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May 16, 2024 | Categories DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured

12 Free Resources for Scrappy Fundraisers

I have five hours a week and no budget. Here’s how I fundraise.

If you’re the type of person who hates when recipes include the author’s entire life story and 20,000 words about how much they love an expensive brand of butter, then this blog is for you. As a volunteer fundraiser for a community choir, here is a list of resources I find particularly helpful for saving time and raising more money with limited time and resources.

Create and optimize your workflow

1. Goblin.tools

This AI-powered series of tools has helped me get my entire life on track, not just my fundraising. If you find yourself struggling to remember everything you have to do, and scattered, hand-written to-do lists just aren’t cutting it, check out the Magic ToDo tool. It helps break down larger tasks into smaller ones so you can celebrate every win.

2. http://Claude.ai

I use Claude.ai for a lot of things, but it’s particularly useful for building timelines. Have an event, goal, or deadline coming up? Tell Claude what you want to accomplish, by when, and how much time you can dedicate to the task and it’ll break things down for you in a manageable way. Check out my sample choir fundraiser planning timeline here!

3. Gantt chart template

A Gantt chart helps you see how your project progresses over time, and how each person and task interacts with the greater whole. Is there something you’d like to accomplish that includes other people, lots of moving parts, and a variety of deadlines? You got this – you just need a handy template to keep everything organized and on track.

DonorPerfect users: You can use your DonorPerfect system to schedule and assign tasks and set up alerts based on your donors’ giving behavior. Learn more about how setting up SmartActions can help you on your path to efficiency! 


Not a DonorPerfect user? Get a demo and see how you can start saving time and energy on your fundraising operations.

A reminder to thank donors in SmartActions.

Find new donors

1. Local chambers of commerce

Use the link above to find potential corporate and for-profit sponsors and donors in your area. Members of chambers of commerce might be more interested in being active in your local community than big-box, multinational corporations, so they’re worth exploring.

Generative AI tools can help you brainstorm places that your interests but aren’t direct competitors. For example, I connected my interfaith community choir to an organization that’s interested in helping young people build community by connecting them with people of similar faith backgrounds. They don’t care much about choral music, but they’re glad to help us help each other with recruitment.

3. Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising

Your quickest and easiest path to new donors is through the people who already love and support your mission. If you have volunteers, donors, or other community members who are excited about your mission, encourage them to become champions for your cause by starting their own, independent fundraising efforts. 

Ready to dive deeper into your donor acquisition process? Get your personalized recommendations with our free guide, Your Guided Growth Plan!

A preview of the guided growth plan ebook.

Generate fundraising content

1. DP Fundraiser Bot

Our free bot is powered by Chat GPT and designed by professional communicators with fundraising experience. Just go through the menu of options to create your next appeal, new member drive, and more.

2. Canva

I use Canva for everything: event posters, flyers, social media posts, advertisements, and more. Their templates make it so easy for me to create something polished and professional, even though I have the art skills of a below-average elementary schooler.

3. Design Tips for Nonprofits

Want to build out your brand and dive into how you can use essential design principles to raise more money? We created a free guide just for people who want to boost their nonprofit’s brand but don’t have much (or any) design experience.

Interested in learning more about how you can integrate Artificial Intelligence into your day-to-day work? Get your free copy of AI for Nonprofits: The Comprehensive Guide to Enhancing Fundraising Communications.

A preview of the AI Guide for Nonprofits.

Thank and steward your donors

1. The Donor Relations Sample Library

We are big fans of Lynn Wester and the Donor Relations Group. Their sample library, and their collection of acknowledgements in particular, is the best place to go for inspiration when you’re feeling stuck and want to see how other nonprofits are thanking their donors.

2. Your Digital Donor Thank-You Kit

When you can’t thank your donors in person, or if you’re interested in cutting back on mailing costs, this free, comprehensive guide helps you create online thank-you collateral that will leave your donors feeling appreciated and personally stewarded.

3. Create a Stewardship Plan

It’s easier to track and analyze the success of your stewardship efforts if you have a solid plan to begin with. Check out this free, five-step plan from our friends at Double the Donation!

DonorPerfect users: many of your donors can get their gifts matched by their employer! Want to make the process easy on you, and easy on your donors? Check out Double the Donation today!


Not a DonorPerfect user? Get a demo and see how you can raise 25% more in your first year with us.

The logo for Double the Donation.

Want one more free resource to add to your pile? We teamed up with nonprofit digital strategist Dana Snyder to create the new guide, Your Personalized Growth Plan to Find New Donors. Just answer five quick questions for a growth path that’s tailored to your unique needs, or download our PDF guide below to choose your next steps!

Get Your Guided Growth Plan

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Meet the author: Emily Zacek

Emily Zacek joined the DonorPerfect team as a copywriter in January, 2022. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 with degrees in flute performance and organizational studies, and her undergraduate thesis focused on labor activity trends in American arts nonprofits. She brings a...

Learn more about Emily Zacek
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