Alternative Fundraising Mediums for Nonprofits

Has your nonprofit’s fundraising growth hit a plateau? Do you feel like you’ve tapped out your current donor base?

Though there are always things you can do to maximize donations from your supporter pool, sometimes the well does start running dry and you need to look for other revenue streams.

When the reach and impact of your mission depends on your revenue, you need to look outside of traditional donations and diversify your fundraising efforts.

This involves diversifying your fundraising sources, such as individual donors, foundation grants, corporate sponsorship, or paid products.

It could also mean diversifying your fundraising opportunities, including galas, marathons, tournaments, auctions, or concerts.

Yet beyond the standard check or credit card donation, nonprofits can benefit from different mediums of giving.

We’re going to take a look at 4 alternative mediums of revenue for nonprofits:

  1. Planned Giving
  2. Stock Donations
  3. International Currencies
  4. Cryptocurrencies

While all of these won’t apply to you, there could be one that’s an untapped well of potential donations that will give your revenue a boost. Don’t you owe it to the people you’re helping to at least try?

Planned Giving

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There are a lot of terms and types for this – legacy gifts, inheritance gifts, estate planning, bequests, etc… Basically when a person dies, they leave a portion of their money to your organization.

This is important because these gifts can often be quite large – sometimes much more than what the donor gave in their lifetime. Especially from wealthy individuals, any percentage of their inheritance can mean a significant influx of revenue that’s crucial for your nonprofit.

Now is the time to set one up, as baby boomers are about to leave behind $30 trillion, the greatest transfer of wealth in history.

However, this obviously isn’t an immediate source of income – it’s an investment that you don’t know when you will get. But it takes an investment into your most loyal aging donors now. They’re priority for their inheritance is taking care of their families, so if they’re going to leave anything to your organization, they have to really believe in your cause and trust that you will make a significant impact with their money – money that they literally spent a lifetime to accumulate.

It’s advised that you consult financial planners to help setup planned giving opportunities for your organization, but here’s one online platform that can help with that process.

Stock Donations

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You might be hesitant to receiving stocks because it doesn’t seem like immediate, tangible cash. But stocks gives you options. You can cash it out immediately, or hold on to it and let it appreciate in value over time.

Your supporters who own stock probably prefer to give that stock over cash. It has tax benefits for them and doesn’t cut into their disposable income. Stock donations have been increasing steadily over the past several years, with the average stock donation being over $5,000.

There are a few companies that have an online platform for your nonprofit to accept stock donations and cash them out.

Donations in International Currencies

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This isn’t really that much of an alternative funding method, as you’re still receiving money. But not having it can be leaving money on the table.

If you’re an international nonprofit, or at least have international donors, you need to let them give in their own currency. It removes the barrier of them having to convert what they’re giving into your local currency, and sends the message that you value them as donors.

It may require you to switch over your current donation form software, but it’s worth it. Most platforms that accept international currencies allow the user to pick their currency, and often times will automatically select it for them based on their location. Here are a few to consider.

Cryptocurrency Donations

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Cryptocurrency, or digital currency, is a bit vague and mysterious for most people. You’re probably familiar with Bitcoin as the most popular one, but multiple others exist.

We won’t get into what cryptocurrency actually is or how it works, but we’ll talk about why it’s important to pay attention to it as a consideration for donations.

Bitcoin has been steadily growing over the past decade, though it was shunned by most governments and financial institutions for being unregulated. But towards the end of 2020, legit players started dipping into digital currency.

For example, countries like China, Australia, and France have started working on their own digital currencies. Big investment firms like Fidelity are letting their clients invest in digital currencies. And banks like JPMorgan Chase have already released their own digital currency.

There’s serious value in it, and there are people who have it, including some of your donors. In fact, multiple big nonprofits already accept cryptocurrency donations, including Red Cross, United Way, and Save the Children.

It can be daunting to dip into something so new and uncertain, but there are a few companies that guide you along that process and also provide the software platform to help you accept cryptocurrency donations and convert it into regular cash.

I get that adding new fundraising mediums can be a challenge. There’s some research and setup involved. For larger organizations, it may have to go through a few levels of approval.

But what is that additional revenue worth to you, and what would it mean for your mission?

To ensure that your nonprofit continues to grow for decades to come, it’s time to invest now in diversifying how you fundraise.

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