CaptureAs I described in our previous post, ‘Nonprofit Benchmarks 2011: Email’, M+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network recently released their ‘2011 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study’ covering a broad range of digital issues regarding NPOs. The study has a lot of great information that I intend to breakdown and analyze in a few manageable posts. Today we’ll be covering Online Fundraising.

Online fundraising can be hard. Those that “get it” know that just sticking a donate button somewhere on a website isn’t enough. Through social media and web 2.0 technology, online fundraising campaigns have become more about engagement and sharing than just about a static fundraising page.

Lets take a look at some key stats from the study:

Dollars raised online on average are up 14% worldwide
I’m sure this will just continue to trend upwards over the next few years. People are increasingly comfortable giving money to organizations online and soliciting and processing donations is as easy as ever. As individual and team fundraising platforms such as Crowdrise and Stay Classy continue to grow expect these numbers to shoot up even more.

Unsolicited donations are higher than those made in response to an email ask
This one isn’t all that surprising. People that make the extra effort to seek out an organization and donate are more likely to give a larger amount. The important thing to note here is that even if you aren’t asking people may want to give your organization money – make it easy for them to!

On average 62.5% of donations received were from a source other than email
This stat just shows how important a balanced online marketing/campaign strategy is. The web is a big place and your organization is doing itself a disservice if it doesn’t branch out and try and reach supporters on all corners of the internet. Test the waters of Facebook, Twitter, a blog and see what kind of results you get.

Bivings Group tips for improved online fundraising

Engage your supporters
Giving people a reason to care about your cause is step one. Chances are if you care about what your organization does there will be others that do too. If you feel passionate about something share it and seek out those that feel that same way. After you have found those like minded individuals make sure to fuel their fire going by giving them the tools to continue supporting your organization. Team fundraising, organizational advocate toolkits, and volunteer opportunities are great ways to spur growth in your community and keep it thriving.

Set goals and create a sense of urgency
Sometimes its scary to set goals – what if you don’t reach them? What if a fundraising campaign fails massively? It never feels good to fail, but sometimes you just have to take the leap. Try and raise $1,000 in a week or $30,000 in a month – whatever seems just a bit more than you’ve ever raised and suits your organization. You’ll be surprised at the response you will receive from your community.

Have simple and straight-forward messaging
We harp on this all the time here at Bivings – keep your content simple. If you want a donor to give $100 then ask them to give $100 – don’t just ask them to donate in general terms. If $10,000 dollars will get your organization to X goal if done in X amount of days, tell your supporters clearly and concisely. Simplify your ideas down to the core, figure out exactly how your community can help you and create your messaging from there – it will go a long way in your results.

Have other tips for online fundraising? Let us know in the comments.

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