Jumpstart your nonprofit's crypto fundraising efforts with these five easy-to-implement best practices.
Since Engiven was founded, we've onboarded over a thousand nonprofit clients and provided all of them with the ability to receive donations of cryptocurrency. Many have found great success (like this partner, who received a Bitcoin donation worth $10M), but not all of them. Not immediately, anyway. While all of our clients’ accounts are activated amid optimism, some have sat longer than others, awaiting animation.
We want to give our clients the best shot at success, so we set out to ask and answer the questions: "Why are our successful clients successful?," and "what are they doing differently than the clients who haven't found success yet?"
To answer these questions, we selected the highest and lowest grossing nonprofits on our platform, did a deep dive into the backend of our system, and audited their public websites and marketing resources. We identified some variables that contribute to their crypto fundraising success or lack thereof, and in this blog post are providing you with a clear list of actions that will reward your crypto fundraising efforts with better results.
Here's what we found.
1. Use the best product tier: Standard vs Premium
Engiven offers free and paid versions of our product, so we compared the results of fundraising efforts for each tier.
Does the premium product correlate with increased giving?
Yes. On average, clients who use our premium product receive bigger donations and receive them more often than clients who use our free product. Premium product clients receive 4x the number of donations as our free product clients, averaging $44,178.53 per gift, to free product clients' $10,479.83 per gift.
As a decision-maker at a nonprofit, you might find the benefits of our premium product to be the lower transaction fee, the automated tax form 8282, or the dedicated training and support representative, but your crypto donors will appreciate the automation of tax form 8283 and the inclusion of appraisals. Consider your organization's needs when selecting your product tier without dismissing the expressed needs of your potential donors. Nearly 95% of the dollars donated on our platform have gone to premium product clients.
You can view our pricing and compare the options here: Engiven Pricing.
2. Customize your Giving Widget
One of the perks of our premium product is the ability to customize your giving widget so that it matches the look and feel of your site. Not all of our premium clients used the tool, so we took a look at whether or not widget customization correlated with significant giving variability.
Does giving widget customization on a nonprofit's website site affect crypto donations?
Yes! Clients who use our premium product and have a customized widget receive the largest average gift, checking in at $76,581.48. In contrast, premium product clients without a customized widget received average donations of $37,201.98.
3. Put your Crypto Giving Form in the right spot
Does the location of the crypto giving form on a nonprofit's website affect giving?
We think so, but decide for yourself! Here's the data.
We found that our clients mostly place their crypto giving form in one of five locations:
- Somewhere on their website's home page
- In the main giving form
- In "other ways to give"
- In the "contact us" section
- Or they don't put it on their site at all
Clients who placed their crypto giving widget on their home page saw the largest donations, averaging $197,599.18 per gift, while clients who put it on their main giving form (usually titled something like "Donate" or "Give"), received the most donations.
Several of our clients managed to double-dip, linking their crypto giving widget to their main giving form, and also adding it to the home page in the form of a carousel slide or banner.
Check out these examples from two of our clients.
V1 Church accepts payment in three different ways:
- Online giving (ACH powered by PushPay, and Crypto powered by Engiven)
- In-person (for cash and checks)
- Mail-in (for checks and money orders)
It's all located on one convenient giving page, a single click away from their home page.
The Salvation Army Western Territory had another really cool idea to get crypto in front of potential donors. Not only does their main giving page link to Engiven's crypto donation platform, but they added a DONATE CRYPTOCURRENCY link to their website footer (which is at the bottom of every single page on a website). It comes as no surprise that they're one of our most successful crypto fundraising clients.
4. Engage the crypto community
The crypto community is comfortable with digital property and payments, to the extent that they're actively seeking to replace traditional cash transactions. They're also generally anti-institution, motivated to support "world-changing" causes, generous, and wealthy. The sum of these factors paints a promising future for nonprofits that engage the crypto community in their space.
I wrote a blog in July 2022 where I presented a few ideas on how to engage the crypto community. I'll summarize those below, but you can read the full-length version here: Three crypto bear market tips for your nonprofit
Network through social media
If your organization is exploring the idea of using social media to further your mission, I suggest starting with LinkedIn. It's a great platform to share news, articles, and other content related to your work in a formal, business-centered environment. It's also a great way to connect with other individuals and organizations that have a similar vision.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are still the "big three" in this space. As the web matures, however, social media has found new roads to pave. Platforms like Reddit, Discord, Substack, Twitch, and TikTok are applications that might provide value as avenues to build community, educate about your cause, and report on your work.
The crypto market presents regular cycles of expansion and contraction. To learn more about the cycles of crypto, check out this blog on crypto adoption: How popular is cryptocurrency?
