would use funds for a regular paid search campaign.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to move on to the benefits of enrolling in Microsoft’s Ads for Social Impact program.

Next, we'll go over the benefits of the Ads for Social Impact program.

Benefits of Microsoft Ad Grants

Besides expanding visibility for your website, there are many benefits of leveraging Microsoft Ad Grants. Take a look at some of the main advantages of participating in the program:

Take a look at some of the benefits of participating in the Microsoft Ad Grant program.

More site engagement.

While creating engaging content is a great way to improve your organization’s website, your content won’t fulfill its purpose if people can’t find your website in the first place.

By producing Microsoft Ads that highlight different pages on your site, you’ll encourage people to check out the resources they’re interested in. Someone looking to volunteer for a nonprofit will search differently than someone looking to donate, and by using your Microsoft Ad Grant appropriately, you can make sure both individuals find the information they need on your website.

More conversions.

Once you get more people to engage with your site, you’re likely to see more conversions. Just as businesses and other for-profit organizations track conversions to sales, nonprofits can track different types of conversions to measure the impact of their campaigns. Some online conversions your organization might track include:

  • Donations
  • Email list signups
  • Event registrations
  • Petition signatures
  • Ticket sales
  • Volunteer signups

By using the Microsoft Ad Grant to show prospective supporters the pages they’re interested in, you can increase the likelihood that people will perform the intended actions associated with those pages rather than aimlessly skimming your website.

Additional communication with your supporters.

As a nonprofit, you likely already use a mix of communication tools such as email, direct mail, phone calls, text messages, and social media. Microsoft Ad Grants provide an additional opportunity to reach out to your supporters in a more understated way.

While it’s important to engage with your supporters in a variety of different ways, it’s also important not to overwhelm them with too much information and too frequent communication. With Microsoft Ad Grants, you allow current and prospective supporters to learn about your organization on their own time and at their own discretion.

Better understanding of your supporters.

When a supporter interacts with your website, their actions provide several types of data for your organization. By keeping track of this data, you can figure out how to improve your campaigns and get the most out of your Microsoft Ad Grant.

To help you analyze your website activity, Microsoft provides tools such as event tracking, campaign analytics, and traffic insights. That way, you can leverage this information and use it to your organization’s advantage to make sure your website and content are serving your supporters as they should.

Set amount of funds each month.

Once you’re enrolled in the Microsoft Ad Grant program, you can be sure that you’ll receive $3,000 in your Microsoft Ad account each month. While this may seem like a given, many traditional grant programs allocate limited grant funds to qualifying organizations based on their needs.

Knowing exactly how much money in ad spending you’ll receive from Microsoft each month, you can better plan how your organization will use the grant without wasting time wondering how much money you’ll be allotted.

Here are several different ways your organization can leverage its Microsoft Ad Grant.

Ways to Use Microsoft Ad Grants

Just as it’s important to outline your goals for a fundraiser or social media campaign, it’s good practice to determine what you want to achieve by using your Microsoft Ad Grant. Setting goals for your campaigns will ensure that you’re using your grant money efficiently.

If you’re not sure what goals you’d like to accomplish during your time in the Microsoft Ad Grant program, take a look at some of our suggestions:

There are so many different ways to use Microsoft Ad Grants.
  • Encouraging donations
  • Expanding your donor or subscriber base
  • Advocating about issues important to your organization
  • Recruiting volunteers
  • Spreading the word about upcoming events
  • Encouraging actions like signing petitions
  • Informing your supporters about matching gift opportunities

With your goals in mind, you’ll create campaigns with better focus and get the most out of your Microsoft Ad Grant.

In this section, we'll help you determine whether your organization is eligible for the Ads for Social Impact program.

Eligibility Requirements

If you’re interested in applying for the Ads for Social Impact program, you’ll need to make sure you’re eligible for the program. Microsoft has three main eligibility requirements. The first is status as a legally recognized nonprofit or non-governmental organization in your country. For United States-based organizations, that includes registering with the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

The next requirement is operating on a not-for-profit basis and serving a specific mission. Microsoft gives mission examples such as helping the poor, preserving the environment, and protecting human rights.

Microsoft’s final requirement is that all participating organizations are inclusive of others. They prohibit any organizations with discriminatory policies or missions from joining the program.

In addition the Microsoft’s three eligibility requirements, they also list ineligible organization types, such as:

Determine whether your nonprofit is eligible for the Microsoft Ad Grant.

For a full list of eligibility requirements, check out Microsoft’s program eligibility page here.

Here's how to apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant.

Microsoft Ad Grant Application

After determining your organization is eligible for the program, the next step is to fill out an application. There are two main parts of the application.

First, you’ll apply to Microsoft for Nonprofits, Microsoft’s overarching program dedicated to nonprofit tools and resources. This part of the application has four steps.

  1. Welcome & Policies. When you begin the application, you’ll be asked to fill out information for your organization’s point of contact. You’ll also confirm that you understand the Microsoft for Nonprofits program policies.
  2. Organization Info. In this section, you’ll fill out information about your nonprofit including your organization’s name, address, website, phone number, size, budget, mission statement, and IRS EIN.
  3. Verify Phone. Next, you’ll verify your organization’s phone number so Microsoft can communicate with you.
  4. Create Account. Finally, you’ll be able to set up your login for your Microsoft for Nonprofits account. You should hear back about the status of your application within 24 hours.

The second part of the application process is applying for the Microsoft Ad Grant itself. You’ll provide additional information about your nonprofit and point of contact, and Microsoft will get back to you within 10 business days.

Take a look at these Microsoft Ad Grant best practices.

Microsoft Ad Grant Best Practices

Once Microsoft accepts your Microsoft Ad Grant application, you’ll likely want to jump right in and start setting up campaigns. To enure your campaigns are effective, we recommend following a few best practices that other nonprofits have found helpful in the past. Here are some guidelines for running your Microsoft Ad Grant account effectively:

Following these best practices will allow you to optimize your Microsoft Ad Grant.

Structure your account appropriately.

Organization is key when it comes to Microsoft Ad Grant campaigns because it allows you to ensure that each campaign has its own specific purpose. The goal of each campaign should be the conversion you’re looking to boost.

For example, let’s say your overall goals for your participation in the program are expanding your email subscriber base, recruiting more volunteers, and informing your supporters about matching gifts. Establish your campaigns’ priorities right away by setting up three separate campaigns, one for each goal. That way, you can track the metrics for each goal separately. Additionally, you can create straightforward campaigns that each focus on one aspect of your mission, making it clear to supporters what you’re asking them to do.

Write clear ad copy.

When it comes to Microsoft Ad copy, the simpler, the better. People will only spend a few seconds looking at your ad, so you want to make sure your message is very clear. Short sentences are usually best. It’s also good practice to avoid uncommon acronyms or abbreviations that may confuse people.

Choose keywords carefully.

To make sure you’re choosing effective keywords, you’ll want to think backward. What are your supporters likely searching for? Those are the words and phrases you’ll want to choose as your keywords.

It’s best to choose specific keywords. People searching for “animals” aren’t necessarily looking for an animal shelter, but those searching for “volunteering with animals” or “adopting a pet” might be.

Keep track of your campaign metrics.

Luckily, Microsoft has built-in analytics options that allow you to easily track the success of your campaigns. Analyzing this data and implementing the insights you glean from it will allow you to shape your campaigns and content to your supporters’ needs.

