Ok, ok, it’s not all about the Benjamins, but there’s no denying that successfully raising funds for your nonprofit is absolutely mission critical. And, it’s no easy feat, when you consider you’re not only competing with the best e-commerce sites in the world to capture the attention of your target audience, but you’re also contending with the rest of the busy, noisy Internet.

However, there’s no need to despair. Corporate sites such as Amazon, Zappos, and Travelocity.com have spent millions of research dollars to find out how to draw customers into making purchases. By leveraging these strategies, nonprofits can dramatically increase their online fundraising and further their mission.

Here are a few tricks nonprofits can leverage from online retail sites:

Maximize First Contact

Potential donors’ first contact with your organization is often through your website. To maximize their experience and your results, keep it simple. Think about who will be visiting the site and what they will be looking for once they get there. Where do you want them to go? What do you want them to do? Streamline the options and allow donors to access basic information, learn how to get involved, and donate.

Highlight the Donation Button

This may seem obvious, but it’s an area that’s often overlooked. The best e-commerce sites make shopping and checking out super easy. Think of your donation button as the shopping cart. While the rest of the website should be cohesive and focused on brand, the donation button should clearly stand out. Make the button large and easy to find on each page of the website and keep it in the same location from page to page.

Capture Email Addresses

When potential donors interact with your organization online, they need a simple way to be added to your email fundraising campaign and general mailing list. Email communication is a valuable tool for sharing key information and creating relationships between potential donors and your nonprofit. In addition, email campaigns are inexpensive and effective and a great way to raise funds online. A pop-up window that asks visitors to opt into an email campaign or mailing list is currently the best way to obtain these crucial addresses.

Tell Your Story

Successful brands leverage powerful images and videos to communicate emotions and create a strong connection with their target market. Nonprofits can do the same by incorporating multimedia to relate their most high-impact storyline on their websites and social media pages.
Imagery and video segments that strongly illustrate the core mission to donors also have high potential to go viral in support of the cause through social media. Share the story of your mission on each page of your website with visuals, such as personal stories or images and videos of those your nonprofit has helped.

Leverage Fundraising Tools

Building up industry best practices to further maximize fundraising efforts, nonprofits can now launch a new fundraising campaign in minutes, not hours and days, with modern and flexible online fundraising tools like Abila Fundraising Online. Nonprofits can build forms and make changes quickly and easily, allowing for testing on a range of appeals, donation levels, and messaging. The data is provided in real-time so fundraising campaigns and associated forms can be evaluated on their ongoing performance.