[GUEST POST] Online Fundraising Best Practices for Nonprofits
Fundraising in the digital age can be a bit daunting. There’s a lot of information to sort through when raising money online. To make things simpler, here are some online fundraising best practices for nonprofits that you can follow to increase donations and donor engagement.
Set Your Website Up for Success
When fundraising online, your website is often the first impression donors get of your organization. Because of this, making sure your website is set up for success is crucial to your fundraising efforts.
Design an Appealing Website
One online fundraising best practice for nonprofits is designing an appealing website. A nonprofit’s website design should be simple and easy to navigate. This includes optimizing your website for mobile by focusing on simplicity and load speed so all donors will have a painless browsing and donation experience. Remember to create and add a highly visible “Donate” button to your website’s homepage to keep giving top of mind.
Make Branding Consistent
Keeping branding consistent across every aspect of your website offers your donors a feeling of uniformity and decreases possible confusion. From the home page to donation forms, brand everything with your nonprofit’s name, story, logo, and color scheme. Display impactful images that demonstrate your organization’s success along with your branding to help streamline your supporters’ experience.
Increase Your Visibility
When it comes to fundraising best practices for nonprofits, growing your audience is an important part of setting up your website for success. Whether you take an organic route using SEO or targeted growth utilizing paid ads and affiliate programs, increasing your organization’s visibility is a great way to increase donations via your website.
Choose the Right Fundraising Tool for You
Choosing the right fundraising tools for your nonprofit is essential to creating the best website for your organization. A CRM integration with your website can be a great tool to automate the collection of donor data while also giving you an easy way to push emails to your supporters. Besides automation software, using donation and event software can help you seamlessly embed any forms your organization may need to display on your website. The simpler the donation process is, the more likely donors will complete their donation.
Create a Fundraising Plan
Another part of fundraising best practices for nonprofits is creating a fundraising plan. Putting a plan in place can help your organization stay focused on raising money.
Track Your Goals
When creating a fundraising plan, your first step should be setting your goals. Tracking your nonprofit’s fundraising data will help with both current and future fundraisers. Set goals for recurring donations, average donation amounts, number of donors per campaign, and more. These indicators will tell you how your organization usually performs and what areas you can improve in for future fundraisers.
Create a Better Donation Form
Your donation form should inspire your supporters to give more. Just like the rest of your nonprofit’s website, your donation forms should be branded and optimized for mobile. Keeping your donation form simple with only a few steps and letting donors save their information to your platform streamlines the giving process for your donors.
Give Supporters Options
Giving your donors options is an effective fundraising best practice for nonprofits. There are many options you can offer that will encourage your supporters to donate more. When creating your donation form, use suggested donation amounts or tiered donations that show donors what their gift can help your organization accomplish. Recurring or monthly donations can also be encouraged by making them the default option for donors. A simple option your organization can offer is memorial or tribute donations. Giving donors the option to dedicate their gifts adds a personalized touch to donating. And don’t forget to embed a matching gifts widget into your form so your supporters can check if their employer will match donations.
Cater to Your Supporters
Cater to your supporters and know where your donations are coming from. With donor data, you can easily segment your donors and properly thank them. One aspect of fundraising to look at is the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle. This principle shows that a small number of donors often cover the majority of a nonprofit’s fundraising – it’s commonly the top 20% of supporters who will give around 80% of the donations. This means organizations should focus their fundraising efforts on their top supporters. Similarly, the Rule of Thirds suggests a campaign’s largest ten donations will cover around one-third of the campaign’s goal, with the top 100 donations covering two-thirds of the goal. While every donor is important, giving a little extra attention to your top supporters can help.
Set Up Campaigns for Online Fundraising
If you’re searching for a way to increase your donations, you should look at setting up campaigns for your donors to participate in. Creating dedicated campaigns is a great way to increase your online fundraising.
Encourage Engagement with Small Virtual Events
Engagement is one of the key online fundraising best practices for nonprofits. You want your supporters to stay in constant contact with your organization. A great way to encourage this engagement is by creating small virtual events. Events don’t have to be saved for special occasions. You can also use Giving Days and organization milestones to host small social media campaigns and virtual events for donors to participate in.
Show What You Do
When communicating with supporters, remember to show what your nonprofit does. People want to help organizations they feel a connection to and telling compelling stories can lead to more donations. Your donors care about the impact your organization has on the community. Send supporters regular updates on current projects and post testimonials on your social media.
Know Different Types of Campaigns
There are many unique types of campaigns your organization can host. One of the fundraising best practices for nonprofits is knowing which type of campaign will be right for your organization. From capital campaigns to peer-to-peer campaigns, there are plenty of fundraising campaign ideas to choose from to raise money for any needs your nonprofit may have.
Develop a Strategy Around Data
When planning your organization’s campaigns, look at your donor data to decide which donors to focus on for each specific campaign. Developing a strategy around data gives your nonprofit a starting point for where to set your fundraising goals and what type of communication will reach your supporters the most. Donor data will tell you where your donors engage with your organization the most, whether it’s email, social media, text, telephone, or even direct mail.
With these online fundraising best practices for nonprofits, you can figure out what works best for your organization and supporters. Once you have your website ready to go, create your donation plan and set up your campaigns for supporters to participate in. Remember, there is no one way to fundraise, so make sure to customize your nonprofit’s campaigns to your unique donor base.
By Megan Allison – Content Marketing Specialist
Megan is a writer at Qgiv who takes pride in helping nonprofits. In her free time, she enjoys reading, music, and playing with her two cats.