What’s New in Digital Fundraising?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA

Giving Tuesday, November 30, is a digital fundraising wonderland. But is your digital fundraising up to snuff?

Below are a number of useful resources that can help you get there.

First, here’s a downloadable workbook that walks you step by step through building a great Giving Tuesday campaign.

Second, watch our recent webinar that offers timely guidance to shape your Giving Tuesday strategy.

Here’s the skinny: Your ability to raise more revenue on Giving Tuesday, and with all your digital fundraising efforts, is tied to adapting to the latest online giving trends.

Here are seven recent digital fundraising trends you must be aware of.

1. Your Donors Want It

In the United States and Canada, 63% of donors surveyed said that they prefer to give online with a credit or debit card. Among those giving virtually, online raffles and sweepstakes are popular options, with 47% of donors choosing them, making them twice as effective as more traditional and established events, such as auctions (24%).

This means you should map out all your options to raise money online.

2. Challenge and Matching Gifts Increase Online Giving

Matching gifts come from individuals and are a key part of corporate philanthropy. Many companies allow you to submit donations to match their employees’ donations.

A challenge gift will help you secure new donors or renew lapsed donors. A challenge can stimulate active and current donors because it elevates their thinking about how they can give at higher level in the future. It also reinforces and tangibly demonstrates the concept that “the sum of our giving is greater than each individual’s part.”

Here are three steps to launch your challenge gift drive.

3. Facebook’s New Feature

Facebook now allows you to add a donate button to your Facebook page and/or ads to let people contribute to your nonprofit. You can use this button to drive potential donors to a landing page of your choice, such as your website donation page. Visitors also have the option of completing a donation without leaving Facebook if you activate the “Donate through Facebook” account setting.

Facebook also recently launched a feature through which individual users can fundraise on behalf of a nonprofit. This tool is based on the concept of peer-to-peer fundraising.

You can sign up for Facebook’s charitable giving tools here.

Nonprofits using Facebook’s payment platform to process donations pay no fee. This means 100% of the donations go to your charity.

4. Social Media Is King for Online Giving

Knowing which social-media platforms your donors prefer is an imperative.

The most popular social-media platforms for donors are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Evolving platforms such as TikTok and Clubhouse are also growing in popularity among some donors. You can find out which of these are preferred by your donors by sending a survey.

You want to create a vibrant online community that helps donors feel connected, involved, and invested with your mission and aligned with your success. Also, social media enables you to reach donors beyond borders.

You can strengthen your social presence by proactively engaging with your target audience and posting consistently, at least three times a week. When do you this, it’s important to share content that resonates with their interests. Use your blog, social media, or both, to showcase real stories, share important news, and talk about accomplishments and events related to your nonprofit.

5. Email Is Queen

Right behind social media is your use of email. Emailing your donors is a great tool for fundraising. Across the United States and Canada, 33% of donors said that email is the communication tool that inspired them the most to give.

You will be wise to categorize and segment your email lists so you can send relevant and timely emails to each group. Be sure to continue email engagement and nurture relationships even after donations are received.

6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Chatbots Are Here to Stay

AI-based chatbots can automate various tasks and can be programmed to reply to chat messages. AI-based chatbots can help quickly answer questions from potential donors and assist with customer support during and beyond business hours.

Your task is to compile all possible scenarios and questions that your donor community could ask. Then provide answers for each, and program the chatbot to reply with those answers.

You can learn all about chatbots for your website here.

7. Livestream Fundraising

Short videos drive high engagement. They are an effective way to convey human emotions online. Livestreaming content across social channels and gaming platforms like Twitch provides a direct way for supporters to feel intimately connected to the impact and mission of your nonprofit. Along with being able to reach a wider audience on a global scale, the production cost is also much lower compared with in-person events. You can also repurpose this content for social media.

Consider webinars, online auctions, talks, panel discussions, live Q&As, and behind-the-scenes exclusives to connect with your audience. You may find it helpful to use a video production company. If you need a recommendation for a video producer, email me, please.

I hope these latest trends informed you beyond what you already knew.

How is your digital fundraising? Please share your experiences of deepening your digital fundraising program in the comments below. We really want to know. 😊

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