Simply having online giving forms ready for your donors isn’t enough. If your team really wants to take online fundraising by the reins, you’ll need to take a second look at how you raise money online – from the top down.
This means you’ll need to meet donors where they already are: online. By doing so, your team can seamlessly integrate your organization into your supporters’ digital lives. To get started, your nonprofit should:
- Optimize your mobile giving process for donors
- Elevate how you fundraise on social media
- Incorporate online fundraising tools into events
Want to revamp how your nonprofit approaches online fundraising? Check out these top online fundraising trends to get started.
Bonus! Thinking of launching a crowdfunder? Check out MobileCause’s top crowdfunding ideas to learn more about what this awesome online fundraising strategy has to offer.
1. Optimize Your Mobile Giving Process for Donors
If your nonprofit already has online giving forms in place, that’s great. Making it easy for supporters to donate to your organization online is the first step in taking hold of your online fundraising strategy, and without these forms in your arsenal, you’d be starting from square one.
However, if you really want to make a splash when fundraising online, your nonprofit should start taking mobile giving seriously.
There are more than 300 million smartphone users worldwide. Since most of these individuals (especially younger givers) have their phones with them from the moment they wake up each morning, it’s extremely likely that when they do interact with your nonprofit online, it will be on a mobile device.
For this reason, it’s a huge missed opportunity if your nonprofit doesn’t shape your online fundraising strategy with mobile giving in mind.
Take a look at these ways you can leverage your mobile interactions with donors into fundraising success.
Mobile Giving Forms
When smartphone users land on your giving page, they should be reaching your mobile optimized giving form.
Mobile-optimized forms should be branded to your organization with your logo and colors incorporated into their design.
These forms will effortlessly fit your supporters’ mobile screens, as well as minimize the amount of extraneous elements they encounter on the page (such as unnecessary whitespace, large blocks of text, etc.).
When fundraising online, one of the golden rules to remember is that the more links a person has to click to reach your giving pages, the less likely it is they’ll complete their gift.
With text-to-donate tools, your supporters can be connected to your mobile giving form in seconds by sending a branded keyword to a special phone number.
They’ll be sent back a link to the form, and with just a few clicks they can seamlessly donate right on their smartphone.
One of the most important parts of online fundraising is building dependable lists of supporters that you can rely upon for future fundraising efforts.
Your team can build these lists by having mobile users opt in to subscribing to texts from your organization.
Whenever your nonprofit announces a new campaign, makes solicitations, or has other information to share, you’ll be able to send these messages right to your supporters’ phones.
You can even use these lists to share the link to your mobile-optimized giving form. Just be sure to allow users to opt out of their subscription if that’s their preference.
Direct Mail and Online Giving
Between 71 percent and 81 percent of all nonprofit gifts are received through the mail. Although online fundraising is the future for nonprofits, direct mail is still one of the most impactful ways to raise money.
However, you shouldn’t think of these two fundraising methods as completely alien to one another. In fact, your team can easily use direct mail as a way to connect givers to your online fundraising tools.
For example, by including a QR code on appeal letters, you can link supporters directly to your online giving pages.
Additionally, you can include your text-to-donate keyword and instructions in direct mail to link readers to your mobile giving form.
Bonus! Enabling mobile giving is a great way for universities to strengthen their alumni fundraising strategy. Not only does it make it easier for these donors to connect with your school, but it also makes giving more convenient for up-and-coming millennial alumni.
2. Elevate How You Fundraise on Social Media
Your nonprofit probably already has some level of social media presence in place. Whether it’s a Facebook page for your organization or an Instagram profile you use to share photos from events, it’s nearly impossible to not be on social media these days.
If your nonprofit’s social media strategy starts and stops with basic online engagement, you’re missing out on extremely valuable online fundraising opportunities.
Did you know that your nonprofit can fundraise directly through social media sites?
You can leverage your presence on these platforms to help get donors to your online giving pages faster, as well as increase their likelihood of completing a gift by streamlining giving for these important supporters.
Let’s go over some ways your nonprofit can improve how you make use of social media in your online fundraising efforts.
Embedded Giving Forms
One of the quickest ways that nonprofits can connect their supporters to their giving form is by embedding it in their Facebook page.