For example, if you see that people are going straight from your volunteer registration page to your contact information page, it might be useful to add a section with contact information on the volunteer registration page itself for easy access.

Use automatic bidding.

In order to show up in searches for certain keywords, you’ll bid for them along with other organizations. You can submit bids manually, but Microsoft has automatic bidding options that will save your team time and energy.

These bidding strategies include ones for enhancing your cost-per-click, maximizing your clicks, maximizing your conversions, and achieving your target cost per acquisition and return on ad spend.

Following these best practices will ensure that you’re managing your campaigns efficiently and effectively.

Learn how your organization can use Microsoft Ad Grants in conjunction with other fundraising tools.

Using Microsoft Ad Grants with Other Fundraising Tools

At NXUnite, we’re passionate about connecting nonprofits with the tools and resources that will launch them toward success. While Microsoft Ad Grants are one such tool, leveraging a variety of tools and strategies will help your organization spread awareness and raise money for its cause. Take a look at how your organization can use Microsoft Ad Grants in conjunction with other valuable fundraising tools:

These fundraising tools pair perfectly with the Microsoft Ad Grant.
  • Google Ad Grants. While we’ve compared the Microsoft Ads for Social Impact program and the Google Ad Grant program, your organization can take advantage of both for maximum impact. You can create similar campaigns on both platforms so that people can find your organization on both Microsoft and Google search engines.
  • Venmo. Many people use personal Venmo accounts, but you can also set up an account for your organization. That way, people can easily donate to your nonprofit. To promote your organization’s Venmo account, create a Microsoft Ad Grant campaign linking to your donation page. Then, include Venmo as a donation option on the page.
  • Panels. Attending panels is a great way to learn more about nonprofit resources from experts and professionals. This wisdom you acquire from these discussions may spark inspiration for a new campaign or approach to your Microsoft Ad Grant account.
  • Email templates. No matter your campaign goals, you’re likely encouraging your supporters to take some sort of action on your website. To show your appreciation, it’s always a good idea to send a thank-you letter. Using a specific nonprofit email template can ensure that you thank your supporters appropriately.
  • Matching gifts. If you’re really looking to maximize your fundraising, you can use your Microsoft Ad Grant campaign to inform your supporters about matching gifts. Matching gifts are corporate philanthropy initiatives where employers double or even triple donations made by their employees. All your supporters have to do is notify their employers of their donation. There are plenty of tools that make that process extremely simple.

Knowing which nonprofit tools are available for you to use is important, but knowing how to use them in conjunction with each other is even more powerful.

Working with a Microsoft Ad Grant agency can help you manage your grant effectively.

Working with a Microsoft Ad Grant Agency

While we hope this guide will help you manage your Microsoft Ad Grant effectively, we also understand that many nonprofits have constrained time and energy to devote to new projects. That’s where digital marketing agencies come in.

There are organizations out there that are specifically dedicated to helping nonprofits manage ad grants. They know the ins and outs of different ad grant programs and how to optimize your account. These types of agencies can help with any stage of the grant management process, such as:

Digital marketing agencies are equipped to help you manage your Microsoft Ad Grant.
  • Determining your Microsoft Ad Grants eligibility
  • Applying for the program
  • Managing your campaigns
  • Optimizing your content

Reaching out to a digital marketing agency can take the burden of managing your ad grant off your team. You can feel at ease knowing that experts are taking care of your account.

Check out these additional resources on fundraising tools other than the Microsoft Ad Grant.

More Fundraising Tools

By now, you should understand what the Microsoft Ad Grant is and how powerful of a fundraising tool it truly is. By enrolling in the Microsoft Ad Grant program, you’ll be able to work toward your organization’s fundraising goals and raise awareness for your cause.

As we mentioned, there are many other great fundraising tools out there. These articles will allow you to learn more about some of the ones we recommend:

  • How Google Ad Grants Can Help Your Fundraising. In this article, you’ll learn more about the Google Ad Grant program, allowing you to compare it to Microsoft’s program. Better yet, you can take advantage of both programs and the benefits they have to offer.
  • How Venmo for Nonprofits Can Help Organizations Raise More. Venmo is not only a personal mobile payment service, but nonprofits can also leverage the platform to collect donations. This article walks through how nonprofits can use this tool to boost their fundraising efforts.
  • Donor Thank-You Letters. Most likely, one of your campaign goals is to increase donations. Thank your donors for contributing to your organization using one of these templates.
Join the NXUnite community for valuable nonprofit resources and tips!
This guide offers plenty of tips and resources for fundraising professional development.

Fundraising Professional Development: Top Tips & Resources

Fundraising professional development starts here. Join the NXUnite community today.

If you work in the fundraising space, you know how fast-paced, challenging, and exciting it can be. On any given day, your to-do list might include reaching out to donors, planning engaging events, and promoting your organization online. Whether you work for a nonprofit, university, or other organization, you’ve likely experienced a few fundraising successes and failures and learned important lessons along the way. 

Now, you might be looking for some structured resources and tips to help you approach fundraising professional development strategically. That’s probably what brought you here today! 

In this guide, we’ll cover a few frequently asked questions about fundraising professional development and provide you with effective formal and informal resources you can use to grow as a fundraiser. We’ll answer the following questions: 

Taking the time to improve your fundraising skills and grow your fundraising network can help you plan better fundraising campaigns and events for your organization, ultimately helping you raise more. It’s a win-win for you and the cause you’re working for!

This section explains why fundraising professional development is important.

Why is nonprofit fundraising professional development important? 

Professional development has benefits both for you as a fundraiser and for your organization as a whole. Here are some specific benefits of fundraising professional development: 

  • Avoid burnout or stagnation. Being proactive and thinking of ways to grow within your role can help reignite your passion for your position and avoid the negative impacts of burnout. 
  • Advance in your career path. Building your professional fundraising skills may help you receive a promotion and grow as a leader within your organization. This is especially true if you take the time to earn fundraising certificates or other continuing education credits. 
  • Learn about the latest fundraising technologies and innovations. As you expand your fundraising skill set and general knowledge, you’ll come across information about the latest fundraising software, strategies, and innovations. You can implement these insights into your organization’s strategies to take advantage of new opportunities and fundraising best practices. 
  • Improve your leadership and mentorship skills. Making the effort to grow as a fundraising professional can also help you grow as a leader and mentor within your organization. You can provide guidance and career advice for other fundraising professionals at your organization, making your team more effective. 

To approach fundraising professional development productively, set personal goals. For example, you might identify a certification you’d like to pursue or plan to set aside a specific amount of time each week to pursue professional development. Having a specific goal in mind will help you measure your progress and make tangible strides toward becoming a better fundraiser. 

This section will cover places to find fundraising development resources.

Where can you find fundraising professional development resources?

It can be challenging to parse through the hundreds of websites and resources online that offer fundraising development support. To help narrow down your search, here are a few common sources of fundraising professional development resources and courses: 

These are a few common places where you can find more fundraising professional development resources.
  • Aggregators like NXUnite. NXUnite helps connect fundraising professionals with resources and educational opportunities such as panels and webinars.
  • Recommendations from your fellow nonprofit professionals. Long-time fundraising professionals at your organization or similar organizations will likely be able to point you toward resources that they’ve found to be the most helpful. Request a quick meeting with a mentor or other leader at your organization to get more information about their professional development path. 
  • Nonprofit associations. Nonprofit associations and organizations provide fundraising courses, blog posts from industry experts, conference reminders, and more. You can even join your local chapter of a larger organization to network with other fundraising professionals in your area. We’ll discuss nonprofit associations in more detail later. 
  • Course catalogs from universities. Higher education institutions will often offer professional development courses and seminars that anyone can attend. For example, the University of Georgia’s Center for Continuing Education offers a nonprofit fundraising essentials course. Indiana University offers fundraising courses through The Fund Raising School with topics such as developing major gifts and managing capital campaigns.

