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Fundraising

Online fundraising: complete guide for 2021 & beyond

Learn how to adapt to and grow with virtual advancement in fundraising practices

As the world transitions out of the pandemic, online fundraising has become even more fundamental to maintaining organizational stability. Through the use of virtual platforms and tactics, organizations are able to engage larger donor audiences without relying on in-person events.

At Mobilize, we’ve helped organizations of all sizes drive millions of interactions through online fundraising and engagement tactics. By implementing online fundraising practices into your organization’s operations, income streams that facilitate the organizational development can be diversified and increased.


Table of contents:

  • Online Fundraising: The Basics
  • Building an Online Fundraising Toolkit
  • Our Favorite Online Fundraising Ideas
  • Driving More Virtual Engagement with Donors
  • Learn More about Online Fundraising

Online fundraising: the basics

Why is online fundraising important?

Online fundraising offers any organization the opportunity to raise money in a variety of ways. In addition to simply raising money, there are several advantages to online fundraising. These include not over-relying on in-person events and campaigns, reaching wide audiences, and offering more ways to engage.

What are the types of online fundraising?

  1. Online donation pages

Online donation pages are great ways to turn visitors into donors with ease. These pages can be built into your organization’s website. This page should be organized in a way that provides visitors with necessary information and a simple and easy way to make donations.


  1. General online fundraising campaigns

An online fundraising campaign is centered around raising funds for a specific cause in a designated amount of time. These campaigns can consist of various forms of communication, such as email, newsletters, and texts, all geared towards informing potential donors about the cause and promoting a call to action.


  1. Peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising makes use of supporters of your organization to raise funds on your behalf. Your organization’s network of supporters can be asked to create and share virtual crowdfunding pages with their peers, such as family, friends, and co-workers. That way, your call to action can reach a larger audience and enhance fundraising capabilities.


  1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a fundraising practice that sources small donations from a large number of people. There are various online crowdfunding platforms that offer easy-to-use solutions for creating crowdfunding pages. After establishing a crowdfunding page, promotion practices, such as digital communication and advertising can be used to generate donor awareness and source funding.


  1. Virtual events

Hosting a virtual event is a great way to facilitate engagement with support networks and fundraise. Using event management platforms, such as Mobilize, and video conferencing and live-streaming platforms, organizing events can simulate in-person engagement. Various events, such as auctions, galas, and telethons are enjoyable and fruitful methods of fundraising.

What do you need for online fundraising?

  • Online fundraising toolkit
  • Marketing strategies
  • Active social media presences
  • Engaging campaign ideas

Building an online fundraising toolkit

  1. Online donation software

Online donation software gives organizations the ability to collect, monitor, and distribute funds sourced from donors. The software also allows organizations to store and manage donor information, which can prove to be beneficial for future fundraising practices.

There are various online donation software platforms. Donorbox has assembled a list of the top 10 donation software platforms geared towards nonprofits. Check out the list, and see which one would be the most beneficial for your organization.

  1. Registration and peer-to-peer recruiting software

Registration software automates the process of registering for events. Thus, events are posted onto a platform and potential participants have the ability to register online. Specifically Mobilize offerers an all-inclusive platform that integrates online registration, fundraising, and  

Peer-to-peer recruiting software offers digital solutions to attract new donors to your support network. Various platforms allow organizations to create shareable fundraising pages that can be used by your supporters to promote a given cause and raise funds.


  1. A database or CRM

A CRM is a centralized database that allows an organization to store customer/supporter data and interactions. Using a CRM helps to manage all of the flows of information that come into an organization and increase efficiency in maintaining successful supporter engagement. Check out this list of CRM systems for nonprofits on Software Advice.


  1. Online marketing tools

Marketing serves an important role in nonprofit organization advancement, as marketing practices spread awareness about an organization's work, facilitate engagement, and can bring in new volunteers and donors.

Having tools for the fundamental marketing tools such as communication, digital design, and advertising can serve is essential. Simple Textin has assembled a list of affordable marketing tool platforms based on your needs.


  1. Virtual event platform

Virtual event platforms have been heavily used by organizations during the pandemic to run virtual events through live streaming and video conferencing technology. Various platforms have features that facilitate high levels for engagement with attendees, such as live-chat and Q&A functions.

Check out the top virtual event platforms on Nutshell.


  1. Text-to-give software

Text-to-give software simplifies the donation process by allowing donors to give through their mobile phones. This is another way to source donations from your network through virtual communication. Double the Donation provides a list of text-to-give services that fit with nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

While there are several platforms that have fundraising capabilities, those that integrate various tools into a one centralized system prove to be the most effective. Mobilize serves as an event and volunteer management system that has features covering registration, online fundraising, and recruiting.


Learn about how Mobilize’s software integration features can help nonprofits to actively learn from their performance over time here!

Our favorite online fundraising ideas

  1. Social media campaigns & contests

Launching a social media campaign is one of the leading ways to generate funds and promote engagement amongst organizational networks. With so many users on various platforms, social media engagement can reach large audiences through creative posts. One can integrate fundraising campaigns and fun contests, such as auctions. Get your social media campaign started!

  1. Google ad grants

Google ad grants are free advertising for nonprofit organizations. Under Google’s policy, nonprofits and charities are entitled to $10,000 worth of advertising per month. Through this free service, your organization can appear at the top of online search results, thus prompting more visitors to your webpage. This is a great way to increase donations by means of increasing overall audience size.

  1. Merchandise Sales

A merchandise sale is a great way to raise funds, advertise your organization, and provide supporters with useful items for everyday use. Organizations can design, advertise, and sell merchandise, such as T-shirts, hats, or water bottles. That way, organizations can raise funds for their mission and supporters can receive fun items.


For more online fundraising ideas, check out the list we’ve assembled on our blog!

Driving more virtual engagement with donors

Virtual engagement with respect to fundraising has become a necessary activity undertaken by organizations. The pandemic forced organizations of all sizes to turn to the internet to engage their donors in new ways, and these trends aren’t going away anytime soon.


  • Virtual events
  • Social media contests
  • Live-streamed campaign events
  • Peer-to-peer campaigns incorporating events
  • Hybrid campaigns and events


With the tough competition for donor attention online, it is crucial for organizations to drive as much engagement as possible. With the right tactics, combined with technology that prioritizes streamlined, intuitive user experience, fundraising efforts will prove to be successful.

For additional ideas and strategies for virtual campaigns and events, check out the Mobilize blog page for fundraising here.

Learn more about online fundraising

With the ever-changing world, technological advancements and organizational adaptation have kept driving mission success. Capitalizing on the vast assortment of online resources for fundraising is essential for nonprofit organizations.

Check out some Mobilize resources that can help you to get started with adapting your organization to fit with virtual evolutions.


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