At BCS Interactive, we work with a lot of passionate and worthy non-profits. Each of these organizations provides an essential service to their community; each has achieved success in one form or another. Those that stand out from the pack, though, have invariably mastered the tenets of online fundraising.
Now, let’s be frank. Raising money for any charity is tough. Raising it online can be downright impossible, begging the question, how does a non-profit deliver a digital experience that engages users to give up their hard-earned dollars – users who know they’ll receive nothing tangible in return?
Having worked alongside foundations and non-profits for years, we’ve noticed that those that provide a simple, structured and transparent online process reap the greatest rewards. Whether via Web site, social media, app or any combination therein, these organizations have mastered the art of the digital fundraising experience, which we’ve distilled here into the following three components:
The information that a non-profit shares with its audience should provide a “warts and all” look at what that organization stands for and why a donor should trust that their donation will be put to good use. To this end, the organization should:
A genuine, well-written founding story – such as this one from The Lainie’s Angels Foundation – can help connect donors to a cause.
Non-profits that successfully raise funds online see no shame in asking for a donation. To this end, they provide clear and simple navigation, and put the donation process front and center. Specifically, they:
The Cure Breast Cancer Foundation Web site offers a good example of a clear and intuitive online donation process.
It’s interesting how many foundations and non-profits miss a simple but crucial component of online fundraising; namely, explaining to donors precisely where their donations will go. This can be achieved by:
Through both its Web site and social media platforms, Music Empowers Foundation shares its funding initiatives on a regular basis.
Successful online fundraising means giving users a pleasant and accommodating digital experience. The organizations that have succeeded and that continue to raise funds online have mastered the principles I’ve outlined above.
The right digital experience is transparent, allowing donors to focus not on technical aspects, but on the people whose lives were improved by donating to a cause. In the end, this is what a great digital experience facilitates – the happiness and well being of others.
Are you a foundation or non-profit that’s driving donations via your digital channels? What are some of the challenges you see in creating a great on-line donation process?
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