Read on for a more in-depth look at our top options for fundraising professional development resources!

These are the best resources for fundraising professional development.

What are the best fundraising resources for professional development? 

You have a range of options to consider for different ways you can build your fundraising skills. These options include everything from taking an online course to attending conferences. 

Specifically, here’s a closer look at some of our favorite professional development resources for fundraisers: 


A webinar is an online discussion or seminar where industry experts share their insights and opinions about specific topics. Nonprofit webinars bring together fundraising experts with individuals looking to expand their fundraising efforts or skill set to provide more value to their organizations. 

Webinars are helpful if you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands to devote to fundraising professional development. Most are an hour or less, so you may even be able to join on your lunch break. 

Take a look at our top two sources for nonprofit webinars: 


NXUnite delivers a wide range of nonprofit webinars and panels with well-known nonprofit experts and influencers. Topics go beyond the fundraising basics to get to the heart of the challenges and opportunities that fundraisers currently face. Plus, these webinars offer insights for the entire mission-driven sector as a whole. That means there’s something for everyone, from nonprofit professionals to professionals working with associations, faith organizations, schools, and more. 

Interested in participating in or presenting at an NXUnite panel? Sign up to join the NXUnite community.

Double the Donation

Double the Donation is the leading industry expert on matching gift fundraising. Their webinars can help you understand how to maximize your fundraising revenue from this important but often overlooked source. But their webinars cover more than matching gifts—topics also include volunteer grants, workplace giving, integration deep dives, and general fundraising best practices. Visit the Double the Donation website for more information on live and on-demand webinars. 

Online courses

Online learning has exploded in popularity in recent years, giving fundraisers a way to continue their education while working full-time jobs. If you’re looking for more in-depth fundraising training, taking an online course can be an effective way to develop your skills while working at your own pace. Plus, many online fundraising courses are completely free. 

Let’s review some of our favorite online fundraising courses: 


Nonprofit.Courses offers thousands of online courses for nonprofit staff and board members and volunteers. Course topics include grantwriting, fundraising, start-up for small nonprofits, and more. They also offer courses to help earn a variety of certificates like a nonprofit management certification. You can also check out the free content offered by Nonprofit.Courses, which includes podcasts, videos, and documents. 


NonprofitReady provides free online training courses for fundraising professionals. These courses cover common fundraising tasks and challenges, including accounting and finance, marketing and communications, and much more. They also empower fundraisers to earn free certificates in areas such as fundraising essentials and financial management essentials. 


Udemy offers a broad range of courses, not only for nonprofit professionals but also for business professionals. Their nonprofit courses run the gamut from graphic design for nonprofits to how to start a nonprofit with limited resources. Udemy also offers a nonprofit plan for 501(c)(3) organizations, granting them special pricing and access to thousands of on-demand courses. 

Associations and accrediting organizations 

As mentioned, associations can be a great resource for getting connected to fundraising professional development opportunities. Associations bring nonprofit professionals together to learn, make connections, and grow in their profession. Joining an association can help you find free resources and new opportunities that you might otherwise not have access to. 

In addition, there are multiple accrediting organizations that set fundraising standards and offer certifications for nonprofit professionals to earn that prove their fundraising capabilities. Earning these certifications shows current and potential employers that you’ve committed to the highest standards of professionalism in the fundraising space. 

Here’s a closer look at a few fundraising associations and accrediting organizations you may be interested in joining: 


The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) brings together individual fundraisers and nonprofit organizations to promote ethical fundraising and train professionals on fundraising best practices. AFP facilitates both in-person professional development and online learning. Check out the event calendar to learn more about and sign up for in-person engagement opportunities. 

Their online learning opportunities include webinars, e-courses, and intensive workshops. 

Your state’s nonprofit association or membership organization

Joining a local association within your region or state can be highly beneficial for networking with other professionals that understand the unique fundraising environment of your local area. 

You can either find your local chapter of a larger association such as AFP or look for other organizations that specifically focus on your area. For example, you might join the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations, or CalNonprofits. A regional or local organization will host events and webinars that bring together other fundraising professionals in your area who are dealing with similar issues. 


CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) International is an independent nonprofit with a mission to set standards for the philanthropic space and facilitate accreditations for fundraising professionals. To become a CFRE, nonprofit professionals must first earn continuing education points in a variety of topic areas. After reaching the point requirement, professionals can fill out an application and complete a written examination. 

Receiving the CFRE certification shows employers that you have a broad knowledge base of fundraising and nonprofit management topics, that you’re invested in growing and developing as a fundraiser, and that you adhere to the highest standards of ethical fundraising. Learn more about the certification and requirements on the CFRE website

Public speaking and presentation training

Fundraising professionals are often surprised when they realize how much of the success of their role depends on their public speaking skills. As a fundraiser, you probably engage with a variety of internal and external audiences on a regular basis, from your fellow staff members to volunteers, donors, corporate partners, and more. Communicating effectively with these different groups is critical to garnering support for your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts. 

Let’s take a look at our favorite public speaking resource: 

Be Brilliant Presentation Group

Be Brilliant Presentation Group is a public speaking organization that helps working professionals grow in their presentation skills and become more impactful, inspiring speakers. Individuals looking for tailored public speaking coaching can gain access to a tried-and-true presentation framework, one-on-one coaching, and interactive workshops. 

Taking your unique presentation style into account, your speaking coach will work with you to help you develop your skills and create an approach that works best for you. Your coach can also help you specifically with preparations for a conference speech or presentation and even provide day-of assistance. Speak with a coach today to find out more. 


Nothing brings nonprofit professionals together quite like a conference. A conference allows fundraising professionals to discuss trends, challenges, and opportunities within the fundraising space. These experiences are invaluable for the connections that they foster and strategic partnerships they can help forge between organizations and individuals. 

If you’re interested in attending a conference to brush up on the latest fundraising trends and best practices, here are a few to consider adding to your calendar: 

Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Summit

Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Summit offers a chance for nonprofit professionals to come together to join in roundtable discussions and hear presentations about matching gifts. This conference will provide you with a more developed strategy for raising more funding for your organization through matching gifts. 

You’ll also hear insight about how to use Double the Donation’s tools to their full potential to streamline the matching gift process as much as possible. The easier you can make the matching gift process for donors, the more funding you can earn from this source. 

The exact date for this year’s matching gift summit hasn’t been announced yet, but you can check NXUnite’s nonprofit conference page for updates!


Considered the world’s largest fundraising conference, AFP’s International Conference (also known as AFP Icon) is a multi-day conference that brings together nonprofit professionals from a wide array of backgrounds and organizations. The 2022 conference schedule included sessions on leveraging digital ads for fundraising success, inclusion and equity issues in fundraising, and how to advance in your fundraising career. 

AFP ICON 2023 is scheduled for April 16-18 in New Orleans. Keep an eye on the website for updates. 

