7 Tips to Increase Your Online Fundraising Success | npENGAGE

7 Tips to Increase Your Online Fundraising Success

By on Jun 29, 2017

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Online giving continues to rise due to its simplicity, convenience and consumer behavior. These days, supporters can donate instantly on computers, tablets and smart phones via your organization’s website, virtual appeals, text-to-give initiatives, apps and email. Accessibility is cited as a primary reason online giving increased 12 percent in December 2016, according to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report.

As electronic donations continue to increase, there are various ways to take advantage of the giving trends. Here are a 7 tips for donation page optimizations to help you increase online fundraising success:

1. Make Your Mission Prominent to Website Visitors

Your mission should be highly visible on your website’s homepage, in e-appeals and on your app. A mission statement must align with your organization while being clear and concise. You want your audience to connect with your purpose and be able to easily recall its meaning. The voice of your organization must prominently support your mission and objectives should be clear to the donor.

2. Tell Supporters How Donations Will Be Utilized

Your organization’s needs should be transparent to potential donors. Create a “wish list” to make your goals and objectives clear – this will help you secure essentials. Donors like to know how their funds will be utilized. Some donors contribute unrestricted gifts, while others prefer to choose a specific program or area to support. Either way, make sure to send donors a timely follow up to explain the impact of what they supplied.

3. Set Online Giving Levels

Engage your donors by showing and telling them how their gifts will help support your mission. Adding incremental giving levels to your online wish list or in an appeal creates better understanding of how specific dollar amounts make a tangible impact. Keep levels and explanations simple, and use examples.

Example of Online Fundraising Forms

4. Ensure that Online Fundraising Pages Are Secure

Donors want to feel safe. Your organization’s software must protect all of their personal and financial information using encryption technology. Organizations that save donors’ personal contact information must use firewalls or other technology to block hackers. Also, ensure your technologies are updated in a timely manner as updates may include patches for security weaknesses.

Secure online fundraising forms

5. Make it Easy to Donate

Accessibility is vital; make it easy for your donors to give. Your website, e-appeal or app should reflect your current campaign, and your donation button should be highly visible. Include options, such as recurring giving, so donors have the choice to give again automatically. Test your donation link(s) and page on staff members or key donors, ensuring it’s easy to navigate.

Recurring Gift Options on Online Fundraising Form

6. Incorporate Social Media (make it fun to give!)

Online giving can be fun! Develop creative ways for people to give while engaging their networks of friends and families. Create virtual challenges, utilizing today’s advances, but keep it simple. Don’t make online giving campaigns complicated by overthinking the social media strategy. Some of the simplest virtual and nonprofit social media campaigns have gone viral. A perfect example is the 2014 ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge. This campaign was an instant viral hit and within weeks, raised over $40 million (over $100 million in total). Online giving was the nucleus of this effort by driving individuals from social media to the organization’s website, increasing awareness, and strengthening their mission while creating philanthropic fun. Embrace your mission and your donors’ willingness to give.

7. Acknowledge Every Gift

Recognize gifts within three days of receipt since a delayed response can be perceived as an insult. Some donors prefer to remain anonymous, while other donors may want recognition for their company, but one thing is constant: All donor requests should be respected. Acknowledgement levels primarily fall into three categories: major gift, mid-level gift and lower-level gift. The dollar amount for each category is customized to your organization’s donor base. Online gifts generally fall in the lower- to mid-levels of giving.

Major Gifts Phone call and thank you letter
Mid-level Gift Personalized email and thank you letter
Lower-level Gift Thank you letter with hand-written note

Whether you are conducting a digital peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or raising funds electronically for an established non-profit, the key to success is trust. Donors require security when sharing their personal information. Transparency surrounding your actions is a great way to achieve this with your target audience. Invest in a reputable software that is supported by an established, dependable company.

Online fundraising is a useful tool and your software should mimic your fundraising needs and attract your target audience. Perfect your strategy, maximizing your efforts and, most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tanya Fitzgerald is a Customer Success Manager for Blackbaud’s Arts & Cultural verticle and is based in Charleston, SC. Prior to joining Blackbaud, she was the Board & Special Projects Manager for the South Carolina Aquarium focusing on major gifts and fundraising events while managing the Board of Directors and junior board. Previously, Tanya was involved with Louie’s Kids for six years, a non-profit that focuses on childhood obesity and family wellness, as a board member and volunteer managing their fundraising efforts. Currently, she is involved with the Charleston Animal Society’s fundraising events and is a member of their Board of Directors philanthropy committee. Tanya enjoys giving back and sharing her non-profit knowledge helping our customers succeed.

Comments (1)

  • Eric A Bryant says:

    In our experience helping nonprofits, having the right tech tools is essential to increasing efficiency. Sometimes increasing fundraising margins is not about how many fundraising events you attend or administer but about having the best tools. And some tools convert better than others.

    For example, research shows that many nonprofits will raise more overall with an SMS donation program in their marketing mix than they will without one. Text-to-donate is one area that is experiencing an increase in clickthrough and conversion rates, as more and more people transition to mobile-first.

    Check out this helpful infographic: http://www.gmg.cm/blog/do-sms-donations-work

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