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Donor-generating channels for nonprofits 

Donor-generating channels for nonprofits 

Published by Programme B

Donor-generating channels are various methods and techniques used by nonprofits to find and establish contact with donors. Generally speaking, if you are an active NPO with a strong desire to act and complete your socially valuable mission then you will use those channels to attract attention to your activities, initiatives, projects, and community. 

What are the types of donor-generating channels? 

Globally there exist 3 big types of channels an NPO can use to promote itself and stimulate people to start donating and supporting this very organization:

1. Active channels

Active channels require constant contact with an audience that you want to convert into active regular or one-time donors. For example, you can concentrate on organization or participation in various events offline to introduce people to your nonprofit and start developing a certain community of supporters. A commonly used strategy is for nonprofits to host a free raffle online, this can generate interest in the charity through incentivising entry to a raffle with prizes to be won, until the result is announced, donors will be attracted to the nonprofit business waiting for the results. Some of those who participate will likely interact with the company again in the future, thus generating subsequent donations.

The goal of using this channel type is to generate donors by attracting as many people as possible, depending on the audience you choose, and later turn them into regular donors. Active channels fit NPOs that work full-time and have resources (first of all it’s time) in order to develop strong and active communication with the people they have chosen as their audience. 

2. Passive channels

A passive way of influencing your target audience, using tools of digital marketing, refers to passive promo channels. They include targeted advertising, social media management, Google Ads, etc. 

NPOs that concentrate on these channels usually target at forming a positive image of the organization as well as to present their projects in a positive way. 

3. Mixed channels 

A combination of online and offline promo channels shapes a mixed approach to the promotion of your organization and is usually used by nonprofit marketing experts and agencies for the best results. 

And what are those communication methods you can use for mentioned channels? 

There are dozens of techniques and tools NPOs use. Some concern only the non-profit sector while some are actively used for business marketing as well. For example, the most popular donor-generating techniques you could you as a nonprofit include:  

  • Leaflets 

Fliers and leaflets distribution in crowded places is a classic yet very efficient way to attract your future donors, share information about your projects, invite people to join your events, and generally increase their awareness of socially important subjects. 

  • Events 

The organization or co-organization of various events is the most efficient offline marketing technique. There are simply no limits so you can organize workshops, training sessions, seminars, and lectures for various segments of your audience. 

  • Recommendations (similar to business-oriented referral programs)

Using their knowledge and experience your current active supporters might be interested in attracting new ones. Especially if they actively participate in NPO activities. 

  • Social Advertising 

TV, Social Media, Mass Media – just create an engaging and visually impressive video/photo creative and you will be able to attract the attention of your potential donors. 

More than 70% of all socially active members of our society look for the NPO in absolutely different multiple sources, both online and offline, before deciding to donate or join it as a worker/volunteer. This is why it is absolutely essential to combine various promo methods from different channels to reach the necessary result when developing a donor-generating strategy for the way you are planning the development and promotion of your non-profit organization. 


Photo by Lisa Fotios –