Financial Management

Improve online giving with nonprofit software

Nonprofit organizations need to harness the power of online fundraising to remain relevant in their sector. A nonprofit software system can help improve online donation strategies and make the most of digital giving.

Dunham and Company conducted a study of 151 different nonprofits’ online fundraising techniques. Their Online Fundraising Scorecard revealed that most of these groups are not effectively using the Internet, email or their own website to garner funds from donors. Only 24 of the organizations involved scored higher than 76 percent on Dunham and Company’s evaluation. Not only did 63 percent of these NPOs neglect to add a call to action on their thank you pages or emails, 37 percent did not have a system in place for connecting with new subscribers within 30 days.

Another study, this one completed by M R and the Nonprofit Technology Network, reported that online donations raised almost $325 million in 2013 and online giving that year increased by 14 percent from 2012. Visits to nonprofit websites increased by 16 percent. A nonprofit without a strong online donation strategy will quickly fall by the wayside and miss out on the many gifts constituents are bestowing upon their favorite charities.

To maximize the donations accrued from online sources, nonprofit organizations should consider the following steps:

Tell a good story
This is an adage expressed time and again, but it definitely bears the repetition: Without a compelling and touching story behind an organization, donors aren’t sure where their money goes. Stating the charity’s mission and goals clearly and concisely right from the start will propel donors forward.

Implement nonprofit software
A nonprofit software platform provides donors with a safe, easy method of giving and offers organizations a better method of tracking and storing donor information. This software should allow constituents to set up recurring donations so they can maintain a strong connection to the NPO.

Be sure to extensively train staff on how to use the software and walk givers through the process should they run into any problems. Test out the platform before announcing it to the public; make sure there are no glitches that will negatively affect a user’s experience.

Design an intuitive website
Nonprofit Hub encouraged nonprofits to consider the way their sites are set up. Any cluttered pages or extensive copy will drive donors away. Online giving should be simple and streamlined, not cumbersome and confusing. A donation button that takes visitors directly to the donation page should be present on every page within the site, clearly marked with color.

Diversify marketing tactics
Don’t rely on one method of online marketing. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn are all viable choices and should be used when spreading the word about online giving. Be sure to include links to the NPO homepage at the end of every online announcement made.

Nonprofit software is essential in today’s increasingly digital world. It can increase the number of donations made each year and improve the donor experience, two important goals every organization should strive to meet.