Cause Camp

Labeled a “must-attend” nonprofit conference by Forbes, Cause Camp brings together leaders, influencers, and other movers and shakers in the fundraising world. Along with presentations and panels, Cause Camp offers breakout sessions that are geared toward facilitating training, not just discussions. Plus, attendees can earn up to five CFRE credits for attending.

Cause Camp 2023 will be held in Greater Sandusky, Ohio on September 14 and 15.    

Nonprofit Technology Conference

The Nonprofit Technology Conference (otherwise known as the NTC) is an annual gathering focused on how technology works within the nonprofit sector. The conference is hosted by NTEN, an organization dedicated to bringing together nonprofit professionals to use technology for good. The NTC offers breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and other educational experiences to advance the field of nonprofit technology and use. 

The next NTC will be held April 12-14, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. 

Check out NXUnite’s roundup of the best nonprofit conferences to explore additional opportunities. 

Here are a few relaxed, informal ways to pursue fundraising professional development.

What are some informal ways to pursue fundraising professional development? 

Attending a conference or earning a certificate aren’t the only ways to grow as a fundraiser. You can pursue fundraising professional development in more casual settings as well. For instance, you can: 

  • Listen to podcasts. Podcasts can be a great way to listen to diverse perspectives and learn from anywhere, whether you’re out on a run, at the grocery store, or driving to work. Seek out nonprofit-specific podcasts—there’s no shortage of them!
  • Find a mentor. Connect with a leader at your organization, a long-time staff member, or a fundraising professional at another organization to ask if they’d be willing to be a professional mentor. Set up a coffee shop meeting or casual lunch to meet with your mentor and ask for career advice. 
  • Attend local networking events. Get involved in networking events hosted by local associations, nonprofits, and even business organizations. Speaking with professionals outside of the nonprofit sector can help you think of creative or outside-the-box strategies to tackle challenges or grow as a working professional. 
  • Reach out to individuals in similar roles at other organizations. Connect with your counterparts at other organizations to ask if you can get their perspective on how they’re tackling common fundraising challenges. Also, ask them whether they’ve pursued any professional development activities and what they found to be the most helpful. 

Any opportunities you have to surround yourself with fundraising knowledge and insight is another step toward developing as a fundraising professional. 

Wrapping Up

Fundraising professional development should be an ongoing goal. The fundraising landscape is constantly changing, with new technologies, strategies, and best practices being introduced. Keeping up with this shifting world will allow you to advance in your career and bring more value to your organization. 

For more information on fundraising professional development, check out these additional resources:

Sign up for NXUnite today to connect with fellow fundraisers and pursue fundraising professional development.
Learn all about nonprofit marketing in this ultimate guide.

The Beginner’s Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Marketing

As a nonprofit professional, you know that staying within your organization’s budget often requires a little creativity. Especially when it comes to nonprofit marketing, your team might have lavish ideas and big plans without the resources to pursue them.

However, nonprofit marketing is vital to the continued success of your organization. It’s how you spread the word about your nonprofit’s upcoming events and opportunities and get people excited about contributing to your cause. Without a strong nonprofit marketing plan, it’ll be difficult to move forward and pursue your mission effectively.

Additionally, there are a lot of considerations that go into successful nonprofit marketing. That’s why we’ve created this nonprofit marketing guide. We’ll teach you the basics as well as strategies you can use to promote your organization, even on a budget.

Here are the topics we’ll cover in this article:

Here at NXUnite, we connect organizations with various resources to help them in all areas of nonprofit operations. Marketing is crucial for nonprofits because it’s how people find your organization, learn about your cause, and contribute to your organization. We understand how tricky it can be to come up with a marketing strategy on a small budget, so we’re happy to provide this ultimate nonprofit marketing guide to help you out.

Learn more nonprofit marketing tips at an NXUnite panel.

With that, let’s introduce what nonprofit marketing is and what it can do for your organization!

Read on for the basics of nonprofit marketing.

What is Nonprofit Marketing?

Nonprofit marketing is when mission-based organizations use promotional strategies to educate others about their cause and garner support. It’s an essential part of introducing your organization to people who may want to become involved, including prospective donors, volunteers, and board members.

For your current supporters, nonprofit marketing allows you to inform them about upcoming events and opportunities. You’ll want to grab your supporters’ attention and get them excited about what you have in store.

While implementing effective nonprofit marketing takes work, it can offer your organization a variety of benefits. If you stay organized and follow a detailed plan, nonprofit marketing can help you:

Nonprofit marketing can help your organization achieve these objectives.
  • Spread awareness. At the core of your nonprofit is your mission. Investing time in a marketing plan will not only help to promote your organization, but also educate people about your nonprofit’s cause.
  • Raise more. The more people know about your organization, the more fundraising potential your organization has.
  • Encourage recurring support. Of course, your nonprofit should appreciate each and every donation it receives. However, recurring donations provide a steady, consistent funding source. They also present the opportunity to build strong relationships with your long-term donors. Effective marketing can encourage donors to continue their support for your organization.
  • Recruit other stakeholders. While crucial to your organization’s success, donations are not the only form of support people can lend to your nonprofit. Effective marketing will allow you to recruit other supporters for your organization, such as volunteers, members, event attendees, and board members.
  • Promote your services. Potential supporters want to know exactly what steps your organization does to advance your mission. That way, they can decide if they’re interested in joining in. Using a well-developed marketing plan will ensure that your organization’s services are clear to interested parties.

To complete all of the objectives above, it’s not enough to just start posting on social media or adding articles to your website’s blog. You’ll first need to come up with a comprehensive marketing plan that outlines your marketing strategy across multiple channels.

Creating a nonprofit marketing plan will help your organization stay organized.

Developing a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

To effectively promote your organization, you must set clear intentions for your marketing efforts. That’s why you need a nonprofit marketing plan.

Creating a comprehensive marketing plan ensures that you stay organized and focused on your goals throughout your marketing efforts. With all of the details planned ahead of time, you’ll be able to focus on creating well-designed promotional materials and getting people excited about your cause.

If you’ve never come up with a marketing plan before, it can be intimidating. To help you out, we’ve provided you with the major steps you’ll need to follow to create your own:

Follow these steps to develop your nonprofit marketing plan.

Step 1) Review your current marketing efforts.

It’s always good to take inventory of your current nonprofit marketing efforts. That way, you can figure out what successful elements you should continue implementing and what changes you’ll need to make. For a formal marketing audit, you can perform a SWOT analysis. Here’s what it entails:

  • Strengths. Start off strong by describing what your organization does well.
  • Weaknesses. Recognize any areas your nonprofit can improve upon.
  • Opportunities. Identify potential external factors that could help your marketing efforts succeed.
  • Threats. Pinpoint any factors that could potentially harm your marketing efforts.

This in-depth analysis will propel your new marketing efforts forward.

Step 2) Determine your marketing goals.

Just as your mission guides your overall operations, your marketing goals should inform your marketing efforts. Of course, you should keep your mission in mind and make sure your marketing goals serve that mission. It’s best to form SMART goals to make sure your goals are clear and meaningful. SMART stands for:

  • Specific. Create goals with a certain initiative or event in mind.
  • Measurable. Make sure you can track your goals with relevant performance metrics.
  • Attainable. Keep your nonprofit’s resources and capabilities in mind.
  • Relevant. Develop goals that will further your mission.
  • Time-based. Hold your organization accountable by assigning a time frame to your goals.

In addition to following the SMART acronym, you’ll also want to list your goals by priority so you know which ones to divert the most resources to.

