Fundraising Tools and Techniques to Replace AmazonSmile
For about a decade, millions of online shoppers used the AmazonSmile platform to donate funds to charity organizations of their choosing. But in February 2023, Amazon shut down this customer donation program, saying that they’re moving on to other corporate social responsibility programs that can help the retail giant make meaningful changes. In the wake of AmazonSmile’s end, nonprofits must seek alternative fundraising tools and techniques.
If your nonprofit relied on AmazonSmile as a helpful, low-effort means of bringing in funding, chances are its demise was quite a blow to your organization. But there’s no need to feel discouraged. There are plenty of ways to fill the gap!
7 Fundraising Tools and Techniques to Implement
Many nonprofits were (and still are) left wondering how to make up for the funding they lost from AmazonSmile. Thankfully, there are many alternative sources of funds you can explore. For example, you can take a general approach, such as creating personalized email campaigns encouraging subscribers to give. Plus, you can apply more tactical methods, like taking advantage of Google Ad Grants.
Basically, there’s no shortage of options to help bring in the funding your organization needs to fulfill its mission.
Here are 6 fundraising tools and techniques you can use to bring in donations:
- Host Fundraisers on Social Media
Social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook offer an excellent alternative for nonprofits to raise funds from individuals and businesses.
By leveraging social media, you can gain a sizeable following and encourage donors to contribute toward your fundraising campaign. Even without aggressive promotion campaigns, social media pages that are consistently active quickly gain followers who voluntarily participate in the activities of the organization. Plus, most of these platforms have built-in tools to make sharing your campaign even easier.
Recent statistics show that 55% of social media users who engage with nonprofits online eventually take some action, while 59% of those donate money. More than 29% of Giving Tuesday donation traffic on mobile devices originates from Facebook. Additionally, 84% of Facebook users share posts to support the cause. For that reason, many nonprofits agree that Facebook is the most appropriate social media platform for their causes. This is followed closely by Twitter and YouTube.
Ultimately, you want to identify the social media channels where potential donors spend the most time and meet them there. Make it easy for them to give to your cause by using the available tools. And don’t forget to encourage them to share with friends and family to extend your reach!
- Add a Donation Feature to Your Website
If you don’t already allow donations through your site, now is the time to start! Of all the possible fundraising tools and techniques, this is one all nonprofits should implement. Adding a “Donate Now” button to your organization’s website is a simple and effective way to raise funds. When the website has been well-marketed and has high visitor traffic, you can look forward to an increase in donations from those who resonate with your cause.
Setting up donations on your website is easy, especially if you use WordPress. A plugin can be installed in the website header for greater visibility and quicker access by site visitors. There are several options you can use, including the following:
- Charitable – This plugin allows you to accept donations through PayPal, Stripe, and more. Plus, it offers customizable donation forms and emails.
- GiveWP – This plugin offers an extensive tool kit that includes donor management and text giving. And it works well with most page builders.
These tools are easy to install and user-friendly, which is a win-win for donors and nonprofits.
In addition to using helpful tools, make sure to follow donation page best practices to encourage visitors to take the next step and give.
- Develop Partnerships with Businesses
Nonprofits can improve their fundraising efforts by partnering with various businesses. This can include restaurants, big corporations, and even state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The fact that 90% of companies have indicated that partnering with reputable nonprofits enhances their brand makes it easy to find business partners.
One significant advantage of partnerships with corporate organizations is that they can help you reach a bigger audience. By advertising their corporate social responsibility activities, they can make more people aware of your mission. They also contribute part of their profits directly to you, boosting your donation levels.
Big corporate and SOE partnerships can also promote the credibility of your nonprofit in the public’s eyes. This makes you appear more trustworthy and legitimate. And as you know, public confidence in a charitable organization goes a long way in boosting donation campaigns.
So, look for opportunities to partner with businesses. Some examples include restaurants like Noodles and Panera, which are popular with school PTAs. But there are many more businesses that help with fundraisers.
Tip: Don’t forget about small businesses! After all, every dollar counts toward your mission. There are likely local grocery stores, restaurants, and other organizations that would be willing to contribute a portion of sales to your cause, especially if it will give them positive PR. Although they may not have formal fundraising options in place, a member of your team could reach out to see if they would be interested in such an opportunity.
- Leverage Crowdfunding Platforms
Crowdfunding has a long history. It is among the most effective and widely accepted fundraising tools and techniques that make for a good AmazonSmile alternative. It is a great source of donations for specific and general cause programs.
Crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe, DonorsChoose, and DonorBox can be leveraged to raise significant amounts of money for charities. This is because they integrate the power of social media and the internet. That attribute makes crowdfunding platforms a highly beneficial fundraising technique because it helps charities maximize their fundraising potential.
Crowdfunding for nonprofits also has several benefits. This includes…
- A wider donor base
- No need for larger fundraising teams
- Social proof creation
These benefits help with cost-cutting and create a support base for future fundraising campaigns.
Tip: If you have a CRM like Network for Good, you also have the built-in capability of running a crowdfunded-type fundraiser and setting up landing pages for each person. (We’re doing this for Community for Hope, and I was able to set up my own custom landing page as part of the fundraiser. It was super easy!)
- Host a “Friendraiser”
Hosting a “friendraiser” can also help expand your donor base. This involves reaching out to those within and outside the nonprofit. Instead of charging big bucks to go to your annual gala, you encourage current board members, donors, and other stakeholders to invite a friend to attend an event. The goal is not focused on raising new money but expanding awareness of the nonprofit and showcasing its impact—with the goal of generating new donor dollars down the road.
- Sell Merchandise via Bonfire
Bonfire is a platform that uses printed T-shirt fundraising campaigns to help nonprofits raise funds online. It is a great AmazonSmile alternative that enables nonprofits to sell their merchandise online while avoiding extra merchandising costs like storage and shipping of inventories.
Bonfire includes features like…
- A free online store for nonprofits to sell merchandise
- Dropshipping, which means no need for physical inventory
- Reduced donation fees
- A verified nonprofit badge to boost credibility
- Customizable profile pages
Plus, you collect 100% of the profits you raised from your campaign.
Another advantage of using Bonfire as one of your fundraising tools and techniques is that you can increase awareness of your nonprofit through the merch people wear!
- Explore Other “Shop-for-Good” Options
If you liked the AmazonSmile setup and are looking for a true alternative, you’re in luck. There are other “shop-for-good” options available. With platforms like ShopRaise, Givebacks, and Goodshop, you can bring in funding through online shopping. All you have to do is apply to have your cause featured on the site/app and then spread the word. It’s a great incentive because donors don’t need to give extra money; instead, they can support your nonprofit while shopping at their favorite retailers!
The end of AmazonSmile may have disrupted the flow of donor funds to many nonprofits in the U.S. and beyond. But the good news is that there are other effective and legitimate fundraising tools and techniques to apply for much better milestones. The best course of action is to incorporate many alternative fundraising techniques. This helps avoid overreliance on a single source of funds and mitigates the risk of a possible funding crisis.At Viral Solutions, we offer full-service marketing services and partner with nonprofits, among other industries, to help them reach more people and increase their impact on society. We understand that most nonprofits have limited resources, but we have customized and affordable marketing services that consider each organization’s unique needs. Contact us today to request a free consultation!