According to a recent study published by Network for Good and true Sense Marketing, the last two days of the year are the biggest for donations. Although these statistics were gathered only from one online donation platform(Network for Good), there is enough data to draw some interesting conclusions about online giving.
First, the study demonstrates that your organization should be set up for online giving.
It’s impossible to receive online donations if you don’t have a “Donate” button on your website.
So the question is not whether your Nonprofit should be set up to receive online donations but how do you make the most of online donations. How do you increase donations and create loyal donors from an online donation event? Which online donation format is best for increasing donations and making loyal donors?
There are 4 basic ways to receive donations online. They are:
- Charity-Branded Giving page. This donation page is integrated to look like part of your website even though it isn’t. To your donors, they feel as though they have never actually left your website despite the fact that the URL reveals that they are on the online giving website.
- Generic Giving page. This donation page does not look like your website and the donor can clearly see they have been redirected to your 3rd party Donation processing website. If you must use this method, just be sure to let your donor know that they will be leaving your website for a secure online donation platform.
One particular noteworthy statistic was that Nonprofits that used Charity-Branded Giving pages that looked like the rest of their website collected $14.9M in donations in 2009.
This was 66% more than the $8.99M collected in 2009 by Nonprofit websites that sent their donors to a Generic Giving page. This would suggest that it may be worth the investment to have a fully integrated donation page that looks like it is part of your website.
- Portal Giving. This is where donors go directly to the Donation processing website and search for an organization to receive their donation. According to the study, Portal Giving seemed to be the preferred choice for donors wanting to give to disaster relief projects. That’s because many disaster donors are new or infrequent donors. Portal Giving offers donors a convenient choice to direct their money to the appropriate nonprofit. After Hurricane Katrina, the Red Cross reportedly received over 80% of the donations to help out with the relief effort. However, the study showed some interesting shifts in online donations. According to Network for Good, smaller charities received better than 50% of the post-Katrina online donations. What this could mean is that online donations helps level the playing field between the established charities and new charities.
- Social Giving. This is where donors can use websites like Facebook, change.org, and yourcause.com to give to many charities and to fundraise among their online social network friends. According to the study, donations through Social Giving that averaged $113 in 2007 were only $123 in 2009. This could indicate that donations through Social Giving were based more on the relationship to the friend in the social network than the relationship to the charity. It’s worth noting that in 2009, Social Giving ranked number 1 in the 4 types of online giving, collecting over $15.3M in donations and 29.9% of the total collected by all 4 types of online giving.
Ideally, you want your Nonprofit positioned to benefit from all types of online giving. In these tough economic times, choosing the right donation platform that fits your needs and budget is not just a good idea, it’s a necessity. As such, Increasing Online Donations may be the perfect addition to your Nonprofit’s New Year’s Resolution.