Step 3) Understand your audience.

Your audience is likely comprised of different groups such as donors, volunteers, and board members. Make sure you define each audience and their needs. To segment your audience even further, think about the different subcategories of your supporters.

Step 4) Establish your message.

To hone your nonprofit marketing efforts, you’ll want to boil your goals down to a few key messages you’d like to share. These messages should be unique to your organization and able to grab your supporters’ attention. To go along with your message, the language, calls-to-action, and visuals you’ll use should all be outlined as well.

Step 5) Determine your budget.

It’s tricky as a nonprofit to accomplish your marketing goals with few resources. To make use of what you have, you’ll want to determine a budget for your promotional efforts. If you don’t think you’ll have enough to make your goals a reality, try applying for a nonprofit marketing grant. Grantmaking organizations offer free funding for the purpose of promoting your organization and its services, making it a great way to power your marketing efforts.

Step 6) Choose appropriate marketing strategies.

The different marketing strategies or channels you choose to spread your mission should align with your goals and audience. From direct mail to social media, there’s a lot you can do to promote your cause.

In the next section, we’ll go over nonprofit marketing strategies you can use to promote your organization.

Step 7) Analyze your performance.

It’s important to keep track of your progress and performance using data. That way, you’ll know what worked and what needs to be changed for future campaigns. Choose metrics to track that will represent your definition of success. For example, if you’re implementing a social media campaign, you might want to track the number of shares, likes, and comments on your relevant posts.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when developing your nonprofit marketing plan. It can take time to complete a well-rounded plan, but it will be worth it to have your marketing goals, logistics, and strategy all in one place.

Take a look at these helpful nonprofit marketing strategies.

Nonprofit Marketing Strategies

There are plenty of ways to promote your organization. However, you should be careful to choose your nonprofit marketing strategies so that they align with your goals and audience. For example, if you’re targeting an older audience, it might not be the best idea to use social media as your main form of outreach.

The great thing about nonprofit marketing channels is that you can use them in tandem with each other. You will naturally want to promote your events via email and share your blog posts on social media. This way, you’re creating as many touchpoints as possible so your supporters can contribute to your cause in the way that works best for them.

To help you determine which nonprofit marketing strategies are best for your organization’s current needs, we’ve listed some of our favorites below:

Click on the ones you’re interested in to learn more or scroll through to check them all out!

The Google Ad Grants program is a free and powerful nonprofit marketing strategy.

Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits

Google Ads provide a way for nonprofits to promote their services and mission in Google search results. If someone searches for a term related to your organization, they can find your organization’s website as an ad at the top of the search results and navigate to one of your pages.

However, it can get expensive to run Google Ads. That’s exactly why Google offers an option for nonprofits called Google Ad Grants. The Google Ad Grants program provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 per month in ad credits. That way, your organization can expand its reach in a way that aligns with its budget.

Through the program, you can market a range of content, including everything from your donation page to educational content. It’s up to you to pick the right keywords and develop ads that target those search queries.

You can market your nonprofit using Google Ads.

As long as your organization is eligible and follows all program guidelines, it’s easy to get started. You can even work with a dedicated Google Grants agency for help with the application process or account maintenance.

We recommend the experts at Getting Attention. These individuals know the ins and outs of the program, striving to supercharge your ads and amplify your mission online.

Print is a more personal form of nonprofit marketing that's great for reaching local audiences.

Print Marketing

While the digital landscape helps break down geographical barriers, print marketing is a fantastic way to connect with your local audience members. Some nonprofits view it as “old-fashioned” or “outdated,” but print marketing is still a major force in the world of advertising.

Think about the last time you saw a poster for an upcoming event or received a flyer in the mail. When you consider how frequently you personally come across printed marketing materials, you’ll notice that it’s still prominent in people’s everyday lives even with the rise of digital marketing.

In a world driven by quick communication, people rarely see printed communication that they care about. Among stacks of junk mail and bills, a well-designed fundraising flyer is much more likely to catch their eye and mean something to them.

When dabbling in print marketing, there are plenty of options your nonprofit can use, including:

  • Flyers and posters
  • Brochures and pamphlets
  • Newspaper and magazine ads
  • Yard signs

Particularly for nonprofits, this type of marketing can help you connect with older supporters who aren’t as active online. Plus, many people interpret it as being more personal since it takes a bit more effort than sending mass emails or publishing a social media post.

No matter what type of print materials you create, you’ll want to make sure they’re designed to catch people’s eyes. Your graphics, fonts, and colors can mean the difference between someone stopping to read your ad and going on about their day without a second thought.

If graphic design isn’t your marketing team’s forte, consider hiring a third-party designer. We recommend Kwala! They work exclusively with nonprofits to produce professional marketing materials for both print and digital outreach.

Kwala designs nonprofit marketing materials like this brochure.

They design everything from letterheads to capital campaign brochures, like the example above! Reach out to their team to start creating powerful designs for your nonprofit marketing materials.

Email marketing for nonprofits allows you to reach supporters of all ages and types.

Email Marketing for Nonprofits

So many nonprofit marketers rely on email marketing. It allows you to reach supporters of all ages and types, including donors, volunteers, event attendees, and board members. Since a large variety of people use email regularly, email marketing has a high ROI and is an easy way to stay connected with your supporters.

Additionally, it’s extremely easy to personalize emails using segmentation tools and email marketing software. That way, you can make your supporters feel special and send them information specific to their involvement with your organization.

Here are some ideas for using email marketing effectively:

An easy and useful nonprofit marketing strategy is email marketing.
  • Send a weekly newsletter with the most recent updates and urgent needs.
  • Send monthly emails with donation requests and upcoming opportunities.
  • Thank new subscribers for joining your email list with an automatic reply.
  • Thank donors for contributing to your cause with an automated email.
  • Segment your supporters into different groups for more personalized email campaigns.
  • Append email addresses to make sure you have accurate contact information and can reach as many of your supporters as possible.

Considering how easy it is to draft and automate emails, email marketing is a great choice for promoting your organization and sharing news with your supporters.

Direct mail marketing for nonprofits is a more personal marketing strategy.

Direct Mail Marketing for Nonprofits

Although many nonprofit marketers think direct mail is dead, it actually has a higher response rate than emails. Perhaps this is because direct mail is even more personal than emails, and people acknowledge the extra time that went into the campaign, especially if you’re using segmentation.

Additionally, the letters you send your supporters serve as physical reminders of your organization and their involvement. Having something tangible that’s associated with your nonprofit may encourage supporters to donate or attend one of your events.

You can create direct mail campaigns for donation requests, event invitations, thank you letters, and more. While you can use direct mail to simply inform people about your organization, it’s best to include a call-to-action to ensure the time and funds you put into your campaign pay off.

To help you create direct mail campaigns that drive your supporters to take action, we’ve compiled some tips:

Direct mail is a nonprofit marketing tactic that allows supporters to create a tangible connection with your organization.
  • Incorporate storytelling. Make your direct mail outreach even more personal with strong storytelling. While facts and statistics are helpful for understanding what your organization does, people want to feel a connection with your nonprofit. For example, if your organization is an animal shelter, tell your supporters about a dog you’ve rescued and given a better life. Seeing the impact your organization has had will inspire people to become a part of it.
  • Include powerful visuals. People are drawn to images/ Plus, visually-engaging images help to break up text, make content easier to read, and can help communicate your message. Your supporters will get more out of your letter if you include meaningful visuals that connect to the copy you’ve written. Consider using pictures of real people your organization has helped or informative graphics that illustrate different points you’ve made.
  • Combine your campaign with digital marketing. While direct mail is an effective outreach method, you can make it more engaging by connecting it to your online marketing efforts. Including a QR code that connects to an event registration page or listing your social media handles will allow your supporters to navigate smoothly across different digital marketing channels.
  • Append mailing addresses. How useful can your direct mail campaign be without your supporters’ addresses? You might not have all the mailing addresses for your supporters, but working with a data append service can help you obtain the information and put it to good use.

