The Top 7 Creative and Effective Fundraising Strategies to Engage Donors and Increase Giving

Staying adaptable and open to new fundraising ideas for your institution is essential—especially as the fundraising landscape evolves. To remain effective and thriving during this evolution, you must instill not only creativity but analysis of strategy performance, seek feedback from donors, and have a willingness to adjust your approach to meet their preferences.


Combining creativity, technology, and a solid commitment to your mission elevates your fundraising efforts, engages donors, and inspires giving. 


Consider these seven creative and effective fundraising strategies to get started. 

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a strategy in which individual supporters host personal campaigns to collect donations from their friends, family, and colleagues on behalf of an organization. This approach benefits you to organically expand your reach to a new, previously unexplored networks of supporters.


This approach also leverages your supporters’ trust and influence while reaching a broader audience. 


Empower your existing supporters to become advocates for your cause. Encourage them to create personal fundraising pages and share stories on their social networks. Provide tools and resources to help them succeed and acknowledge their efforts with recognition and rewards.

Virtual Fundraising Events

The digital age has brought new opportunities for engagement with minimal cost and increased accessibility. Virtual fundraising events like webinars, online auctions, or virtual galas eliminate geographical limitations, making participation more accessible for global donors. 


Increase engagement by including interactive elements like live chats and panel sessions to keep participants involved and excited about your cause.

Crowdfunding Campaigns

Crowdfunding is often used by startup companies or growing businesses to access alternative funds, but it can be a valuable tool for nonprofit organizations because it allows for a dynamic way to raise funds and engage donors. 


When using crowdfunding, create compelling and concise campaigns with clear goals and focus on impactful storytelling. Share your campaigns on social media and encourage donors to share with their networks. Offer rewards or recognition for different levels of support to incentivize contributions and create a sense of community.

Monthly Giving Programs

A monthly giving program is a recurring donation program where donors can automatically donate a specific amount to their favorite nonprofit organization at a consistent frequency—i.e., weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. These sustainable, recurring donations are a valuable source of income for your organization. 


Encourage donors to commit to monthly giving programs by highlighting consistent contributions’ convenience and long-term impact. Consider offering exclusive updates or access to supporters who join the program early on to create a sense of belonging.

Storytelling and Impactful Content

Statistics may shock and awe for a moment, but they will rarely get people to act. Storytelling engages donors emotionally. Stories help you express your mission—even to people who may know nothing about your organization—and inspire action. 


Personalize your messaging with storytelling concepts to connect with donors on a deeper level and emphasize how their support makes a difference. Share compelling narratives that showcase the real-world impact of your organization’s work. Use multimedia content—like videos and photos—to bring stories to life. 

Matching Gift Programs

Donation matching is a corporate giving initiative in which an employer matches their employee’s contribution to a specific cause, increasing the gift without the added effort. Companies often appreciate matching gift programs because they show they support employees and have a philanthropic effect. 


For example, if an employee donates $50 to a local organization, the matching gift would be their company’s additional donation of $50.


Encourage donors to ask their employers about matching gift programs. If your organization intends to offer matching gift programs, make it easy for donors to initiate the matching process by providing the necessary documentation and support.

Giving Challenges and Competitions

Competition is a crucial factor in any fundraising effort—it creates excitement and generates buzz around the event or cause. 


Create a sense of friendly competition among donors by organizing challenges or competitions. Set specific fundraising goals and deadlines and encourage donors to compete individually or as teams. Reward the top fundraisers with prizes or acknowledgment. 


Incorporating a mix of these creative and effective fundraising strategies empowers your organization to engage donors and increase giving. Successful fundraising is built on trust, transparency, and a genuine connection with your supporters. Regularly communicate the impact of their contributions and express your gratitude to maintain donor loyalty and inspire continued support.