Random Thoughts on Life and Work

August 10, 2006

Online vs Offline Fundraising

Filed under: Online Donations — Darren Mullenix @ 8:00 am

There is absolutely no reason for a non-profit in the US to not be capable of accepting donations through the internet.  With the rapid increase in methods of cashless payments, online fundraising is finally seeing the growth that was expected 5 or 6 years ago.  But what drives donors to give through the internet rather than mailing a check?

1.  Relationship.  What relationship do you have with your donor that will bring them to the website?  How do you keep them coming back?  How is their gift acknowledged?  All of these (and more) are issues that must be dealt with for long-term sustainability.  After all, a non-profit will not be in business long if they cannot sustain the flow of income. 

2.  Ease of use.  Developing technology has improved to the point where an online donation is simple and quick.  But beware!  The more clicks a donor has to make in order to complete his/her transaction, the more likely will be the turn off.

3.  Communication.  A recent report that I read indicated that 65% of donors were influenced by the internet before giving a donation.  How well does your charity communicate on the internet?  How relevant and up-to-date is it?  Is your online communication integrated with your offline communication?  Does your offline communication point donors to your website?

We’ll develop more on this topic in later posts.  But I thought I would open with just a few random thoughts for today.

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