Online giving today accounts for over $20 billion annually.
Even better, research has found that donors acquired online are younger, more affluent, and more generous than their offline counterparts. This means attracting online donors could set your organization up for lifelong relationships that add great value to your mission.
The only catch is that online donors are also more difficult to retain. They tend to make a one-time, larger-than-average donation and then completely disappear. Even if you can convince them to believe in your organization enough to make a donation, the real challenge is how to get them to keep coming back.
Leading nonprofit strategists suggest the best way to retain donors is to pursue multichannel donations. That means finding online donors and transitioning them over to recurring gift programs made offline.
So how can your organization attract these highly coveted, online donors and turn them in to more secure, offline devotees?
By using the analytic and communication tools provided by donation management software.
Here’s a six step guide on how to use software to encourage multichannel donors:
1. Optimize your website
Make your donation landing page mobile-friendly. Certain donor management solutions make it easy for you to create a mobile donation page in just a few steps.
Show them clear outcomes for different donation levels. Certain software solutions make it easy for your staff to redesign your website. Emphasize results by showing how far your efforts can take donor dollars.
2. Help donors share with social media
Provide sharing links so donors can share their gifts (and your cause). Millennials say that they want to help spread the causes they support with fundraising. Providing share-links from your receipt of donation page allows them to tell contacts in all of their social media accounts about your cause.
3. Follow up quickly to get donors involved long-term
Send an immediate acknowledgment of the gift. Software allows you to send automated “thank you” messages. These instant follow-up messages allow you to keep your donors’ attention and let them know how much you appreciate their donations.
4. Reach out offline to extend the relationship through a new channel
Send a piece of direct mail mentioning the gift and reiterating the effect it had. Show online donors that they are personally important to the cause and give them the sense that they are part of a community. Software can collect donor addresses, generate mailing labels, and give templates for direct mail postcards or letters.
5. Appeal to donors personally and ask where they want their donations to go
Use your software’s analytic tools to track what’s most important to your donors. Track donor interests by administering surveys that ask your donors for their individual reasons for giving on your donation processing page. That way, in the future you can provide detailed giving programs that specifically target their interests and passions so that they are compelled to donate more than once.
6. Track the timing of gifts and ask on cue
Time your requests appropriately. Software can track when specific donations are made so you’ll have a better idea of when giving is possible, appealing, or most likely for individual donors. You can use that information to try and monetize opportunities for recurring donations.
How else have you encouraged donations with multichannel strategies? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Looking for Donation Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Donation Management software solutions.