The majority of the next generation of philanthropists do not own checkbooks. Sit with that for a minute. Most of them don’t listen to the radio and don’t have cable. They listen to Pandora or Spotify and watch Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV – all online. They pay their bills online and order their groceries from Relay Foods…online. They want to donate to causes they feel passionate about, and they want to do it from their iPhone.
According to Blackbaud’s 2013 Charitable Giving Report, online giving accounted for an average of 6.4% of total fundraising. That percentage will continue to grow year after year, especially as more nonprofits and organizations make online giving a convenient and attractive option. In that spirit, here are some helpful “Do’s and Don’ts” of online giving.
Top 5 Do’s
1. Do use a branded giving page. They result in six times more in contributions than a generic external page. Check out this pinterest board from Little Green Light with branded pages.
2. Do ensure that your online giving page is compatible with mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads. That’s where the people are looking at you. Need to test your page? Check it out here.
3. Do have a customizable giving page that offers a monthly giving option. Recurring gifts result in greater donations. Set the default to “monthly gift”.
4. Do provide established giving levels. Predesignated amounts result in larger donations than when the donor types in their own amount. The best ones link amounts to tangible items seen here on the right.
5. Do tell your story. Make the visitor want to click “Donate” after spending time on your website, especially your home page.
1. Don't make me click more than one time to make a gift. If I click donate now, take me to a place to donate, not your giving page.
2. Don’t make me search for your donate button. It should be colored and found in the top right hand corner of your home page. Don't make me scroll to find it.
3. Don’t overwhelm your potential donor with too many giving options. If your “Donate” button has a dropdown with 10 choices, you need to simplify. Online gifts are fast and furious, let donors contact you if they have a specific interest otherwise leave your online giving page vague.
4. Don’t make potential donors create a sign in and password to get to your donation page. Odds are, they won’t do it.
5. Don’t forget to send a prompt and personal “thank you”. No, an auto receipt is not sufficient. For more ideas on thanking donors check out our past blog on this topic.
Two more great online resources
Online Fundraising Essential Report from Network for Good
Boost Donor Acquisition Online from NPENGAGE