How to Accept Online Fundraising Donations Through Your Website

In our digital world, connecting with donors through online mediums is essential. If you wish to create a genuine buzz and interest regarding your cause or organization, then you must take to online fundraising campaigns. While there are several ways to gather fundraising donations online, the most successful are those that offer secure donation transactions directly through their organization website. Streamline the donation process by going with a trusted third-party payment processor.

PayPal for Donation Acceptance

The popular online payment merchant, PayPal, is used by businesses and individuals throughout the world to safely and securely transfer funds. While there are several ways to input payment portals into your website, PayPal offers nonprofit-specific donation acceptance designed to streamline the donation process.

With the nonprofit fundraising payment options by PayPal, you’re able to accept all major credit cards as well as funds directly from an adjacent PayPal account. This flexibility in donation options is ideal for any online fundraising campaign. If you’re a registered 501(c)(3) you can enjoy discounted pricing, which is substantially lower than fees experienced by a standard or business PayPal user.

Once you’ve been approved as a nonprofit organization, you’re given a special HTML code, which you simply input directly onto your website. Upon payment, fundraising donations are immediately delivered into your designated PayPal account.

CrowdFunding Payment Portal

In an attempt to broaden your visibility as well as create a secure payment portal, you may want to consider using one of the many CrowdFunding sites as a means of accepting fundraising donations. Although donors must go to actual website, you may create a link on your site that directs visitors to your CrowdFunding payment portal. One of the most significant benefits of using a CrowdFunding website as a payment portal is the automatic promotion your cause receives. These sites are divided into interests, therefore you can create a profile within a site specifically designed for your type of organization or cause. This attracts high-quality visitors to your website, which are more likely to donate.

Offline Payment Method

Although rare, there are some donors who would rather mail a check or money order rather than send their financial information floating throughout cyberspace. Satisfy these donors by providing a secure address, preferably a P.O. Box, where physical fundraising donations may be sent. If you go this route, make sure to receive their return address to send a receipt upon payment. Physical receipts are important as some donors use donations for tax deduction purposes.

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How to Gain a Corporate Sponsor for a Fundraising Event

Reaching a larger audience while simultaneously gaining higher fundraising donations are possible when your organization teams with a corporate sponsor. While all fundraising consultants will tell you of the importance of corporate sponsorship, gaining it is easier said than done. Continue reading to uncover the most effective steps to gaining the attention of a sponsor and converting this attention into a profitable partnership.

Step One: Identify Your Demographic

The most important step in gaining corporate sponsorship is learning who your donors are. When you clearly identify your key demographic, you’ll be able to narrow your focus on businesses that appeal to this demographic. For example, you wouldn’t want to be sponsored by a Fast Food chain if your goal is to increase the availability of organically grown food. You may however want to be sponsored by Driven Coffee Fundraiser if your demographic is 20 year old hipsters who drink coffee daily and find craft coffee roasters appealing.

Step Two: Establish Personal Relationships

While it may be easy to simply send a business a sponsorship request email, these will likely be ignored. Outside of identifying your target demographic, you must spend a considerable amount of time networking and building relationships with potential sponsors. Begin this process by asking supports and board members if they have any connections to local businesses and corporations.

Initiate communication with the business by sending a letter describing your organization and following up this description with a request for a meeting. Try to take business owners out for lunch or have a casual meeting in their office. Use this as an opportunity to get to learn about the business and organization. Therefore, you can approach them with a streamlined sponsorship proposal based upon their specific needs as a business and your requirements as a fundraising organization.

Step Three: Cultivate a Thought Out Fundraising Offer

The biggest mistake you can make when trying to obtain corporate sponsorship is simply asking for it. These are busy executives who are used to dealing with specific plans and proposals. Therefore, after taking some time to build a relationship, craft an offer that meets their specific requirements. Include information within your proposal regarding the average number of people you’ll be contacting, demographic information and how the sponsorship will boost the awareness of the business to the general public.

When you’re able to clearly showcase how the business will benefit from sponsoring your event, it simplifies this process. Also, make sure to clearly outline what the sponsorship will entail. Are they going to be providing items or products for an event? Or are they going to make a cash fundraising donation? The most successful sponsorship agreements are those where organizations and business have a clear understanding of what’s expected of each party.

How to Brand Your Unique Fundraising Ideas

If you’ve taken any time to research what it takes to create a successful online fundraising campaign, or to be successful in online marketing at all, then you’ve likely stumbled across the topic of “branding.” In terms of online presence, branding refers to the act of establishing your organization as not only an authority, but THE authority within your industry or niche. While the steps to brand your unique fundraising ideas may vary based upon your industry, there are several universal rules.

