Online fundraising has come a long way from just having a “donate now” button on an organization’s website; it is now an integral channel for fundraising. In the past year alone, revenue raised through online fundraising increased 14 percent with more than 5.5 million total gifts and nearly $325 million raised, according to the 2014 Nonprofit Benchmarks Study.
Social networking, in particular, has amplified the peer-to peer fundraising approach. But while online fundraising continues to grow, best practices for donor stewardship remain the same: nonprofits need to cultivate and maintain relationships, demonstrate effectiveness and impact, and acknowledge donors for their support.
Nonprofits often make the mistake of waiting until the end of the year to contact their donors for donations. There is so much we can be doing year-round to ensure “the ask” is not a cold one. Think about the donor experience with your organization: aside from the year-end ask for donations, what other messages are they receiving from you? Are those messages conveying why they should donate? Or are they just messages asking for their donation?
Consistent online communication from nonprofits year-round through channels such as social media, blogs, and email newsletters can help cultivate and maintain good relationships with donors, as well as attract new ones. There is no shortage of ways to harness the power of the social web to support fundraising goals, but before you try to utilize all these channels, consider the key ingredient: content.
Online fundraising is powered by good content. Let’s step back to the fundamentals of creating effective and powerful content. In what follows, we will explore: trust-building and fundraising; the importance of thinking “content first” instead of “channel first;” getting all staff members involved in creating content; and a case study of one small nonprofit that boosted its annual fundraising efforts.
Read the full article by Joleen Ong at the Grassroots Insititute for Fundraising Training.