Direct mail is a great way to show your supporters you care about them. However, it’s important to regularly check your supporters’ communication preferences to make sure they’re okay with receiving letters from you.

Event marketing for nonprofits provides a chance for people to get to know your organization in person.

Event Marketing for Nonprofits

Hosting an event provides a chance for people to get to know your organization in person. You can form a connection with potential supporters and tell them directly about the impact they could make on your organization.

There’s a wide range of events your nonprofit can host. If you have the budget for a more lavish event, try hosting a gala. To get your supporters up and active, organize a marathon. The possibilities are endless!

No matter which type of event you’re hosting, there are some general ways to make sure your event is successful at accomplishing your goals. For the ultimate nonprofit event, make sure to:

Hosting an event is a nonprofit marketing strategy that will help you form deeper connections with your supporters.
  • Maintain consistent branding across your digital and physical event materials.
  • Include your mission on digital and physical event signage.
  • Encourage event attendees to stay in touch and show their support.
  • Send all attendees thank you letters and follow-up surveys.
  • Offer event merchandise so attendees can continue to support your cause.

While they do take a lot of time and resources to plan, events are powerful nonprofit marketing tools. People will remember their experience at your event and retain that association between their enjoyment and your nonprofit.

Video marketing for nonprofits is a great way to engage your supporters.

Video Marketing for Nonprofits

Video marketing has become very popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Videos are even more engaging than static images and can allow you to share an abundance of information in a short amount of time.

While YouTube was one of the first modern video-sharing platforms, others such as TikTok and Instagram have caught onto the short video craze. Nonprofits can take advantage of these platforms to promote their events and missions.

There are several reasons why video marketing is so impactful, including:

Nonprofit video marketing will engage your supporters and educate them in a unique way.
  • Easy to process. Did you know that people process visual content 60,000 times faster than written content? This makes it easier to inform your audience about your mission or upcoming opportunities.
  • Elicits emotion. Reading a paragraph or looking at an image could make you feel something, but it’s much more likely for a video to move you. This emotion can inspire action and a deeper connection to your cause.
  • Shareable. Social media platforms make it easy to send videos to your friends over text or through the apps themselves. This way, your supporters can help amplify your cause for you.
  • Entertaining. Most people would simply prefer to watch a video to learn about a topic as opposed to reading about it. Videos make topics come to life and will do a better job of capturing your audience’s attention.

While we’ve mostly discussed video marketing in the context of social media, that’s not the only place you can share videos your organization has created. Consider creating an informational video to live on your website’s homepage or a thank you video to send to donors after they’ve contributed.

Videos are extremely valuable marketing tools, but note that they can also slow down the load time of your website. Remember to turn off auto-play to help your website load as quickly as possible.

Social media marketing for nonprofits is free and easy to implement.

Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits

Since social media is free, it’s a great marketing choice for nonprofits. It also encourages interaction with your organization and its content. People can comment, like, and repost your content, maximizing its impact.

Social media also gives your organization the opportunity to leverage current trends and build a brand personality. Recently, small brands have blown up on TikTok for their funny and relatable content, and there’s no reason why nonprofits can’t do the same.

Although there’s a variety of social media platforms that all feature different types of content, follow these suggestions to improve your organization’s online presence:

Use nonprofit social media marketing to engage with your supporters.
  • Share important news about your organization and cause.
  • Create a brand identity to boost awareness and recognition.
  • Ensure your content includes calls-to-action such as event registrations, donation requests, and volunteer signups.
  • Describe real people’s experiences with your organization to recruit new volunteers and employees.
  • Thank donors, employees, and volunteers for their contributions.

Considering the number of different social media platforms out there, you’ll want to think hard about which ones fit best with your audience, content, and mission.

If you’re looking to fundraise, Facebook and Instagram are great choices because they have built-in peer-to-peer fundraising features. However, if your goal is to rally young supporters around your cause, TikTok may be a better fit. Be strategic about your organization’s social media presence for the best results.

Website marketing for nonprofits involves creating and optimizing your organization's website.

Website Marketing for Nonprofits

Your nonprofit’s website is likely the first place people go to learn more about your organization, so it’s important to do it right. Your website should not only host valuable information about your organization, but it should also inform supporters about upcoming events and opportunities.

Whether you’re creating your nonprofit’s website or optimizing it, use these tips to make your website ready and engaging for users:

Creating your organization’s website is an essential component of nonprofit marketing.
  • Review the WCAG and ADA guidelines to make sure your website is compliant.
  • Include well-placed call-to-action buttons and links to direct traffic to different pages on your site.
  • Make sure your website is easy to navigate and use.
  • Regularly check all tools and content management systems to make sure they’re working as they should.
  • Maintain a cohesive brand identity throughout your site.

Think about your website as the hub of supporter activity. It’s where you collect donations, share updates, describe events, and educate people about your cause. Since your website has several functions and purposes, it’s important to make sure it’s working properly and is designed effectively to provide a positive user experience.

Between following the above tips and ensuring your graphic design strategy inspires users to explore your site, your site will be well-equipped to be your ultimate marketing asset.

Content marketing for nonprofits allows you to build your organization's reputation and knowledge base.

Content Marketing for Nonprofits

Content marketing allows you to create valuable nonprofit content that can bring traffic to your website and build your reputation in the field. You can create standard blog posts as well as downloadable resources.

To help you get started with content marketing, here are some different types of content you may leverage:

Nonprofit content marketing allows your organization to establish its reputation as knowledgeable in the nonprofit sector.
  • Informative content about your mission or news in your field
  • Typical blog content that’s SEO optimized to help with your page’s search engine rankings
  • Shareable content that can help spread your mission further
  • Ready-to-use templates and downloadable resources for others to use

Writing content takes a lot of time and effort, so you may want to consider creating a copywriting team for your organization. That way, you can have a group dedicated to filling your blog and adding value to your website.

Text message marketing for nonprofits allows you to reach your audience quickly.

Text Message Marketing for Nonprofits

Since people are always on their phones, text message marketing has a high open rate and the potential to reach your audience quickly.

One way to use text message marketing effectively is by leveraging a text-giving tool. That way, you can create effective text-to-give campaigns that provide an easy donation option.

You can also use phone appends to make sure you reach all of your supporters. Phone appends fill in the missing phone numbers in your supporter database and update outdated ones. Having this data helps to ensure that you’re reaching out to the right people with the right contact information.

Besides initiating a text-to-give campaign, there are other opportunities for text message marketing. You can use this outreach method to:

Leverage text message marketing to quickly and effectively reach your supporters.
  • Announce events
  • Send urgent appeals
  • Remind volunteers about upcoming shifts or training
  • Promote donations throughout your campaign or event
  • Send donation receipts

While similar to email marketing, text message marketing is better for shorter messages and encouraging your supporters to take action. With a higher open rate, text message marketing allows you to reach your supporters in a way that’s convenient for them.

