Tutorials on fundraising


Image by Tim Green on Flickr

The following articles and tutorials offer insights into how your organization can use social tools and strategies across different platforms to raise funds for your nonprofit or cause. All are written by Socialbrite staff members or partners.

To see these articles with a summary description, browse the Fundraising category.

Fundraising articles and tutorials:


8 tools to help you fundraise for a cause
By Lindsay Oberst
Socialbrite staff
March 2013

Tutorial: Individual fundraising means money raised from individuals. Two types exist: Individuals raising money for nonprofits, and individuals raising money for a personal cause. The following tools all have social sharing capabilities to help you fundraise for a cause.


7 ways to increase your nonprofit’s donations
Producer: John Haydon
January 2013

Tools & tips: Acquiring a new donor is more expensive than keeping a current donor. Most nonprofits know this, but it seems like most of them spend a larger amount of their resources on acquiring new donors instead of keeping their current donors happy. The lifetime dollar value of a happy donor is way more than the value of a donor who only gives once. Here are seven ways to increase your nonprofit’s donations.

drip campaign

How to create an email drip campaign for your nonprofit
Producer: John Haydon
December 2012

Tutorial: A drip campaign is an email marketing strategy intended to get subscribers to take specific actions over the course of the campaign. The technical steps for creating drip campaigns vary depending upon what email marketing software you use, but generally follow the steps from this tutorial.


Kick-start your end-of-year fundraising
Guest post by Frank Barry
December 2012

Tutorial: Year-end fundraising is a big deal. About one-third of all charitable giving happens in the last three months of the year with 34.8 percent of all online fundraising happening in Q4. Here are two extremely effective tactics based on persuasion principles you can use to generate more positive responses to your year-end fundraising appeals (and throughout the year as well).


7 ways for nonprofits to make the most of Google Hangout
Guest post by Renee Alexander
December 2012

Tutorial: Google Hangout is a super easy way to hold video conferences with multiple individuals or groups of people. In addition to being easy, it’s accessible to all of your employees, constituents and volunteers as anyone with a Google account can take part in a Hangout without having to download any additional software or sign up for anything new. Here are six ideas of how you can put Hangout to work for your nonprofit, business, cause or organization.

nonprofit mobile-friendly

How to make your nonprofit site more mobile-friendly
Producer: John Haydon
November 2012

Tutorial: A responsive website means that the content (pages, text, videos, photos) automatically resizes in response to the particular device a viewer is using. Having a responsive website means that users won’t need to pinch, tap or squint in order to view your website. Here are three steps to developing a responsive website.

effective online fundraising

Tips & tools for effective online fundraising
Guest post by Ehren Foss
Co-founder and CEO, HelpAttack!
November 2012

Tutorial: In this tutorial, the author will identify several important types of tools you’ll want to consider when raising money online – either through your website or on a social network.


4 Facebook apps to raise funds for your cause
Producer: John Haydon
October 2012

Tutorial: Facebook recently recommended four fundraising applications that keep fundraising inside of Facebook. What’s great about these apps is that they leverage the strength of Facebook by encouraging donors to share your fundraiser with others, see friends who have also donated and make fundraising transactions more frictionless.


3 top tips for nonprofits’ online fundraising
Guest Blog by Ritu Sharma
Social Media for Nonprofits
October 2012

Tools & tips: We all wish we could raise more money online, but there are a select few tried and true ways for making that happen without investing tons of time or money, both of which are in short supply at just about every nonprofit. Here are top 3 tips for online fundraising that presenters at Social Media for Nonprofits conferences throughout the country have identified.

reel in big fish donors

How to use social media to reel in big fish donors
Guest post by Geri Stengel
September 2012

Tutorial: Many nonprofits already use social media, including mobile, to raise money among individual donors. But few nonprofits use social media to build relationships with potential big fish donors. You can target and build these important relationships by engaging with them through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Here are techniques to lay the groundwork before approaching prospects.

Brianna Haag

Slap Cancer: 5 lessons from a successful cause campaign
Producer: JD Lasica
July 2012

Interview: One of the most impressive fundraising campaigns has to be the campaign put on by Brianna Haag and her team of volunteers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In this 6-minute video interview, Brianna shares her thoughts on how other organizations can use social media and event planning to hit their fundraising goals.

