Home – How Charities Can Maximize Micro-Donations

How Charities Can Maximize Micro-Donations

Posted on 06-07-2018 by Lindsey Lambert

 Micro-donations are now one of the main pillars of modern fundraising, and were considered to be a major disruption to the nonprofit landscape when they started to become prominent. US presidential elections have seen micro-donations account for increasing proportions of funds on a termly basis, while microgiving schemes from the Ice Bucket Challenge to No Makeup Selfie have been responsible for raising millions in donations comprising of just a couple of dollars each.

The culture of micro-donation within the wider fundraising scene has opened up so many possibilities for raising money, enabling funds to be collected quicker, on a wider basis, and from people who may not be in a position to donate larger sums at once. Crucially, microgiving makes donating to charities accessible for everyone.

Encourage Small Donations

In spite of selflessness and compassion being at the heart of the fundraising concept, there is a prevalence of fear of competition when it comes to the amounts being donated. Those on lower incomes are prone to feeling embarrassed about not being able to donate higher amounts to charity, to a point at which they avoid making micro donations at all.

This is why fundraising campaigns have to be presented in an accessible way that encourages and values donations of all sizes. By insisting that “every penny counts” and other such motivations, you empower people to make their donations and feel as legitimate in doing so as every other person contributing, and more likely to do so on a regular basis.

Be Thankful

Life is more expensive than ever, and in an economy that is still struggling, people do not want to part with any of their hard-earned money thanklessly, even if it is going to a good cause. Charities must go to lengths to make their donors feel valued, and give them good reasons to be benevolent with their money. What might seem like a small amount to donate to one person could be a huge amount to the person actually donating it, and an indication of great generosity.

Every donation, regardless of its size, must be instantly acknowledged and genuine gratitude expressed. If people are donating via websites or apps, make sure that a heartfelt message of thanks automatically shows upon completion of the donation. If spare change is being donated to people with collection tins, make sure those representing the charity are friendly and approachable, and vocalise their thanks; stickers or badgers are another small but significant way of giving back to your donors, and showing that you appreciate their input.

Explore All Options

Widespread technology and device use makes prospective donors easier to reach in a range of ways than ever, so charities should give time to exploring the many options available. There are now mobile apps that specialize in micro donations, while many stores and other businesses give their customers the option of rounding the total payable amount up to the next dollar, with the difference going to charity. The crux of it is giving people quick, simple and safe options to give money, and asking for small amounts. This eliminates almost all of the reasons a person could give for not donating: not having the time, not having any cash on them, not being able to afford it, not trusting the security of the transaction. The ‘impulse buy’ mentality behind making it possible for people to donate in this way is a simple but highly effective way of not only finding donors, but keeping them in the long term.


The bottom line is that the public do not owe you anything, and that if they are going to be convinced to lend their financial assistance to a nonprofit organization, they have to feel that they are actually making a difference, and that their contributions are valued. If you struggle as an organization to validate your prospective donors in such a way, you are not going to be making the most of the goldmine that is microgiving.


Visit us online to see how Nexis® for Development Professionals can help you find the right donor prospects and maximize your contributions.

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