Tips for Achieving Online Fundraising Success
The true value of the Internet is in creating and sustaining constituent relationships to ensure ongoing support. This is achieved by implementing an online Constituent Relationship Management strategy to involve constituents -- especially donors -- in more than one activity so they can provide support for the organization in multiple ways. Consider the following factors when evaluating the overall success of your organizaton’s online fundraising efforts.
DRIVE ONLINE AND OFFLINE GIVING
Donors, like consumers, make gifts or purchases online based on individual preferences such as convenience and comfort with online transactions. For some donors, however, comfort still lies in traditional methods such as direct mail or telephone. Realize that online appeals likely will drive offline donations, and factor that into the assessment of online success.
INCREASE DONORS’ LIFETIME VALUE
Traditional mass communications such as direct mail and telemarketing focus primarily on solicitation, but the Internet opens a world of new possibilities for donor relations because of the ease and low cost of sending frequent and personalized online communications. The lifetime value of a donor is based on average gift level, gift frequency and expected retention rate. Each of these variables depends on the quality of the organization’s relationship with the donor. Effectively communicating with donors and involving them in additional activities such as advocacy and volunteering will help develop stronger donor relationships with greater lifetime value.
REDUCE COMMUNICATION AND FUNDRAISING COSTS
Paper-based communications are expensive, but moving certain communications online can significantly reduce costs without sacrificing their frequency and quality. By using the appropriate online fundraising software, a nonprofit can prevent information overload for its constituents (and cost overload for the organization) by sending relevant information based on preferences they indicated through online registration and other means.
SUPPORT MAJOR GIVING
As donors become more comfortable giving online, organizations can expect to attract larger transactions over the Internet. However, a nonprofit should also consider using the Internet to support traditional major-giving efforts. This allows the organization to cost effectively expand its capacity to communicate regularly in a personalized manner with major donors and prospects, resulting in more “marketing coverage” at a reduced overall cost.