2 Simple Strategies to Increase Donations Using Your Website
Many nonprofit organizations are leaning heavily on digital marketing and donation appeals due to the ever-growing cost of snail mail, among other reasons. If your organization is adopting this trend, are you utilizing the right tools and strategies to optimize the amount of online donations you receive?
Here, we’ll explain two simple strategies for improving your organization’s corporate-giving metrics by making just a few simple edits to your website.
‘Ways to Give’ and donation confirmation Web pages
Almost every nonprofit has a section on its website that allows constituents to make online donations. When donors have the easy and convenient option to donate with credit or debit cards, it increases the likelihood of securing donations. On these pages (pre- and post-donation), your organization can add images, links and other kinds of attention-catching items to educate your donors about the possibility of matching gifts.
Briefly put, matching gifts are a kind of corporate-giving program in which an employer matches an employee’s donation, generally dollar for dollar, to an eligible nonprofit organization. For example, when an employee of General Electric makes a $50 donation to a charity of her choice, GE matches the donation at a 1:1 ratio, resulting in a total of $100 donated to the charity.
If you need another reason to promote matching gifts to your donors, more than 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer some form of matching-gift program, and thousands of other corporations (big and small) do, too. There are billions of dollars being left behind annually because nonprofits don’t take full advantage of these corporate-giving programs — don’t be part of that statistic!
Include a catchy image that mentions matching gifts on your “Ways to Give” page and on your donation confirmation page (you’re already three-quarters the way to victory, since the donor already made the initial donation) to get the attention of your donors. Because many donors simply don’t know about matching-gift opportunities, it’s a simple and effective way to increase the amount of money being brought in through corporate-giving programs.
Meals on Wheels of San Francisco includes Employer Matching Gifts as a subsection of its Ways to Give page (see image 2 at right). When someone clicks on Employer Matching Gifts, she sees a catchy image inviting donors to check to see if their employers will match their gifts, as well as two short paragraphs describing how easy it is for donors to get their gifts to the nonprofit matched.
Volunteer opportunity pages
Most nonprofit organizations also offer the opportunity for constituents to volunteer, whether it’s skill-based volunteering or hands-on help at events. Using these pages to promote volunteer grant programs is another great way to utilize your digital savviness to increase fundraising dollars.
While the number of corporations offering volunteer grant programs as part of their corporate philanthropy isn’t as high as the number offering matching-gift programs, there is still a large amount of money being unclaimed by nonprofit organizations via their volunteers.
When an employee of a company volunteers with an eligible nonprofit organization, there is the opportunity for that employee to submit a volunteer grant request, which comes in two different forms. Some companies require employees to volunteer a certain number of hours before they can request volunteer grants (for example, if an employee of Best Buy volunteers 40 hours in one year, Best Buy will provide a $1,000 monetary grant to the same organization). The other type of grant is when a company pays a per-hour rate. For example, if a Capital One employee volunteers with a nonprofit organization, Capital One will pay $1 per hour volunteered.
Again, the biggest obstacle for a nonprofit organization trying to receive donations via volunteer grant programs is the lack of knowledge on the constituent level. Use your website to educate your volunteers! Include pictures, fancy buttons and simple text that promote corporate giving programs to your followers, and simply ask them to check with their companies about these opportunities.
The Colon Cancer Alliance shows off a variety of ways to get involved with the organization (image 3) through an easy-to-navigate page that includes each type of opportunity.
By making some simple edits to your organization’s website, you can increase your fundraising totals. Matching gifts and volunteer grants are great programs that many people just don’t know about (or if they do, they think they are long, tedious processes — and that’s just not true).
Use technological tools to educate your constituents about the easy-to-do aspects of these requests (most companies offer online corporate-giving requests!) and the immense benefit your organization will see from increased funding.
Again, once your organization has the volunteers and donors, you’re more than halfway toward increased funding. Just ask them to take the extra step (and of course, do it with flair), and they’ll be likely to oblige.
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