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Chelsea Palo

April 15th, 2016

5min Read

4 Keys to Creating the Ultimate Online Giving Experience for Your Nonprofit’s Donors

There are so many ways to raise money in this day and age. Whether your organization has its finger on the pulse of fundraising events or you’ve started accepting payments with mobile devices, fundraising for nonprofits has no shortage of avenues and options.

But what about online giving? Is your organization using the internet to its full potential so that you can reach your full potential?

Donors of all ages are looking to the internet as a fast and easy way to give to their favorite causes. Some millennials are young enough to not remember a time when they weren’t surrounded by technology. But they aren’t the only ones – baby boomers are a growing online-giving demographic that your nonprofit can’t afford to ignore.

Online giving makes donating to nonprofit organizations simple, efficient, and immediate. Why wait for a check to be deposited two weeks after it’s mailed when a donor can give in a few minutes?

With that being said, an organization’s online giving platform should not only be great; it should also look great. If your donation page is driving your donors away, it’s not doing its job, and you’re missing out on key contributions.

Let’s take a look at what makes an online giving experience memorable for your organization’s supporters.

Nonprofits can expect to receive 20% of their individual gifts online, and that number is growing every day. Keep up with the online-giving movement by keeping these four tips in mind.

1. Make it mobile.

The next time you find yourself at a social gathering or a family event, take a few seconds to look around. Count how many people you see on their phones or tablets. If the people you’re with are a true sampling of the general population, you’ll find that nearly everyone has some sort of mobile device pressed to their ear or in their palm.

How is your nonprofit showing up on those mobile devices when it comes to your fundraising initiatives?

In the past year alone, mobile giving donations have increased by over 200%. With numbers like that, donors are practically begging for online donations to be mobile responsive.

Making your online donation page flexible enough to be viewed on a laptop, tablet or smartphone is just another way you can create a perfect online giving experience for your nonprofit’s donors.

2. Keep it consistent.

Think about some of the most popular corporate brands out there. You can likely picture a logo, particular colors and maybe a slogan. No matter the marketing materials, physical location or promotional items, those three things are consistent. Without that consistency, a company comes across as sloppy and disorganized.

This same principle can be applied to your nonprofit’s fundraising strategies – both online and offline.

Imagine that your school is trying to raise money to raise money for new classroom technology. In an effort to reach donors that may live farther away, you set up an online donation page on your school’s website. That online donation form should have your school colors, your logo or mascot and maybe even your mission statement (when applicable). It should basically look like the rest of your website as much as possible.

This is crucial for creating a seamless giving experience, but it shouldn’t stop at your online fundraising initiatives. Make sure that your promotional items, marketing materials and advertisements are all consistent with the “brand” that your nonprofit has created.


3. Remind your supporters why they’re giving.

Your donors are often some of the biggest advocates of your cause. They enjoy giving to your organization and knowing that their contributions are making a difference. But unless they’re directly on the ground with your nonprofit, they might not see the immediate effects of their donations.

This distance is exacerbated even further when donors give online. Clicking through a nonprofit’s website is vastly different from writing a check at a fundraising event or attending the kickoff party of a capital campaign.

Your organization can help connect your online donors by reminding them of why they’re giving in the first place.

Your online donation form can include powerful emotional appeals that don’t lead your donors away. You can also remind donors why they’re donating by:

  • Providing a picture of the people or animals that you help on the donation form or on the acknowledgement page
  • Telling a brief success story at the top of your donation page
  • Including information under ‘suggested giving amounts’ that lets donors know what their donation will provide (i.e., $25 provides food for 3 puppies for a week; $100 allows a kitten to be properly vaccinated; $250 provides permanent shelter for 2 animals)

Find out which strategy works best for your donation page, and start reminding your online donors why they give to your organization!


4. Make online giving secure.

Think about the last time you bought something online. Whether it was a desk lamp or a new pair of shoes, you probably felt comfortable placing your credit card information online. Many online merchants assure their customers that their data is secure with PCI compliance as well as security certificates and logos.

PCI compliance stands for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. These standards must be met by online merchants and nonprofits that accept donations online.

If you want to create the perfect online giving experience for your donors, make sure that they feel confident filling out their credit card information on your donation form. You wouldn’t want a donor to get all the way through the donation process only to exit out of your donation page because it felt less than secure.

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