6 fundraising tips for small NGOs

2 November 2017
Author: Catrin Cooper

GlobalGiving has supported hundreds of nonprofits from 170 countries to diversify their fundraising streams and build stronger organisations. We’ve put together our top tips for small NGOs to improve their fundraising. 

1. Set SMART goals

Before diving in you need to know what you are aiming to achieve. Put together a strategy and set goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound). Watch this video for more information on setting SMART goals and putting together a strategy. A crowdfunding campaign is a great way to focus fundraising efforts; GlobalGiving offers an Accelerator programme to get you started. 

2. Map your network

Network mapping is a visualisation of your connections to grow your supporter base. Identify a list of contacts that trust or could trust in your work, then ask your volunteers and staff to do the same. 

Once you have a solid list of contacts, think about how to best utilise them - perhaps they could make introductions to a new network, run a fundraising event or offer their time and talent to help coordinate your fundraising efforts. People who feel a personal connection to your work (and you) are more likely to give to your organisation, so mapping your connections when planning your outreach is key.

3. Find your advocates

To grow your network, identify advocates to help you raise awareness of your organisation’s great work. This will further extend your reach and introduce new people to your organisation who may want to donate or fundraise. It’s important to support advocates by providing them with resources and making them feel special, so find ways to appreciate their efforts! 

4. Use social media effectively 

Which social media channels will best support your fundraising campaign? Different social media channels have different audiences, so choose which content to share where. The best platforms for attracting online donations are Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Twitter is useful for engaging supporters, but it is not a major driver of donations. And don’t forget traditional forms of communication - picking up the phone, sending a letter/email – which can be just as effective. 

5. Be transparent

Supporters like to know how their donation is helping to support your work. Keep donors updated via project reports, update emails, newsletters and personal thank you notes. This helps to build relationships with your donors and increase their engagement over the long-term.

6. Thank your donors

Thanking donors is both an easy and important part of keeping people engaged. When supporters feel appreciated, they are more likely to give in future. Personalise your communications by including details of past achievements or what their donation has helped to support, and always be prompt in thanking your donors. 

A crowdfunding campaign is a great way to focus fundraising efforts; GlobalGiving offers an Accelerator programme to get you started.

Check out our funding hub for more resources on funding and fundraising. There will also be a whole strand on funding at the Bond Conference, 26-27 February.

About the author

Catrin Cooper
Global Giving

Catrin Cooper is the training and engagement coordinator at GlobalGiving, a charity that partners with charities to help them grow and thrive: providing access to fundraising tools, funding, support and training.