Feb 5, 2020

Online fundraising vs. offline fundraising

online fundraising

The modern world offers people a number of ways to raise funds for various causes. This can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you see it. While online advertising appears to be omnipresent, offline advertising is still effective. Balancing online fundraising and offline fundraising will largely depend on your target market and demographic. It’s all about strategy.

Tried and tested

Offline fundraising is not obsolete as it is still a prime means of raising money, especially among donors already familiar with your cause. Previously, ‘How Appealing is the Live Appeal?’ discussed how 36% of event planners still believe that a live appeal will generate the most donations. While only 7% of donors say that they’d likely donate during the said appeal, these events are nonetheless successful as they manage to generate a lot of revenue in a short span of time. These events could come in the form of silent auctions––which are still said to be the most effective––but could also come in the form of live auctions, collecting sponsors prior to an event, informal competitions, live appeals from a host, and even more nondescript means like mail donations and wire transfers. These are commonly advertised through door-to-door campaigns or more traditional marketing methods like print media, billboards, television, and radio advertisements, which are still how people access information, according to The Logician.

Something new to the table

Online fundraisers, on the other hand, are beneficial for your brand awareness and growth in attracting new donors. These online channels are necessary for getting your message out there and making it known. Also, technology allows for the convenience of making donations online. Digital technology has changed the way we appeal to both consumers and contributors, as Maryville University explains that organizations now seek marketers who are able to blend traditional marketing strategies with the use of advanced technology. This is paving the way for the creation of 19,700 new careers in advertising, promotions, and marketing management from 2014 to 2024, and appealing to markets on the digital landscape is becoming more commonplace. Now, netizens can share the donation pages or Facebook pages that now have fundraising features for you to both donate and share with all your contacts with just one click.

The best of both

It’s important for organizations to know that they could tackle raising funds through a blended approach. Fundraising methods are not mutually exclusive, and combining both offline and online fundraising could result in even more returns. Your digital presence, when established, can convert your online donors into offline donors and likewise attract more supporters. Since online fundraising is all about awareness, these people will be informed of any offline fundraising event in the works. In the same regard, documenting your offline fundraising event and posting these updates online on your social media channels will introduce potential donors to your cause. It will also build trust and legitimacy among all your donors––especially when they know where the money raised will go. Combining both these methods ensures that you’ll maximize coverage and cover all ground. It could be the best of both worlds.



Article by Claire Payton
Exclusively for givesmart.com


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We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

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The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

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MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

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Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

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Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County