7 Online Fundraising Best Practices For Nonprofits

The Internet is a transient medium for marketers, especially us in the nonprofit space. A moving target that you can hit perfectly one week, then miss completely the next. While completely reinventing yourself is no easy task, keeping your eye out for fresh ways tyo market your nonprofit is imperative to your continued success.

We would all love it if each one of our donors gave once a month. Who wouldn’t? But the truth is, monthly donors are often times few and far between, and recruiting them to join those programs is even more difficult.

With 2013’s immaculate online giving numbers, and 2014’s teeming propensity to deliver similar results, the importance of seeking new ways to market your nonprofit online has never been more important.

Here are 8 more ways your nonprofit can take a different look at its online marketing efforts, and see an even bigger surge in donations in 2015.

1. Get predictable

Emails are quickly becoming a lost art in the nonprofit marketing arsenal, and they shouldn’t. The problem many marketers are running into is a lack of innovation. They think that making an email responsive is the only thing they can do to add value to their email campaigns. But, humans are creatures of habit. Try sending your emails, with the same headline at the same time, each week, for month. Make sure you’re checking your numbers for unsubscribe rates, click-through rates, to see how you’re doing.

2. Get even more personal

A personalized subject line in email campaigns is great, but how about the CTA? The opener to the final paragraph? How about the content? Is it tailored to the individual.

Labor intensive, sure. But spending the extra time on even your top 5 or top 10 biggest donors’ emails can go a long way.

3. Get blunt

Transparency only hurts if your business practice is shady. If your nonprofit needs the donation dollars to keep the lights on, there’s no shame in doing that. While it might not feel that great, being honest, transparent, and making your situation known could show results.

4. Think urgently

Take a look at your calls-to-action, or the subject lines of your last few email blasts, or even your tweets. Do they inspire you to act quickly? A lot of donations happen quickly, so making your donation cycle as fast as possible, is important, but getting that cycle started is even more important.

5. Think beneficially

What does donating mean to the donor? Thinking beneficially means giving your donors something for their monetary contribution to your nonprofit and its mission. Whether it is the personalization of a hand written thank you letter, or a pen in the mail, giving something to a donor is always a great idea (think Kickstarter investment options; $1= a thank you $25 = a prototype).

Starting a donor matching fund is another great way for someone to double their donation dollar instantly.

6. Move laterally

Chances are, each one of your donors is connected to hundreds of other able bodied, perfectly capable and compassionate professionals who have the capacity to give to your nonprofit. Think beneficially, and move laterally to sign up the friends and familty of your most active donors.

7. Ask frequently

The bottom line is, you have to ask for the donations. A problem we’ve seen nonprofits running into is they’re afraid to ask for the money. If you’re not asking for a donation, through at least one digital means, you’re simply not asking enough. Whether it’s one Tweet or an email to 10,000 previous donors, you wont get the donation unless you ask.

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