Tip #1 – Synchronize Logo and Color Scheme

Perhaps one of the most important steps in branding your unique fundraising ideas is to use a uniform logo and color scheme for all communications. This means using the same color scheme and logo for social media posts, newsletters, infographics, websites and in all donor communications. Uniformity is the most powerful element in branding.

Tip #2 – Consistent Message and Mission Statement

Creating and sticking to a consistent message and mission statement is among the most powerful ways to streamline all fundraising efforts and branding your cause. When you go forth with a consistent message then all efforts and communications align with the primary goal. This is essential when communicating with potential donors on a small and large scale. Before ever beginning a fundraiser, make sure your organization and the entire support staff align with your message. If those speaking on your behalf don’t understand what you stand for, then incorrect information may be delivered. Also, try to keep your fundraising products consistent with your message as well. The coffee fundraiser works well when you are raising money for the coffee’s country of origin, where as a wrapping paper fundraiser works when you are raising money to buy holiday gifts for families in need. Consider what is easiest to sell. For example, most of the world drinks a cup of coffee daily, so a coffee fundraiser is a unique fundraising idea that will get your participants motivated.

Tip #3 – Become an Authority

If you wish to attract donors who are dedicated to your cause or organization, then you must create a space where valuable information is collected. Creating a blog or content-rich website is essential to branding your organization. Think of ways that you can educate visitors on not only surface-level information, but abstract information as well. The goal is to provide visitors with valuable and unique information regarding your industry or cause. Doing so engages visitors and creates loyalty. The reason: you’re providing free and accurate information. Visitors will want to repay this act by giving donations to your cause.

Tip #4 – Create Social Media Hashtag Campaigns

In order to create a true brand, you must communicate with potential donors in their current language; social media. The most effective way to brand your campaign and organization through social media is to utilize hashtag campaigns. For example, #GiveChildrenBackpacks if your organization provides school supplies to poverty-stricken children. This not only promotes your organization, but also creates a buzz regarding your unique fundraising ideas. Both are essential when branding your cause.

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Effective Call-to-Action Statements for Fundraising Campaigns

In the realm of fundraising, it’s essential that you master the art of creating call-to-action statements. These specially worded phrases are designed to create a sense of urgency within readers in order to encourage a donation. As an organization or cause holding a fundraiser, you must become well-versed in writing effective call-to-action statements to garner a higher conversion rate.

I. Create a Special Offer

Instead of simply saying, “Now that you understand our cause, click here to make a donation!” Provide donors something extra as a thank you for their donation. For example, create a tier gift approach, which designates specific gifts for set donation amounts – $15 gets a T-shirt, $50 a dinner for two, etc. Provide gifts that feature your organization or cause on them. For example, you could use coffee fundraising and give a bag of coffee for any donations made. Not only are the donors receiving a unique gift, but the coffee fundraiser bag provides an additional form of advertising. In the world of fundraising, promotional opportunities are everywhere.

II. Narrow Your Actions

While you may have an excellent action statement, if there are too many of these statements urging readers to do different tasks, visitors become overwhelmed and your conversion rate suffers. Eliminate this from happening by only having a select number of call-to-action statements. For example, your primary fundraising website should only have three call-to-action statements – each statement is to donate a different amount of money. While these options are different, they’re still within the same category in terms of purpose, which is to raise money. For the coffee fundraiser example given, consider three different blends or types of coffee beans for your fundraiser. Too many more choices and the consumer will become overwhelmed. Too few options and they will see your coffee fundraiser as low-quality.

III. Action-Oriented Language

Although this element of a call-to-action statement is the mortar holding the house together, if done incorrectly it can be the very reason why a visitor doesn’t convert. Action-oriented language are words that demand an action from the reader. For example: subscribe to our newsletter, register now, buy coffee online, purchase coffee here, click to continue, contact us, etc.

While these words create a sense of urgency on behalf of the reader, if they’re excessively used, then your content turns from informative to sales-oriented. This is an automatic red-flag in the minds of visitors as they’re here to possibly donate, not be persuaded into handing over their money. With effective action-oriented language, visitors are gently persuaded into their actions – not loudly bombarded by pushy terminology.

IV. Easily Found Action Statements

In terms of your website design, it’s essential that action statements and their action-buttons are found throughout your website. While they shouldn’t litter each page, it’s essential to have one call-to-action statement on every page. Keep the option of donating, purchasing your fundraising product (like coffee), or signing-up for a newsletter, open and available to all.

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