A Guide to Fundraising on a Budget

As a nonprofit organization, fundraising is an essential activity; however, the task itself can sometimes seem intimidating. This is especially true if you’re attempting to operate on a budget, but the good news is that effective fundraising doesn’t necessarily require a considerable financial investment. Creativity, strategic planning, and leveraging are just some of the resources at your disposal to bring great results to life without breaking the bank. Whether you’re raising money for qurbani or an emergency appeal, detailed below are just some of the low-cost fundraising strategies that may help your organization thrive.

Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms are some of the most powerful tools for fundraising, and they can be used for free. This works by creating engaging content to reach a wide audience and encourage donations. Discover some of the following tips below:

  • Storytelling – It’s very effective to share compelling stories about the impact of your organization, including individual success stories of how donations make a difference.
  • Visual content – Photos and videos work to foster an emotional connection, and visual content such as this is more likely to be shared, which boosts your reach.
  • Engagement – When you receive comments and messages, you should respond to these promptly. Additionally, you should ask your audience questions and encourage discussions.
  • Call to action – All posts should have a clear call to action, and this CTA should direct followers to your donation page or upcoming events.

Email Campaigns

Another cost-effective method of reaching potential donors is email marketing. Startups like Achievable have successfully raised a significant portion of their round through cold email outreach to angels, and you can too. 

By building a robust email list, you can maximize your reach using your email campaigns. Detailed below are some helpful tips:

  • Segment your list – Segmenting your email list allows you to personalize your messages based on donor behavior and interests.
  • Compelling subject lines – Your subject line is what will capture your readers’ attention, so it’s essential that you get this right to boost your open rates.
  • Storytelling – As with social media, one of the most effective ways of capturing the attention of donors is via a story. In this story, you need to make them aware of the problem you’re trying to solve, your solution, and what the support of your donors can do.
  • Regular updates – Your donors want to see what their donations have done, which is why it’s so important to keep them informed about your activities and how these activities have been brought to life via your donations.

Community Partnerships

Local businesses and community organizations are there for charities to form partnerships with and boost their fundraising efforts without excessive financial strain. Detailed below are just some of the ways you can look to maximize your community partnerships:

  • Donation boxes – Placing donation boxes at local businesses is a simple yet effective way of collecting small contributions.
  • Event sponsorships – Businesses can sponsor fundraising events, providing venues, food, or prizes, which reduces the costs that you need to pay for yourself.
  • Cause marketing – Cause marketing campaigns allow charities to collaborate with businesses, in which a portion of their sales goes to your organization.

Host Low-Cost Fundraising Events

Expensive and effective aren’t necessarily synonymous with one another. In fact, the following budget-friendly options are available:

  • Virtual events – Webinars, online auctions, and virtual runs are just some of the virtual events that you can host to save on the cost of a venue and attract a global audience.
  • Community garage sales – You can encourage supporters to donate items for a garage sale. Make sure you promote the event in your community and make it clear that all proceeds are going towards your cause.
  • Benefit concerts – Local musicians and bands are likely keen to perform for a reduced rate or even for free if they know that it’s for a good cause. You can raise money by charging an entrance fee and selling refreshments.
  • DIY fundraising kits – You might also provide supporters with kits to host their own fundraising events like bake sales or car washes.


GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo are just some of the crowdfunding platforms that are available to raise funds online. You can make the most of these platforms in the following ways:

  • Set clear goals – You need to make your fundraising goal clear to your donors while also explaining to them how the funds will be used.
  • Engage supporters – Do all you can to encourage your supporters to share your campaign with networks.
  • Update regularly – Always ensure that your donors are kept up to date with the progress of the campaign, as well as any milestones reached.

Grant Writing

Writing grants can be a time-consuming process; that being said, it’s a somewhat low-cost way of securing significant funding. You should do your research about the grants that are on offer and tailor your applications to suit these. Detailed below are just some of the tips for success:

  • Target appropriately – First and foremost, you need to focus on grants that align closely with your organization’s mission.
  • Follow guidelines – Most applications will have strict guidelines, and it’s important that you adhere to these so that you don’t find yourself disqualified.
  • Tell your story – Last but not least, you need to articulate the need for funding, including the impact it will have.

All in all, while a big budget is certainly helpful when it comes to fundraising, it’s not essential. The tips above are just some of those that you can look to implement to make a big impact with a small budget.  

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