We call the expansion process a "bull run," and every new crypto bull run brings new individuals into the space. It also creates new high-net-worth individuals (HNIs). These HNIs are often loosely tethered to traditional communication methods, and thus require a unique approach in order to be reached. Here are a few ideas for your marketing team to explore:
Build a crypto-specific marketing campaign
While crypto shouldn't be separate from your other giving methods, it's important to understand that your potential crypto donors are probably very different from your traditional cash donors. Thus, it's worth developing creative and compelling content that speaks to individuals interested in crypto. This could include an email drip campaign, social media posts, etc. For churches and ministries, continue to get in the habit of mentioning cryptocurrency from the pulpit when addressing giving and stewardship. The simple point is that consistent communication will pay dividends in the long run.
Seek out matching donors
Matching donations proves to be one of the most effective fundraising strategies. They allow nonprofits to leverage a donor's investment and amplify their voice to the rest of the community.
When polled, 84% of donors say they're more likely to give if a matching gift is available. On top of that, one in three individuals said they would give more when a match is available (Source: Double the Donation's Review of Matching Gift Programs).
Learn how to launch a matching gift campaign here: Finding a matching donor
Plan for Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is a perfect time to launch matching donation campaigns. We encourage you to start engaging with prospective crypto donors to discuss what a partnership could entail. Some of you may already have donors on deck, and they could be the perfect candidate to launch this sort of campaign.
Here's an entire blog about cryptocurrency fundraising around Giving Tuesday: How to include crypto into your Giving Tuesday campaign
Launch your own communities
This idea may feel the most foreign of all the things we suggest in the article. As I stated earlier, the average age of a cryptocurrency investor is 38 years old; thus, they will be hanging out in places that the average cash donor, aged 65, wouldn't.
As mentioned above, engaging in communities like Reddit, Telegram, and Twitter are potential gold mines for relationship-building with prospective crypto donors.
Discord is a great place to launch a community around your nonprofit. It's free to set up and use, and it's very user-friendly. You can also use it to run live events or launch fundraising campaigns. Not sure where to start? We suggest joining a few relevant Discord channels and getting a feel for their operations. The following nonprofits use Discord servers excellently to form communities and spark conversations.
- Humane Society of the US
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- American Red Cross
5. Talk about crypto
Here's the most shocking detail that this entire inquiry revealed: 13% of our most successful clients have no crypto fundraising call-to-action on their site. None. Zero. Yet this group receives 17.24% of the total dollars donated. Some of them don't even say anything at all about crypto on their sites. So how are they receiving crypto donations if the Engiven donation platform isn't even listed on their website where, presumably, donors would be searching?
These nonprofits are finding success because of what they're doing offline.
Because of the nature of crypto transactions, the person sending funds must have the recipient's "address" in order to initiate a donation. That means that nonprofit clients with no crypto donation call-to-action on their website must be getting the word out some other way.
In speaking to many of our nonprofit clients, we've learned that they often worry about discussing crypto with their donor base. Citing crypto illiteracy, most prefer to skip the topic altogether, crossing their fingers that a cryptocurrency donor will randomly discover the widget on the site on their own. Not a bad move, actually. Several of our partners have landed sizable donations this way. So said, becoming crypto literate isn't beyond your organization's reach.
Engiven President Matt Hayes authored a blog where he addressed a couple of issues relating to talking about crypto with potential donors, including how to talk to your donors about crypto, when to talk about it, and what information to share with them. Check it out here: 5 Tips for Gaining Donations Through Crypto
Here's the bottom line: to give yourself the best chance of success at crypto fundraising, you have to talk about it eventually.
Consider this case study: River Valley Church holds a yearly gala event called Kingdom Builders, where they promote a list of projects ranging from global missions to future leadership development and local church investment. In 2021, the first year that they partnered with Engiven to receive donations of cryptocurrency, they were blown away by the results. They raised over $400,000 USD worth of crypto in a single night!
In this article published on XPastor.org, River Valley Church's Executive Director of Operations Clynt Reddy says that they truly didn't know what to expect as they launched their Engiven account.
"It blew us away that there are people in our church that are holding these assets," said Reddy. "For tax and for generous reasons, they want to be able to give it to organizations that they believe in and those that are doing great work. For us, we were thrilled to have a tool like Engiven at that event to see the amount of generosity people were wanting to do through crypto specifically. It was an amazing evening and we believe that having the door open for people to give via crypto was part of the reason we had such amazing generosity that evening."
Simply, talking about crypto with your donors face-to-face is a critical part of the crypto fundraising puzzle.
Here are a few additional resources to help you strengthen your crypto fundraising efforts:
Learn the catalytic strategies and steps to securing a matching donor in time for the end-of-the-year giving.
Giving Tuesday can catalyze organizations in Q4, and we explain why including crypto is critical.
Finding and building relationships with cryptocurrency donors may not be as difficult as you think.