Facebook allows approved nonprofits to directly embed their giving form into the website, meaning users are able to give without leaving social media.
Since the faster you’re able to connect supporters to your page, the more likely it is they’ll donate, embedded Facebook giving forms are a must.
Facebook also offers donate buttons to charitable organizations that they can use to raise money.
These buttons can be added to posts, placed under live streams, or added to your nonprofit’s page.
The website collects a small processing fee from these transactions, meaning your team can keep more of the money you raise from donors.
Sharing videos across social media is one of the best ways your nonprofit can get noticed by potential supporters, as well as one of the quickest ways to get trending.
Many social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram, prioritize video content when deciding which posts to place at the tops of users’ feeds.
Your nonprofit can leverage this video content to boost your fundraising by using these videos to share your text-to-donate keyword or include images of your donation page’s short link.
You can also educate supporters on how to see their gifts matched by their employer’s matching gifts program to maximize the giving impact of your base.
Additionally, you can use livestreaming to make video broadcasts online that your supporters can tune into. This type of direct, in-real-time engagement is great for getting your fundraising message out there, as well as for making long-term connections with donors.
Crowdfunding and Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Fundraising methods like crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising are among the most social media-friendly nonprofit fundraising strategies.
If your nonprofit can make your crowdfunding campaign go viral, or give your supporters the tools they need to make their peer-to-peer fundraising pages reach more eyes online, that translates directly into online fundraising success.
3. Incorporate Online Fundraising Tools Into Events
If the previous sections have stressed one thing, it’s that successful online fundraising depends upon seamlessly integrating online giving tools into your donors’ lives. When it comes to event fundraising, this rings just as true.
Fundraising events are some of the most tried-and-true ways nonprofit organizations raise money for their causes. Even before the internet, philanthropies held galas, walkathons, auctions, and more to inspire supporters to give while engaging their community.
Just because these events take place in person, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be a key component of your online fundraising strategy.
In fact, by incorporating online giving tools into events like these, your nonprofit can make it easier for supporters to contribute to your organization quickly and easily.
Consider some of these online fundraising tools designed to make your nonprofit’s events even better opportunities for raising money.
Mobile pledging is a lot like text-to-donate. The main difference? Mobile pledging allows supporters to make a commitment to give to your organization without immediately completing their donation.
This method is great for fundraising events because it gives supporters time to fulfill their pledge without immediately making their gift. For individuals who might be on the fence about giving on the day of your event, this makes the donation process a little more convenient for them.
With mobile pledging software, individuals will receive reminder messages to fulfill their gift for a set period of time after they make their pledge. They can give on their mobile device, using your desktop form, or even via mail if that’s their preference.
Auctions are one of the most common (and successful) nonprofit fundraisers. However, they can also be some of the most stressful events for an organization to take on.
From managing bids and auction items to sending receipts to donors, there are a lot of moving parts involved in putting on a successful action.
With auction software, your nonprofit can easily oversee the entire process from the top down without any guesswork.
One of the ways most fundraising events raise money for your cause is through ticket sales.
By adopting event ticketing software, your team can sell tickets in much the same way you would accept gifts from supporters.
However, payment processing can be a little different than accepting donations, and it’s important that you adopt dedicated event ticketing software to handle the job.
Using this software, you can manage sales, create customized ticket sale forms, and share these pages with your supporters across all channels.
Bonus! Want to take a more strategic look at how your nonprofit can incorporate online fundraising into your fundraising plan? Check out Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s fundraising plan template for a step-by-step guide for planning out your next campaigns.
Online fundraising is about so much more than simply setting up a giving page. With the right strategies in place, it’s time for your nonprofit to start taking advantage of all that online fundraising has to offer. Good luck!
About the Author
Steve Page is a blogger, marketer, and webmaster for MobileCause, the world’s leading mobile and online fundraising platform. MobileCause helps organizations reach their goals with a full suite of mobile-friendly solutions that allow donors to connect and give to your cause from any device. When he’s not working at MobileCause, Steve can usually be found helping organizations with their websites, learning the latest marketing trends, or working on his golf game.