fundraising

5 Digital Fundraising Resolutions That You Can Actually Keep

Eric Billings

Associate Vice President, Digital Product Management

January 8, 2020

2020 has arrived along with all of our resolutions for the new year and. hopefully, a refreshed outlook on the year to come. Most new year’s resolutions start great and fade quickly, whether it’s getting healthy to being better at budgeting, but what can we commit to in our professional work that we can easily achieve? As you prepare for upcoming campaigns, here are five achievable digital fundraising resolutions that will improve your campaigns.

Don’t waste discovered affinity.

The one thing that usually doesn’t change year to year is affinity, and this year you should not ignore it. Crowdfunding and Giving Days are great ways to help your institution identify donor affinities beyond educational degrees or activities they are involved in (or were at some time). Once you have the affinities identified, it’s important to act on that information. Consider sending donors personalized content based on affinity or consider arming gift officers with tailored asks.

Don’t be shy. Tell the giving story often.

Digital Fundraising Resolutions in 2020

This one is easy because RNL Digital Giving powered by the ScaleFunder platform makes it easy. Our robust crowdfunding, giving day and custom online giving page platform allows you to tell the story of philanthropy at your institution and how gifts can truly make a difference. Aside from choosing campaigns with great stories behind them, empower your campaign creators, giving day collaborators, and ambassadors with easy-to-use tools so that they can amplify the giving narrative. Remember that you can continue to tell these stories through project updates after campaigns have ended, which will demonstrate the impact of giving to donors.

Don’t ask what you can do for crowdfunding—ask what crowdfunding can do for you. 

In 2020, commit to letting your crowdfunding program become a triage for faculty and student projects, in addition to featuring centrally-driven campaigns. You will make those audiences feel valued and heard, and you will free up time resources for your institution’s gift officers, allowing them to remain focused on major gifts. Keep in mind that your faculty and students are the best leads for your campaigns, not your gift officers. You should bring in gift officers after campaigns have been vetted to help identify opportunities for leadership gifts, matching challenges, or major gifts in the campaign.

Don’t skip buy-in—it makes the wheels go round.

For many of you, this year’s giving day planning is in full swing (or will be soon). Before you get sucked into themes and social media plans, make sure you commit to a strategy that include campuswide buy-in. This may take more work on your end. You may have to hold info sessions on campus to explain to Jim what giving days are despite the fact that “Jim” has been at your institution during the last three giving days. Perfectly fine—make Jim feel heard and a part of the giving day team.

You might even have to answer the same question you’ve answered every year: “Are giving days worth the work?”  The answer is yes, and with more buy-in the workload for your advancement staff can decrease!

Bring your campus partners together and give them a purpose in this campaign, using a platform that lets multiple areas on campus be featured. Consider putting together a steering committee that includes colleagues who understand giving days along with those who might be anxious or apprehensive. Once you have the buy-in from that committee, you can utilize them to help spread additional buy-in on campus. Giving days take a village, and campuses that get good buy-in set records.

Don’t ignore data.

This last resolution is the easiest by far, because we’re serving up data to you here at RNL. Read our Crowdfunding Index, compare your program’s results to the benchmarks presented in the report, and then choose three best practices to implement at your program. If you’re wondering how to best apply the data to your program, contact us and we’ll give you a hand.

Let us help you turn your digital fundraising resolutions into real results

Are you prepared to keep your resolutions in 2020? RNL can help you achieve tremendous success this year and beyond. Schedule a time to talk with us and we can share insights into increasing digital engagement and donor excitement. Contact us today.



About the Author

Eric Billings

Eric Billings is a passionate fundraising professional with just over a decade of industry experience, including major gift fundraising, planned giving, and annual giving. He has focused a majority of his career exploring innovative and...

Read more about Eric's experience and expertise

Reach Eric by e-mail at Eric.Billings@RuffaloNL.com.


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