The technology wave is here to stay, that's for certain. Many nonprofits have jumped on board to use new, innovative platforms to improve their fundraising strategies.
Online fundraising opens another stream of revenue for your organization to connect with you donors—and the better you know your donors, the more successful your fundraising strategy will be.
Check out the 3 ways technology can benefit your fundraising strategy:
- Technology allows for easy donations.
- Technology simplifies event registration.
- Technology makes campaign promotion effortless.
If you're ready to learn how to improve your strategy online fundraising with the help of technology, let's dive in!
With advances in technology come advances in the donation process, too! It's easier than ever to accept and encourage donations. Let's learn some popular ways to collect contributions!
Online Donation Forms
The first step in any nonprofit online fundraising strategy is to create an online donation form, or a web portal where your organization can accept donations.
You'll want to keep your donation form as simple as possible with only two required fields of informations: the donor's contact and payment information.
You can even offer preset donation amounts for donors to choose from to keep the process quick, but remember to keep your donation form down to just one page.
Your online donation page should match your organization's branding so it doesn't feel out of place on your website. Branding will help build trust between your organization and your donor. Keep your color scheme and include your organization's logo at the top of your donation form.
Think about it: if your donor is redirected to a donation page that doesn't look or feel anything like your website, they might be too hesitant to input their credit card information.
Make sure your donation page is mobile-friendly, too! You don't want to miss out on mobile donations because donors have to pinch and drag your forms to be able to read them on their mobile devices.
You can even add social sharing buttons on your form so donors can share their donations with friends, increasing your organization's exposure and potential revenue.
For your donors' convenience, you can always add a recurring giving option. This way, your donors can automate their donations so they won't forget to give their monthly contribution.
Link to your donation on your website's main navigation. This way, it's readily accessible to your website's visitors no matter what page of your site they're on!
For more ways to improve your online donations, check out DNL OmniMedia's list of technology solutions!
Email fundraising campaigns are an incredibly simple way to harness technology to improve your nonprofit's fundraising. It makes for easy donations, thanks to your online donation form!
You can even narrow email fundraising down to just 5 steps:
- Make your emails concise. Don't take too long to get to the point! Make your email visually appealing and scannable. You should make your ask within the first two paragraphs.
- Tell a story. In the space you have, use an emotional appeal that demonstrates how you've furthered your cause in the past or why you need help now. Give something your donors can attach to.
- Match your branding. Make sure your email matches the branding of your donation page so that when you redirect your donors to your donation form from your email, your organization's credibility and trust is maintained.
- Use powerful images. Include images that portray your organization's previous projects, current endeavors, or any hard work. It's easy to convey passion for good (and your cause!) with photos.
- Segment your lists. You'll want to personalize your fundraising appeals based on your donors' different interests or preferences to remind them that you value their involvement and appreciate their support. Use your CRM for insights!
Plus, you can even automate your thank-you emails so no donor goes unappreciated, and as you know, donor stewardship is a crucuial element in successful fundraising.
Email is a popular method of communication with almost all donors, millennials included, so it's yet another outlet technology gives your organization to rake in donations.
Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns use your supporters' existing networks to raise money and grow your donor base. Individual fundraisers will often create personal online fundraising pages to direct donors to.
In most cases, nonprofits will select a peer-to-peer fundraising software that can handle their goals, fundraisers, and donations. The software will enable microsites so fundraisers can track their individual success against the organization's total goal.
Fundraisers can then share their fundraising page and your nonprofit's campaign via email, social media, and more.
The concept of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is to take advantage of the domino effect that technology so often creates. If your fundraiser sends an email with the URL to their fundraising page to 20 of their closest friends and those 20 friends each forward that email to 5 people they know, just imagine how many donations you might receive!
But don't think that you can let your fundraisers do all the work for your organization! You'll need to provide regular support and coaching and schedule check-ins to see how they're doing. You should provide them with templates and training videos to follow.
Plus, your organization can even hire a consultant, like DNL OmniMedia, to help you tackle your peer-to-peer fundraiser. DNL will even create custom peer-to-peer fundraising features for organizations that use TeamRaiser.
After the event, you'll want to not only send thank-you's to everyone who donated to your campaign but also to all the fundraisers who raised money on your organization's behalf.
Check out Double the Donation's Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Guide for more help with hosting these fundraisers.
Event management software comes with a crucial feature for fundraising: event registration management.
Simplifying event registration ultimately results in more ticket sales because the easier your event registration process is, the more likely donors are to purchase tickets and attend your event.
Technology simplifies event registration by providing software features like these:
- Microsites. Your event registration will be smooth sailing with microsites. These allow your organization to differentiate specific campaigns from general fundraising. A microsite will typically have all the information about your fundraiser that your donors are looking for. Your fundraiser's microsite will act like a central hub that you can direct supporters to so they can learn more.
- iPad Check-in. Some event registration solutions even offer iPad check-ib, which allows donors to check themselves in and confirm their payment details in a flash. This process omits long lines and lets your supporters get started with your event even faster, providing a positive donor experience.
- Diverse Packaging. Diverse packaging allows your donors to engage with your nonprofit and attend your event in a way that makes them most comfortable. Different ticket packages, like VIP, Early Bird, and Standard packages, allow supporters to participate without stretching their budgets. You'll be able to release packages like the Early Bird package months before your event and cut off access as your event draws near while your VIP and Standard tickets can be made available when your Early Bird registration closes.
These features smooth over the donor's experience, making sure everyone is satisfied with a quick, painless, and positive event registration process.
Your campaign promotion has the potential to reach a larger audience than your network when you incorporate technology into your fundraising strategy. Let's learn some easy ways to promote your campaign with technology!
You'll be able to take a multi-channel approach to marketing! With email, your nonprofit website, and social media platforms at your disposal, you have multiple methods to expand to your donor base.
You've already learned about the incredible ways you can use email to fundraise and how microsites will benefit your campaign, but did you know that you can use social media in a similar way? Your organization can schedule Tweets and Facebook posts to promote your latest fundraising campaign.
Be sure to include powerful photos, use compelling copy, and of course, include the link to your donation page or microsite! Keep in mind that Twitter and Facebook are text-based sites while platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are more visual.
Some online fundraising solutions, like Salsa’s online fundraising software, will even give you the option to integrate with Facebook Ads, allowing you to reach new prospects, turn them into donors, and win back lapsed supporters.
These ads can reach different audiences that you can specify. For example, you can promote different ads for lapsed donors and new donors.
From these ads, your donors can be redirected to the landing page of your choice. Many nonprofits redirect supporters to their nonprofit website, fundraiser's microsite, or donation page. Keep your donors in mind and think about which page would be the most successful in engaging your audience.
Remember that since everything is digital, your organization should double-check to make sure all your donation methods are secure! Now that you know all the ways technology can benefit your fundraising strategy, it would be foolish to leave technology out. Happy fundraising!
Dan Quirk is the Marketing Manager at Salsa Labs, the premier fundraising software company for growth-focused nonprofits. Dan's marketing focus on content creation, conversion optimization and modern marketing technology helps him coach nonprofit development teams on digital fundraising best practices.