Fundraising Best Practices

Fundraising Best Practices

May 5, 2016 Lynette Garet Fundraising 0 Comment

10 Best Practices for Nonprofits

Don’t be shy about asking visitors to your organization’s website to give. After all, it’s the reason the site exists, isn’t it? Sure, you have compelling stories and evocative images, but if a visitor becomes sidetracked, loses interest and leaves your site, some other nonprofit will get the donation. Convert visitors to donors with these ten best fundraising practices.

Brand your fundraising campaigns

Ideally, you’ve already branded your nonprofit—you have a logo and a visual theme that reflect your mission. Take it a step further, brand each campaign with unique images that identify the campaign and refer back to your nonprofit’s mission.

Ever present: the “Donate” button

Make it easy to give. It’s impossible to stress this enough: Place a button that links directly to your donor giving registration form on every single page on your website. Landing page? Link it. Campaign page? Donor stories page? You guessed it: link it. The more clicks you ask your visitors to make, the more likely you are to lose them before they give. The moral: one click to give.

Make big, make it bold

Retailers know if the customers can’t see it, they won’t buy it. The same applies to charitable giving: If visitors can’t find the button on the page, they can’t click through to give. Use contrasting colors and size for prominence on the page.

Button up, give it a home

Realtors talk about location because where is as important as appearance. Place “Donate Now” in the same place on every page on your site: at the top or in the site navigation bar.

Socialize

As with your “Donate” button, feature social media icons prominently on your landing page, donor registration form and blogs. Similarly, feature site and donation links on every social media post.

Fan the flames

Update supporters on your nonprofit’s latest news through social media. Don’t forget the images either; consider a photo essay instead of a block of dense text. Invite supporters to share, comment, like and donate in every post or tweet. Schedule updates for the weekends to take advantage of a larger audience.

There’s an app for that

Smart phones and tablets outnumber laptops and desktops, so it makes sense to optimize your website for mobile fundraising. Your nonprofit’s supporters have easy access for sharing and posting to build your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. Mobile giving capitalizes on impulse “buying,” provides better tracking and increases supporter engagement. If a potential donor has to wait to get home, you’ve probably lost her.

Foster sustainable giving

As much as 70 percent of your nonprofit’s total donations probably comes from monthly donors and, over time, their donations total more than one-time donors do. Ask donors to give a smaller sum each month instead of a large amount once. Suggest tribute giving to honor their family and friends or in lieu of presents. Capture your site visitors’ contact information by offering a free newsletter subscription. You can use the information to subdivide or segment your donors, potential donors and supporters into target groups for future campaigns.

Prioritize year-end fundraising

The giving season, Thanksgiving through Christmas, accounts for a majority of annual giving and 10 percent of those are online donations. December 28 through Dec. 31 is prime time for last minute, tax-deductible donations. Consider making your year-end campaign page the landing page for your site during this period. Clearly state what the donation will provide and use strong, relevant images and infographics to stir interest. And, don’t forget the “Donate Now” button.

These best practices will help your nonprofit to communicate with and engage site visitors in your work. Using your website to link to social media and mobile access, as well as the reverse, will help to convert your site visitors to donors and to keep them engaged in your mission.

Don’t be shy about asking visitors to your organization’s website to give. After all, it’s the reason the site exists, isn’t it? Sure, you have compelling stories and evocative images, but if a visitor becomes sidetracked, loses interest and leaves your site, some other nonprofit will get the donation. Convert visitors to donors with these ten best fundraising practices.

Brand your campaigns

Ideally, you’ve already branded your nonprofit—you have a logo and a visual theme that reflect your mission. Take it a step further, brand each campaign with unique images that identify the campaign and refer back to your nonprofit’s mission.

Ever present: the “Donate” button

Make it easy to give. It’s impossible to stress this enough: Place a button that links directly to your donor giving registration form on every single page on your website. Landing page? Link it. Campaign page? Donor stories page? You guessed it: link it. The more clicks you ask your visitors to make, the more likely you are to lose them before they give. The moral: one click to give.

Make big, make it bold

Retailers know if the customers can’t see it, they won’t buy it. The same applies to charitable giving: If visitors can’t find the button on the page, they can’t click through to give. Use contrasting colors and size for prominence on the page.

Button up, give it a home

Realtors talk about location because where is as important as appearance. Place “Donate Now” in the same place on every page on your site: at the top or in the site navigation bar.

Socialize

As with your “Donate” button, feature social media icons prominently on your landing page, donor registration form and blogs. Similarly, feature site and donation links on every social media post.

Fan the flames

Update supporters on your nonprofit’s latest news through social media. Don’t forget the images either; consider a photo essay instead of a block of dense text. Invite supporters to share, comment, like and donate in every post or tweet. Schedule updates for the weekends to take advantage of a larger audience.

There’s an app for that

Smart phones and tablets outnumber laptops and desktops, so it makes sense to optimize your website for mobile fundraising. Your nonprofit’s supporters have easy access for sharing and posting to build your peer-to-peer fundraising efforts. Mobile giving capitalizes on impulse “buying,” provides better tracking and increases supporter engagement. If a potential donor has to wait to get home, you’ve probably lost her.

Foster sustainable giving

As much as 70 percent of your nonprofit’s total donations probably comes from monthly donors and, over time, their donations total more than one-time donors do. Ask donors to give a smaller sum each month instead of a large amount once. Suggest tribute giving to honor their family and friends or in lieu of presents. Capture your site visitors’ contact information by offering a free newsletter subscription. You can use the information to subdivide or segment your donors, potential donors and supporters into target groups for future campaigns.

Prioritize year-end fundraising

The giving season, Thanksgiving through Christmas, accounts for a majority of annual giving and 10 percent of those are online donations. December 28 through Dec. 31 is prime time for last minute, tax-deductible donations. Consider making your year-end campaign page the landing page for your site during this period. Clearly state what the donation will provide and use strong, relevant images and infographics to stir interest. And, don’t forget the “Donate Now” button.

These best practices will help your nonprofit to communicate with and engage site visitors in your work. Using your website to link to social media and mobile access, as well as the reverse, will help to convert your site visitors to donors and to keep them engaged in your mission.

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