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Using Fundraising Incentives to Increase Donor Motivation


Using Fundraising Incentives to Increase Donor Motivation

Has your nonprofit hit a fundraising slump? Incentives may be the motivating force your donors need to kick start their giving. Keep reading to learn how you can use incentives to increase fundraising.


What’s a Fundraising Incentive?

A fundraising incentive is a perk nonprofits offer supporters to encourage donations. It really is a catch-all term. Sometimes these incentives are free; other times, they cost nonprofits money.


But generally speaking, the idea is that when nonprofits offer a fundraising incentive to their donors, they are striving to reaffirm their gratitude and the value of supporters. Fundraising incentives are more than just free prizes and giveaways; incentives are powerful motivators to increase fundraising in a way that deepens donor relationships.


Offering a fundraising incentive may be the difference between a donor taking the plunge to make a first-time donation or a major donor giving a campaign an unexpected boost or not.


What Types of Fundraising Incentives Are There?

There are several different types of fundraising incentives available for nonprofits. We’ve distilled them into 3 basic categories:


1. Physical Incentives

These are probably the first thing fundraisers think of when they hear “fundraising incentive.” Physical incentives are the most common of all the categories. 


Examples of physical incentives include t-shirts and water bottles for races and pens, magnets, and journals for campaign donations. Another popular option for nonprofits to use physical incentives is by sending different-sized gifts for varying donation amounts on donation pages.


For example, a donor receives a sticker pack for a $25 donation, a mug for $50, and a shirt for $100. Get creative! The more relevant physical incentives are to your organization’s mission, the better: $100 gets a picture of an animal in your shelter, $500 gets a picture and video, and $1,000 gets a picture, video, and meet and greet with a beneficiary.


2. Action Incentives

These incentives are best known for gamifying the fundraising process with peer-to-peer and crowdfunding campaigns. Think of leaderboards and fundraising badges. Social proof is powerful, especially when coupled with action-based incentives that create a friendly sense of competition among fundraisers. 


One example includes timed contests (e.g., most raised within 24-hours, campaign with most donors) where donors receive praise for milestones, special awards, and celebratory parties. Another example includes event perks such as VIP treatment, early-bird passes, and raffle vouchers.


3. Recognition Incentives

Of the three types of incentives, recognition often has the most lasting effect. This is because recognition incentives are the most personal. These incentives directly recognize donors so that donors know how much your nonprofit appreciates and values their support.


This deepens the relationship and solidifies donor loyalty. Recognition incentives say to donors, “We see you, we appreciate you, and we couldn’t do this without you.” 


One common way that nonprofits can do this is by giving special shout-outs to donors on social media, expressing gratitude for a gift, or sharing the impact of their contributions within your organization. Offline examples include plaques, dedications, walls, certificates, and awards.


Are You Ready To Start Using Incentives?

Start motivating your donors by using incentives to increase fundraising with ZGIVE. Essentially, it's a unique all-in-one silent auction platform that nonprofits all over the USA use to raise money. Feel free to contact us at questions@zgive.com to know more about our virtual auction platform and how you can use it to your advantage!