How to Get More Online Donations in 10 Simple Steps
The internet has changed the way people give to their most cherished organizations. But not everyone has fully embraced the online world when it comes to giving. There are still opportunities out there — you just need to know where they are and how to leverage them.
Nonprofits are doing a great job of raising funds through online strategies. According to Campaign Monitor, online donation pages have, on average, an eight percent conversion rate on mobile devices. But more can be done. If you employ a comprehensive online giving strategy that leverages all your available channels, the sky is the limit for your fundraising efforts.
Here are 10 simple ways to use electronic giving solutions to boost online donations.
1. Organize your website
Your church’s website needs to be easy to navigate and easy on the eye. If a potential donor can’t find what they’re looking for — perhaps a donation button — within three seconds, they’re likely to leave your website and go elsewhere.
Make sure all your website’s pages are clean and navigable. Put yourself in the donor’s shoes. Are there lots of subheadings and bullet points? Can the page be scanned in seconds? Is there a lot of “white space” on the pages, making them easy to read? Your website has to make both browsing and searching quick and simple processes; otherwise, your donors will become frustrated very quickly.
2. Leverage social media
The younger generation of church-goers doesn’t know a world without social media. They spend more time “liking” and “following” than they do shopping, and that’s an opportunity you can’t afford to ignore. While it’s not a good idea to overtly ask for donations on social media platforms, you can use it to raise your church’s profile and promote some of your most important fundraising events.
Facebook and Instagram are best suited to church fundraising activities. Share photos of your church, church events, your team, and anything that might inspire people to give. If you’re sharing details of a service or event, mention how to donate at the bottom of the post. You can even share live streams of your services.
And don’t miss the opportunity to turn your social media presence into a digital community. When people comment on your posts, reply positively. Answer questions, and thank people for their participation.
3. Create an effective email strategy
An email database is a marketer’s dream in the private sector, and it delivers equally impressive results in the nonprofit sector. Wherever and whenever you can, collect email addresses from congregants and newcomers. You can do this in the online and offline worlds. For example, if you are holding a ticketed event, ask for email addresses as you take tickets at the door. Hold regular raffles, and make the price of entry a business card or email address. Use email pop-ups on your website. And hold regular social media competitions that require participants to provide their email address.
Email marketing is a simple, quick, and cost-effective way to send fundraising messages to hundreds of engaged donors. Once your message is written, send it to everyone in your email database with a single click. You can even categorize your emails so they’re sent to the people most likely to engage.
4. Optimize websites for mobile devices
Between 2016 and 2017, the number of donations made via smartphones increased by 50%. And that steep upward curve continues today. Almost everyone now has a phone in their pocket, so it’s vital that your giving website looks great on a small screen. It’s even more important to ensure your site delivers a smooth and enjoyably browsing experience.
You have two options when it comes to optimizing for mobiles: a dedicated mobile website or a responsive website that adapts to the size of the screen it is being viewed on. Either way, you might need expert help.
5. Leverage peer-to-peer donating
A church is a community, so it’s important to include everyone in your giving strategies. People want to help, as it makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger. One way to increase online donations through peer-to-peer strategies is via Facebook. The world’s biggest social media platform has a charity option that is both easy to use and free. You can call upon all your followers to do their bit via this accessible platform.
6. Use high-quality images
A picture says a thousand words, as they say. If you’re raising funds for repairs to your church, for example, share a photo of the affected areas via your website and social media accounts. If the image is high-quality, it will have a much bigger impact on your congregants than any amount of words would. The same principle applies whether you’re raising money for an individual or for a nearby charity.
7. Make giving websites interactive
A good fundraising website doesn’t just speak to potential donors; it instigates interactions. You can make your online giving pages interactive in several ways, including by adding comments sections, videos, quizzes, discussion forums, and questionnaires.
8. Deliver value when sharing content
To keep your congregants engaged, you must give them value in the content you provide. How do you do this? Well, there are several ways, including answering common questions. Can you solve a particularly common problem? Can you educate potential givers? Even the most altruistic congregants will sometimes think “what’s in it for me.”
If you provide value, web visitors become more engaged — and, therefore, more likely to give when asked. Also, valuable content leads to return visitors.
9. Get ahead of the curve within the nonprofit sector
The nonprofit sector is subject to trends in the same way as the private sector is. As someone responsible for fundraising and capital campaigns, it’s important to follow nonprofit trends. You never know when a great idea or tip will appear. Similarly, it’s important to stay ahead of the nonprofit curve.
Congregants have a finite amount of disposable income, and your church may not be the only worthy cause they donate to regularly. Stay ahead of the queue for charitable donations by constantly innovating.
10. Make recurring giving easy
Electronic giving solutions make recurring giving a quick and simple process. The giver simply selects an amount, selects a frequency, and supplies their payment details. You don’t have to remind them to give, and they don’t have to worry about forgetting. This type of passive income is absolutely crucial in an increasingly hectic world. People have so much to do these days, forgetting to donate to their church is surprisingly common.
To have any chance of boosting your online donations, you need electronic giving solutions you can rely on. And that’s where Donor Werx comes in. This powerful suite of fundraising tools and services can be tailored to the needs of your church — and your congregants. Provide us with a few details, and we’ll start working on a bespoke package of strategies right away.