With everyone from grandparents to kindergarteners connecting to the internet from their desktops, laptops, iPads, iPods and cell phones, it is no wonder that non-profits are turning to the web to raise money for their causes. With online fundraising becoming more popular, a new community of potential donors is now being reached in an efficient and easy way. Here are 10 tips for getting your non-profit earning electronically!
1. Make the “DONATE” button obvious and easy access.
Have it appear on the page before the point of needing to scroll down so that it is easy to find.
2. Be clear and concise when stating the mission and goals of the non-profit and specify how the donations will help.
Donors want to know how their money will be used. If possible have success stories or donor testimonials somewhere on the site; use photos or statistics in order to show the potential donor how their contribution will be effective. If desired, have the amount donated thus far displayed clearly on the website!
3. Make sure that whatever appears on your website matches the mission of the actual non-profit.
The internet staff should work closely with the non-profit’s fundraising staff. When using an online donor management service, because they are often more expensive, make sure they customize to the non-profit’s needs.
4. Suggest volunteer time, instead of just asking for money.
Possible donors will be likely to donate more money if asked to volunteer first, that way the money does not come off as being the organization’s single motivation.
5. Before signing up with a charity advertising website to assist you, such as a charity mall or charity portal, get references from other non-profits who have used their services.
Avoid singing up for a lengthy contract unless you are completely sure that they will benefit you, and make sure you clarify how much you may have to pay them for different services.
6. Legalize your online fundraiser by registering with your state attorney office or secretary of state office.
7. Get the word out there! Advertise your online fundraising website.
The donation button will not do the work on its own. Mention it in all emails, newsletters, social networking sites such as facebook and twitter, and include it in print material you send out.
8. If your local, subsidiary website is connected to a national parent site, it should visually look similar.
That way those navigating through the sites are not thrown off by a striking aesthetic difference.
9. Have the design of the transaction pages mirror those of normal shopping websites.
Whether processing credit card donations yourself or hiring a company to do so,donors will feel more comfortable giving money if the design is familiar.
10. Always Thank the donors!
Do so immediately and abundantly. Always follow up with your donors and keep them posted on the non-profit’s progress.
[Photos from Flickr by TheGiantVermin]