Online fundraising is a powerful tool

June 4, 2014

Online fundraising is a powerful tool

Many companies in the private sector are taking advantage of omnichannel retailing by using many modes of communication to better connect with customers. Nonprofit groups can follow the same strategy to increase fundraising success.

There are numerous benefits to the distinct appeals of direct mail and phone calls to targeted donors. However, having a varied, agile solicitation strategy in place accommodates donors who feel more comfortable making an anonymous gift or just completing the contribution process quickly. As long as there aren't too many resources tied up in managing an online donation platform, it can be a real boon for nonprofits. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that the total amount of online fundraising continues to increase. While it still only accounts, according to the Chronicle roughly 2 percent, for a low amount of total new revenue, its presence has increased with each passing year.

The Chronicle also noted survey results from Blackbaud that indicate an increasing use of online donations. Growth in total giving, at just 5 percent, was below the increase in online giving, at 14 percent. As this form of giving continues to become more important, nonprofits should make sure they're incorporating the option into their donation strategies.

New opportunities
Online fundraising allows nonprofits with unique missions to more effectively raise funds outside of their immediate locations. For example, a rescue society for a specific breed of dog could more easily spread donation information on relevant websites and message boards to connect with potential contributors across the world. Attracting new patrons based on their empathy for a cause, without having to worry about geographical restrictions, can help nonprofits further advance their missions and be more effective in their efforts.

Collaboration can be facilitated by online fundraising as well. In one particularly impressive instance, a group of 114 charitable organizations in the area of Stafford County, Virginia, are collectively participating in a Web-based donation campaign targeted at local residents. This sort of cooperation not only makes receiving contributions easier, it also provides greater exposure for new and developing nonprofits that may not yet be well known in their local communities.

While online fundraising won't ever completely replace more traditional forms of giving, it can supplement efforts and provide more options for nonprofits to collect donations.

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