Digital fundraising is an important way to connect with your donors and your community while raising more money for your cause. Using effective software and other tech can help your digital fundraising become a key source of revenue for your nonprofit—so be sure to invest in a helpful, low-cost solution that can improve your ability to raise money.
Why Does Online Fundraising Work?
In our increasingly digital world, you have to be raising money online for your cause. Digital fundraising is one of the fastest-growing areas of charitable giving—but why is giving online so successful for many nonprofits?
Donors Love Convenient, Online Ways to Give
For many donors, convenience means a lot when it comes to supporting the causes they care about. It’s easy to get distracted or frustrated if giving to a nonprofit takes a lot of time or extra effort like buying a stamp or pulling out your checkbook. Online ways to give that make it simple are ideal, especially if it’s easy to connect to a payment processor like PayPal with a single login or other forms of donation to easily send money without added inconvenience.
Grow Your Small and Mid-Level Donors
Digital fundraising is a great way to connect with your smaller and mid-level donors. Online donations tend to be slightly lower dollar amounts, but a robust online fundraising can help grow your donor base as well as inspire smaller donors to give more often. You may get a lot of $10 or $20 donations, depending on your nonprofit, but by building out your digital fundraising program those donors may give more frequently.
Appeal to Younger Donors
Younger donors are more likely to give online than through other methods, so having a robust digital fundraising strategy is important for growing your donor base across generations. While these donations may start smaller, most donors give larger amounts as they grow older and move up in their careers. Building relationships with millennial and Gen Z donors can pay off in the long run, and digital fundraising tools will help you raise more from younger donors.
Allow Instant Reactions to Major Events and News
When tragedy strikes, many people feel unable to help. Whether that’s a natural disaster, horrible crime, or other tragic incident, many people’s first reaction is horror. Then, they want to find a way to make an impact. Through digital fundraising, you can make sure that your nonprofit is prepared to react to tragic events and provide people with a way to support the cause. Be careful not to seem too opportunistic—only ask for donations if you can put that money to work on the issue quickly. That kind of transparency will go a long way to build trust with your donors.
Avoid Donor Intent Dropoff
You may have experienced it before—you’re going about your day and you see an article, a social media post, or a real-life interaction that inspires you to find a way to help. But if you have trouble finding a nonprofit that impacts that cause or figuring out how to give, the intent you had to donate may drop off as you get distracted by the busyness of your day. This is donor intent dropoff, and it’s important that your nonprofit makes it easy and convenient to donate to avoid losing out on donations because of this issue.
Custom Asks and Donor Segmentation
Whenever possible, your digital fundraising tools should offer customized asks for donors based on their past donation levels and engagement with your organization. Segmenting donors is a great way to make your email marketing and other digital fundraising strategies more effective, as well as treat your donors as individuals. You can ask for higher amounts from faithful and higher-level donors, which can in turn increase your overall revenue and have a positive impact on your fundraising goals overall.
Event Fundraising Should Be Digital
Your next nonprofit fundraising event should include digital fundraising tools. Whether that’s an easy way to register with a tool like Events.org or more sophisticated digital fundraising like an online silent auction through iBid, your event should allow people to give, register, and engage further on their smartphone or computer. Your guests will have a seamless experience and enjoy being able to easily contribute without having to take much time away from enjoying the event.
Digital Fundraising Mistakes to Avoid
Digital fundraising is key to a successful donor strategy for your nonprofit. However, not all digital fundraising programs are the same, and some nonprofits make significant missteps early on in their program. Make sure to avoid these mistakes with your digital fundraising program.
Spamming Your Email List
Sending too many emails to your nonprofit email subscribers is a sure way to annoy your donors and hurt your digital fundraising results. Make sure that you send timely emails that showcase why their support is needed, and space out your donation asks to avoid wearing out your donor base. For most donor email lists, sending too often will result in a lot of unsubscribes, shrinking your list and reducing the number of donors you can appeal to next time. Each list is different, but aim to send only once or twice per month unless you have a particularly urgent need—and make sure that you segment out donors who have already given to the campaign to avoid frustrating them.
Only Asking for Money
While your donors are glad to support your cause, giving them chances to contribute things besides money is a great way to steward your donors and help them feel a part of your work. Try things like surveys, volunteer opportunities, committees they can serve on, and events they can attend to break up the asks for monetary support and help them to feel like the relationship is deeper than just a handout of cash. The more ways your donors engage with you, the more likely they are to donate more money and more consistently.
