Use of the Internet to fundraise was launched in the late 1990s, and through a process of trial and error, nonprofit organizations have slowly been able to build donors' confidence in the technology and grow their online database for giving.
Today, online fundraising makes up an average of 7 to 10 percent of most nonprofits’ annual budget. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that your nonprofit organization knows the basics of a successful online-fundraising campaign and has knowledge of emerging online-fundraising trends in order to prepare for the future.
The Internet has become a transient medium in the nonprofit sector. It can become a moving target that you hit perfectly one week, then completely miss the next. Reinventing yourself is no easy task. However, keeping your eye out for fresh ways to fundraise to move your organization’s mission forward is
imperative to your continued success.
The importance of seeking new ways to market your nonprofit online giving strategy has never been more important. In this two-part series, I will share 10 ways your nonprofit can take a different look at its online fundraising efforts and see an even bigger surge in donations in the coming campaign. Here are the final five (click here to see the first five from the May issue):
6. Set Goals
Goals are critical for fundraising. If you don’t have a goal, you will not know if you are successful–and neither will your donors. We naturally want to associate with winners. Winners meet their goals and deliver results. People see that you are successful, and that success becomes a magnet for donors.
7. Thank you in Follow-Up
This is important for cultivation and can set the stage for another ask. It is okay to use the thank you email or thank you letter (I personally prefer to send handwritten notes and suggest you do as well) to tell them about another opportunity, program or event.
8. Make them Part of the Success
Let your donors know that they contributed to some measureable result that happened because of their gift. This keeps them interested and willing to give and participate in future opportunities.
9. Benefit to Donor
Give your donors something for their gift to your nonprofit and its mission. Whether it is the personalization of a hand written thank you letter, a pen in the mail, listing their name on your website, giving something to a donor is always a great idea.
10. Public Acknowledgement
One of the benefits of online fundraising is the ability to publically acknowledge and thank a donor. This gives your donor the public recognition, which most donors want and appreciate. Always honor requests for anonymity, but use social media and online presence to promote and thank those who support your mission.