Online donations are outstanding opportunities for your nonprofit. So much of the world is online, and it’s time to start strategizing your digital fundraising techniques to reach more of your donors. Continue reading to learn more about online fundraising and donations, as well as the seven best online fundraising practices for donors that generate measurable results.
How nonprofits get online donations
Before strategizing online donations, follow these steps so your nonprofit can accept them.
- Create an online donation form: Online donations make it easier for donors to support your nonprofit. Make your donation form simple for supporters to access with a few clicks.
- Put your donation form directly onto your website: Embedding a donation form on your site is respectful of donors’ time and prevents them from having to travel to a completely separate webpage. Plus, having your form on your website encourages users to stay on the donation page longer.
- Integrate a payment processor into your donation form: You’ll also need a way to receive contributions. Some payment processors offer nonprofit discounts, so you receive the maximum percentage of your donations. Also, use a payment processor that sends automatic receipts to your donors.
Types of online donations
Remember, you’re looking to attract more than one kind of online donations. The various types of online contributions include the following.
- Recurring giving: Recurring giving is the easiest for consistent donors, as it accepts money from your donors regularly and automatically. Encourage your donors to give monthly.
- Digital live appeal: Your digital live appeal is your call to action, the “spark” that ignites a supporter’s desire to give. Digitally, this can look like texting or emailing your donors and providing them with an incentive to donate directly through their mobile devices.
- Donation campaigns: Campaigns link to a specific initiative, like building a school in an impoverished country. Initiatives encourage donations because donors know what their contribution is funding.
7 tips to increase online donations
Now that you’re more familiar with the basics of online fundraising best practices, consider these tips to boost your online donations.
1. Go mobile
Though cash and credit cards aren’t going away any time soon, donors are showing a preference for mobile payments. In 2018, around 440 million people took advantage of mobile payments, which experts project will grow to over 760 million in upcoming years. Plus, an overwhelming majority of the U.S. population owns some sort of mobile device — 85% own a smartphone, and 53% have a tablet.
Because of these trends, your website must be mobile-friendly. Integrate a responsive design, like making your site adjust automatically to different screen sizes and using tap-friendly menus.
2. Stay transparent
Be straightforward with your donors. Think from the donors’ perspective — you’d want to know where your money is going and what it is supporting. So, tell them. On your homepage, make your nonprofit’s goals clear and concise, answering all the questions they might have.
For example, be transparent by specifically outlining where past donors’ money went. If someone’s $10 donation fed three families, let your audience know. That way, you attract new donors and keep current donors motivated to continue giving.
4. Be bold
Don’t be afraid to ask for donations. After all, it’s no secret nonprofits survive on contributions. Paint a picture of why donors should support your nonprofit, and even more importantly, how they can do so. Make sure you post your donation form at the top of your website where everyone — including mobile device users — can see it. Make it bold and have it stand out — use eye-catching colors and a compelling call to action.
4. Use imagery
You communicate with your audience in three ways — oral, text-based, and imagery. Verbal and text-based communication are more for relaying meaningful information, while images are responsible for evoking emotion. When your donors feel emotionally connected to your nonprofit, they’re likely to give more and do so regularly.
Use powerful photos that accurately portray your brand’s mission. For example, consider sharing pictures from your last mission trip or an inside look at your food pantry. That way, donors get a tangible idea of how their donations helped change people’s lives.
5. Tell a story
A brand story is a marketing technique where a brand — aka your nonprofit — communicates its message using narratives and storytelling. Think about storytelling as a conversation with your donors, sharing information like:
- Your mission statement
- Influential statistics
- Where every donation goes
- The organization’s founder and team members
- Powerful imagery
- Blog posts
Telling a story gives your nonprofit a competitive advantage because, these days, many entities focus on selling to their customers instead of building a profitable relationship. Having a conversation with your donors creates a meaningful rapport — they’ll feel more comfortable donating and be more inclined to do so regularly to maintain the “friendship.”
6. Encourage recurring donations
By encouraging monthly donations, you’re more likely to receive a higher annual donation amount. The average monthly donation is $52, or $624 every year. Comparatively, the average one-time donation is $128 — almost five times less than the average monthly donation. Plus, once a supporter begins regularly donating, they’re more likely to continue doing so.
7. Track your metrics
Analytic tools, like Google Analytics, give you profitable insight into how your donors interact with your nonprofit online. When people visit your website, they click through different pages, leaving a trail. Analytic tools track these visitor actions and turn them into numbers you can use to strategize future marketing efforts.
GiveSmart — why your platform matters and how we can strengthen your online strategy
When facilitating online nonprofit events, you want a tool that benefits your overall donation strategy and generates results. Using an online option — like GiveSmart’s auctions and event management platform — has benefits like:
- User-friendly interfaces
- Mobile- and desktop-friendly design
- Real-time metrics
- Text-to-donate features
- Easy payment processing
- Automatic tax receipts and thank-you letters
Learn more about how your nonprofit will benefit from our online platform by visiting our product page. Explore what we can do for you, then get started by requesting a demo online. We’ve already raised over $3 billion of donations for America’s nonprofits, and we can improve your donation rates, too.
- Tracks to Reopening: Self-checkout and contactless item redemption - August 3, 2021
- Giving USA 2021 report highlights record $471.44 billion to U.S. charities in 2020 - July 30, 2021
- Hybrid fundraisers and how to run them - July 27, 2021