Things to Remember When Fundraising Online

September 17, 2010

Reaching consumers and contributors online has become an integral part of most industries, fundraising definitely included. Online giving as a percentage of funds raised is soaring, and the continued refinement of online tools has spurred growth in online fundraising. With more and more integration available to make contribution opportunities available to your visitors, there are still few things to remember that can benefit organizations of any size.

Focus on Small Contributors

Its well know that Barack Obama’s presidential campaign raised $500 million online. What’s more important to note is the average contribution was $80, and most contributors gave twice. Recognize that $25-$150 is the target level for online giving, and you will be able to better focus your message.

Don’t Force It

People don’t generally like the hard sell, and the ‘x’ to ignore your message is just too close. Make opportunities to give online plentiful, and give people a compelling reason to take action. A strategy to do this simply is to integrate contribution links into every email template, and on appropriate website pages. Social networks can be a great avenue to make people aware of giving opportunities, but respect their attention. Too pushy and you risk alienating them from all of your messaging.

Turn a One-Time Contributor Into a 10-Time Contributor

Many small contributors would like to give more, but they can only afford, say, $25…this month. By incorporating recurring contribution options, you could turn a $25 contributor into a $250 contributor. This can have residual benefits affecting everything from sourcing new contributors to basic cash flow planning. Remember that you need to allow people to cease their recurrence if they need to. Also, if you offer rewards for tiers of contributing, include this person in the rewards as they move up the ladder.

Contribution vs. Donation

To online givers, your organization is a movement they want to contribute to, rather than simply a charity they’re cutting a check to. Involve your contributors, and keep them in the loop on news and developments. Also, offer on opportunity or contributors to share their views. The Obama campaign did this and the result was growth in reoccurring contributors, as well as voters who protected their investment on election day. Remember that this boils down to a give-and-take. By giving someone something as simple as information, they will be more likely to take the action you would like.

Integrate Your Message

Many organizations are becoming used to promoting online opportunities with other channels like TV and direct mail. By using these mediums to drive people online, you can continue interactions that lead to visitors becoming contributors. Remember to integrate PURLs into direct mail, and easy to remember URLs in to TV commercials.

Tools and Support

For a fundrasing campaign to be its most successful, you need more than a PayPal account and a prayer. Build an infrastructure that integrates front end engagement, payment processing, and CRM organization. RootsHQ includes all of this in our hosted packages. Tell us a little about your organization and needs, and we can build a fundraising plan for you.

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