While generating donations for your nonprofit can seem like a never-ending battle, there are ways to make it easier. The Internet has changed the face of nonprofit fundraising, and as an ever-increasing number of donors give online, it is crucial to ensure that your organization is up to the task of accepting these gifts.
Use these strategies to bump up the giving from your current donors, while attracting new donors to the mix:
1. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
The online world is constantly changing, and if you're not keeping up with the times, your organization is going to suffer. While having a user-friendly, donor-friendly website is important, it's becoming ever more important to make sure your website is easily accessed, viewed, and utilized on mobile devices.
The percentage of users accessing the Internet through mobile devices has soared in the last few years, and it's expected to continue to rise, eventually overtaking fixed Internet sources as the primary way people search the Web. Check your site from your mobile phone and tablet computer now. If it's not easy to read, scroll through, and make donations, you need to make changes now.
2. Ask for Specific Amounts
Years ago when I was training to be a lifeguard, one of the first lessons we learned was that in an emergency, you have to tell those around you specifically what to do. So instead of saying, "Someone call 911," you have to point to someone specifically and say, "You - go call 911."
That message rings true when asking for donations. Don't simply say "Please donate" and expect people to know what to do or how much to give. Instead, say, "Please donate $50 - your donation will provide clean water to a person who doesn't have access. Click here to donate."
It's a good idea to provide varied levels of donation, clearly associated with the benefits they provide to those you serve. This way, donors of different giving abilities can choose the amount and the benefits they feel drawn to provide.
3. Ask for Small Amounts
While offline giving still accounts for the highest levels of donation, online giving is increasing, which means the face of potential donors is changing. By asking for small amounts, you're opening your organization up to those who might not be able to give much, but they're able to give $10, $20, or $30. This is significant, as many small donations can certainly add up.
4. Emotionally Move Your Donors
People donate when they're moved to donate and can clearly understand the benefits and rewards of giving. When a disaster occurs, people rush to donate blood, or funds, simply because they want to feel like they're helping. Even if your nonprofit isn't associated with disaster relief, your job is to make sure donors and potential donors feel your organization's need so that they're moved to donate based on that need. Use images, videos, and stories to communicate your need in a way that moves donors to write a check or click the "Donate Now" button.
5. Make It Easy
This can't be emphasized enough - you have to make donations easy. If a potential donor has to search for where to mail a check, or if they're confused by your online donation process, they're unlikely to take the time to figure it out.
Cut back on the red tape and simplify your donation process. Clearly state the address where donations can be sent, and make your "Donate Now" button easily accessible. The online donation process should also be easy, so follow it yourself to see if there are any hitches. Ask yourself if you were donating to another organization, would you be frustrated or confused? If the answer is "maybe" or "yes," talk to your web designer and developer to come up with a game plan to simplify the process, while still ensuring security.
Keep your finger on the pulse of the nonprofit industry to see what other organizations are doing and how they're achieving success. With mobile usage increasing, it's likely that mobile apps will become the gateway for future donations, so start talking about creating an app for your organization now. The more you can do to change with the times, the better off you will be.
How have you increased donations at your nonprofit?