Monday, October 22, 2012

3 Online Fundraising Tips

Traditional means of raising money still have their place in the nonprofit sector, but there's no question that online fundraising is gaining steam.

In an article on The Huffington Post, Darian Rodriguez Heyman, who has edited books such as "Nonprofit Management 101," wrote that 15 percent of the $317 billion donated to nonprofits come via the Internet. Organizations must start implementing online fundraising into their overall campaigns, yet many managers fear that it will take up too much of their time. Is there any way to take advantage of this growing trend without the use of a lot of time and money?

Thankfully, the answer is yes.

During the recent Social Media for Nonprofits conferences, presenters shared tips on how to best utilize online fundraising. Heyman listed three that are most useful for nonprofits:

  • Make Your Donate Button Shine: Your donate button should stand apart from the rest of your site. When Network For Good simply changed its button's color from grey to red, they saw a 30 percent increase in donations.
  • Default Levels are Key: It's usually important to give potential online donors default donation levels (i.e. $25, $50, $100, $250, and other/fill in the blank) to guide their generosity. But just like with the other tips, embrace data vs. gut- take the time to play around with these levels and see what maximizes dollars in the door.
  • Map Donations to Impact: As Kay Sprinkel Grace says, "people don't give to you, they give through you." So help make their gift concrete: for instance, a $100 donation may feed 50 children in a particular war torn region, a mere $50 purchases life-saving medication for 60 pregnant women in Africa, etc. Every default donation level must have a specific impact associated with it, but toy around with how you operationalize your impact to gauge what moves people to dig a bit deeper.
You can read Heyman's full article on The Huffington Post.


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