3 Benefits of Including Online Fundraising in Your Nonprofit Marketing Campaign

By eleventy marketing group

Eleventy has integrated our innovative online fundraising platform ONCORE into marketing campaigns for a number of national nonprofit organizations over the past couple years. Through these campaigns, we have collected and analyzed the data to unearth some informative results. Once again, our commitment to thoroughly crunching every number we come across means more important insights for you.

Here are three key benefits of incorporating online fundraising in your nonprofit campaign:

1. Online Produces a Higher Give

Integrating ONCORE for five different nonprofit clients and generating over 200,000 personals URLs, we have consistently seen a higher average gift amount online than through the mail. In fact, the average online gift was 45% higher in comparison to mail gifts ($49 online versus $29 mail). For our best-performing client test, the average online gift was actually 72% higher than through the mail.

Our findings of higher average online gifts are consistent with industry results. What’s the reason for the higher give? First, online giving is quicker and more convenient. You don’t have to sit down, write out a check and put it in the mail. You punch in your information and click a button. The time to second guess your donation is cut in half. Less time means a person is less likely to think “well I have to buy groceries so maybe I’ll give $25 instead of $50”. Another significant factor can be found in our next benefit…

2. Personalization Makes An Impact

Another important result we’ve seen is the difference personalization makes in the overall impact of online fundraising. A key component of ONCORE is empowering users to become the voice of the organization within their social groups. By adding pictures and messages to their web pages, individuals make the appeal more personalized for their friends and family members than an organization or marketer ever could. They are creating a bridge, saying “this cause is important to me and that’s how it affects you”.

The message is much more effective when it comes directly from a donor or volunteer. Our online fundraising results have consistently shown that the more a person customizes their web page, the more friends and family are likely to donate. The average gift amount for individuals who customized their pages was $10 higher than the average online gift. This is a key benefit online fundraising offers: the ability to let donors engage with one another and echo your organization’s message.

3. Multichannel Improves Results

In one test, ONCORE was used with a nonprofit campaign where volunteers mailed letters to family and friends. Each volunteer was given a personal URL. The volunteer could choose to go online and personalize their site. But even if they did not, the site still existed with organizational information and the volunteer’s name on it (“Welcome to John Utah’s fundraising website”). We did a test on 10,000 volunteers. For half of those volunteers (5,000), we included the URL on the letters the volunteers mailed. For the other half of volunteers, the URL was not included on the letter.

Ultimately, the kits that gave donors the option of contributing via mail or online produced better results across the board. Our results showed that volunteers who had the website printed on their letters had a higher fulfillment (945 fulfilled volunteers vs. 899 for the control, or 18.90% vs. 17.98%). The total revenue for the test volunteers also exceeded the revenue for the control ($112,248 versus $101,036), as did the average kit revenue ($118.78 vs. $112.39). The test also showed more donations per kit (3.59 vs. 3.44) and a higher average donation ($33.09 vs. $32.62).

With so many channels available today, and people using the different channels in different ways, it makes sense to give volunteers and donors options. Would you like to help the organization on the phone, through the mail or online? This way you are not alienating individuals because they prefer one medium over another. This is a major benefit of multichannel marketing. You give donors options to meet their preferences rather than making them go out of their way to meet yours.

Now that you know the benefits, it’s time to take action. In an upcoming blog post, we’ll take a look at some tips on how your organization can effectively integrate online fundraising into a marketing campaign. Stay tuned.