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How Tribute Giving Can Make Fundraising More Personal and Powerful

By November 19, 2019Fundraising

We see tribute giving as the hidden gem in the world of small nonprofits. Often underutilized, tributes open the door for a highly personalized and overtly sentimental commitment to your cause. Let’s discuss what tribute gifts are, why a tribute giving program is so valuable, and how you can use tributes to boost your fundraising.

What Is a Tribute Gift?

A tribute gift is a commemorative donation made in memory, in honor, or in support of someone or something. For example, if you make a donation to cancer research in memory of your grandfather who passed away from lymphoma, that would be considered a tribute gift. Likewise, if you donate money to a rehab facility in support of your cousin who has overcome addiction, this would also classify as a tribute gift.

It is important to recognize that in giving a tribute, the donor has typically been directly affected by the nonprofit’s mission. Tribute gifts are generally given from a place of pain, heartache, or healing, accompanied by the desire to promote compassion for those in similar situations.

This is not to be taken lightly. Nonprofits are a lifeline of empathy. Tributes give your nonprofit the sphere to help donors, family members and loved ones heal from hardship and give back in a meaningful way.

How Tribute Giving Can Help Your Fundraising

Now that we’ve recognized the deeper meaning of tributes, let’s talk about their place in fundraising. Promoting tributes can and will prompt affected donors to give more; it comes with the territory. Tributes allow for specificity  and personalization – their gift indicates ‘I am giving money in specific support of my wife, child, or father. Their life and in turn, your nonprofit, mean a great deal to me.’ What could prompt someone to give like honoring a loved one?

The key for small nonprofits is to have the option available. It is surprising how few small shops collect tribute donations. Offering the option to make a tribute donation is as simple as adding a small section to your donation page. Prompt donors with the phrases like – ‘This gift is in memory of’, ‘We stand in support of’, etc.

Tribute gifts can also expand your reach. Because this type of giving is generally from people affected by your cause or in support of a loved one, you often times will receive engagement from new donors. For example, a mother will give in support of her son who was recently diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. This person is now captured by your donor management software and presents you the opportunity to build a relationship with them. 

Tips for Maximizing the Impact of Tribute Giving

  1. Make the tribute option a standard offering on your donation page – This allows donors to frequently and consistently give in honor of their loved ones.
  2. Include tributes on every campaign – Whether it’s an event, a direct mailing, or a phone-athon, it is important to show donors that tributes are an option across every platform of your organization.
  3. Create a Process – When a tribute gift is received, what happens next? Due to the highly sensitive nature of tribute gifts, follow up protocol is of particular importance. We recommend doing something special for tribute givers – Include an ‘In Support Of’ section within your newsletter, follow up with a personal phone call, create a memory wall in your lobby – do something to show you appreciate and stand by them.

Eleo’s Tribute Giving Feature

Eleo Donor Management Software helps you monitor your tributes. Within Eleo, you can see who started the tribute, who has given to a tribute, how much money the tribute has raised and run reports to analyze total tribute giving. Also, Eleo’s online donation pages allow you to create tribute giving online, easily. Contact us to schedule a demo and find out how to incorporate tribute giving into your fundraising campaigns.