By Tiara Stephan, Content Marketing Specialist at Qgiv

Online fundraising has quickly dominated the fundraising world, with virtual events and digital campaigns driving donations for nonprofits everywhere. While online fundraising has become a big part of every organization’s fundraising strategy, not everyone knows how to maximize the impact of their online fundraising efforts and campaigns. However, when you start employing these best practices for online fundraising for nonprofits, you’ll quickly see your donations and donor retention rates increase.

Create a well-designed donation form

Your online donation form is the heart of your online fundraising efforts. It’s the first place your donors will go to once they’ve decided to give to your organization, so it’s important to make sure it’s engaging and easy to navigate.

An easy way to establish trust with your donors when they give is to embed your donation form into your organization’s website. Brand your donation form with your organization’s logo and colors so your form blends in with your website and your donors know they’re in the right place to donate.

It’s also a good idea to set up your donation form with suggested gift amounts. Add pictures and impact statements to your donation amounts so donors understand how their gift will be used to support the communities you serve.

Take advantage of matching gifts

Anywhere from $4 billion to $7 billion in matching gifts goes unclaimed every year because employees are unaware that their employers offer matching gift programs. Instead of missing out on matching gift revenue, add a matching gifts tool to your donation forms. With a matching gifts tool, your donors can search a database to see if their company has a matching gifts program right from your donation form.

Promote your recurring giving program

Recurring giving is an important part of any successful fundraising strategy. Recurring donors tend to give more and stay involved for longer than one-time donors, so promoting your recurring giving program could help you raise more and retain more donors.

A great way to encourage recurring donations is by using recurring giving prompts on your donation forms. As your donors are making their donation, use pop-up prompts and nudges to ask if they want to upgrade their one-time gift to become monthly donors. Highlight the value that recurring donations have compared to one-time gifts to encourage them to upgrade, and make sure your prompts are hard to miss.

Understand the power of nonprofit marketing

Marketing your organization and online fundraisers helps get the word out about the work you do and bring in more donations. A multi-channel marketing strategy is your best bet for reaching a wide audience, but there are a few things you should keep in mind as you develop your marketing strategy to maximize the impact of your efforts.

Email marketing is a great way to reach your donors and has the highest return on investment out of every marketing channel with a $40 return for every dollar you spend. The best way to approach email marketing is by segmenting your donors and targeting specific audiences with different messaging. When you’re able to separate your donors into different groups and tailor your content for them, you’ll find that your open rates will go up and your donors will be more engaged.

Social media is also an effective method of marketing your fundraisers. With your social media profiles, you can raise awareness of your nonprofit’s mission and interact with your community of donors on a more personal level. Social media is a great place to showcase the impact of your organization and show your donors why they should donate. With visual storytelling, your donors will stay engaged with your nonprofit and see how their support is making a difference.

Use the right fundraising tools

When you’re fundraising online, it’s vital to have a suite of tools that help you run your fundraising campaigns. From CRM platforms to fundraising software, you’ll be able to keep track of your donors’ information and raise money with ease.

When you’re choosing your fundraising tools, try to find software with integrations so you can seamlessly share information between platforms. Without integrations between your CRM database and fundraising software, you’ll need to manually update information in your donor database whenever someone donates or attends an event. To save time, seek out fundraising tools that will help you keep your information automatically up to date so you can spend more time fundraising and less time on data entry.

Host a variety of fundraisers

Keeping your supporters involved means shaking things up every now and then. With a variety of online fundraisers that cater to your donor base’s interests, you can keep your donors engaged and participation levels up. From standard virtual fundraising events to peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to auctions, you’ll find fundraising campaigns that pique all of your donors’ attention.

Thank your donors

Once your donors complete their donations or participate in your fundraisers, make sure you send them a thank you email to express your gratitude for their support. Include impact statements with pictures so donors have an idea of how their donation will affect the work your organization does. Try to personalize your thank-you messages to make your donors feel even more valued. When your donors feel like they matter to your organization, they’re more likely to donate again and continue their support for your organization.

Final thoughts

With these online fundraising best practices, you can take your online fundraising to the next level, raising even more and building strong relationships with your donors. To level up your online fundraising skills and build an even better fundraising strategy, check out Qgiv’s free Fundraising Fundamentals eBook, made in partnership with Donorly, to assess, plan, and activate your campaigns to secure more donations!