Online fundraising can help nonprofits boost revenue

June 5, 2013

Online fundraising can help nonprofits boost revenue

Fundraising options are often limited for nonprofits that may not have the funds to hold quarterly events or marketing budgets to help spread the word about their cause. However, there are different ways organizations can bring in funds. Online auctions are a simple, effective method that uses the nonprofit's website as a marketplace on the Internet for donors who want to contribute some of their belongings or purchase others.

The NonProfit Times shared how Tacoma Goodwill, located in Federal Way, Wash uses its site,, to generate funds for the organization through an auction. An original Salvador Dali drawing donated anonymously was one of the first items to generate a lot of buzz on the website and was sold last year for more than $21,000. According to Dylan Lippert, e-sales manager for Tacoma Goodwill, word about the artwork quickly spread, and the organization didn't have to do much marketing for the piece by the famous artist.

"The donation attendant recognized there was a signature on the piece, which made it important," Lippert told the news source. "We allowed the website and media attention to promote it for us."

Nonprofits can get much of their funding from sales
Many people bid on items that are auctioned off by nonprofits because they want to support a cause, and may even pledge more money than they would if it was being sold on another site. However, many organizations allow only bidders and donors that are constituents of the nonprofit to participate, the source noted. People often feel more comfortable when they are interacting with others associated with the nonprofit in a proprietary platform.

"The advantage is you know who you're buying from," Ryan Smith, technology services manager for, told the source. "The person on the other end of the transaction is a Goodwill member. You know what their mission is about, and you know it's not just some random person on the Internet."

Crowdfunding options can supplement auctions
Nonprofits that are experiencing prosperity with online auctions sites may want to continue their virtual success by using a crowdfunding website to gain additional donations. These sites require organizations to use their own credit card processor to collect funds from people looking to support their cause. However, it is often difficult for nonprofit decision-makers to figure out which site will work best for their organization. Here are some tips from The Fundraising Authority on choosing the best platform:

  • The site has a strong design: When potential donors log onto the site, it has to accurately reflect the cause supported by the nonprofit. Sites that allow for the integration of pictures and videos may be the ones organizations can lean toward.
  • Marketing is made easy: One of the best ways nonprofits spread the word about fundraising options is through followers' social media shares. The easier the site is to integrate with marketing channels, the more attractive the site will be.
  • Payment options aren't complicated: Donors who are willing to give money to the organization don't want to access a crowdfunding site and find it difficult to contribute.

Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.


First Nonprofit has saved us so much money over the state’s program. We had one little glitch with the state recently and we contacted FNP immediately. FNP staff called us back immediately and moved to remedy the problem.

WI Council of Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS), Madison, WI

First Nonprofit has been a great partner. They have helped us saved hundreds of thousands of dollars! They have awesome resources for our nonprofit organization. Thanks for the partnership.

Community Care Inc., Milwaukee, WI

Life is certainly busy these days but having business partners like First Nonprofit has made some of the process hassle free. We have worked with this team for years. When we changed payroll systems, they outlined every step. I think this team is terrific and I know they get the job done! Thank you, Cruz, to all the team at FNP.

Gulfside Healthcare Services, New Port Richey, FL

FNP has helped our agency to save thousands of dollars every year on our unemployment coverage. The service is phenomenal, and we are thankful to their team as our partner. My experience working with Marshall on the advocacy around UE for nonprofits was also a highlight as someone who teaches advocacy and lobbying for nonprofits. Really, your whole team is top shelf, so thank YOU!

Advancing Academics, Turtle Creek, PA

Chicago Children’s Theatre has greatly benefited from our partnership with First Nonprofit, and I have always enjoyed working with the staff on our filings and any complicated questions. I would not hesitate to recommend First Nonprofit to fellow nonprofits. We’re very happy customers.

Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago, IL

FNP is a great resource for Daniel Kids. To have a TPA that we can count on to take point on not only managing our unemployment claims, but to support and guide any protest hearing, is invaluable. All the professional support staff we have worked with have been excellent, very knowledgeable and responsive. We are grateful for the help and support, thank you.

Daniel Kids, Jacksonville, FL

When I first began in my position at my organization, I hadn’t had experience working with a company like FNP. The staff was so patient and helpful in helping to explain the benefits of First Nonprofit. Anytime I reach out with a question I receive a quick, clear, and thorough response. I’m so thankful that we decided to partner with FNP. Their excellence in customer service, coupled with their variety of packages frees us up to truly serve our staff and community with a peace of mind knowing that our organization is protected against unanticipated unemployment insurance expenses.

Homes of Hope, Chicago, IL

First Nonprofit gets an A+ in my book. You are so easy to work with & very knowledgeable! Whether it is my quarterly correspondence with Kim or my random interactions with Dawn about a bond … I am so pleased that I get to work with such a helpful company. Thank you!

Women's Choice Network, Pittsburgh, PA