For nonprofit organizations, fundraising is a part of life. In order to have the funds needed to carry out the organization’s mission, programming and activities, a lot of time and energy must be spent in the preparation and completion of fundraising campaigns. How nonprofits choose to carry out their fundraising efforts, however, is up to each individual organization. Some nonprofit organizations rely solely on traditional fundraising campaigns, such as silent auctions, dinners, and fundraising booths at local events, to raise the bulk of their funding while others prefer to take advantage of the flexibility and ease online fundraising has to offer.
While each type of fundraising has its own benefits, there has been some recent debate over which fundraising method is “best”. Should nonprofits rely solely on traditional relationships because they have been proven to be effective in the past, or should organizations embrace the conveniences and opportunities mobile and online fundraising bring to the table? In our opinion, the answer is both. By using a variety of methods, nonprofit organizations can carry out successful fundraising campaigns and meet their fundraising goals. In order to be effective, however, we believe nonprofits need to be asking a different question: how can we continue to foster quality constituent relationships via online avenues?
Mobile technology has changed the way we communicate with each other. Rather than picking up the phone and calling a person, we can easily type out a quick text message and retrieve the information we need. Instead of having to visit a retailer’s physical store location, we can purchase the products we desire online without ever leaving the comfort of our own home or office. While these changes have made our busy lives easier, it’s important to understand the impact technology has had on relationships. When done right, online fundraising can help you foster healthy relationships with your constituents. When done poorly, however, it can create a minefield of one-time donors and cause you to struggle to meet your fundraising goals.
In order to create digital relationships that last, you need an arsenal of tools in your belt. Online fundraising software is essential, for it can help you create effortless email, mobile and social media campaigns to bring in more support for your organization and boost your chances for success. In an effort to help you best utilize your online fundraising software solution and create healthy digital relationships, we created a few simple tips. Keep the following in mind as you continue to hammer out your online fundraising plans:
- Personalize and brand your landing pages. According to a recent study performed by the Network for Good Digital Giving Index, personalized (branded) landing pages raise six times more funds than generic pages, or roughly $34 more per donation. By creating consistency and continuity through your messaging and visual designs, you can increase your chances for higher donations as well as keep your supporters emotionally connected to your cause.
- Analyze your fundraising efforts. Study the data from all of your online fundraising campaigns and compare it to just one campaign sourced by email. Identify what worked and what didn’t work for each campaign, and consider which online channels worked best over the year. Develop your fundraising plan from this data.
- Look at your website from the user’s perspective. Don’t assume that just because something works on your end means it will work for your donors. Learn how your constituents interact with your website and test out all forms and links to ensure they are working properly. Look at your website and landing pages from a donor’s point of view. Does the layout of the page flow well? Is it easy to make an online donation? Donors are looking for websites and mobile apps that are easy to use and navigate. Anything else will only deter them from giving money to your cause.
- Embrace mobile technology. According to recent studies, 49 percent of the general population use smartphones and tablets on a regular basis so why aren’t you utilizing mobile in your fundraising efforts? Consider developing customized apps to make the donation process even easier. Use text messaging to communicate details of important online campaigns. Configure your website and emails to display properly on mobile devices so users are more apt to come back and give.
With a little effort and the right tools, you can create healthy, long-term relationships through all kinds of digital mediums. If you’d like to learn more about how online fundraising software can help you foster relationships, contact us today.