Nonprofit donors are giving online, and not just a little. A lot. According to the Donor Loyalty Study, 40 percent of donors give through a nonprofit’s website. If your nonprofit isn’t fundraising online yet, you likely know it’s high time you start. But, where and how? In short, there are two fundamental ways to fundraise online: organization-driven and supporter-driven.

Organization-Driven Online Fundraising

Online fundraising driven by the nonprofit is the “standard donation form” approach. At the most basic, this means having a donation form on your website and a clear path for donors to find it, likely through a button or other feature on your homepage.

Nonprofits having the most success with this way of fundraising online have multiple donation forms, aligned by campaign or program. For example, if your organization has a boys high school program and a girls elementary school program, you’d want to set up an online donation form specific to each program, using language and images that reflect their unique traits.

Organization-driven online fundraising often also includes proactive solicitations by the nonprofit through email, social media, direct mail, and advertisements. Watch the “Amplify Your Digital Asks” recorded webinar for solicitation ideas and best practices.

Supporter-Driven Online Fundraising

Online fundraising driven by supporters, often referred to as peer-to-peer fundraising, is based upon supporters asking their friends, family, and other contacts to support a cause. We most often see this through events like marathons, bike rides, and fun runs. Every time someone has asked you to donate to a charity because they are running a race, that’s a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign in action.

Many supporters use platforms like GoFundMe or Crowdrise to set up these personal fundraising pages. From a supporter’s perspective, they’re easy and free. Unfortunately for a nonprofit, these platforms often take a hefty fee before passing the money to the nonprofit, and do not allow much branding for the nonprofit. Still, of course, some money is better than no money. 

The more effective way to fundraise online with your supporters is allowing them to set up personal fundraising pages from your website. The fees are typically lower, and you have better control of your brand and the overall donor experience. Additionally, you now collect the information of the donors solicited by your supporters, allowing an opportunity to educate them about your cause and potentially convert them into long-term supporters.