Nonprofits must improve online, mobile donation options

February 6, 2014

Nonprofits must improve online, mobile donation options

Nonprofits have taken advantage of the many cost-effective solutions provided by the Internet, such as email communication, social media and crowdfunding. However, a recent study suggests that they may not be doing enough to improve the amount of donations they receive over the Web.

"The Online Funding Scorecard," a study by nonprofit fundraising firm Dunham and Company, gave most nonprofits a mediocre or failing grade when measured against online best practices. For nonprofits that are struggling to come up with cash, improving online donations should be high on the list of adjustments to make in the coming year.

Nonprofits don't provide a clear message
The study found that follow up was a significant issue faced by nonprofits using online marketing. Of the 151 organizations surveyed, 38 percent didn't send an email within 30 days following the addition of new subscribers. When nonprofits did reach out, 36 percent provided multiple or conflicting calls to action. As for-profit online marketers know, the call to action is what takes an e-newsletter reader or website visitor and convinces them to become a client. For nonprofits, that means making it clear that a donation is needed and directing them where to go to make one.

Organizations missing out on mobile options
CNN Money recently reported that nearly 66 percent of cellphone users access the internet through their device, double the amount who did so in 2009. Furthermore, Business Insider said mobile is on pace to eclipse desktop Internet usage this year. However, a study by Dunham and Company found that 84 percent of surveyed nonprofits did not have mobile-optimized donation solutions.

With money tight, digital solutions can be a tricky investment to sell to board members and the capital to do so simply may not be available. However, the study suggests that poor optimization of Web marketing for online donations could be costing nonprofits a lot of money. Those who intend to give to a charity may give up if the online process to do so is tedious or confusing. This could mean that a sizable amount of donations are left on the table. Whether or not the donations lost suggest the need for better solutions is up to individual nonprofits to sort out. One cheap way to get started could be taking advantage of Facebook's new donate button for nonprofit pages.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Companies, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.


Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.


First Nonprofit has saved us so much money over the state’s program. We had one little glitch with the state recently and we contacted FNP immediately. FNP staff called us back immediately and moved to remedy the problem.

WI Council of Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS), Madison, WI

First Nonprofit has been a great partner. They have helped us saved hundreds of thousands of dollars! They have awesome resources for our nonprofit organization. Thanks for the partnership.

Community Care Inc., Milwaukee, WI

Life is certainly busy these days but having business partners like First Nonprofit has made some of the process hassle free. We have worked with this team for years. When we changed payroll systems, they outlined every step. I think this team is terrific and I know they get the job done! Thank you, Cruz, to all the team at FNP.

Gulfside Healthcare Services, New Port Richey, FL

FNP has helped our agency to save thousands of dollars every year on our unemployment coverage. The service is phenomenal, and we are thankful to their team as our partner. My experience working with Marshall on the advocacy around UE for nonprofits was also a highlight as someone who teaches advocacy and lobbying for nonprofits. Really, your whole team is top shelf, so thank YOU!

Advancing Academics, Turtle Creek, PA

Chicago Children’s Theatre has greatly benefited from our partnership with First Nonprofit, and I have always enjoyed working with the staff on our filings and any complicated questions. I would not hesitate to recommend First Nonprofit to fellow nonprofits. We’re very happy customers.

Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago, IL

FNP is a great resource for Daniel Kids. To have a TPA that we can count on to take point on not only managing our unemployment claims, but to support and guide any protest hearing, is invaluable. All the professional support staff we have worked with have been excellent, very knowledgeable and responsive. We are grateful for the help and support, thank you.

Daniel Kids, Jacksonville, FL

When I first began in my position at my organization, I hadn’t had experience working with a company like FNP. The staff was so patient and helpful in helping to explain the benefits of First Nonprofit. Anytime I reach out with a question I receive a quick, clear, and thorough response. I’m so thankful that we decided to partner with FNP. Their excellence in customer service, coupled with their variety of packages frees us up to truly serve our staff and community with a peace of mind knowing that our organization is protected against unanticipated unemployment insurance expenses.

Homes of Hope, Chicago, IL

First Nonprofit gets an A+ in my book. You are so easy to work with & very knowledgeable! Whether it is my quarterly correspondence with Kim or my random interactions with Dawn about a bond … I am so pleased that I get to work with such a helpful company. Thank you!

Women's Choice Network, Pittsburgh, PA