In 2013 online giving grew 13.5% according to the Blackbaud Index of Online Givingand 14% according to the Network for Good’s Online Giving Index with small and medium-sized nonprofits are experiencing the largest growth. In addition, charitable giving is at an all-time high in the United States and nonprofits would be wise to invest in upgrades to their online donation service to ensure that they are meeting the needs of today’s online donors. “Donate Now” buttons were launched in the late 1990′s and since then the nonprofit sector has learned through trial and error the basics of successful online fundraising:
1. Embed the donation process inside your website and ensure that it is mobile compatible.
Six times more money is raised through custom-branded donate pages than through third-party donate pages. To successfully fundraise online, nonprofits must invest in a premium, mobile-compatible online fundraising service, such as Network for Good, StayClassy, Givlet, or DonationPay, since responsive design doubles giving on mobile devices.
2. Prominently feature a “Donate” button on every page of your website.
Add a “Donate” button to every page of your website and blog which is mostly easily done by integrating it into your site’s navigation. The color of the button should be bold to ensure that donors can immediately see and tap or click the button.
3. Add calls-to-action to your “Thank You” landing page.
The vast majority of “Thank You” landing pages are text-only and lacking in interesting content. Add visual calls-to-actions to better motivate your donors to take further action on behalf of your nonprofit.
4. Create donation impact graphics for social media.
Your followers on social networks are much more likely to take notice of your fundraising asks if you create a series of donation impact graphics. The ideal size for Facebook/Pinterest/Google+ graphics is 500 x 500 pixels. The size necessary for Twitter is 500 x 250 pixels.
5. Have a “More Ways to Give” page.
“Donate” buttons should always link directly to a page where donors enter their credit card information, but in addition your nonprofit should have a “More Ways to Give” or “How to Help” page the lists all the ways supporters can donate to your nonprofit. Again, prioritize images of text.
6. Launch a sustainer program.
Use an online fundraising service that easily allows supporters to make monthly donations automatically. Monthly donors give an average monthly gift of $52 ($624 annually) and give 42% more over one-year than one-time donors.
7. Enable tribute giving.
Use an online fundraising service that easily allows donors to make tribute or honor gifts, such birthday, holiday, and wedding gifts.
8. Prioritize year-end fundraising.
Thirty percent of all online donations are made in December and 10% of all annual giving happens in the last three days of the year. Online fundraising campaigns should be focused on the online giving habits of their donors.
9. Advertise your fundraising campaigns on your blog.
In a addition to a “Donate” button on every page of your blog, create ads for other fundraising programs, such as products your nonprofit sells, apps you have available for download, crowdfunding campaigns, monthly giving campaigns, etc.
10. Publish an e-newsletter.
When polled, 25-30% of nonprofits do not use email to promote their programs and fundraising campaigns which is a mistake since email is the primary source of online donations. In fact, for every 1,000 fundraising messages delivered, nonprofits raised $17.