Creating an Online Fundraising Plan: Interview, Part 3

Welcome back to an online interview with experts in the online fundraising industry. Please make sure to post additional questions, comments and feedback at the bottom of the post. Onto today’s question:

What should the online fundraising plan look like? What are some key components to a good plan?

PaySimple:
A good online fundraising plan would include recurring giving, online giving, and check conversion. Recurring giving enables non-profits to set up automatic schedules that debit the donor’s checking or credit card on a set schedule that they specify. Online giving provides non-profits the ability to take a donation twenty-four hours a day via direct payment from a donor’s checking account or credit card. Check conversion allows the non-profit to still accept paper checks and convert them into e-checks-without taking a trip to the bank. After setting up the e-giving system, the non-profit should market their new ability and address concerns with online giving, including security, unfamiliar technology, and traditional values. Utilize resources like http://www.electronicpayments.org and even your gateway provider for free marketing materials to help donors see the benefits of egiving.
Eric Remer, CEO for PaySimple www.paysimple.com

Firstgiving:
The plan should start with a statement of what the organization is looking to accomplish online ex: more donations, convenient option for making donations, expand database, get supporters to fundraise, etc. Next the organization should determine which websites or services best fit their objectives, budget and in-house expertise. It should include having a website, ability to take donations online and communicate with supporters. The communication strategy for supporters is important. It will include email and should also consider social media sites such as MySpace or facebook as methods for attracting supporters and communicating with them.
Mark Sutton CEO of Firstgiving www.firstgiving.com

DonorPerfect Fundraising Software:
Again, though it starts with facilitating donations on line, it’s much more than that. You need to have good marketing tools, such as a good database (like DonorPerfect), direct mail and email distribution. You need to direct everyone to the right place on your web site and make it easy and convenient for people to not only give, but also register for events, sign up to be a volunteer, or purchase items. You need to make it easy for constituents to reach out to their friends, family, and co-workers to facilitate giving (viral fundraising) and form an online community of donors that will further expand and enrich your mission.
Jon Biedermann, Vice President of DonorPerfect Fundraising Software www.donorperfect.com

GiveStream:
I assume it changes from one non-profit to another but the basic should include calling supporters to participate and delegation. Don’t do it all by yourself, if you have a good idea let other help you achieve the non-profit goals. It is also important to accelerate slowly, don’t open a forum before you have enough supporters to participate. You don’t want it to become a ghost forum, that’s even worse then being without forum. Another factor is the easy of use. Evaluate the products available at the market and choose those that are easy to operate, and its even better if you can find them under the same roof.
Michael Ben-Nes, Director of Marketing from GiveStream.com www.givestream.com

EchoDonations:
The plan should involve no paperwork, online record keeping, and a very small processing fee (under 6%). There should be detailed instructions in how the donations are processed, and where the money goes directly. Graphics are very important in anything done online as well.
Michelle Matthews, Social Media & Marketing Strategist from EchoDonations www.EchoDonations.org

Does your organization have an online giving plan? Are you thinking about creating a plan? Leave a comment and let me know. Check out other questions this week:

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5 Responses to Creating an Online Fundraising Plan: Interview, Part 3

  1. Matt Kopans says:

    We have a way for donors to give online, but we do not have an online giving “plan”. As such, we receive only a few online donations a month. We have, however, been constantly spammed through our online donation site (fake names, garbage in the credit card number line etc). Currently, our bookkeeper processes the few credit card receipts that we get via the web. We’re thinking about moving to PayPal. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  2. Eric Remer says:

    After looking over your site, I noticed that you have set up a secure online form. This is a very good step to having an online giving plan, but there are several more things you can do to make the process better for you. Such as, your payment page could be completely automated and not require processing on your bookkeeper’s part—cleared payments can be automatically deposited into your bank account. . In addition, you can prevent spam and fraudulent attempts on your page with a couple of security measures including a required minimum amount and AVS (Address Verification System)—most reputable payment systems should include this. Finally, it also looks like you are only accepting credit cards. ACH payments, or electronic checks, can save you a lot of money on processing fees. Take a look at our competitor comparison (http://www.paysimple/competitors.html) for a rundown on pricing for some of the top payment gateways. It also gives an idea of where you could be hit with extra fees for each system. Use these figures to do a quick calculation of which system will give you the best price. Again, I think compared to many non-profits you have a very good start. and another good reference is http://www.electronicpayments.org

  3. […] Creating an Online Fundraising Plan: Interview, Part 3 […]

  4. farsizaban says:

    We use PayPal and it seems to work fine for us.

  5. Interesting post. I am researching information on NGO funding at the moment and find this helpful.

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