Articles

Get creative with these 5 non-cash contribution asks for nonprofits

BY Dawn Sword
23 Mar 2020

When donors can't afford to give cash, non-cash contributions can help sustain your organization and keep your supporters close.

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During covid-19 and other times of crisis, everyone’s dealing with struggle on different fronts. Nonprofits need to get more creative in this environment to gather and maintain the support they need. 

As we discussed in our previous article, volunteers are still a major go-to resource to help support your nonprofit through this time.

Next we want to think about creative ways supporters can donate without impacting their own cash flow. For each of these ideas, consider asking us to help you create small, specific campaigns for social media and email, perhaps including a micro-website to promote the campaign and get people excited about it. We’re happy to help with campaigns that engage people to:

Donate loyalty program rewards

According to Colloquy, one third of all rewards points go unused every year and 20% of loyalty program members have never redeemed any points. Many loyalty programs allow members to donate their rewards directly to non-profits like yours. You can ask supporters to donate:

  • hotel points, airline miles and travel rewards*
  • cash-back and credit card cash rewards
  • loyalty program rewards for products your organization could use to help those in need (grocery, restaurant, gas, etc.)

* We’re excited to be developing a mini-campaign for a client to gather donations of hotel points, airline miles and travel rewards they can use to provide emergency housing for transgender domestic violence survivors who can’t quarantine safely with their abusers at home. Stay tuned for that roll-out!

Designate “giving back” grant funds to your organization

Insurance companies and credit unions often have charitable foundations that allow customers and employees to direct their portion of the company’s charitable grant funds to non-profits of their choice. Encourage your donors to check with their insurance and credit union companies to see how they can designate your organization to receive funds. Check out Thrivent and Lemonade as examples.

Create step challenges where supporters walk, run or bike to generate contributions

With everyone under stay-at-home orders during covid-19, people are walking, running and biking more to stay fit and sane. If they’re out walking anyway, why not create a motivational challenge and win-win for both of you? Supporters can share their progress and excitement on social media, organizing their friends into teams for a 10,000 steps challenge. Corporate sponsors and peer-to-peer fundraising can help motivate and gather donations at the same time. Check out CharityMiles, StrideKick and Walker Tracker.

Boost giving with corporate matching

This option may require some cash outlay by your donors, but the rewards can be much more if their contributions are matched by their employers or other companies.

Use AmazonSmile and grocery store charity designations

This may generate smaller amounts of income, but people need to shop anyway and every little bit helps!

Donors who can’t afford to give cash right now may welcome the chance to support you in these other ways. Donors who can afford to give cash may also be happy to extend their support in these other ways, too. 

We’re here to help!

We hope these thoughts can help you gather the support you need to get through these challenging times. Please get in touch if you’d like us to help you implement any of these ideas for your organization.

photo credit: erika via Unsplash