Online Donations

Online fundraising appeals is quickly becoming a powerful fundraising vehicle.

Online fundraising garners millions in charitable giving for the nonprofit industry every year, but there are so many options it can be difficult to find the right online donation tools for your organization.

Online fundraising isn’t a fad. As a matter of fact, online fundraising accounts for seven-percent of total fundraising and has seen double-digit growth over the past four years. Online fundraising has also proven to be an extremely effective donor acquisition vehicle. These are facts that can’t be ignored. Whether you’re just starting out or you have a solid online presence, it’s imperative that you take online fundraising seriously.

Fundraising online isn’t a channel that exists in isolation from direct mail, word of mouth and event-based fundraising: it makes each of them stronger! The web makes connecting easier–before and after events. When well planned, you’re online and offline fundraising programs can complement and enhance each other. There are several ways to integrate online fundraising with your offline marketing programs such as direct mail and telemarketing.

Offer the convenience of online giving. More and more of your donors may prefer to conduct their transactions online. When they receive a direct mail solicitation, they may want to make their gift online rather than writing a check, putting it in an envelope, finding a stamp, and putting it in the mailbox. Include on your reply device a Web address for an online giving page, in addition to the credit card and check options. Ideally, you should create a giving page specifically for that appeal so you can track the response, but at a minimum you can route direct mail traffic to a unique url to track how many people actually went from the mail to the Web. Make sure the printed url is easy to remember, such as www.yourorganization.org/donation.

Promote your online program through direct mail. Promote your web site and e-newsletter in all of your print communications. Consider sending out a special postcard highlighting features on your site and announcing the launch of your donor e-newsletter. Tell people to visit your web site to subscribe, or include a reply device so people can mail you their email address.