2020 brought with it unsurmountable challenges for all industries worldwide. Non-profit and not-for-profit organizations also had to find new and innovative ways to raise funds, without depending on their conventional action plans. One of the key reasons for this is that the traditional methods of fundraising for non -profits like in-person events, media coverage, print collateral or flyers, direct mail, or newsletters are not bringing in the numbers they should. Although these methods lead to touchpoint engagement with different donors, there is often overlap between touchpoints, leading to lapses in communication and lack of personalization, which may lead to a negative donor experience.
Along with the challenges further brought about due to social distancing and stay at home mandates in the real world, most organizations began to shift their focus, online.
Statistics show that 54% of donors worldwide prefer to give online and online giving is growing each year.
This means that donors are moving to the worldwide web. Here are 5 Reasons why non-profits should be ready to take advantage of this trend
- Online Fundraising saves time and money, automating and streamlining, the process to make it easy for both the company and the donor.
- It gives access to better data and reporting, with real-time tracking of incoming funds and runs reports to get a clear idea of the returns on the fundraising efforts, while reducing human errors.
- With automated communication, like a thank you letter and tax receipt in real-time, relationship building starts off on a good note between the organization and the donor.
- Online fundraising expands the reach of the non-profit organization, where they are no longer limited by geographic borders. It allows anyone anywhere in the world with internet access, the opportunity to the mission and expands their donor base.
- A social media engagement strategy that links back to the non-profit organization’s website, has also shown effective results. 55% of people who engage with non-profits on social media end up taking some sort of action.
While both options have their merits, here are 4 ways through which online platform can help to improve fundraising for Non-profit organizations
1. Customization of the donation form
A simple, donation form that matches the theme of the organization, shows more engagement, with data showing that custom branded donation pages can raise up to six times more money. Having a donation form that automatically suggests giving levels, makes it easier for users to fill in the form while reducing the number of steps it would take.
Some of the customizations that are great to consider are :
- Branding with the organization’s name, logo, and colors.
- Facility to upload pictures and videos that speak to the cause or mission.
- Displaying the mission statement.
- Customizing the giving tiers or options for payment amounts.
- Having a call to action button, that is prominent, large, easy to find, even found on every page of the website, will make it more convenient for donors to go ahead with payments.
2. Mobile Optimization:
Half of the non-profit website traffic comes from mobile and tablet users, where mobile accounted for 40% of all visitors and tablets for 10%, making it important for websites to be mobile-friendly. With 81% of Americans owning smartphones, text fundraising and other mobile-based engagements will continue to grow in popularity.
Some features of a mobile-optimized site are :
- The page does not have to be resized after it loads, that is the user does not have to zoom in or out to see the page clearly.
- Data Fields and buttons are large, clearly seen, and easy to click.
- Images and text are aligned vertically.
3. Option for recurring giving
So that donors don’t have to remember to send in a monthly or yearly payment.
Even if the recurring donations are just a few dollars, it can add up over time.
Having a recurring donation model will increase your donations as the ask is easier. Imagine asking someone for $10/month versus $120/year – the net amount is the same, but if you break it down an explain that it’s only $0.33/day, it easier to sell the idea.
4. Versatile platform
Along with technology updates, a platform that is flexible enough to incorporate different types of funding campaigns also assures more avenues for donor engagement:
- Crowdfunding campaigns: These are usually timed campaigns that harness the power of social sharing. The main fundraising page is shared online through various social medial channels, with the help of supporters and their friends and families. The idea to spread the message far and wide, with the help of existing online donors to spread the mission of the non-profit organization far and wide.
A relevant and realistic timeline is essential as time-based campaigns tend to inspire immediate action.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising: In this strategy, non-profit organizations call on their supporters to raise funds on their behalf, using the principle of social proof to elevate the cause of the organization. They can provide tools ( digital media including a P2P fundraising page or website) and marketing materials to supporters to help them solicit donations. Setting a goal and a theme establishes a powerful case for support, attracting large audiences and the attention of new supporters, thereby expanding the donor network considerably.
- Matching Gifts: This has become a crucial part of philanthropy programs in corporations. Companies will match their employee’s donations to non-profit organizations. Therefore, incorporating a matching gifts strategy has the potential to significantly improve collections by non-profits.
- Auction Events: These are great opportunities to both raise money for the mission of the non-profit, as well as engage with supporters, to lay the foundation for future donations. An otherwise daunting process, with multiple bids, registrations and wait times for receiving products in the end, can be managed effectively online with the right software or platform. The icing on the cake would be an auction software that also provides participants with a mobile bidding application. This makes it convenient for donors to place their bids, receive real-time notifications with an easy check out process.
There are Compelling statistics that show that people give out of genuine philanthropic interest, thus leading to an increase in charitable giving.
With Covid 19 disrupting industries and the global economy, non-profit organizations also need to pivot their existing models, programs, or fundraising events to survive and thrive in this new normal, taking advantage of new platforms and software online to engage with donors and supporters.