Why Raise Funds Online?
- The Impact: Online fundraising studies have repeatedly proven that engaging donors through multiple channels – online and off – yields the best results, with donors giving more, more often. If you’re only relying on offline channels, you’re missing an opportunity to significantly increase giving.
- The Price: Adding online outreach to your fundraising strategy is a wise budgetary move. The highest marketing cost for most nonprofits is direct mail newsletters and appeals, so it’s frugal to move as much of your outreach online as possible. Email is vastly less expensive than offline outreach, and online donations are far more efficient than processing checks – plus the average online gift is triple the typical offline one!
- Your Supporters: Today’s donors don’t want to be treated like walking wallets. They expect a convenient, personalized, conversational and interactive experience with your organization. Online giving enables you to make donating fast and easy for the growing number of people who prefer to donate online. Email lets you segment your donors according to their interests, send them timely communications, and allow them to participate in what they are reading by clicking and writing back. That’s a winning engagement formula.
How Do You Raise Funds Online?
Step 1: Get the tools.
Step 2: Integrate internally.
Organize your fundraising team so people engaged in online outreach are closely coordinating with those conducting offline outreach so each campaign has both online and offline components.
Step 3: Organize for online success.
To conduct great online campaigns, you need an email list. Collect email addresses at events, in mailings and on your website. Put your website address on all your offline materials, with trackable URLs that help you tell which offline materials generate online visits.
Step 4: Plan donor-centric campaigns.
Your appeals should always be created from the donor perspective, complete with a compelling story, clear call to action and a consistent message and look-and-feel online and off.
Step 5: Reinforce, sandwich and supplement.
Your online and offline calls to action should refer to each other, and reinforce each other. Try sandwiching: sending an email, then a direct mail piece, and then an email, each supporting and supplementing the others.
Step 6: Monitor results.
Use the great reporting tools on DonateNow and Constant Contact to monitor your results, compare the performance to offline appeals, thank donors, and keep supporters updated in the impacts of their gifts over time. Learn from what worked – and didn’t – and adjust accordingly.
$1 out, $29 in
On average, for every dollar nonprofits invest in Network for Good's online giving services, they receive more than twenty-five dollars from donors.
To date, Network for Good has helped more than 100,000 nonprofits raise more than $800 million.