What Is The Best Way For Your Nonprofit To Secure Donations?
The Internet hasn’t just changed the way we do business: it is also transforming the way we donate. Digital fundraising is on the increase and it seems the public are becoming increasingly comfortable with giving donations online. However, if your nonprofit wants to maximize its fundraising efforts, you’ll need to determine which fundraising methods are right for you, the best way to secure donations, and how to best promote your campaigns/organization.
Which Option Is Right for You?
As a nonprofit, the biggest decision will be finding the ideal fundraising program for your organization. Many nonprofits now use a combination of offline and online methods to boost donations. However, whichever way you choose – your own website, crowdfunding sites or offline fundraisers – the chosen platform should:
- Be compatible with your nonprofit’s values.
- Be easy to use and navigate.
- Convey your organization’s message clearly.
- And make donating easy.
Accepting Payments Online & Offline
Website payments can be collected by integrating a payment gateway for processing credit cards and eChecks. Authorize.net, NMI, and Payezzy are all great options for accepting multiple currencies. However, you could also use a virtual terminal.
A virtual terminal is equivalent to an online POS system and allows you to collect payments by using your computer as a terminal, provided you have Internet access. A virtual terminal also allows collection by phone, fax and mail, and some can be used to set up recurring payments from donors who want to donate regularly.
Other payments methods include:
- mPOS (mobile point of sale) EMV card reader for receiving payments while at a fundraiser, or other events where you’re representing your nonprofit.
- Countertop terminals for in store donations.
- Wireless terminals for collection payments on the move. They are good for fundraisers and tradeshows, but they are also used in retail and temporary pop-up stores.
Crowdfunding Sites to Raise Donations
In addition to collecting payments on your website, you might want to reach a wider audience by using crowdfunding – and there are plenty of sites to choose from.
The best-known sites are Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and Kickstarter. These sites aren’t aimed specifically at nonprofits, but they can be used for fundraising. However, there are numerous crowdfunding sites that have been set up with nonprofits in mind. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Fundly – they offer a free fundraising website to both individuals and nonprofits. Payments can be accepted through the website, and it is set up for mobile payments, too. Fundly has a set platform fee of 4.9 percent and 2.9 percent for each transaction.
- Causes – this high-profile site allows users to set up community campaigns. However, it can be used for fundraising, and 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) registered nonprofits are welcome to use the site. Fees are set 4 percent when made from Stripe.
- CauseVox – this site provides a platform for fundraising and peer to peer lending. Starter packages don’t attract a monthly or set up fees, however, there is a 5 percent fee for accepting donations.
If you are new to crowdfunding and not sure how to create and promote a successful campaign, the sites themselves provide plenty of useful tips, and there are plenty of online resources that give advice on how nonprofits can best use crowdfunding.
How to Increase Donations
If you want to increase donations, here are some tips to boost your campaign:
- Make donating simple. This means ensuring donate buttons are prominent, so visitors don’t have to search for them. The general advice is to place donation buttons above the fold on your website, and don’t drown search buttons out with written text, or they will be difficult for visitors to locate.
- Paint a clear picture of what the power of donations can achieve and how others will benefit from them. Use solid examples and compelling imagery to do this, but don’t pressure visitors into donating.
- Try different methods to increase donations. This could be through social media, newsletters, mail campaigns or local awareness. Experiment with several ways until you find a combination that maximizes donations and increases loyalty.
- Every request for a donation should end with a strong call to action. If you need some ideas, Wired Impact and Firespring both have good lists of phrases to use that should help to motivate and inspire visitors.
- Allow visitors to make recurring donations or use set donations levels.
- Limit the amount of information visitors need to provide when donating.
Using Social Media to Increase Donations
Social media allows you to reach out to millions of potential donors, so it makes perfect sense to use it in your fundraising efforts. Here are some tips to maximize results utilizing various social platforms.
- When choosing the right social media platform, you need to consider the audience you are trying to reach, your aims and available budget. If you need guidance in this area, there is plenty of useful content online that will help get you started.
- Each site will need a different approach. For instance, if you are using Pinterest, you’d depend on imagery to promote your organization, and on Twitter, you might use updates or news worthy milestones.
- Creating a strategy for each social platform you use, which should include choosing the right content, engaging users and tracking results. You’ll find a useful guide on this, here.
- Make the most of any holiday season (when people often feel more charitable), but particularly at year’s end. The run up to the holiday period is often referred to as “The Giving Season,” and many nonprofits will receive a substantial percentage of their donations during this time. For this reason, it makes sense to strategize on how to maximize donations during these final few months.
Whether you are promoting your cause on your website, offline, or via social media, you need to create a powerful campaign that encourages people to give, and a simple way of collecting donations.
A payment gateway, wireless terminals and mobile payments are all viable options. However, if you are going to maximize your donations, find the method(s) that best suits your target audience.