Beyond the few we discussed, there are so many more nonprofit marketing strategies your organization can leverage. Remember, don’t overwhelm your marketing team. Think about the purpose of your campaign and the characteristics of your audience, and choose the right platforms for your nonprofit. That way, you can reach out to supporters through different channels without wasting time and resources on unviable options.

Here are some nonprofit marketing ideas to get you started with your next campaign.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas

It can be difficult to come up with specific ideas for how to market your nonprofit, especially for organizations just starting out. There are so many things to keep in mind, which can quickly become overwhelming.

To help you out, we’ve narrowed down some of the most essential nonprofit marketing ideas to make your campaigns stand out, including:

Develop design, personality, and attitude guidelines.

If you want people to recognize your organization’s branding, then you have to make sure it’s cohesive. Work with your nonprofit marketing team to carefully develop your nonprofit’s persona and graphic design preferences.

Commit to improving your content’s SEO.

It’s important to know how to optimize your content for search engines and which factors contribute to your content’s rankings. Research SEO best practices and determine the top keywords you want your content to rank for.

Establish a connected online presence.

We’ve discussed different digital marketing strategies. Whichever ones you choose to implement, it’s best to create paths that connect each platform to each other. For example, include the link to your website in the bio of your social media accounts. That way, people can go straight from one touchpoint to another seamlessly.

Create a nonprofit marketing budget.

One of the most important parts of your marketing plan is your budget. You’ll want to make sure you can gather all the resources you need to promote your organization effectively while still staying within your organization’s means.

Analyze your data.

If your organization isn’t constantly reviewing the data it has and making decisions based on that data, then you’re missing out on crucial opportunities to grow your nonprofit. Data provides concrete evidence for what your marketing team is doing well and what they could work on. Some metrics you could track include:

  • Clickthrough rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate
  • Email open rate
  • Social media impressions and reach

Keeping track of the data associated with your campaigns allows you to improve your future marketing endeavors.

Emulate larger organizations.

The great part about starting a nonprofit is that there are thousands of model organizations to base your strategies on. Find an organization similar to yours and see how they’ve reached success to help inform your own nonprofit marketing efforts.

Implement segmentation.

Dividing your supporters into groups based on shared factors allows you to customize their experiences. That way, you can demonstrate that you understand your supporters’ needs and are willing to meet them where they are.

Personalize your supporters’ experiences.

Segmentation isn’t the only way to give people a personalized experience. Consider sending handwritten thank you cards to your donors or featuring a volunteer of the month on your social media pages. Showing your supporters that you care will only deepen their connection to your organization.

Try out some of these nonprofit marketing ideas.

Above all else, it’s important to continuously review your marketing efforts. That way, you can adapt to any new trends or identify any areas that need some work. Just because your organization was up to date five years ago doesn’t mean you can’t change your branding or segmentation to be more current to the present day.

Remember, your number one consideration should be your supporters. All of your promotional efforts are directed at gaining and retaining supporters, so it’s necessary to think about their needs and keep them in mind throughout the whole nonprofit marketing process.

Check out these additional nonprofit marketing resources.

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Now that you know all about nonprofit marketing, it’ll be easier to dive right into the process. Equipped with a marketing plan, strategies, and ideas, you’ll be all set to start reaching out to potential supporters and growing your nonprofit.

While we went over the basics of nonprofit marketing in this guide, there are still so many areas that you can dive into. Especially if you’re a newer nonprofit marketing professional, you’ll likely want some additional resources to look over.

Here are some articles that can teach you a little more about nonprofit marketing:

Learn more about nonprofit marketing by attending one of our panels or webinars.
Here are our top tips and resources for fundraising training.

Nonprofit Fundraising Training: FAQs and 8 Top Resources

Further your fundraising training by connecting with other fundraising professionals on NXUnite!

Fundraising is the foundation of your nonprofit’s success. If your nonprofit is a car, fundraising is the fuel allowing you to drive your mission forward (was that one too many car puns?) Effective fundraising allows you to continue funding your projects and programs to ultimately help more people and achieve your goals. 

As a nonprofit professional (or an aspiring one), you may be looking to improve your fundraising skills for greater fundraising success in the future. In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about fundraising training, including: 

Fundraising is a skill that you can practice and ultimately get better at over time. These tips and resources will help guide you in the right direction to achieve greater fundraising success.

Let's review a few fundraising training FAQs.

Fundraising Training FAQs

Before we dive into a few fundraising training course options and resources, let’s explore some commonly asked questions about fundraising training and how to develop fundraising skills. 

What level of education is needed for fundraising?

There are no sector-wide degree requirements for nonprofit fundraising professionals. However, certain degrees lend themselves more naturally to eventual fundraising success. 

If you’re looking to go into fundraising after completing your college career, the following bachelor’s degrees lend themselves naturally to fundraising: 

  • Philanthropic studies
  • Business
  • Communications
  • PR
  • Journalism
  • English

These degrees tend to focus on developing communication skills, conducting creative problem solving, increasing efficiency within organizations, and building other skills that can eventually help you become a better fundraiser.  

Some universities even offer fundraising-related master’s degrees in the following fields: 

  • Philanthropic studies
  • Nonprofit management

An advanced degree in either of these fields can train you specifically for managing the ins and outs of on-the-ground nonprofit work. 

Some degrees may also align with specific nonprofit missions. Having a degree in your nonprofit’s field of research or work can give you an immense amount of credibility when it comes to discussing your organization’s mission and the important role fundraising plays in reaching your goals. The following degrees may be applicable to nonprofit work: 

  • Public health
  • Education administration
  • Psychology
  • Environmental sciences/sustainability

Keep in mind that becoming an effective fundraiser isn’t about having a certain degree. In fact, many organizations don’t have a degree requirement to be able to apply for their fundraising positions. What’s more important than having a specific degree is that you have a variety of soft skills that fit well within the fundraising space and that you are a fast learner who can pick up new skills on the fly. 

What are the most important fundraising skills?

Fundraising requires nonprofit professionals to leverage a variety of skills to spread mission awareness, connect with potential supporters, and ultimately convert these prospects into donors. It’s a fast-paced, engaging field that requires a combination of hard and soft skills such as: 

These are the most important fundraising skills to develop when pursuing fundraising training.
  • Written communication. Sending internal and external emails, drafting reports, publishing social media campaigns, and designing marketing materials are all written communications tasks that might pop up on a fundraiser’s daily task list. 
  • Oral communication. Fundraisers must also be able to deliver their nonprofit’s case for support verbally in front of a variety of audiences. Fundraisers need to be just as engaging when conducting one-on-one donor meetings with major donors as they are when giving presentations at conferences or other large events.
  • Analytical skills. Effective fundraising also requires analytical skills to track progress, identify areas of strength and weakness, and create new strategies. Fundraising professionals may need to review fundraising metrics and compile the results into written or oral reports. 
  • Technical skills. The future of fundraising lies in innovative technology tools and strategies. Fundraisers need to know how to use a variety of tech tools effectively, including a nonprofit CRM, an online donation platform, and digital marketing platforms. 

Depending on the size of the nonprofit, the fundraising team might be made up of several individuals who specialize in one of these skills. However, for many nonprofits, the fundraising team is made of just one or two individuals who must manage each of these activities effectively. 

What are the main categories of fundraising?

