The Rise of Online Giving: What Your Nonprofit Should Know
posted Oct 25, 2018 by Patrick Martin, CPA in the Mission Matters Blog
The growth of technology and social media has changed the way charitable organizations fundraise and connect with potential donors. Does your nonprofit have an online giving page? If not, it should! Learn more about how you can have your voice heard in an online setting.
What is digital giving exactly?
Digital giving is simply fundraising using digital technology (i.e. computers, mobile phones, tablets etc). Just as Amazon and Netflix have revolutionized the way we shop and watch TV, online giving has changed the way we support charities. The name of the game in 2018 is ease and simplicity. Digital giving allows donors to support their favorite charities at the touch of a button.
How are organizations implementing digital giving?
The most important thing to remember about implementing a digital giving strategy is that you want to make it as easy as possible for people to give. Here are a few tools organizations are using:
Donation buttons-Many nonprofits have installed “Donate Now” buttons on their websites. You can suggest giving amounts instead of asking people to type in the amount they want to give. For example, start your giving level at $25 and go up to as much as $500. Some organizations have monthly donation options, so a donor can choose to give a certain amount each month.
Text-to-donate- Some organizations have raised donations through text giving. It’s as simple as instructing potential donors to text a keyword to a five digit code. They will instantly receive a text linking to a secure donation form.
Social fundraising- Never underestimate the power of social fundraising. Many charitable campaigns have gone viral through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more! Just think of the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. Creating events on Facebook for upcoming walks, runs, food drives, etc. can help you in a big way! Think about creating a hashtag to go along with your charitable effort.
Are there risks involved in online giving?
Unfortunately, yes. This includes:
- Vulnerable donation process- You need to ensure that your mobile service provider is PCI (payment card industry) compliant. Ensuring PCI compliance helps organizations keep sensitive donor information secure and out of the hands of criminals. With mobile fundraising, make sure you have a way of verifying donors’ identities to keep things secure. You don’t want hackers to gain access to your donor database.
- Absence of firewalls- You need top of the line firewalls set up around your virtual information storage, and you need to make sure that the data centers that house your information are heavily guarded and secure, 24/7.
Trends to watch in 2019
Using technology to nurture recurring giving- Make sure your online donation form is 12 fields or less and provide a variety of payment options. Test the form on multiple devices (including mobile phones and tablets) and make sure every potential donor will be able to easily complete their donation.
Sending out personalized communications- Thank donors every time they make a gift to your organization. Be sure to send them their tax receipt right away, and make sure they know what impact their donation has made.
Don't Miss Our Webinar: Are You Prepared for the Latest Nonprofit Financial Reporting Standards? Join us for a webinar that will aid your understanding of the implementation process now for the upcoming December 31, 2018 year-end. Register here for our webinar.
Questions? Contact any member of our Not-for-Profit Services Team.