Back then, nonprofits received cash and check donations through the mail or during events. But thanks to the internet, organizations can now collect more donations online compared to before.
As donor demographic changes, nonprofit organizations should also jump into this new wave of gift-giving trends. Thus, developing an updated fundraising strategies is essential.
Online donations make it easy for donors to send gifts to charity foundations like yours. With a simple swipe and click, they can send their support within minutes.
Learning how to get online donations has its advantages. Nonprofits can save time to focus on their mission and spread awareness to a global audience. So sink your teeth into these 10 tips to collect more donations online.
10 Tips on how to get online donations
As philanthropic giving continues to grow, nonprofits must adapt their fundraising strategy to raise more money. So try different avenues to engage with donors and receive donations from them.
It’s important to understand how your donors want to support your foundation. For instance, 50% of people usually do their transactions through mobile devices rather than computers. So create a fundraising website that’s mobile-friendly to make the donation process quick and easy.
Getting online donations can be simple only if you dedicate some time to learning it. Go over these 10 pointers on how to raise money online:
1. Make an online donation form
Online donation forms aim to raise money in the most uncomplicated way possible. It’s usually added to your nonprofit website, where viewers can spot it right away.
These donation forms should collect necessary information from your donors. But some people don’t want to share their personal details. So you should create a customizable donation form where they can skip this step.
To have a successful nonprofit fundraising campaign, include the following in your donation forms:
- Suggested donation amount
- Custom donation amount
- Donation goal meter
- An option for recurring donation
- Payment options
You can use online fundraising tools to make your donation forms, such as donorbox. Nonprofit organizations like the Caitlyn Jenner Foundation use this platform since it offers donors many options to donate to their cause. So here’s what you can do with your donation forms:
- Have an embedded form on your website.
- Include a link to your website’s landing page in every email you send to your donors so they can visibly see details about your organization.
- Use your donation page links in every way possible, including social media posts and newsletters.
- You may also opt for a pop-up donation form because it acts as a call to action for people visiting your website.
2. Create a crowdfunding page
Crowdfunding campaigns are a great way to raise funds from kind-hearted strangers online. These people typically donate small amounts, but it can still help you reach your fundraising goal.
Online campaigns like these have a higher chance of people sharing them on their social media accounts. Thus, it can be highly beneficial for small-time nonprofit organizations looking to outsource from people on the internet. This popular fundraising strategy is most successful when organizations need donations for urgent needs.
Online crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe allows nonprofits to customize their crowdfunding pages no matter the type of campaign. Read the list below to give you an idea of what to add to your page:
- Include a captivating and eye-catching title
- Your nonprofit mission story
- Your personal introduction
- Pictures and videos
- Who will receive the funds
- Post charity updates
3. Set up recurring monthly online donations
The best thing about recurring monthly donations is guaranteed revenue for your nonprofit. But before asking your donors to subscribe to recurring donations, it’s essential to establish a trusting relationship first. Once you build this trust, the more likely that they’ll fund your organization regularly. You can collect recurring donations annually, quarterly, monthly, and even weekly when your donors apply for it.
Finding the right online donation tools will make it easy for donors to custom-tailor and manage recurring donations themselves. On the other hand, nonprofits can also track such changes on their dashboards. So if your donors decide to cancel their monthly gifts, you can ask for their feedback to understand their reason. Doing so will help your team improve your fundraising efforts.
4. Organize an online giving event
The virtual space can give your organization tons of opportunities to use your imagination. Some nonprofits hop on trending hashtags and virtual events relevant to their campaigns.
Organize an online workshop where registration fees go to the people you’re supporting. Collaborate with speakers to talk on your online event, then stream it to people who want to gain a new perspective about a topic. Or set up an online race.
That Deaf RDH Foundation organized an online 5K walk or run event to help raise money for deaf people who want to be dental hygienists. What they did was they required their participants to track their time and distance using their smartphones or Fitbit. Then, after the race, they send a screenshot to the organizers within a specific time period.
The difference between an in-person race and a virtual one is the location. You can choose wherever you want to it, whether at a local park or on your treadmill. So you see, the possibilities are endless if you want to organize an online nonprofit event.
