One thing’s for certain: the nonprofit technology wave is here to stay. Many nonprofits have jumped on board and are using new, innovative platforms to improve their fundraising efforts.
Online fundraising opens an additional stream of revenue for your organization and allows you to connect with donors where they are. And the more you engage with your donors, the more successful your fundraising strategy will be.
Technology can amplify your fundraising strategy because:
- Technology allows for easy donations.
- Technology simplifies event registration.
- Technology makes campaign promotion effortless.
If you’re ready to learn how to improve your digital fundraising with the help of technology, let’s dive in!
1. Technology allows for easy donations
With advances in technology come advances in the donation process, too! It’s easier than ever to accept and solicit donations online.
Online Donation Forms
The first step in any online fundraising strategy is to create an online donation form. This form can be embedded into your website and allows constituents to make donations and become recurring donors, and it allows you to capture their information to be used for future marketing.
You’ll want to keep your donation form as simple as possible with only two required fields of information: the donor’s contact and payment information. However, there are plenty of ways you can improve your donation form while keeping it simple:
- Offer preset donation amounts. Donors can choose from these options to keep the process quick. but remember to simplify your donation form down to just one page.
- Match your organization’s branding. Include your logo and color scheme to prevent your donation page from feeling out of place on your website. 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 hesitant to input their credit card information. Branding will help build trust between your organization and your donor.
- Make sure your donation page is mobile-friendly. 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.
- Add social sharing buttons. Add these buttons directly to your form so donors can share their donations with friends, increasing your organization’s exposure and potential revenue. By promoting social sharing, you can provide a positive experience for donors and meet prospective supporters where they are—on social media.
- Include a recurring giving option. This way, your donors can automate their donations so they won’t forget to give their monthly contribution.
Make sure to link your donation page in your website’s main navigation so it’s readily accessible to your website’s visitors from all pages on your site.
Email fundraising campaigns are an incredibly simple way to harness technology to improve your nonprofit’s fundraising. With compelling messages and links to your online donation form, your emails can easily bring in more donations. You can even narrow email fundraising down to just five steps:
- Make your emails concise. Don’t take too long to get to the point! Make your emails visually appealing and scannable. Instead of writing one long, drawn out email, consider breaking up your content. For example, you could send a short check-in email first, then introduce a campaign in the second email, and finally make your ask in a third.
- 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 today. Give something your donors can attach to, and make it simple enough that they can share the same story with others.
- 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 and current endeavors and showcase the impact a constituent has made. 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 audience’s 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. Donor stewardship is a crucial element in successful fundraising that email marketing can greatly improve.
Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns use your supporters’ existing networks to raise money and grow your donor base. Here’s how it works:
- Your nonprofit selects a peer-to-peer fundraising software that can handle your goals, volunteer fundraisers, and donations.
- The software creates microsites so fundraisers can track their individual success against your organization’s total goal.
- Individual fundraisers create personal online fundraising pages to direct donors to.
- Fundraisers share their fundraising page and your nonprofit’s campaign through email, social media, and more.
- Your nonprofit earns donations from each volunteer fundraiser’s page.
The concept of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is to take advantage of the domino effect that technology 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 could 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 also make it as easy as possible for them to jump in by providing templates and training videos. After the campaign, 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.
2. Technology simplifies event registration
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. 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. It will act like a central hub that you can direct supporters to so they can learn more.
- iPad check-in. Some event registration solutions allow attendees to check themselves in and confirm their payment details using iPads. This process omits long lines and lets your supporters get started with your event faster, providing a positive first 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.
These features provide a streamlined experience and make it easier for donors to engage with your event. Making sure everyone is satisfied with a quick, painless, and positive event registration process helps get things off on the right foot.
3. Technology makes campaign promotion effortless
Your campaign promotion has the potential to reach a larger audience than your network when you incorporate technology into your marketing strategy. Here are two easy ways to promote your campaign with technology.
Technology allows you to take an omnichannel approach to marketing. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, you can focus on using marketing to meet your audience where they are, serving them only the most relevant and personal messaging.
With email, digital ads, your website, and social media platforms at your disposal, you have multiple methods to get the message out to your donor base.
For example, schedule social media posts that include powerful photos, compelling copy, and the link to your donation page or event microsite. Keep in mind that Twitter and Facebook are text-based sites while platforms like Instagram and TikTok are more visual.
Some online fundraising solutions will 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 specify. For example, you can promote different ads for lapsed donors and new donors.
From these ads, you can redirect donors to the landing page of your choice, such as your 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.
With these strategies and online tools, you’ll be able to better reach your donors and raise funds quickly and securely. Double-check to make sure all your donation methods are secure, then get started implementing these technologies!
About the Author: Aidan Augustin, Co-founder & President of Feathr
Aidan Augustin is the co-founder and president of Feathr, an industry-leading software company making digital marketing more accessible to nonprofits and event organizers. Feathr has helped over 800 nonprofits and thousands of events know, grow, and engage their audiences. When he’s not steering the ship at Feathr, he’s playing strategy games, singing karaoke, or reading books about people who changed the world.