It is no mystery that in our increasingly technology-based world, the future of donations will only continue to rely heavily on online fundraising. Fundraising plays an essential role in all aspects of your nonprofit organization. From expanding your mission to purchasing new equipment and technology for your office, fundraising is key.

By maximizing your online fundraising strategy and capitalizing on the best practices and software your nonprofit can easily increase online donations!

Donation Page

Low cost and user-friendly are two key qualities in a great donation landing page. Visitors are more likely to donate when the donation process is cut and dry. Meaning, links and required fields to complete the donation form should be kept to the bare minimum. The huss and fuss of donation pages that ask for an overwhelming amount of information will deter visitors from becoming donors.

The good news is, your nonprofit has many online donation platforms to choose from. We have highlighted two of them:

Paypal:

  • Paypal is internationally known making it a valued and trusted name. Donors have confidence that their private financial information is being protected.
  • Paypal’s user-friendly donate button makes it easy for qualified nonprofits with 501(c)(3) to gather background information from their donors that other comparable buttons can’t provide.
  • The standard processing fee is 2.2% of donation plus $0.30.

Drawbacks:

  • You can't remove the logo of these companies on a donation landing page.
  • It is difficult to customize the donation pages to match the same "look and feel" of the organization's website.
  • Paypal and other general payment companies are just that, general payment companies.
  • Their services are geared towards making the payment process easy for all types of users and do not provide the donor management and measurement tools most nonprofits need.

Price Range: $ Low transaction fees

Stripe:

  • Stripe is a highly secure by handling all credit card and personal information on the Stripe server. Keeping all confidential data from reaching your server and out of the hands of hackers.
  • Stripe’s user- friendly and streamlined checkout process has minimal steps to ease the donor's way through the giving experience.
  • For all successful transaction, the fee is 2.9% + 30 cents. No other fees apply, however, there is a 2% conversion rate for international currencies.

Drawbacks:

  • There is no phone support available. Therefore, if you need to get in touch everything must be done online (through chat, forums, or email). Which for some, this is not the idea for customer support.
  • Although Stripe’s transparent pricing satisfies a majority of users, make sure you read carefully the fine print. Most complaints come from  Stripe’s reserve policy and cancellation policy.

Price Range: $ Low transaction fees

Other Software Options: Salsa Labs

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

P2P is all about empowering supporters, volunteers, participants, and donors to rally support for your nonprofit’s cause through their individual networks. This is easy to use, social networking strategy requires little to no marketing materials as it is all about the social sharing for both individual and team pages.

P2P fundraising is an exceptionally great option when organizing a race or walks where participants will ask their friends and family to sponsor them by donating to the organization. Besides being a  great way to raise money, it expands your donor base.

Basics of a P2P Fundraising Platform:

  • Easy to create fundraising pages that link back to the nonprofit’s web page. The fundraising page should be an extension of the main website, so the “look and feel” should convert.
  • Supporters should be able to personalize their fundraising pages with videos, photos, short stories, and be able to share their campaign easily on social media.
  • It is easy to keep track of donations and donors. When a donation is made, the donor should receive an e-receipt and the fundraiser should be notified with the necessary information to follow up with a “thank you”.
  • Team fundraising options should also be available depending on the event you are hosting.

Drawbacks:

  • You will only be attracting new donors from existing donors. It’s more difficult to leverage the web to attract new donors that had little to no previous knowledge of the nonprofit beforehand.
  • Generally, since P2P involves your supporters collecting donations, there needs to be more support on the nonprofit’s end to teach, manage, and organize the supporters.
  • You will need time to actively engage and communicate the progress of your campaign to your followers. Without the follow-up actions, your campaign will not be a success.

Software: Classy, Razoo, Crowdrise

Price Range: $$ - Dependent on the support needed. Higher pricing usually reflects more support, and vice versa. However, nonprofits cut costs on marketing materials with P2P since their supporters are in control of their individual campaigns.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for a specific event or new initiative. This usually involves active marketing in order to reach out to past donors while simultaneously connecting with new ones on the web. Most crowdfunding campaigns come with a pitch (usually a video or something written). This type of event is great for expanding your donor base, attracting media attention, and measuring and tracking fundraising patterns through performance analytics.

Basics of Crowdfunding:

  • A compelling “story or pitch” is the most important tool for inspiring both old and new supporters to donate. A great pitch should inspire emotion and directly show how contributions are  needed and how it will make a difference.
  • Fundraising pages should match the color scheme and brand of the organization maximizing the “look and feel” for the complete user experience.
  • Successful crowdfunding campaigns gain support by making their event public. Great publicity includes making the donation page easy for supporters to share on their individual social media accounts, reaching out to local news media for coverage, and linking the fundraising page to the organization's website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Acquire small donations (5,10,100) from your donors. Leaving it to them to choose the amount and not feel pressured.

Drawbacks:

  • Requires a lot of PR/Marketing strategy to properly execute and organize these events.
  • The risk of failure is much more public.

Software: CauseVox, MobileCause, GoFundMe

Price Range: $$-$$$ Also dependent on the level of support your nonprofit needs. More support/management = higher price.

Start Increasing Donations, Today!

No matter where your nonprofit stands in terms of online donations and fundraising, it’s important to know that you can start improving today! Whether it be adding a donation button to your home landing page, or investing in a fundraising software for your next big event, creating a strategy that maximizes the full potential of your fundraising efforts will yield major results for your nonprofit.

Like what you see? For a more in-depth guide to online donations, check out, “The Nonprofit’s Guide to Increasing Online Donations.