5. Include a goal meter
Having a goal meter on your website and any communication platform creates a sense of urgency for your donors. Since it serves as a visual guide on how your campaign is going, people will want to push their network to help you reach your fundraising goal.
Add a goal meter to every ongoing campaign, including crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising. Inform your donors about your fund status through email newsletters to create excitement among your supporters.
People need a visual guide to encourage them to take quicker action. While sending a text-based message about your donation status does the trick, it doesn’t sink in as fast as an image. That’s why nonprofit organizations such as Tarjimly have a goal meter as soon as you land on their website.
Your donors will feel the intensity when they see how close or how far you are to your donation goal. When your supporters have this feeling, it drives them to give more or keep sharing your updates until you reach your goal.
6. Leverage social media
Over 4 billion people are using social media globally. So imagine how many people you can reach if you use several social media platforms for your nonprofit organization.
Many nonprofits use Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter to teach different audiences. Although these social media platforms have varying styles, their concept is still the same; use high-quality graphic designs to boost user engagement.
If you decide to use multiple social channels for your nonprofit, there are apps that allow you to post on all your accounts simultaneously. Automate your publishing process by scheduling when you want to publish your content. Using tools like this saves you time to focus on your campaigns.
Sometimes it takes a long time to build followers on social channels. So consistently post engaging content and use analytics to see the type of content your followers like the most. This helps you understand their behavior so that you can publish better content.
7. Share your online donation page in fundraising letters
Even if you’re accepting donations online, it’s still important to ask for support through letters. Think about your older donors who aren’t as familiar with the internet as the younger generation. So if you remember them, they’d appreciate and trust your organization even more.
Fundraising letters can still encourage online donations. Mention in your letter that you have other payment options. Include a link or a QR code that leads to your online donation page. Give details about your giving options and explain why they’re more reliable.
Letting your donors understand the safety and convenience of online donations might drive them to try this option. Doing this ensures donors that you care about them.
After mailing your fundraising letters, let your team call your donors just in case they have further questions and concerns.
8. Establish a text-to-give campaign
The quickest way to get your donors to make a donation is to send them a text message.
The text-to-give campaign started with large organizations like the Red Cross. When news about floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes hit certain locations, they would send text messages to their network asking for support.
You don’t need to wait for something terrible to happen to use text-to-give. Many nonprofits use this approach to reach their donors right away. So when you’re campaign ready, email your donors about your new donation method and give them instructions on how to do it.
Since SMS can only hold 140 characters, keep it short and straightforward. Then, include a mobile-friendly donation page link that has all the information they need about your cause.
Your donation page should be able to save donor information. So the next time they want to make the same donation, they don’t have to fill in the same information.
9. Encourage company gift matching
There are millions of people working for businesses that offer matching gift programs. However, $4-$7 billion in matching gift funds are not claimed each year. That’s a lot of money that could have helped nonprofit organizations.
Matching gift programs are corporate initiatives where companies try to match their employees’ donations. When done right, you can double your donor’s donation. So reach out to businesses and find out if you can do this program with them.
When a company does agree to do this fundraising program, it’s time to set it up on your nonprofit website and donation forms. Then, announce your matching gift program on your website, social media, and email newsletters.
Companies like American Express have this fundraising initiative that allows them to help many nonprofits.
10. Have a peer-to-peer fundraising option
You can raise more money for your nonprofit through peer-to-peer fundraising.
It’s simple. And here’s how to do it.
Ask your supporters to create a fundraising campaign on your behalf. These supporters can be your family, friends, volunteers, or board members. Since they have a network outside your own, you can boost your outreach, engagement, and possible new donors.
Your donation software should automate the process to have an effective peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. For example, have a button on your nonprofit website that says “I want to raise funds for this” to make it easier for supporters to fundraise for you. When they click the button, it should lead them to a page where they can create their own campaign.
There are a lot of ways to collect donations from your supporters. And with this generational shift, more and more people are driven to donate online.
The virtual space offers plenty of opportunities for you to showcase your organization to a diversity of people. All it takes is a little bit of research and patience to reach your nonprofit goals. When you find the latest and best way to collect donations online, train your nonprofit team on how to use them so they can also assist you.