Welcome back to an online interview with experts in the online fundraising industry. I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s introduction to your experts. Please make sure to post additional questions, comments and feedback at the bottom of the post. Now onto today’s question:
What are some different strategies and models for fundraising online?
Key strategies for non-profit organizations trying to raise money through the web include:
- Set up automatic recurring donations. This way, donors don’t have to contribute large sums, but small amounts on a regular basis. Plus, there is no burden of remembering to mail or drop off an envelope.
- Provide members and donors the option of egiving, or contributing online with a credit card or electronic check. Many fundraising solutions provide a securely hosted payment page, so the organization does not even need a website.
- Rather than holding a fundraiser in a brick and mortar shop, offer customers a way to take part online. It saves time from handling paper checks, cuts down on volunteer time, and is also more secure. No account numbers or card numbers floating around-everything is stored securely within the system.
–Eric Remer, CEO for PaySimple www.paysimple.com
One of the most rapidly growing strategies for fundraising online is engaging your supporters to raise funds on behalf of your organization. The nature of the internet is changing significantly. User participation and user generated content have evolved as the essence of the web. Empowering individuals to support you online is a powerful strategy for furthering your cause. You will find that individuals will use their social networks, blogs, web sites, email lists to advocate and fundraise for your organization.
–Mark Sutton CEO of Firstgiving www.firstgiving.com
DonorPerfect Fundraising Software:
There are many different strategies to fundraise effectively online. However, there is one strategy that never works, and that’s slapping a “Donate Now” button on your web-site to attract donations. Unfortunately, even we have clients that take only this initial step, and wonder why they only receive 4 or 5 donations per month.
Successful online fundraising requires real work that rivals any traditional campaign effort. It requires staff resources that many non profits do not have or cannot access. It requires a dedication from the top down, and should be referenced in every single piece of paper that leaves the building. It’s a long term investment that works in conjunction with other types of fundraising, such as special events, capital campaigns, direct mail, etc.
–Jon Biedermann, Vice President of DonorPerfect Fundraising Software www.donorperfect.com
For starters I believe fundraising is about the message and the non-profit’s ability to reach out to those that have a passion for the same goals. To achieve this, non-profits need to reach out. I like to divide the reach out strategies to 3 groups.
- Single-dimensional spread out. This includes the standard, conservative methods where the supporters are passive. Some of the tools are: websites, newsletters.
- Bi-dimensional spread out. This includes tools where the supporters have the power to reply or open a new topic. Some of the tools are: Forum, mailing-list or blog.
- Multi-dimensional spread out. Here supporters have the greatest power and can spread the word autonomously in the name of the non-profit using tools such as: social networks and widgets.
Any organization that wants to fundraise / advocate online should pick wisely from this list of possible tools, there is no reason to open a blog if you don’t have the time to post or engage any social network if you don’t have a person who swims comfortably in these waters.
–Michael Ben-Nes, Director of Marketing from GiveStream.com www.givestream.com
Click and Pledge:
We see a big move to cell phones/mobile technology; we see micropayments becoming practical; significant reductions in the price of online fundraising technology with Software as a Service applications and open source software.
–Jim Barney VP, Marketing & Sales of Click and Pledge www.ClickandPledge.com
Online fundraising can be tricky. The internet is incredibly expansive, making it difficult to discover valuable contacts and share information in an efficient manner. Making use of all the social media developments is a good approach to the situation, but it takes a lot of time and effort to keep up. There is blogging, social bookmarking, press releases, email, etc. for available use by everyone. The only problem is that SO many people can use these tools, that they become completely invaluable unless they are used correctly and efficiently.
–Michelle Matthews, Social Media & Marketing Strategist from EchoDonations www.EchoDonations.org
Do you have a special strategy not mentioned above that you’ve found successful in online fundraising? Has your organization been successful in online giving? Please leave a comment with your feedback or advice below. Check out other questions this week: