June 23, 2020 | Categories Donation Processing, Donor Management, DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured, Fundraising Strategies

4 Ways to Overcome a Fundraising Shortfall

Don't let the uncertainty of today's environment prevent you from overcoming a fundraising shortfall. Check out our recommendations for actions you can take to better position your nonprofit for longevity.

Anyone who’s worked in the nonprofit industry knows that sometimes a budget deficit is inevitable. If your fundraising efforts have fallen short and you aren’t meeting your revenue goals, you’re not alone. Many nonprofit organizations find themselves in that situation right now due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Don’t let the uncertainty of today’s environment prevent you from overcoming a fundraising shortfall. Check out our recommendations for actions you can take to better position your nonprofit for longevity.

Make Regular, Sustainable Cash Flow a Priority

Do your operating expenses typically occur only during certain months, or are they spread out evenly? How about your fundraising revenue? If you’re like most nonprofits, 1/3rd of all giving happens in December, and another considerable fundraising campaign typically occurs in the Spring/Early Summer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have at least some regular, sustainable cash flow to alleviate the stress of meeting your regular operating expenses when your giving seasons don’t go as planned?

Take the guesswork out of when you’ll be receiving donations by setting up a robust and active recurring giving program. The donors currently in your database already know you, and they most likely want to give more. You can turn those one time donors into lifetime supporters with a monthly giving program. Not only will this prioritize regular cash flow, but it will also improve your donor’s overall lifetime value. This is because on average, recurring donors give more annually than individual givers and are better retained. With the reliable revenue generated by a monthly donor program, you’ll be able to prepare more reliable budgets and plan your programs. Adopting this strategy will allow you to focus on what’s truly important: your mission.


Solicit for Non-Monetary Donations to Offset Expenses

Not all donations that come in to support your mission will be financial ones. In-kind contributions of goods and services, along with volunteer hours, can all help offset operating expenses and reduce your revenue requirements.

In-Kind Donations

Nonprofits often solicit businesses for donations to include in raffle baskets or as event auction items. Why not consider expanding your business solicitations to include other types of in-kind contributions, such as office space, computers, and office supplies? As with other in-kind donations requests, send a letter or email to business contacts that introduce your nonprofit’s mission, how it helps your community, and how the business can partner with you. Don’t forget to thank the company if they do donate.


Volunteers can help you get through a temporary staff or budget shortage without having to allocate funds. Consider expanding your volunteer program to include asking for help with fundraising, administrative tasks, events, marketing, or more. With DonorPerfect, recruiting, scheduling, and tracking your volunteers can all be done virtually through online forms.

Optimize Your Online Donation Forms

Does every supporter who visits your donation page make a donation or sign up for recurring giving? If not, there’s room for improvement. Improve your form’s conversion rate and maximize your donations with these suggestions:


Ask for Donations to Cover the Gap

If you’re experiencing a deficit or are short on your fundraising goals, consider crafting an appeal asking supporters to cover the gap. Be transparent with your needs and how donors can help. A crowdfunding campaign is a great way to ask your current donors to share your appeal with their networks. Our data shows that over 50% of the people who receive an email about your crowdfunding campaign will donate. Your supporters, board members, volunteers, and others love your nonprofit and want to participate in your cause. Crowdfunding gives them an actionable way to do that.


Free Guide to Navigate Today’s Fundraising Environment

What’s happening in the nonprofit industry and around the world today is unprecedented. That’s why we’ve created a collection of resources designed to see your mission through this crisis. Packed with advice from nonprofit peers and the strategies, tools, and templates to fundraise from home, your team will be equipped to connect with your donors in new ways and feel closer than ever to your community of support.

Written by Ally Orlando