It’s clear that in this day and age, pretty much every fundraising campaign has some kind of Internet presence. Yet, it’s not as easy as linking to a donation page from your website. In order for your nonprofit organization to be effective with your online fundraising efforts, we recommend following these Online Fundraising Best Practices:
Brand Your Fundraising Website
Rather than sending people to a 3rd party website (such as PayPal) embed a “Donate” option right from your nonprofit website that gives people an option to make a donation on a branded fundraising website. 7X more money is raised through custom-branded donate pages vs. those hosted by third parties. Branded websites can be easy to create using a service like DoJiggy’s fundraising software that provides a template where you can upload company logos, photos, videos and select colors and design to match your corporate branding.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Optimized
2014 was the year that mobile usage exceeded that of desktop usage. With more than 80% of internet users owning a smart-phone today, you’ll also want to be sure your fundraising website is mobile optimized allowing for an user-friendly experience for supporters who wish to browse your site or make donations directly through their phone. Make sure your mobile fundraising website performs, or people will get frustrated and leave. Include easy navigation, large text boxes to enter donations, or varying donate values so people can easily push a button, integrating with payment services such as PayPal or Google Wallets, and more.
Use Fundraising Widgets
Don’t just include a link to your fundraising website on your home page, but add fundraising widgets throughout all the pages on your company website. A simple “donate now” or “make a pledge” button can make it very easy for supporters browsing your site to click-through to your fundraising website. Be sure to make your fundraising widget stand out by using a bold color and clear call-to-action. You’ll also want to add a fundraising widget to your blog articles, company newsletters and social profile pages. If you have sponsors supporting the event, invite them to use the widgets to help promote the fundraiser through their channels.
Use Impactful Graphics for Easy Sharing
When posting announcements on your social channels, followers are much more likely to take notice if you use impactful graphics and videos. Not only will this help capture their attention, but may also give them more reason to “share” your post – especially if it is something emotional that people resonate with. You’ll also want to make sharing easy by incorporating sharing widgets so supporters can help spread your message through their network of family and friends.
Encourage Recurring & Tribute Giving
Use donation software that allows supporters to set up a profile so they can make regular donations (i.e. scheduled amounts per month/year/etc) – This helps keep your donors engaged consistently and doesn’t require you reaching out to them over and over to collect one-time donations. Allowing for people to make donations in honor of (or memory of) another person is another great way to encourage more-frequent giving from donors.
Implement Seamless Payment Processing
With an online fundraising campaign, chances are you are processing a number of financial transaction on your fundraising website. This can include: participant registration fees, sponsorship payments, product sales, and of course online donations. You need to make sure to use a nonprofit credit card processing partner that is credible, safe and secure. If the payment processor integrates seamlessly into your fundraising website, even better! (again, people don’t like to be taken to an external site to make payments).