Why Digital Tools are Essential to Nonprofit Fundraising

Why Digital Tools are Essential to Nonprofit Fundraising banner image
Fundraising is the bread and butter of nonprofit organizations. Charitable contributions help fund programming, operational expenses, and more. They’re the key to success for any charity.

But not all fundraising tactics are the same—some are far more effective than others. Much like for-profit companies, nonprofits have experienced lots of progress and change over a decade or so—including the way they reach donors. 

Types of fundraising

Most nonprofit veterans know that there is a myriad of ways to raise funds. A few popular methods include:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Event fundraising
  • Partnerships
  • Grants funding 

While all of the above methods can be highly successful, many of them aren’t focused on, or don’t include the use of digital tools. Without digital tools, fundraising becomes less effective. 

What is a digital tool?

Digital tool is a broad term. When it comes to nonprofits though, most digital tools are SaaS (software as a service). SaaS tools include:

  • CRM software
  • Accounting software
  • Volunteer management software
  • Stewardship services

While these tools are great for organizational purposes, digital tools are also great for strategic fundraising.

Why is digital fundraising essential?

Unlike other digital tools, like CRM software, digital fundraising tools can make or break the success of an organization. Here’s why:

Digital is where donors are

While it’s probably no surprise to anyone, donors are online. Unlike years ago when paper practices were popular, most people are on social media or scrolling the web. 

When nonprofits don’t use web-based tools for their fundraising, they’re often missing out on huge potential audiences. Namely millennials and Gen-Z, an emerging donor and volunteer base, or chronically online.

Digital fundraising tools offer flexible giving options

One of the best ways to secure more funds is to offer flexible giving options. 

Unlike paper fundraising or in-person fundraising, which requires mail-in checks or cash donations, digital tools offer recurring giving payments, payments through Venmo or PayPal, and more. When donors have more options, and therefore, feel more in control of their money, they’re more likely to give.

Digital fundraising tools engage donors

Nonprofits know that one of the keys to success is consistent engagement with stakeholders.

It’s not enough to email them once a year, or say “hello” at in-person events—stakeholders need to be regularly connected with, and recognized. Digital fundraising tools—eye-catching and compelling—have the potential to inspire readers and connect with them. 

Digital fundraising tools help prevent staff burnout

The nonprofit industry experiences unusually high levels of burnout

With limited budgets and lots to accomplish, staff can easily feel exhausted. Digital fundraising tools, with multiple capabilities and ease of use, are perfect for alleviating the burden from staff shoulders.

Digital fundraising tools are integrative 

Most nonprofits are online already—they have websites, e-newsletters, and might even be on social media. Digital marketing fundraising tools allow for effortless integration. They can be embedded onto a website, posted on social media, or attached to an e-newsletter. 

Digital fundraising tools are cost-effective

Unlike sending out paper annual reports or mailing paper newsletters, digital fundraising tools tend to be much more cost-effective. For nonprofits that are worried about their budgets, SaaS is a great alternative.

What’s one of the #1 digital fundraising tools?

One of the easiest, most effective ways to double donations is through digital, web-based reports. 

Unlike email marketing tactics or text-to-give apps, a digital report is robust. Whether through an impact report, annual report, or even a board report, a well-designed digital report meets readers where they are—and turns them into donors.

Unlike other digital tools that only accomplish one piece of the puzzle, a digital report tells the story of your organization. Mainly, they help to explain the who, what, where, why, and how.

The who:

Staff, donors, beneficiaries, etc.

The what:

Unique mission and goals

The where:

 The future of the organization

The why: 

Mission, values, progress

The how:

Links and buttons for readers to get involved: CTAs, links to sign-ups, and more information

Wrapping it up

Digital tools are the future of fundraising and Yearly is proud to support the work of Maryland Nonprofits as an associate member. 

Digital, web-based reports created with software like Yearly, are an expert way to inform donors and inspire them to take action. To get started on your digital report, check out Yearly’s free trial, or reach out to our team at hello@yearly.report with any questions or if we can be of assistance.