3 Modern Fundraising Techniques

Leila and her Bald Ballons [Photo by jesssloss] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

We need to get with the times!

So that means constant innovation and improvement for both for-profit social enterprises and non-profits alike.

Fundraising Today

Fundraising for good causes is an old tradition that has been around for thousands of years, as human beings have the innate desire to help others and in social missions that they believe in.

In today’s information age, fundraising has transformed and there are new techniques for social enterprises to raise funds for programmes that can change the world.

Without these funds, many important social causes would not be able to function as they would lack the resources to do so.

Here are 3 trends in modern fundraising techniques!

1. Modern Fundraising Technique of Crowdsourcing

A modern fundraising concept is the idea of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a lot like the popular reality show Shark Tank, in which small businesses and entrepreneurs use written pitches and videos to appeal to members within a site’s online network and set a target amount that they want to raise.

The idea is that by sheer virtue of the number of donors who are willing to give small amounts, startups are often able to meet their targets and get off the ground. The impact of these crowd-sourcing sites is still small, but it has the potential to grow quickly.

According to news reports, the SEC is considering letting investors purchase equity stakes in companies through these sites, which has been banned in the past. This is one way that the SEC is trying to make it easier for small business to access needed financing, without having to undergo the full disclosure and other legal requirements of securities laws for share issues.

2. Raising Funds from Individuals and Corporations

Nonprofit organization face some unique fundraising challenges, which many have found creative ways of addressing. Still, the sources of income for nonprofits remain largely the same over time.

Individuals are the largest source of funding nonprofit organizations. Total charitable giving in the US reached more than $303 billion in 2009, and of that amount a full 75% came from individuals. Corporations also contribute to nonprofits, but these companies most often give in order to get something in return. That something is positive publicity, community respect and market share.

Corporate funding tends to revolve around specific campaigns, events and projects. It can be a good source of support for special projects, and non-profits should look for opportunities to form partnerships with corporate sponsors that want to engage in cause-related marketing. Federal, state and local governments also provide funding for many nonprofits in the form of grants.

3. The Giving Pyramid & Professional Fundraising Techniques

Many books have been written on the topic of fundraising, such as the classic The Raising of Money
by James Gregory Lord. The key principles outlined in this book provide the foundation for many professional fundraising efforts today.

The book focused on the art and science of campaigning and face-to-face solicitation, which it presented in a highly readable style. These principles are applicable to a broad range of organizations that are interested in tapping into the private philanthropic community. During the current recession, fundraising has been especially challenging for many organizations.

Fundraising professionals commonly refer to a “Giving Pyramid”, which is a diagram of a comprehensive fund-raising program where different strategies are employed at each level of the pyramid to engage engage first time donors at entry levels and cultivate them to make successively larger gifts at the upper levels over time.