Small Gifts Campaign

Nonprofit fundraising operates on many levels. Historically the greatest attention has been paid to what we refer to as major givers and gifts. The old 80/20 rule that 80% of the money comes from 20% of the givers has been a near universally accepted principal.

In recent decades grant-making organizations such as philanthropic foundations have loomed larger in the minds of many nonprofit boards, CEOs, and development officers. This although those organizations supply less than a fifth of the money contributed to nonprofits.

Most recently, with the advent of the Internet, small gifts from individual donors have been receiving greater attention from the fundraising community. A strategy that actively seeks numerous small gifts can pay off big time for nonprofits. It has been proven to bring in substantial amounts, and it can greatly aid donor acquisition and retention efforts.


Articles about Small-Gifts Campaigns

Building a Small-Gifts Campaign Landing Page

Website pages are an important part of any fundraising campaign. When the fundraising effort is made online only, the online campaign landing page (OCLP) can be the difference maker. It can speed or impede the giving process. As things stand now all online fundraising campaigns should be small-gift campaigns. The amount of money asked for should be scaled to the size of a common everyday purchase such as lunch in a restaurant. A gift of that size, requires no consideration by donors of its impact on their budget. It will be an impulse gift. The trick is not to get in the way of that impulse. People are infinitely more likely to walk away from making a $10 gift because of a slow cumbersome process than because of the impact the gift will have on their personal finances. The OCLP is called a landing page because that’s what happens. People land there after coming from somewhere else. Think of it like an airport. Everybody who has ever gotten off a plane at some large airport for the first time does so with a look of bewilderment. Where do I go? Left, right, straight? After leaving the secured area, comes the line of people holding name cards. Even if you’re one of the names, you still have to search for it among the 10 to 20 others. Then there’s baggage claim. Which one of 78 near identical black suitcases is yours? Let’s not even think about what happens when your bag doesn’t show up. How much better would it be if your private plane were landing at an airport where everything was set up for you to... read more

Micro Gifts & Impulse Giving Online

How the Smallest of Gifts Combined with the Impulse to Give Can Yield Real Results Micro-giving is most often thought of as the charitable donation of small increments of money from individual donors to a specific recipient. As it has developed in the past decade, it can be seen as a marketplace where philanthropic needs are offered to a “customer base” in search of opportunities to support, or invest, in causes, societies, and endeavors in which they believe. Micro-giving can be seen as having grown out of Nobel-Peace-Prize-winner Muhammad Yunnus’s Grameen Bank initiative begun 30 years ago to provide micro credit to individuals in Bangladesh. In its short history, micro giving has been largely the province of aggregating philanthropic websites offering a wide variety of giving opportunities. However, micro-giving can be an important fundraising tool for individual nonprofits in search of additional support for specific programs and institutional needs. Overall it should be thought of as part of a small-gifts program that reaches out to donors willing to make smaller donations. Traditionally, most nonprofit organizations have been inclined to concentrate fundraising efforts and resources primarily on seeking large donations and cultivating major donors—both individuals and foundations. Historically about the only ongoing effort to obtain smaller donations has been as part of annual fundraising campaigns to meet operational deficits. Micro-giving is a newer way to seek smaller gifts, but it should not be thought of as an alternative to a traditional annual fund appeal. The annual campaign is the tool for offsetting operational deficits. Micro-giving campaigns are best used for soliciting small gifts for specific purposes. They are a form... read more

Cultivate a “Grass-Roots” Fund-Raising
Campaign for Your Organization

Many non-profit organizations serve individuals who pay very little or who are unable to pay anything in the way of fees for the services they receive. They generally are in no position to give even the smallest donation to their organizations’ annual fund. In all instances those client/user groups are grateful for the good being done for them and their families. They quite often ask if they can do anything within their power and means to show appreciation to their service organizations since they have no money to give to them. Leaders of those non-profits want to know how best they can respond when at the times the people whom they serve say, “I know you need money and I want to help. Is there anything I can do?” I have found many such individuals were able to solicit small donations from their immediate family members, other relatives, friends, co-workers, and from other sources personal to them. They responded well to plans presented to them by their organizations’ development officers and trustees. Perhaps your organization can do the same by employing a model of such a program I have used a number of times with success. However, you should present the idea only when your clients or users of your programs and services enthusiastically volunteer their support. And, most important, you must be absolutely certain there is not even the slightest misperception that the quality and frequency of the services they receive from your organization are at all influenced whether or not they engage in fund-raising activities. Some Non-Profit Organizations Have Successfully Adapted This Type Of Campaign Individuals enrolled... read more