Why Grassroots Fundraising Matters to Nonprofits

Building a Stronger, More Resilient Future
The Grassroots Pie Is Growing

Grassroots donations, also known as small-dollar donations, are donations from individuals of less than $200. Grassroots donations have been growing steadily since the early 2000’s when digital fundraising was invented. Since then, small-dollar dollars have increasingly played a pivotal role in political fundraising strategy. In the 2016 presidential election, Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign received a record-breaking 2.4 million individual contributions, with an average donation size of just $27. Only four years later in the 2020 election cycle, grassroots donations were more than triple what they were in 2016. 2024 grassroots donations are expected to blow 2020’s numbers out of the water.

The takeaway? Millions of donors are changing the way they give, making their voices heard with small donations. The cumulation of all these small donations can have a massive impact that nonprofits shouldn’t miss out on.

Complementing Traditional Funding Sources for Long-Term Stability

While established donors and foundations play a crucial role, grassroots efforts open up new channels of support. Grassroots fundraising serves as a complementary strategy, enabling you to diversify your funding streams and reduce your vulnerability to shifts in major donor priorities. It's about expanding your support network to a larger pool of donors, rather than replacing traditional donors. By cultivating a broad base of supporters, you can better withstand economic challenges or shifts in philanthropic trends. It provides a sense of stability that is crucial for long-term planning and impact.

Future-Proof Your Donor Base

Many of your small-dollar donors today will be your major donors of tomorrow. The landscape of philanthropy is undergoing a transformative shift as digital donors, typically younger and more diverse, become a driving force in charitable giving. These donors, primarily from the Millennial and Gen Z generations, are digitally savvy and find online platforms an accessible and convenient way to contribute to causes that align with their values. They bring a greater level of technological proficiency, engagement, and a desire for transparency to their philanthropic endeavors. Further, their preference for inclusive giving and online sharing amplifies the reach and impact of their support.

Enabling Flexibility and Autonomy

Grassroots fundraising helps preserve your organization's autonomy and adaptability. While large donors may have specific preferences, grassroots efforts empower your nonprofit to retain flexibility in your approaches and raise more unrestricted funding. This flexibility is instrumental in experimenting with innovative strategies and responding promptly to changing needs of your organization.

Cultivating Community Engagement

Grassroots fundraising is about more than just financial contributions; it's about building a community of supporters who share your organization's values. When donors come from the same community or demographic as the organization's beneficiaries, it fosters a deeper sense of engagement. Supporters feel a personal connection to your mission, which can lead to not only financial contributions but also increased advocacy and volunteerism.

In conclusion, grassroots fundraising is not intended to replace traditional fundraising methods; rather, it serves as a valuable addition that enhances your organization's financial security, adaptability, and community connections. At DonorSpring, we're committed to providing tools and technology that make grassroots fundraising accessible, efficient, and effective for all nonprofits. Together, we can build a more sustainable and resilient future for organizations, enabling them to continue their vital work in our communities.