What are the challenges in online fundraising? It’s one of the biggest hurdles you face as a charity in order for the money to flow into your nonprofit. As more and more people stay at home and sponsorships switch to a digital model, additional problems arise.
According to the Blackbaud Institute Index, Charitable Donations Up 25.3% last year. Over the years, digital donations rose steadily. Raising funds online seems to be a long-term trend, so with cash flow figuring out how it works best for your business helps.
The many benefits of online fundraising include lower advertising costs and instant cash inflow. However, every nonprofit has some difficulty raising money on the Internet. Here are the most common, and how to solve them for your charity.
1. Know your audience
Before you market your nonprofit online, you need to know your target audience. You can waste a lot of money targeting people who don’t match your typical donor profile.
Take the time to create a buyer persona so you understand what kind of person is supporting your business. Where do you live? How old are you? When you have all the demographics compiled, take a look at the psychographics. What drives your donors to donate an outfit like yours?
2. Generate donor excitement
Donating online can have the added difficulty of attracting donors to donate. If you’re hosting a personal event, you can invite speakers who have been endorsed by your organization and add some bells and whistles to encourage people to write a check.
It is a little more difficult to take advantage of the peer pressure attitudes that exist at many fundraising dinners and auctions. People miss the chance to connect with other supporters. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to create a stir.
You may be wondering How can you keep donors involved? on-line. Get an influencer to speak virtually, offer chat rooms and breakout sessions, follow-up via email. Think about the types of activities you have at in-person events and translate them into virtual models.
3. Find out payment methods
If you’re hosting in-person events, chances are you’re collecting checks and cash. Online fundraising is a little different. People are much more likely to pay through a third-party provider or with a credit card. Some use ACH withdrawals from their checking accounts.
Keep your life simple and take advantage of third-party integrations through Apple Pay, Google, PayPal, and Stripe. Think if accepting cyber currencies could give you an additional advantage. Pay careful attention to the fees associated with the payment services you use.
Most third-party providers allow donors to set up recurring payments, so encourage monthly donation subscriptions. You should also share an address for those who prefer to stay old-fashioned and mail a check.
4. Create an engaging website
Your website can make or break your fundraising efforts. Look at the page through the eyes of potential donors. Why should they part with their money? What would make you give?
Share stories about people or causes you’ve helped in the local community. Add videos highlighting important projects you’ve been involved in. Use headings to summarize what the goal of each page on your website is. For example, if the user lands on a page set up to raise funds for a local family, tag the family and explain where the money is going.
Don’t forget to add a call-to-action button (CTA). People need to know the next step to get into the donation funnel. Make it clear where they’re going next.
The Global Trends in Giving Report shows, for example 37% of contributors refer to social media as inspiration to give. Around 36% say it will most likely convince them to sign up for repeat donations.
However, figuring out how to get the word out on social media is not easy. It is best to involve people who already believe in your cause. Share content on your website, then post it on your page. Ask your followers to share, comment, like, etc.
6. Work with a company
If your donations run out, you can partner with a local company. Are you looking for someone who shares your passion. An example could be a chain of gardening shops that partners with a charity that is committed to improving the local environment or planting trees.
Most companies have a team of marketing professionals. Try to work with them and come up with a concept. Using the same example from above, the garden centers could offer one planted tree for every five trees a customer buys.
In addition to a concept, ask them if they’ll send their employees and customers a message about your organization. Let people know they can help by making a tax-deductible donation. Remember, people are only able to withdraw a limited portion of their donations now.
If you choose the right company to work with, they may even have a spokesperson who can reach out to their fan base and let you know what you’re doing. The more people you reach, the more chances you have of raising funds.
Smaller donations, but more of them
It is unusual for people to make large donations online. The amounts are usually smaller. However, they are also more likely to sign up for repeated amounts, which helps your cash flow month after month. You have to build the relationship somewhere.
Start online and then develop personal relationships with those who are your most ardent supporters. They can give you larger donations later or leave part of your estate to the cause.