16% increase in online donations to nonprofits in November and December 2013 compared to the same time period in 2012. -The Chronicle of Philanthropy
In 2013, we saw online fundraising continue to assert its position in the nonprofit fundraising hierarchy. As more nonprofits (of all types) expand their Web presences and more donors (across almost all demographics) embrace the convenience of online giving, fundraising on the Internet will only become a more prominent and powerful force in 2014.
By this point, you’ve probably seen the positive impact a strategic online component can have on your fundraising results. Now the question is: How can you more effectively integrate online fundraising into your marketing campaigns to better reach existing donors and expand your donor base? In today’s eleventy blog post, we’ll provide some proven methods to help you take your online donations to the next level.
Four Ways To Get More From Online Fundraising This Year
Based on the results eleventy has seen with ONCORE, our innovative online fundraising platform, here are four tips to enhance your online fundraising efforts this year:
1. Make it PERSONAL
Empower your volunteers and donors. Give them the freedom to represent your brand. Our online fundraising results have shown the more personal an individual makes their website, the more likely they are to effectively engage friends and family members and get them to make a donation. We saw a $10 higher average gift when volunteers personalized their Web pages, so more personalization equals more fundraising dollars.
Just like on Facebook—the more photos, videos or messages a person posts, the more people will explore and interact with their pages. Make it easy for your volunteers and donors to create fundraising pages. Keep the process as simple as possible. If there’s one thing online users are, it’s impatient. If they don’t perceive the process as quick and easy, they will drop out as quickly as they popped in. Stick to what people know (think Facebook).
How to make your online fundraising more personal:
- Give individuals the ability to integrate their personal stories with your organization
- Enable users to post messages, photos and videos
- Think simple—make personalizing a fundraising page quick and easy for users
2. Make it SOCIAL
You can’t talk about community, engagement and the future of online fundraising without mentioning Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other popular social media sites. The goal of marketing is to go where the people are. With over a billion users on Facebook, social media is where people are congregating. We would be remiss not to try to tap into this massive market. Whenever you’re talking about online fundraising, social media should be part of the plan.
At eleventy, we incorporated the ability to post on social media sites into our online fundraising tool. For example, donors can post a message on Facebook urging friends to visit their fundraising website with the click of a button. The beauty of social media is that it allows individuals to connect with a mass audience in an instant. When leveraged properly, social media can empower people who support your organization to spread the word.
How to make your online fundraising more social:
- Connect your online fundraising efforts to social media sites
- Include buttons for quick linking and posting on social media sites
- Enable users to participate in online fundraising solely through social media sites like Facebook or Google+ if they desire
3. Make it ACTIONABLE
Don’t make it just about the donation. Get people involved. Create a strong connection between individuals and your organization. Data has shown that advocacy continues to influence online donations. Give people ways to take action and make a difference that aren’t just monetary. Ask them to sign a petition, post a blurb of information on their Facebook and Twitter pages, or attend an event or meet up. Find ways to get people involved.
Advocacy is a great way to bring people in and establish a network of potential new donors. Everyone is asking for a give. Stand out by offering something more: a sense of purpose. Adopt an issue or goal and work to get your supporters behind that issue or goal. Give people the ability to take action and encourage their friends to take action as well. It may not impact your bottom line right away, but it will lay the groundwork for future growth.
How to make your online fundraising more actionable:
- Incorporate advocacy into your online fundraising efforts
- Give people a way to interact without making a donation
- Make it viral—enable all visitors to get involved with the click of a button
4. Make it MULTICHANNEL
The Internet gives you the capability not only to reach people with your message but also let them interact with your organization; to help promote it. This two-sided conversation creates better donors and volunteers—people who are more engaged with your organization and will work harder on your behalf. Moving into the future, the Web will become an increasingly significant fundraising source. But it’s still not only about the Web.
Different individuals respond and interact with organizations through different channels. For some, it might be exclusively phone or mail or Web. For others, it might be a mix of all channels depending on what action they are taking. In this day and age, every organization should cater to the individual preferences of donors. That means making sure you have the capacity to connect with donors across channels.
How to make your online fundraising more multichannel:
- Give people the option to choose their channel
- Speak to individual preferences—if someone does not use mail, don’t mail to them
- With all your mail campaigns, include a correlating Web component so people have the option of participating or giving online
Results have shown that a multichannel donor is a more dedicated donor with a significantly higher value to your organization. You should be working to engage and interact with your donors in as many ways as possible. By tying online fundraising with phone and mail fundraising, you can reach more people, drive better results and, ultimately, maximize your return on investment.
Need help you boosting your online fundraising efforts in 2014? Start a conversation with eleventy to see how we can help your nonprofit better reach donors and volunteers on the Web.