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8 Free Ways to Attract New Donors to Your Small Nonprofit

eleo find new donors

“How do I find new donors?”

It’s a basic, fundamental question for most small nonprofits. Surprisingly, there is no straightforward, one size fits all answer. We can, however, help you get on the right path with a simple piece of advice.

Don’t wait for new donors to find you. Meet them where they are.

What social media platforms and groups do they frequent? Where do they like to spend their time? What types of events and activities do they enjoy? What other nonprofits do they support?

The answers to questions like these are great places to start your search for new donors. This process might take some time, but it doesn’t necessarily have to cost any money. If you want to find new donors for your nonprofit, here are eight ideas to help you get the ball rolling!

1) Find Nonprofits with Similar Missions

Every nonprofit must file an annual report. Included in each report is a donor list. Check out the donor lists of nonprofits that support the same causes as you and look for donors who would be a good match for your organization. Also, see what those organizations are doing to raise money. You may discover new ideas that you can apply at your nonprofit!

2) Apply for Google Ad Grants

Did you know the Google Ad Grants program offers up to $10,000 per month in free search ads for each qualifying nonprofit? As long as you meet their eligibility requirements and follow the rules, you can advertise on Google for free, up to $10,000 per month, for as long as you like!

3) Post Consistently on Social Media

Share photos, videos, and stories of impact. Promote and recap events. Keep people updated on the latest news of your nonprofit. Respond to comments. And, yes, ask for donations! People will be more likely to give when you engage and make them feel like they’re “in the know!”

4) Join Facebook Groups

There are thousands of Facebook groups geared towards specific geographic areas, interests, careers, causes, and more. Join groups that check the most boxes for your nonprofit and engage with potential donors. Instead of simply asking for donations, share content about your nonprofit and ask people to get involved by volunteering or attending an event!

5) Use Facebook Birthday Fundraisers

Ask your staff, volunteers, board, and donors to request donations to your nonprofit on their birthday. It’s a simple way to increase awareness of your nonprofit, add followers for your Facebook page, and raise money. By the way, Facebook allows you to keep 100 percent of the funds you raise!

6) Join Local Groups and Clubs

Use platforms like MeetUp and Nextdoor to connect with people and find out what’s happening in your community. Find groups and clubs that are aligned with or complementary to your mission, or start your own group!

7) Take a Grassroots Approach

See if local media outlets (newspapers, radio stations, etc.) will provide free exposure for your nonprofit. Ask local businesses if you can hang flyers in their facilities. Contact local places of worship, scouts, and school officials to see if you can collaborate on fundraising. Tell people about volunteering opportunities. Knocking on doors and making phone calls still work!

8) Find a Local Giving Circle

Giving circles meet regularly, collaborate, and pool resources to make a bigger difference with nonprofits that align with their values and mission. Look for giving circles in your area and ask if you can visit a meeting and deliver a presentation on your nonprofit!

Of course, finding new donors is just the first step. What’s your plan for keeping them? Check out our First Time Donor Retention Guide: How to Get New Donors to Give Again for helpful, practical tips!