Appearing to Take Advantage of a Tragedy
While being responsive to tragic events is important, be careful that your digital fundraising doesn’t appear to take advantage of a crisis. Make sure any donations would actually go to support work that helps those impacted and adopt a measured approach—for most organizations, you want to avoid looking like you are just trying to make more money off your donors around a tragedy. Consider pausing advertising and relying on more passive exposure such as posts through your social media accounts or other opportunities.
One Size Fits All Approach
Not all donors are the same, so make sure your digital fundraising strategy appreciates that donors have different levels of ability to give and different reasons they support your cause. Segment your email list and other fundraising outreach to ask donors for an appropriate amount of money. It’s also a good idea to think of what groups might respond best to certain campaigns or requests rather than sending every ask to your entire list—perhaps you target previous event attendees first for your next event or ask corporate sponsors to help in a time of crisis.
How to Find the Right Digital Fundraising Software
Finding the right digital fundraising software can be challenging, but it’s important to find a fundraising tool that provides you with easy ways to reach out to donors, receive donations, and create reports to analyze your donation history.
Make It Easy for Your Donors
Convenience is king for your donors. Make it easy for them to give online through simple tools, like CharityGiving’s OneClickDonation™. Your donors will appreciate that they can give quickly without a lot of additional effort, and you’ll see your giving grow. The right tool will allow your donors to give how they want, from a computer or a smartphone, and with easy, digestible giving forms.
Security Matters for Digital Fundraising Software
Another key feature of your digital fundraising software is security. In an increasingly digital world, data breaches have become more and more common. Compromising your donors’ data is one of the more challenging crises to overcome and makes your donors feel betrayed and scared. Find a digital fundraising solution that is encrypted, requires the right authentications, and is trustworthy to avoid data breaches. Tools like CharityGiving and iBid are encrypted to protect your donors’ data every step of the way.
Avoid HIgh Processing Fees for Online Donations
Some digital fundraising software takes high processing fees from every transaction, reducing the amount of your donors’ support that actually ends up in your bank account. Make sure that you’re aware of the credit card processing fee as well as the fundraising fee for each platform—ideally, find a tool like CharityGiving with one low setup fee and no ongoing fundraising fees.
Types of Digital Fundraising Software
Your digital fundraising strategy is more than just a form on your website, and so you may need to consider different types of digital fundraising software to maximize your donations through tech.
Online Donation Management Software
One key piece of any successful digital fundraising campaign is an effective online donation management solution. You’ll want something that is secure, user-friendly, and allows you to track donations seamlessly. Pulling reports is also an important part of donation management, as this can help you track trends in your giving over time and identify new opportunities to grow your donor base. Tools like CharityGiving can help you accept donations online securely and easily, while making sure that your donation form is branded with your organization’s logo, colors, and more.
Graphic Design Software
Another important part of your digital fundraising suite of tools is graphic design software. By making sure you have an easy-to-use graphic design solution, you can significantly improve your consistency and look in all of your digital fundraising. Tools like Canva are easier for beginners and less expensive, which mean you can make sure all your communications are on brand and look professional to your donors. Make sure to set standards that all of your team members follow in what colors, fonts, and graphics they use to help build a recognizable brand for your nonprofit.
Email Marketing Software
Email is still a powerful component in your digital fundraising strategy. Finding the right email marketing software can be hard, but it’s important to look for a tool that allows you to customize content to different recipients, track engagement and opens, and easily pivot and send new emails in the event of a crisis or tragic event. Make sure it integrates well with your donor management system, too, to help you track giving and response rates of your donors.
Event Fundraising Software
Nonprofit fundraising events are best supported by a well-crafted digital fundraising campaign. Make sure you have the right tool for your event fundraising software to keep it easy for your donors and simple for your staff, too. Tools like iBid and Events.org allow easy registration for events, integrate well with other software, and provide you with the ability to do more sophisticated online fundraising like an online silent auction. Thankfully, these tools also come with low costs and setup fees—something you should watch out for when you look at various event fundraising software options, as many of them add on surprise fees that quickly take a large portion of the money you raised.
Maximize Donations Through Tech with a Robust Digital Fundraising Strategy and the Right Digital Fundraising Tools
Finding the right digital fundraising tools can help your nonprofit raise more, engage more deeply with your donors, and equip your staff to be responsive to donor behavior and events in the community. Investing in your digital fundraising is never a bad decision, as growing your digital fundraising campaigns can help your raise more money for your cause and have a greater impact in your community. The right digital fundraising technology makes all the difference, and we can help! From iBid to CharityGiving to Events.org and more, we’re here to support your mission. Schedule a free demo today!
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