Nonprofits should harness power of third-party fundraising to increase revenue

October 29, 2013

Nonprofits should harness power of third-party fundraising to increase revenue

Fundraising in the 21st century is about much more than just simple requests for donations. Nonprofits have a myriad of platforms through which to raise money and have more control over widespread efforts to do so.

Technology has opened many windows for nonprofits, both as fundraisers and service providers. Tech advancements have allowed organizations to connect with more clients, volunteers and potential donors. There are also many cost savings associated with platforms such as email, social media and kickstarter programs. Social media also allows members to spread the word to friends and followers, often without encouragement from the nonprofit itself. Followers will share posts on social media, motivate friends to get involved and share their own experiences with the nonprofit.

Types of third-party fundraising
Nonprofits are also discovering the advantages of third-party fundraising, according to Auren Kaplan in a blog post for Huffington Post. Kaplan identifies three main sources of third-party fundraising: challenge, community and individual.

  • Challenge fundraising takes advantage of physical competitions such as Tough Mudders, 5Ks and triathlons. These events often allow individuals or teams to acquire sponsorships from friends and family. Nonprofits can provide donors with the tools to raise money for their cause through many different events. Many challenge events are not associated with one specific cause, allowing participants to channel funds to the charities they are most passionate about. 
  • Community fundraising works in a similar way, allowing followers of a nonprofit to lead fundraising campaigns through sports teams or religious associations that they are involved with. Thanks to technology and social media, these donors can be next door or across the world.
  • Individual fundraising can be seen in the form of "in lieu of" requests for special occasions. Couples getting married can place a nonprofit on their registry or donate cash gifts to the organization afterwards.

Celebrities have also gotten more creative with their fundraising efforts in the wake of Internet publicity. They often share information about the organizations they support and get creative with donation efforts. Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall said he will match a $10,500 fine by the NFL as a donation to his foundation. Marshall wore green shoes during game against the New York Giants on Oct. 10 to raise awareness for mental health issues, which his foundation supports.

Nonprofits face continued obstacles in maintaining balanced budgets. From reduced grants and government funding to the loss of exemptions on services such as water and sewer, it's more important than ever that nonprofits develop strong fundraising efforts. Third-party fundraising is a cost-effective way to raise money and continue to spread the word about an organization. 

Nonprofit employees can also help the organization on their own time by participating in challenge events and by keeping friends and family updated on the needs of the organization. Third-party fundraising also allows nonprofits to rely less on large donations from single donors and harness the power of multiple donors who can reach out to new groups of potential contributors.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Companies, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.


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


Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO