Over the past ten years, the growth of online giving has been nothing short of remarkable. Within just the United States, over $20 billion is given annually!
With the financial infrastructure of many non-profits relying largely on individuals’ donations, are 501(c)(3)’s capitalizing on online giving? And if not, what are they doing wrong?
When it comes to bringing in donations, here are five tricks of the trade that non-profits should be utilizing.
1. Email Campaigns
I feel like a broken record because I’m always singing the praises of email drip campaigns. BUT IT’S BECAUSE THEY WORK. Despite the world’s obsession with social media, email is still the driving force for most online fundraising programs. Non-profits send out emails to their subscriber base to ask for support and make it super easy for recipients to click a button and give. These emails adhere to a strategy of being sent out at methodical times and intervals while also paying close attention to subject lines and specific call-to-actions.
2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Organizations that enable and empower individuals to raise funds through personal online platforms have become extremely popular. People start a personal campaign page and then do all sorts of things to raise money for a cause they care about. They promote their campaign through their social networks and ask for support from family and friends. It’s ingenious. In 2013, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raised $185.3 million via peer-to-peer fundraising events!
3. A Killer Website
You don’t raise money by begging for it; you raise money by selling people on your organization. And a fantastic way to do that is through your website. No matter what avenue people take to find you, they need to feel informed and inspired once they get there. The easiest way to be naturally inspiring is to make sure your website reflects exactly who you are. You won’t have to do much “selling” if you’re clear and passionate about your cause. They’ll want to give. It’s also downright imperative that you make giving easy. Which leads me to #4…
4. The Actual Transaction
Too many clicks, too many steps, too many fields. One of the main reasons donors prefer online giving is because of its convenience, so the last thing you want to do is place too many barriers in their way. Embedding a donation form inside your website and ensuring that it’s mobile compatible will go a long way towards better conversion. Six times more money is raised through custom-branded donation pages than through third-party donate pages.
5. Year-End Giving and #GivingTuesday
Thirty percent of all online donations are made in December and 10% of all annual giving happens in the last three days of the year. Coincidentally, #GivingTuesday (the national day for giving back) usually falls within the December category since it occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Whether the "giving spirit" is especially high during the holiday season or the race for tax write-offs is sprinting to the finish line, fundraising campaigns in December have seen a 142% volume growth over other campaigns through-out the year. Just saying.