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online fundraising campaigns

4 strategies for online fundraising campaigns
Producer: John Haydon
June 2012

Tutorial: Joe Waters and I worked with Julie Nations, executive director of the Ellie Fund, to employ four strategies for online fundraising campaigns. Here’s what we learned.

attract more donors

7 tips to attract more donors for your cause
By Rob Wu, CauseVox
May 2012

Tutorial: Do you want to know how to attract more donors? Want to learn the secrets used by professional fundraisers? CauseVox has launched a free video series to coach you on fundraising fundamentals. Consider these seven tips for getting more donors for your nonprofit a preview of the series.

use Pinterest to promote your cause

5 ways to use Pinterest to promote your cause or fundraiser
By Ifdy Perez, Razoo
May 2012

Tutorial: Here’s a list of five ways you can use Pinterest to drive traffic to your online fundraiser that works both for any fundraiser your nonprofit starts.

email fundraising marketing

5 best practices for email fundraising and marketing
February 2012

Tutorial: The email marketing and fundraising landscape keeps evolving, and it’s increasingly vital for nonprofits to develop a comprehensive email strategy. We’ve put together a short guide of email best practices to help you better focus your email fundraising and marketing efforts.

facebook for fundraising

Does Facebook work for fundraising?
Producer: John Haydon
January 2012

Tutorial: Facebook is great for fundraising. Making a value judgment on Facebook based only on donations received completely overlooks the inherent value that Facebook offers. Facebook creates awareness for your campaign. Facebook’s strength is in the reach that’s created as users talk about your campaign. Your fundraising strategy should include ways to get people to talk about the cause. The more they talk about it, the more their friends become aware of your fundraising campaign.

email fundraising marketing

StartSomeGood: Grow your social impact
Guest post by Tom Dawkins
Co-founder, StartSomeGood
December 2011

Tutorial: StartSomeGood provides a platform for all social impact initiatives to grow a community of supporters to help fuel their growth and impact.

use microsites

How to use microsites to better tell your nonprofit’s story
November 2011

Tutorial: A microsite can be one of the most powerful storytelling tools available to fundraisers. Here are some examples of highly effective microsites.


Social fundraising tools for nonprofits & causes
By JD Lasica
November 2011

Tools spotlight: For the Vivanista Charitable Fundraising Summit and Bootcamp, Socialbrite put together a one-page color flyer that highlights the top 10 social fundraising tools and platforms for nonprofits and causes. (The PDF is at bit.ly/fundtools.)


GoodTwo: Give something back to your donors
Guest post by Kristen Elworthy
Director of Marketing & Publicity, GoodTwo
November 2011

Tools spotlight: GoodTwo is a fundraising platform that rewards donors with great deals and offers from businesses (think online deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial) while also generating donations for fundraisers. They provide a way for fundraisers to connect with their donors by giving something back. Here’s a look at how it works.


10 tips for a successful fundraising event
Guest post by George Wooden
Founder & CEO, BW Unlimited
September 2011

Tutorial: With so many fundraising campaigns taking place online these days, nonprofits have fewer chances to interact with their supporters face to face. And while fundraising events may no longer be the most important component of your organization’s fundraising strategy, it’s still a good idea to host an event for your supporters and take the opportunity to interact with your community. Here are 10 key pointers to help you make your next fundraising event an extraordinary one.


Mobile: The next frontier of nonprofit fundraising
Guest post by Bob Jones
CEO, CharityCall
September 2011

Tutorial: There are a few readily available methods that will allow you to start accepting donations via the mobile Web in association with email and social media outreach. It’s important to remember that if you intend to appeal to the ever-increasing mobile Web community of users, you will first need to include a convenient mobile donation platform as a fixture within your email and social media messaging. We run down the top solutions.


Social fundraising tools: Our top 5 picks
Guest post by Janet Fouts
September 2011

Tools spotlight: A new generation of fundraising tools out there can help organizations with “social fundraising.” These tools leverage the social networks of donors, supporters and organizations to substantially increase the revenue raised as well as the long-term benefits of becoming a part of the fabric of your donors’ social media networks. They focus not just on large donations but on the collective power of micro-donations, which are often repeated and shared with friends.

What social fundraising means

What social fundraising means for your nonprofit
By Debra Askanase
September 2011

Strategy: There are plenty of fundraising solutions that leverage social media, relying on fundraisers to tweet, share and post their fundraising pages to their social networks. In this slide presentation, the author reviews the three categories of social media fundraising and her analysis of how social media fundraising has finally arrived in a real way.


How charity: water leads the way in social fundraising
By Beth Kanter
September 2011

Case study: The author looks at the brilliant personalized thank you videos of charity: water and looks at its the overall campaign strategy and how the nonprofit measures success.


Rally: Raise money for your favorite cause
By JD Lasica
September 2011

Tool spotlight: If you’re a nonprofit looking to raise funds online or an individual looking to support a favorite cause, there’s a new kid on the block you should know about. Rally is an online fundraising platform that helps causes raise money faster, easier and in a more social way.


HelpAttack!: Unleash the charitable power of social media
Guest post by Ehren Foss
CEO, HelpAttack!
September 2011

Tool spotlight: Nonprofits may be interested in what HelpAttack! brings to the social fundraising table. When a donor uses HelpAttack!, each tweet or Facebook update can be a donation, with no need to tag, re-post or change your habits as a donor. It’s a way to seamlessly add giving to your online life.


GoodThreads: Custom T-shirts as a fundraising tool
Guest post by Brandon Hance
Founder & CEO, GoodThreads
September 2011

Tool spotlight: GoodThreads provides nonprofits with a technology that seamlessly integrates into the event registration and donation processes, while supporters are given the tools to create customized merchandise — T-shirts, hats, bags, water bottles, etc. — that allows them to tell their personal story and demonstrate their connection to the cause.


Fundly: Tap into your supporters’ social networks
By Tamara Schweitzer
September 2011

Tool spotlight: Did you know that individuals donate $300 billion to nonprofits every year? But only 13 percent of that amount is given online. Why is that? According to David Boyce, CEO of the social fundraising platform Fundly, the only reason that number isn’t higher is because nonprofits don’t make it easier for their supporters to give online.

unleash potential

Unleash your nonprofit’s fundraising potential
By Shonali Burke
June 2011

Tool spotlight: Rob Wu, founder of CauseVox, offers insights on how nonprofits can take advantage of fundraising potential online.


A new way to show off your nonprofit’s fundraising projects
Guest post by Susan Gordon
May 2011

Tool spotlight: Causes has released a fundraising tab for Facebook Pages, which is great news for nonprofits that have been investing in Facebook but struggling to find the right fundraising solution for that audience. It’s also an opportunity to bring your social media community into the inspiring fundraising campaigns you’re running through other channels.

How to connect online advocacy with fundraising

How to connect online advocacy with fundraising
By John Haydon
March 2011

Fundraising spotlight: If your nonprofit conducts advocacy campaigns, maybe you’ve had a difficult time understanding how those efforts might align with your fundraising efforts. It might be even more difficult if these two efforts are located in different branches of your organizational tree. A new report, Connecting Online Advocacy and Fundraising by Mark Davis of Blackbaud (with help from M+R Strategic Services and Amnesty International USA) outlines how advocacy and fundraising work together.


Understanding the return on fundraising events
Guest post by Lindsey J. Rosenthal
Events For Good
January 2011

Tutorial: From time to time, executives of nonprofits and cause organizations wrestle with the question of whether putting on a fundraising event is worth the commitment of precious time and resources. The real value of holding a live event — rather than pursuing other fundraising activities — takes into account a number of factors.


What’s your video strategy to raise funds?
Guest post by Michael Hoffman
CEO, See3 Communications
October 2010

Tutorial: Adding video to your end-of-year online campaigns can help you achieve, and even exceed, your year-end fundraising goals. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. We know that video can connect people to the work you do every day in ways simple text just can’t match. We also know that the distance separating the web and television is narrowing. Your website is becoming a channel and the web is already a hybrid mix of media where video plays a dominant role.


9 Web platforms to help you change the world
Guest post by Shira Lazar
October 2010

Resource: Whether you want to start a movement, do something to give back or just share your story, here are some great platforms that are enabling different ways for people to participate and make a difference.


A beginner’s guide to mobile fundraising
By JD Lasica
September 2010

Tutorial: With tens millions of people now routinely using text messaging features, the time is ripe for nonprofits to understand how they can use mobile fundraising not as a silver bullet but as one element of a broader strategy. Here’s a short primer on how mobile donations and campaigns work, with an emphasis on mobile fundraising.


7 ways for nonprofits to use mobile phones to raise funds
Guest post by Ben Rigby
Co-founder, The Extraordinaries
September 2010

Tutorial: If you’re like most people working at a nonprofit, you probably had a “Holy Mobile!” moment when an outpouring of donations followed the devastating Haiti quake. How does it work? As it turns out, the Red Cross used just one of several common methods to generate revenue from mobile phone owners. Here are the methods.


Fundraising with social media — the right way
By Beth Kanter
November 2009

Strategy: If you want to be successful using social media in your fundraising strategy, here are some things to remember.


8 tips for raising funds online
By JD Lasica
October 2009

Strategy: Socialbrite’s founder moderated the Tools for Nonprofit Organizations panel at Blogworld Expo with panelists Judy Chang of Paypal, Justin Perkins of Care2, David Levy of SocialVibe, James Sutandyo of Causecast and consultant Scott Henderson. The panelists collectively came up with these recommendations for the nonprofit community.