Electronic funds transfer, defined simply, is a paperless payment option that allows nonprofit organizations to transfer donated funds from a donor’s bank account directly into its own. It is a no-brainer when it comes to sustainer or monthly giving programs, as it simplifies the collection of recurring payments. EFT also can be used for single and less-frequent gift giving. Beverly Kempf, president and founder of Bethesda, Md.-based Payment Solutions Inc., says that aside from the obvious benefits to the organization such as no mailing costs and less use of paper, EFT also is a cultivation tool, as donors tend to be more loyal and
Fewer people are using cash and personal checks to donate funds, opting instead to choose electronic funds transfer payment options. It is therefore necessary for all nonprofits to accept these types of payments in order to maintain their fundraising capabilities. But before jumping into EFT with both feet, organizations should understand what it will mean for them, as EFT changes the way they relate to and reach out to donors. “Opening up new avenues for payment means that you need to be prepared to respond differently,” says Cheryl Campbell, vice president and general manager of government solutions for eFunds, a firm that
Search engine optimization, blogs and RSS are all the rage these days for marketers. But how can they best be used? This was the topic addressed in the session “Blogs, Podcasts and RSS: New Tools for Customer Acquisition and CRM” at the Direct Marketing Association’s 2006 Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco last week. Stephan Spencer, president and founder of New Zealand-based Web design and consulting company Netconcepts and a co-presenter of the session, says that these technologies can be used by for-profits and nonprofits alike. Blogs — which are basically Web sites made up of journal-like entries — can
The growth in recent years of online contributions to disaster-relief organizations clearly illustrates that Web fundraising has come of age. Consider the online giving that the American Red Cross has generated following major disasters: $64 million related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (2001); $140 million in the wake of the Southeast Asia tsunami (2004); and $479 million after Hurricane Katrina (2005). Also telling is that the percentage of individual donor funds raised online (excluding corporate contributions) grew from 29 percent for Sept. 11 to 55 percent for the tsunami, illustrating that donors have become increasingly comfortable giving over the Internet.
As federal and state officials faced criticism about response time in the days following Hurricane Katrina, donations streamed into nonprofits, and individuals fundraised for relief efforts in record amounts at an unprecedented pace.
Maj. George Hood, secretary of community relations and development for the Salvation Army, says that organization processed $28 million in 10 days over the Internet alone.
For more than 20 years, Volunteers of America has operated a donation program for automobiles, boats and recreational vehicles with its local chapters and participating 501(c)(3) organizations. Recently, the spiritually based social-services charity has taken its successful turnkey vehicle-donation program online — and in a big way.
Are you making the most of the Internet? If your organization is like many nonprofits, it might be time to rethink your online strategy.
Instead of thinking of the Internet as a sideline area rife with additional expenses and hassles, “all nonprofits should be thinking of it as a core tool,” according to Sheeraz Haji, CEO of GetActive Software in Berkeley, Calif.