5 ways to enhance your nonprofit's back-to-school campaign

Back to school season can be a great time for non-profits and charities to raise money for their causes. Rounding, matching and rewards can bring greater success.

Back-to-school can be an exciting time for many as parents and students look forward to the new school year. For many others, it can be a time of high stress and high costs, with families and students needing to purchase books, school supplies, backpacks, clothing and more. 

As the 2023 back-to-school season approaches, nonprofit organizations have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of students and their families. Whether your fundraiser is aimed at helping families with back-to-school expenses or for other causes within the community, this is a great time to raise awareness about your fundraiser.  

In this article, we outline methods for fundraisers to raise funds in ways that are more sustainable for the organization and more engaging for the donors. These methods include: 

  1. Make donations recurring
  2. Offer cashback rewards 
  3. Make onboarding easy 
  4. Allow donors to cancel 
  5. Engage with donors and share stories of impact

With these ideas, fundraisers can expect to increase donations and impact. 

1. Make donations recurring

While one-time donations are great, recurring donations (preferably automatic) are fantastic for fundraisers. These are ongoing donations from individuals that commit a certain amount on a regular basis, usually monthly. They ensure a steady stream of funding which allows organizations to better plan for the future. 

But how can you get donations to be recurring? 

One way is to create the option for automatic payments through recurring systems that charge the payment method that donors have on file. 

Another way is to offer rounding and roundups, where donors can round up every purchase and donate the difference. For example, if a donor buys a backpack for $29.50, the purchase can be rounded up to the nearest dollar and the extra funds ($0.50) can be donated to a fundraiser of their choice. 

Rounding can be used for individuals who find it difficult to set aside some money towards a cause they care about, or they want to give more frequently but aren’t ready to commit to set dollar amounts. With rounding and roundups, the donors make everyday purchases as normal, but don’t feel the pain of parting with their funds. 

Moreover, it’s been found that the average donation increases with methods like rounding and roundups (up to $30 per month!).

2. Offer cashback rewards 

Offering cashback rewards on purchases that customers already make can be a great win-win way to encourage people to sign up, activate and donate. 

Cashback rewards can be directly cashback, discounts and special promotions, or they can be cashforward. Cashforward is when the cashback that the donor would’ve received is donated towards the fundraising organization. This has the added benefit of further increasing donor impact. 

In these inflationary times, where donors are likely concerned about budgets, cashback rewards and offers can be a major help - either by reducing costs for donors, or by increasing donations through an easier and more frictionless way. 

3. Make onboarding easy 

Card-linking technology makes it easier than ever to onboard new donors. Once a card is linked, customers can start rounding and earning cash back rewards to put towards fundraisers that matter to them. This means more sustainable revenues for your fundraiser. Gain more freedom to focus on your mission and impact by reducing your time spent chasing after donations.

A main concern about card-linking is privacy and security. Fortunately, with Olive’s card-linking technology, banking information is not required, personal information about donors is not stored, and all interactions use a tokenized card identifier and member IDW - all making it safe, secure and reliable.

4. Allow donors to opt-out 

Sometimes, donors just need to cancel and that’s fine. It’s best practice to make this process as painless as possible. 

Rounding offers this level of flexibility. Donors can set up their rounding (with choice of how much to round up to) and they can also cancel their rounding when they want to.

By offering opt-out, organizations may find that donors return to them in the future. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, providing suitable opt-out options allows organizations to leave the door open for donors to reverse their decisions when it’s more suitable for them in the future. 

5. Engage with donors and share stories of impact

Fundraisers that can show the impact the donations are having on the lives of others are a great way to engage more people to donate. Furthermore, it can show donors that their contributions are making a difference. 

Imagine engaging with donors on every purchase in real-time. Sharing their progress and showing the benefits of their contribution can provide emotional satisfaction and encourage donors to donate even more. 

Start rounding today

These new solutions make it easy for fundraisers to increase their recurring donations. They are simple and easy for fundraisers to set-up and it means getting more recurring donations. 

Here at Olive, we help increase recurring donations through an all-in-one embedded finance platform that implements rounding programs, which can then be easily leveraged by matching and reward. 

Schedule a demo today.

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