7 Ways to Get More Out of Your Online Fundraising Platform
So, you’ve gotten all set up with a shiny new online donation form. Now what? How do you make the most of your new online fundraising platform? Once you’ve got the technology you need, it’s time to optimize your online fundraising for your nonprofit.
Not all nonprofits are built the same, so chances are you’ll have some unique needs. That’s why it’s important to have an online fundraising platform that’s customizable and offers the tools you need to get more of your supporters giving. Here are seven ways you can get more out of your online fundraising platform.
1. Make Sure Your Online Fundraising Platform Reflects Your Branding
Your branded donation form instills confidence in your supporters about giving to you online. In fact, donations made on a branded donation form are, on average, 38% larger than contributions made through a generic PayPal page. Moreover, supporters are nearly 70% more likely to give a second donation if they used a branded page the first time they made a contribution. That helps significantly with donor retention!
How can you reinforce your branding on your online donation forms? There are a few different ways you can do this. First, include your logo on your online donation page. Your logo tells your donors they’re in the right place so they’ll know they’re giving to you and not a third party.
Second, use your brand colors. Donors pick up on these things! If your main website uses a specific set of primary colors, make sure your online donation form feels like it belongs on your website by incorporating those same colors. Lastly, choose images for your online donation form that match the images they’ve seen on your website. This may seem repetitive, but it works wonders to reinforce your brand and put a face to the donation because, after all, people give to people.
One important caveat to keep in mind is that if you have a specific campaign that uses alternate colors and images, those alternate colors and images are what your supporters are expecting when they choose to give to that campaign. Make sure they see what they’re expecting. Use that same imagery and color scheme on a new online donation form to keep the special campaign separate from your year-round giving form.
2. Give Donors the Choice To Make Ongoing Gifts
Another great way to get more out of your online giving platform is by enabling any recurring giving options available to you. This gives your donors the option to give on a regular basis, and ongoing support is extremely helpful. Not only do you gain a reliable revenue stream, but your donor retention rate for monthly donors can also be as high as 90%!
Recurring donations should always be an option on your online donation form. If a supporter wants to give to you over a longer-term, provide a way to do it! These donors are the ones who are especially passionate about your mission. Rather than stifling their generosity, recurring giving options offer a way to show their support and keep your programs funded throughout the year. Plus, who doesn’t like receiving regular donations?
When you make your online donation form recurring gift-friendly, be sure to modify gift amounts to show that they’re for recurring gifts. Chances are, recurring gifts will be smaller in size, but they make up for that with the frequency at which they’re given.
When you enable recurring gifts, check to see how you can make these giving options more visible to your donors. One option is to embed a request for recurring donors on your donation form. These nudges can inspire donors to give on a recurring basis when they originally planned to make a one-time gift.
Here’s an example: The Special Olympics USA Games donation page uses a recurring donation nudge to gently encourage their supporters to make their one-time gift a recurring donation.
There’s also a recurring modal that has bolder asks for recurring support. This appears as a popup before donors complete their gift.
If your online fundraising platform offers tools like these, use them. Nonprofits using Qgiv for fundraising saw a 173% increase in recurring conversions with the addition of recurring nudges and modals to online donation forms.
3. Connect Your Online Giving Platform with Text Fundraising
Another way you can boost your performance with your new online fundraising platform is by incorporating text fundraising. You may wonder why offering text fundraising is helpful. Well, text fundraising is an easy way to add another revenue channel to your organization’s overall efforts.
With dedicated and comprehensive text giving tools, you’ll see a:
- Boost in fundraising revenue. Most people assume that text gifts tend to be smaller but, in reality, the average donation size for text-to-donate fundraisers is $107.
- New groups of supporters who want to give. 1 in 4 donors use mobile devices to discover nonprofits about which they were previously unaware.
- Increase in recurring gifts. With text-to-donate, you can easily encourage donors to set up recurring giving during the giving process. This can increase the annual gift you potentially receive from each recurring donor. Donors that set up recurring donations give, on average, 42% more throughout the year than one-time donors.
