Best Practices for Nonprofit Giving

Best Practices for Nonprofit Giving

Technology has changed the way organizations engage donors. Best practices promote giving by reaching people in new and exciting ways. Fundraising can be improved even more when online giving is paired with regular communication.


Send a message to your community at least once every month with news, photos, or a brief appeal for donations. Even better, share these updates on Facebook, Twitter, your newsletter, and any other “channel” you use to connect with people.

Be Transparent

Openly share your organization’s needs with your supporters.

  1. Tell Them Why you are raising money for your cause, including a list of specific expenses and why they are important.
  2. Ask for Donations from your supporters, and be sure to include different voices from your community as part of this effort.
  3. Say Thank You immediately upon receiving a gift. This is a great opportunity to tell them what their gifts have helped you accomplish.

 For more ideas, see our post on storytelling and transparency.

 Plan Ahead

Set a fundraising goal, based on both your short- and long-term needs. Share this plan with staff and volunteers early on.

  1. Develop an Attainable Objective
    • Clearly define what you want your results to be, whether they are a specific number of new donors or a total donation amount.
    • Fuel your objective with passion and purpose by getting those around you involved and spreading the word about your motivation behind the goal.
    • Think about both long-term and short-term objectives: What do you want to accomplish a month from now? What do you want to accomplish in the next year?
  2. Make a Plan
    • Put an action plan in place that includes all the necessary steps required to achieve your goal
    • Make sure the plan is put in writing and shared among members involved in the outcome of the goal to add a level of accountability.
    • Place your plan in a visible location to fuel your parish’s motivation. Perhaps set up a goal thermometer image to showcase where you are now and where you want to be in terms of donations.
  3. Put Your Plan in Motion
    • Share your plan with parishioners and get others involved in the mission to get the most out of your plan to maximize resources within your parish.
    • Be transparent about the progress and setbacks of the process with your parish.
  4. Measure Your Results
    • Report on the outcome of the campaign to allow you to determine if you have achieved the intended results.
    • Keep track of these results to help you make necessary changes and improvements in setting your next goal.

St. Teresa of Avila made their own plan to register 100 new parishioners for online giving, and grew their donor base by 208 percent. Learn how they did it here.


Connect with your community directly to ask for their time, talent and treasure. Spread the word through multiple channels, with several different people delivering the message.

  • Approach different groups and ask them to begin making their gifts online. Your supporters will be excited to be asked to help.
  • Find a few volunteers to share their experience of giving online.
  • Publish a brief article about online giving in your newsletter and on your website. Let your community know how their gifts help support your mission.

Looking for some “engaging” ideas? Check out our Ideas to Encourage Giving!

 Go All In

Commit your staff to your fundraising efforts, asking them to spend extra time to help any potential donor who has questions about your goal or how to make a gift. As you progress toward (and eventually achieve!) your goal, take some time to review the things you’ve tried before. Assess what worked (and what didn’t), and take advantage of the opportunity to start some new traditions of outreach and involvement.

“Using GiveCentral has allowed our parishioners to give more consistently through online giving. The system is very user-friendly and accommodates the unique needs of the individual parish. Everything else is done online. Why shouldn’t we be, too?”

Geoff Pautsch, Director Parish Operations
St. Mary of Perpetual Help

See Our Best Practices in Action

Join an upcoming webinar to see how GiveCentral can help you raise more money in support of your mission.

Questions about our best practices? Use the form below to contact us for more information, or to set up a live demonstration for your staff.

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