Getting Your Board Onboard for Online Fundraising Success
You’ve probably seen the statistics — more than 73 percent of Americans are online, and online fundraising is growing year over year. And then there’s the fact that adding online communications to a nonprofit organization’s toolkit can more than double donors’ lifetime value. But even in the face of these compelling facts and figures, you’re still behind.
Rather than focusing your dollars and resources on raising money offline, it’s time to shift your strategic focus to the online world. You see the need, but there’s an obstacle that lies between your technology investment and your strategic online initiatives: your board.
Addressing your board’s concerns
Responsible for overseeing your organization’s strategic plans and investments, your board is focused on mission delivery and financial sustainability. The business case you present to justify investments in technology, strategy and training will need to address some of your board’s main concerns.
- Increased fundraising. The opportunities in online fundraising far outweigh the risks of not investing. According to The Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark IndexTM Study, online revenue growth grew 14 percent from 2007 to 2008; and the average online gift for 2008 was $67.47, which is much higher than the average $15 to $25 given offline through direct mail.
- New donor acquisition. You need to explain how online communications will accelerate list growth and convert prospects to donors. With $13.96 as the average online revenue per e-mail address, it’s important to focus on acquiring e-mail addresses across all channels.
- Decreased costs. Although there’s an investment involved in ramping up your online communications, the return will justify the expense because you can save time and money through improved management of donors, more accurate reporting of results and less time spent on donor service tasks.
- Diversified leadership. Your board might have expertise concentrated around the mission, but they will likely need guidance from experts when it comes to successful online communications. Don’t let a shortage of in-house experience prevent you from taking the leap. Instead, show your board that this is an opportunity to leverage the expertise of others while also tapping into a new network of potential supporters.
By conveying these four points, you will be one giant step closer to securing your board’s buy-in.