Micro Donations: The 3 Big Benefits of Asking Small

Micro Donations: The 3 Big Benefits of Asking Small

It’s always an amazing feeling when your organization sees a major donation come through. Whatever that might look like for your nonprofit – the excitement is still there! 

And while it’s still exciting to see any amount land in your nonprofit’s accounts, for many it may feel a tad less exhilarating when it’s a small donation. 

Don’t worry! That’s a natural feeling to have. 

But, we’re here to help reframe your mindset when it comes to micro donations. Because it turns out asking for smaller gifts returns major benefits. 

Read on for more:



What Is a Micro Donation? 

Just like it sounds, micro donations are small gifts toward your cause. The true definition of a “micro” donation is any gift amount under $100. 

But these small donations can equal pennies on the dollar. For example, when you head out to the grocery store and your cashier asks if you’d like to round your total up to the nearest dollar for a cause they’re supporting. 

You can even add a fundraising opportunity through mobile apps, like Coin Up, to encourage small donations!

We’ll explain more about how to encourage micro philanthropy in a moment. 


Why Are Micro Donations Important for Nonprofits? 3 Benefits of Asking for Smaller Gifts:

Before we even get into how to obtain more micro donations, we need to address the elephant in the room. 

How is this kind of support as valuable as major donor support? The truth of the matter is small donations make a big difference. The difference between small donations and major ones simply relies on time. 

So, if you’re still wondering how how these create an incredible impact within your nonprofit, then check out these 3 benefits: 


1. Reach New Donors Who Might Not Otherwise Support Your Organization

Whether it’s through using new fundraising tools like Coin Up or a monthly giving program, or by offering options to your current audience, micro donations open the door to new donors. 

If you’re using tools such as Coin Up, a monthly giving program, or collaborating with local stores, you’re tossing your net to a wider network. These types of micro philanthropy strategies put your nonprofit in front of people who might not have ever heard of your organization. 

And if you’re opening up multiple options to your current audience, they might feel more compelled to give. You’re showing them that their contribution matters just as much as a larger one! Too often, people get stuck in the mindset of, “Oh, it’s just $5, it won’t do much.” When in reality – every penny counts. 


2. Expand Your Revenue Stream

Ever heard of the phrase, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket?” 

We’re firm believers of the phrase, “don’t put all your revenue in one stream.” Great things can come from diversifying your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts. 

There’s nothing wrong with searching for grants, nurturing major donors, and putting your nonprofit out there for micro donations. 

All of it adds up! And allowing your organization to actively seek funds through all of those methods builds a safety net for your nonprofit. 


3. Encourage Longer Term Support

As we mentioned earlier, the difference between micro and major donations? Is time. 

While major donations typically roll in once or twice a year, micro philanthropy can take place all year long. Over time, that adds up! 

Not to mention, because of the nature of major gifts, your nonprofit can usually count on them only a couple of times per year. But the nature of micro donations is the opposite! By marketing your nonprofit effectively, you can count on longer term support from those who give on a smaller scale.

That can make a major difference in your fundraising goals relatively quickly! 


5 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Encourage Micro Philanthropy 

With the major benefits of micro donations, it’s only natural to be curious about how you can go about getting more of them! 

We understand completely. So, here are our top 5 ways your nonprofit can encourage more micro philanthropy: 


1. Build a New Ideal Donor Persona for Micro Donations

The ideal donor who donates a major gift is more than likely different than the one who wants to prioritize micro donations. 

That calls for a new ideal donor persona! When it comes to creating one, dig through your donor management software to see who is already making small donations. 

Then, pour over their demographics. Where are they located? What’s their gender? What are their interests? That will help you market directly to them. 

And another major factor to consider is their age range. When it comes to micro philanthropy, many of the younger generations are more likely to participate. Consider building your ideal donor persona around younger generations such as millennials and Gen Z. 


2. Create a Monthly Giving Program with Smaller Suggested Amounts

Because micro donations add up over time, you may want to encourage more donations over a shorter period. 

For example, a major gift is often given annually. But smaller donations may need to be more frequent. 

That’s where a recurring donation option or even a monthly giving program can come in handy! 

These encourage recurring small donations so they add up over the span of months, not years. Plus, recommending smaller suggested amounts per month opens the door to potential supporters who don’t have a larger capacity to give.

Curious about starting a monthly giving program? Watch this free training on 7 reasons why you can’t afford to wait! 

Watch the FREE Training on Starting a Monthly Giving Program!


3. Get Specific About How They’re Helping, Too

As we mentioned, many people have the mindset that if they’re only giving $5, $10, or $30, they’re not actually doing much to help the cause. 

But if you’re hoping to encourage small donations, then you need to explain to them just how beneficial their support is! 

Get specific on your landing pages for micro donations. Tell them where your suggested amounts go. 


Does $5 feed a dog for a day in the shelter? 

Does $15 provide clean water for a family in a developing country? 

Does $30 sponsor a child’s education for a year in a developing nation? 

When you explain to your potential supporters exactly how they’re helping, they’ll feel as though they’re truly making a difference (because they are)! 


4. Try Other Fundraising Options

Fundraising for small donations doesn’t have to solely be from a monthly giving program or rounding up to the nearest dollar on someone’s grocery bill. 

You can try other fundraising options, too! Peer-to-peer fundraising and crowdfunding are both great ways to encourage micro philanthropy. These two options are both great if your ideal donor persona is from a younger generation such as a millennial or a Gen Z. 


5. Always Show Your Gratitude, No Matter the Size of the Donation

Finally, make sure your donors, no matter the size of their gift, understand how grateful your nonprofit is

Send a thank-you email or a handwritten note, if you can! Doing so shows your donors that they’re a part of a community that cares about them being there. 

And when you express genuine gratitude, the likelihood of recurring donations and referral marketing increases!


If you want to learn more about how to do that, check out our free training on how to use gratitude to strengthen your relationships with donors! 

Watch the FREE Training on How to Use Gratitude Here!

Topics: Fundraising, Funding, Donor Relationships and Acquisition for Nonprofits