When you’re fundraising online, you’re vying for donors’ attention against everything else that tempts them: shopping, social media, news, games, funny YouTube cat videos, you name it. Although you may not have the dollars to spend on market research to see what works in the world of online fundraising, we can take a page from the playbooks of big companies like Amazon, Zappos, Ebay and others who have made ecommerce an art form. If they can get people to open their virtual wallets and spend big bucks online, why can’t we solicit donations for a worthy cause?
The secret to online fundraising is to make it easy for people to give. Once you make it easy for them to donate, fundraising software makes it even easier to track, measure and monitor their donations.
Let’s take a look at some best practices learned from the big e-commerce retailers.
Four Best Practices for Online Fundraising
Here are four best practices nonprofits can use that the for-profit world has mastered.
- Make the most of your initial contact: For-profits know that when customers first show an interest in products, that’s the time to send them enticing offers and calls to action. They’re more likely to buy when their interest is fresh. The same goes for donations. People are more likely to donate when the non-profit is top of mind, and that means the first contact. To make the most of your initial contact, make the most of your website. Keep the navigation simple and streamlined. Make things easy to find. Give them memorable stories about how their donation benefits others.
- Capture their email address: Building an opt-in email list so that you can send news, updates and further donation requests is essential to nonprofit marketing. An opt-in list means that people have given you their permission to be contacted in the future. Free email marketing programs like MailChimp and MadMimi offer code that you can put on your website to make a sign-up box. Add this to your website in a prominent location, especially on the home page so that people can sign up easily to receive emails.
- Make the donation button prominent: Make sure the donation button is big, bold and easy to find on your website. It should be on every page and easy to find. Don’t be afraid of including a call to action such as “make a donation now” within blog posts and other messages with a link to the donation button.
- Tell stories: Everyone loves a good story. Stories make an emotional impact in ways that facts seldom do. Case studies, histories, the story of your organization and how it evolved, all of these are potentially good stories to use to connect with donors. The more you can elicit emotions among those reading your web pages and other materials on your website, the better.
The Right Fundraising Software Makes a Difference
In addition to these four marketing ideas from the for-profit world, the right nonprofit fundraising software can make a big difference in your organization. Modern, flexible online software tools like Abila Fundraising Online provide you with an easy way to launch new online fundraising campaigns in just minutes. Fundraising software like Abila can make your work much easier so that you can get back to doing what you love best—fulfilling the mission of your organization.
RBP Methods offers nonprofit organizations expert insights from a nonprofit perspective. We help you find the right software solutions for your organization, providing you with choices so that you can make your own decisions. We’d love to talk to you about your online fundraising or other needs. Contact us today or call 503-648-9051.