- Increase in engagement with outbound texts. Did you know that it takes an average of 90 seconds to respond to a text compared to the 90 minutes for an email? That stat, along with the fact that 96% percent of Americans own smartphones, means it makes sense that text giving tools help increase donor engagement.
With text-to-donate tools, your donors are still giving via your online fundraising platform. They text a keyword to your text fundraising number and then follow the prompts to complete their donation. They’ll be texted a link to your donation page where they then complete their gift. This is great for supporters who want to give on the go.
[Alt-text: A text-to-donate campaign can help connect your supporters to your online fundraising platform quickly and easily.]
4. Matching Gifts Are A Match Made in Heaven
Matching gifts are another avenue worth pursuing when it comes to maximizing the potential of your online fundraising platform. Matching gifts often come from a donor’s employer and match their donation on a 1:1 ratio. However, matching gift ratios can sometimes be matched for more or less than the initial donation amount. The amount matched depends on the employer’s matching gifts policy.
Matching gifts offer a variety of benefits, but the biggest one is the increased revenue. When a donor’s gift is matched you earn double the amount of the initial gift in most cases, and without the cost of soliciting a gift from the company making the match. That means this is a no-cost way to generate revenue for your nonprofit.
To make matching gifts work on your donation form, it’s helpful to use a matching gifts search. These searches can be embedded on your online donation form or used as an integration if one is supported. Then, as donors make their gifts they’ll be encouraged to search for their employer and determine if they support matching gifts with a matching gifts program. The tool you use will then walk match-eligible donors through matching their gift with their employer. You earn double the donated amount with minimal work required on your part, and your donor gets to feel like twice the hero. It’s a win-win!
5. Add Custom and Conditional Fields (Sparingly, Of Course)
If your online donation form supports conditional content, you can use it to take your fundraising even further. What are conditional fields? Conditional fields are questions or prompts that appear when certain conditions are met. This is a form of custom content that only appears on your online donation form when donors are giving a certain amount or are giving to a certain program.
This can help you capture vital information from certain donors while keeping the overall donation process quick and easy. You can read about the additional benefits of conditional content here.
6. Customized Confirmation Pages and Receipts
Another great thing about online fundraising platforms is they’re highly customizable. That means there are a lot of opportunities for personalization, including on your confirmation pages and receipts! For instance, with Qgiv, your confirmation pages support custom content so it can be more than a transaction summary. Your confirmation page is a great place to ask donors to complete surveys, sign up to volunteer, or even subscribe to your newsletter. It’s also a great place to ask for matching gifts or to set up a donor account!
Plus, with tags, conditional content, and image support, you can personalize and customize donation receipts. This shows donors that they’re seen, recognized, and appreciated by your nonprofit. When they receive your receipts via email they see a receipt tailored personally to them. That can be great inspiration to give again.
7. Use Your Online Fundraising Platform to Collect and Use Donor Data
When you add an online fundraising platform to your nonprofit’s fundraising tools, you gain the ability to capture a wealth of donor data without the need for manual data entry. The trick is making sure you’re using that captured data.
Determine if your donor data can be exported into your CRM, email service provider, and other relevant tools from your online fundraising platform. Check the integrations available for exporting and make your data portable. That way, you can use the valuable insights you gain about your donors to market your cause to them better. Additionally, you can use fundraising reports to gauge form performance and make adjustments so you’re always growing your fundraising. Many of these insights are available using Qgiv’s data package.
These seven tips can take your online fundraising platform to the next level. Earn more in donations and get more done with your donor data by branding your online donation form, accepting recurring donations, using a matching gifts integration, and personalizing the giving experience to your donors.
Still looking for the perfect online fundraising platform for your nonprofit? Take us for a test drive!
Shay Lessman is a writer and editor with a passion for helping nonprofit organizations succeed. He has experience in fundraising communications and has written several successful grants. He is also a proud pet parent of two very naughty dogs. When he’s not working at Qgiv, he can usually be found writing poetry, playing games, or listening to podcasts.