When it comes to fundraising training, you won’t just be learning how to conduct one type of fundraising. Fundraising involves connecting with multiple individuals and groups — individual donors, corporate sponsors, grant funders, volunteers, and community members — to build relationships. 

With that in mind, your fundraising training process should incorporate the following types of fundraising: 

These are the primary fundraising categories to be aware of.

Each of these activities requires a different approach and skill set. For instance, earning corporate sponsorships requires meeting with business owners and making your case for support using meetings and written communications. Event planning may require recruiting and managing volunteers, handling logistics, and creating marketing materials. 

Depending on the size of your organization and the fundraising team, you might be engaged in all or just a handful of these activities daily. 

How can I improve my fundraising skills? 

If you’re looking to get better at fundraising and increase your positive response rate, there are a few steps you can take right away to get started: 

  1. Set personal goals. Set specific goals for yourself that you can work toward throughout the training process. For example, perhaps you want to improve your public speaking skills, connect better with potential donors during one-on-one meetings, or learn how to use fundraising software more efficiently. Having a clear goal in mind can help guide you as you decide what types of fundraising training to pursue. 
  2. Take fundraising training courses or classes. There are a variety of fundraising webinars and courses available online that you can follow at your own pace. Some resources require a fee, but there are also several free options available. We’ll explore a few quality online training courses in the next section
  3. Work with a fundraising consultant. If you’re looking to improve your nonprofit’s overall fundraising approach and train your full team on best practices, it’s helpful to work with a fundraising consultant. These experts have the experience and know-how needed to boost your fundraising strategy by filling gaps in your planning process, connecting with your unique supporter base, and training your team on how to build donor relationships. 
  4. Learn how to pivot the conversation. As a fundraiser, you’ll hear plenty of “no’s” over time. Whether a prospect isn’t in the right place to give or doesn’t feel strongly connected to your mission yet, there are plenty of reasons why potential donors will turn you down. However, it’s your job to make sure you don’t burn any bridges or close any doors unintentionally. As you have conversations with potential donors, start to find ways that you can turn more “no’s” into “maybes” and even “yeses.” For example, figure out how you can engage donors in opportunities that aren’t all about fundraising, or get to know them better to send them fundraising requests that better align with their giving capacity. 
  5. Keep an eye on fundraising trends and tech developments. New technologies, from matching gift software to AI for nonprofits, have vastly altered the way fundraising professionals operate. These innovations will continue to have a major impact on the nonprofit sector. Bookmark relevant nonprofit blogs such as Double the Donation, Getting Attention, and of course, NXUnite. These resources will help you stay in the know about the latest nonprofit software and fundraising strategy developments. 

Now that you have a roadmap for improving your fundraising skills, let’s take a look at a few of the best fundraising training programs, resources, and workshops available. 

Here are eight fundraising training courses and resources.

8 Fundraising Training Courses & Resources

Best Fundraising Webinars and Panels

Nonprofit webinars and panels help novice fundraisers learn how to improve their skills from the top fundraising professionals in the sector. Attendees can hear from the first-hand experience of other fundraisers to incorporate best practices into their nonprofit’s strategies. Check out the following sources for engaging, informative webinars and panel discussions.


NXUnite has a full calendar of free webinars and panels geared toward nonprofit professionals and others in the social-good space. Topics range from nonprofit IT best practices to how to connect with donors from different generations. The panelists and presenters are long-time industry experts that offer a wide range of insights and personal experiences.  

Double the Donation

If you’re looking specifically for information about improving your approach to corporate giving, including acquiring more matching gifts and volunteer grant funds, look no further than Double the Donation’s webinars. Double the Donation is the industry-leading provider of matching gift software for nonprofits, universities, and other fundraising organizations. Their webinars cover matching gift best practices and industry insights, integration updates, and general fundraising advice. 

Best Fundraising Workshops

Sometimes, what your organization needs is an intensive deep dive that allows you to set up more efficient and effective fundraising processes. You can find what you’re looking for in the form of a fundraising workshop, such as the programs offered by Aly Sterling Philanthropy. 

Aly Sterling Philanthropy

Aly Sterling Philanthropy is a nonprofit consulting firm that offers fundraising services ranging from strategic planning to board preparation and corporate philanthropy management. ASP offers three practical workshops focusing on board efficiency and engagement, board governance, and fundraising preparedness. 

Fundraising professionals can also purchase a variety of primers and toolkits from ASP’s Nonprofit Store. The store includes guides for stewarding donors, creating a strong case for support for a capital campaign, and evaluating your board’s and executive director’s effectiveness. 

Best Online Fundraising Courses

Fundraising courses allow fundraisers-in-training to work through relevant educational materials on their own time and at their convenience. With online fundraising courses, you can engage in training from anywhere and take things at your own pace. If you’re interested in taking a fundraising course, consider the following options.

AFP Global

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) empowers fundraising professionals by offering professional development, networking, and research opportunities. The organization’s e-courses cover fundraising fundamentals, CRM management, and more. They also offer resources for Spanish-speaking fundraising professionals. 

Also, AFP has teamed up with MindEdge to offer over 100 courses on everything from nonprofit leadership to finance and HR. These courses can apply to a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification. This certification designates an individual as an ethical fundraising professional who follows industry best practices and is committed to observing the highest fundraising standards. 


Nonprofit.Courses offers thousands of online course options, and the vast majority (over 90%!) of them are free. Popular topics include grant-writing, accounting and finance, and starting up a new nonprofit. Nonprofit professionals can use these courses to earn continuing education certifications, such as certificates in web design, sustainable management, and more. 


NonprofitReady offers free fundraising courses, allowing trainees to earn certificates and further their fundraising knowledge. Topics include online fundraising, email marketing, fundraising events, and more. Courses are designed by learning design professionals and nonprofit professional development experts. 

Best Fundraising Professional Training Programs

Coaches aren’t just for sports teams—there are also plenty of coaches available to help you advance in your fundraising skills. Some nonprofit professionals dedicate their time to providing tailored training programs to meet new fundraisers where they are and build up their skills. Let’s take a look at a couple of top fundraising training programs and coaches!

Fundraising Academy

The Fundraising Academy offers CFRE-accredited programs that integrate business best practices with donor relationship-building strategies. Their Cause Selling Education program allows you to learn amongst peers in a cohort environment. The program is targeted at helping you advance in all fundraising categories: major gift cultivation, planned giving, digital fundraising, and more. 

The Fundraising Coach

Marc Pittman is a leadership coach, fundraising trainer, and founder of The Fundraising Coach, a training and coaching program aimed at helping nonprofit professionals build a variety of skills. These include time management, leadership, marketing, and fundraising. Marc hosts personalized training sessions with nonprofit leadership groups to help build confidence and competency. Plus, Marc also offers executive coaching designed to help nonprofit leaders reach their full potential. 

Getting Started with Fundraising Training

Your fundraising training should be an ongoing process— even if you’re an experienced nonprofit professional with multiple years in the sector under your belt. No matter how experienced you think you are, there’s always more to learn!

If you’re looking to get connected and learn from other nonprofit professionals who have been in your shoes, explore the NXUnite community. We offer a variety of resources for nonprofit professionals, including webinars and resource lists of top industry solutions. Also, check out our list of upcoming nonprofit conferences to add a few more learning and networking opportunities to your calendar.  

If you’re ready to jump right into fundraising training, get started by exploring these additional resources:

Interested in connecting with other nonprofit professionals to further you fundraising training? Join the NXUnite community today!