4 Ways to Streamline Online Giving For Your Donors

November 13, 2023

As a nonprofit professional, fundraising is at the center of what you do. But along with fundraising comes the responsibility of engaging donors. After all, your fundraising efforts won’t be successful if you don’t turn community members, social media followers, and website visitors into donors.

An easy donation process makes these prospects more willing to give, and the simplest way for people to donate is through online giving. In this guide, we’ll explore four ways to streamline online giving:

  1. Optimize Your Donation Page
  2. Invest in Fundraising Software
  3. Host a Text-to-Give Fundraiser
  4. Follow Up After a Gift

By simplifying online giving, your nonprofit can tap into benefits such as an expanded donor base and the security of recurring donations. Let’s get started!

  1. Optimize Your Donation Page

According to Snowball’s auction software guide, a streamlined and user-friendly payment process can leave supporters looking forward to your next event. Since your donation page likely brings in contributions from various fundraising initiatives, it’s the first place you should look when streamlining online giving!

Optimize your donation page so that it’s easy to use. Use the following tips to do this:

  • Keep questions to a minimum. Donation pages that have unnecessary inquiries and heavy amounts of text can deter donors from actually completing their transactions. Only ask for the most important information, such as the donor’s name and email address. If you’re not sure how to tell when some questions are too much, try filling out the form yourself!
  • Offer clear options. When it comes to donating, your donors might not know the difference between pledges and donations or restricted and unrestricted funds. Clearly define these terms and provide multiple options for giving.
  • Use dropdown boxes instead of fill-in-the-blanks. Dropdown boxes make it easy for donors to fill out your donation form. For example, you might create a dropdown menu for donation amount options. That way, instead of having to type out the amount they’d like to donate, users can simply select an amount from a list. Be sure to include an “Other” option, just in case your donor would rather type in a custom response. 

You can also use this page to encourage further involvement, such as increased giving or volunteer opportunities. Include dropdown boxes that allow donors to subscribe to recurring gifts and links to your volunteer pages. 

  1. Invest in Fundraising Software

Your donation page collects funds for specific campaigns, and you might invest in additional software to launch those fundraisers. That’s where fundraising software comes in. Not only can the right tool manage your campaign, but it can also help your donors contribute more easily. 

The type of fundraising software you choose may depend on the campaign you host, but some options include:

  • Event-specific software: A solution that manages your event can streamline giving unique to your fundraiser. For example, donations in the form of bids are unique to charity auction fundraisers. Choose auction software that offers a mobile bidding feature, which streamlines the digital donation process by allowing donors to bid on and pay for items directly from their phones.
  • Matching gifts solution: Over 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs, but $4-7 billion goes unclaimed in matching gifts each year. That’s because many individuals don’t know about their employers’ corporate giving programs. You can make it easier for donors to check their eligibility and submit a gift with the right tool, such as autosubmission software. This tool can submit a request automatically for donors’ gifts to be matched so they can make double the difference simply by submitting their gift. 
  • Social media fundraising tool: Different social media platforms offer different tools, but there are a variety of ways you can ask social media followers to make a quick donation without taking away from their scrolling. For example, Facebook’s famous birthday fundraisers allow supporters to fundraise on behalf of their preferred nonprofit. This makes it easier for individuals to find your nonprofit’s cause and donate without abandoning their social media scrolling.

To make the most of your investment, look for an all-in-one tool that can manage multiple fundraisers. For example, you might seek out a solution that can manage your in-person event while also running a text-to-give fundraiser. This will help you maximize your fundraising potential and raise more.

  1. Host a Text-to-Give Fundraiser

360MatchPro’s statistics show that nearly one-third of online donation transactions come from mobile users, meaning your nonprofit can drive more donations simply by allowing people to donate from their mobile devices. Ensure your donation forms and campaign-related marketing materials are mobile-friendly.

Additionally, incorporate texting into your fundraising strategy to make it easier for people to give, especially for those who are already texting throughout the day. Text-to-give fundraisers are easy for both nonprofits and donors since the process only involves the following three steps:

  1. Your nonprofit is assigned a shortcode phone number by its text-to-give provider.
  2. Donors send a text message to that number with a keyword like “DONATE” and a preferred donation amount.
  3. Depending on your text-to-give provider, donors may be prompted to enter their payment information or navigate to your mobile-friendly donation page.
  4. Your nonprofit collects the donations!

Mobile giving is an easy campaign to run concurrently with other fundraisers, as well. That way, any supporters who didn’t donate to your main event may still give through this easy-to-use option.

  1. Follow Up After a Gift

You’ve streamlined the donation process and a donor submits their gift. What more is left to do?

Even though their gift has already been made, the way you follow up after donations has a significant impact on the online giving process. Your donation follow-up strategy has the power to direct donors to other involvement opportunities and retain their long-term support. 

Your online giving follow-up should involve:

  • An easy-to-use channel: Think about the communication channels you use and how those channels can help you get your message across. For example, email allows for a lengthy message as well as compelling visuals, whereas a social media post is more specialized toward images and videos. Be sure to also include links that take donors to other channels with more information, such as your website.
  • A clear call to action: What do you want donors to do next? After thanking them for their donation, secure your donors’ long-term involvement by including a clear call to action in your follow-up. For example, you might include links to your volunteer page or ask them to follow your social media accounts.
  • Forms and surveys: Make it easy for donors to communicate their thoughts by offering optional surveys in your follow-up. You might ask for their feedback on the donation process specifically or find out what would motivate them to be more heavily involved with your organization.

By refining your follow-up strategy, you’ll make it easier for donors to communicate and deepen their involvement with your nonprofit. Remember to personalize your follow-up to align with donors’ preferences. For example, use their preferred communication channels to share your gratitude for their gift.

If you’re unsure of how streamlined your online giving process truly is, have your staff members test it out! You’ll learn a lot after walking a mile in your donors’ shoes and can keep an eye out for errors while you’re at it. Be sure to regularly evaluate this process to ensure it remains convenient over time and make adjustments as needed.

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