Collecting Donations Online for Your Nonprofit: Online Donation Guide
Collecting Donations Online for Your Nonprofit: Online Donation Guide
How would you like a pro fundraising strategy that enables you to reach thousands of new donors and supporters all around the world via an engaging donations platform — in order to increase your revenue and brand awareness substantially? Read on to find out more!
Online Donations The Future For Non-Profits
For many nonprofits and charities, digital donation forms like those provided by PayBee’s online platform allow you to do just that. While donations online won’t completely replace traditional in-person fundraisers and pen-to-paper forms, they can greatly enhance your existing fundraising strategies, enabling you to maintain your existing programs and even fund new events to create an even bigger impact in your community.
Case in point: according to an analysis conducted by the Blackbaud Institute, online giving rose by 21% in 2020, compared to overall giving, which only increased by 2%. This rise has continued, with online giving in 2021 growing 9% for nonprofit organizations in the analysis. All this shows your nonprofit can definitely benefit from online fundraising — if you know what to look for in digital donation tools or online forms and how to make and develop a winning online fundraising strategy.
To help, this article will provide you with a breakdown of how online fundraising can help support you when it comes to raising money, what they can offer your supporters, and the most important features to look at when selecting a digital donation tool. We’ll also provide you with a look at the type of online donation tools PayBee’s donation platfrom provides, along with links to more information to make the process a whole lot easier.
What Online Donation Methods Can You Use to Raise Money?
As more and more people use their laptops, smartphones, and mobile devices to engage with the world, donating online has become not only an option for nonprofit supporters but also a way of life. Generally speaking, these donors transfer funds through your nonprofit’s online fundraising platform or website using a credit/debit card, checking/savings account, or another online method (such as PayPal).
However, the type of online fundraising methods your nonprofit or charity uses can vary greatly but must start matching with your target donors or risk losing out on online support.
Tips To Increase Your Donation Conversion Rate
Now let's take a look at some of the best ways to optimize your online donation conversion rate.
Donation forms for fundraising
All nonprofits with an online presence should provide their existing donors with access to online donation forms on their website to collect donations online. The best online donation forms are also customizable and give donors multiple options to support your nonprofit and make recurring donations.
For instance, an impactful online donation form should include the following digital marketing elements;
● A tick box choice between a single donation or ongoing donation
● An opt-in check box to email marketing and to hear more from nonprofits and how donation money is being spent
● A clean and attractive design that includes an attention-grabbing header
● A short and sweet introduction about the charity organization and its missions
● Imagery to showcase the nonprofit in the best possible way
● Easy-to-navigate payment options
● A simple but impactful call to action such as a “donate” button is essential for a marketing campaign
Monthly marketing email campaign
Email newsletters or “e-newsletters” are an updated form of the traditional newsletter you mail to your nonprofit’s supporters. However, since you send an e-newsletter via your online platform, you can also include donation buttons between your articles and updates that send readers to your online donation tool. This makes it easier for readers to quickly donate to your organization after learning about all the good work your programs are doing for your community.
Because e-newsletters are so much cheaper to produce than physical newsletters and can be sent anywhere in the world with an Internet connection, you can increase awareness of your mission while also reaching a wider pool of donors. They can also help to encourage a donor to make recurring donations as they act as engaging visuals that remind the donor about your cause. Take full advantage of this online fundraising tool by constantly getting new donors to subscribe to your e-newsletter at all your fundraising events and activities.
Peer-to-Peer online fundraising
Here’s an online fundraising method that lets your pool of volunteers take an active role in your fundraising efforts. Peer-to-peer fundraisers enable individual volunteers, staff members, and supporters to create fundraising pages of their own and collect donations from their social networks. This lets you increase the size of your donor base and collect online much more revenue on a regular basis.
Why Crowdfunding Is Essential For Increasing Donations
One of the biggest advantages online fundraising offers nonprofits is the ability to reach out to larger pools of potential donors. Crowdfunding uses this to its maximum potential by creating an online fundraiser that reaches out to a very diverse online audience and enables them to support your mission. Even if the individual donations you receive are small, the total amount you collect online can be substantial — and you’ll have informed many more about your nonprofit’s cause.
Mobile payment for accepting online donations
Do you have a smartphone? So do most donors, making mobile donating smart fundraising. The right digital donation tools will enable you to collect online donations easily and accept donations across multiple devices. Mobile giving options ensure your donation pages are easy-to-read on mobile devices, let supporters donate via text, and even allow a donor to give during popular fundraising events like online auctions. And this is going to help optimize donor retention rates too.
What Should Digital Donation Tools Offer Your Nonprofit?
Nonprofits and their audiences should expect a number of benefits when they use digital donation tools in their fundraisers. Here are the top benefits your donation software needs to provide your nonprofit:
Convenience and speed are key to nonprofit donations
In today’s fast-paced world, we all tend to make decisions quickly — and that includes whether or not to donate to an organization. However, if your digital donation tools don’t make the donation process fast and easy for your donors, many may decide to opt-out before they make a transaction. Make sure to use donation tools that let donors support your cause quickly, and from almost anywhere in the world.
Security for donations online and credit card details
While many of us will make decisions quickly online, users still expect their information to be kept safe when they share it — especially their financial information and credit card details. Online transactions should be secure at all times. Make sure your donation tools comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards which securely process and store your donor’s credit card and personal information. And let your supporters know your tools are PCI-compliant — you’ll generate double the trust that way.
Increased outreach opportunities
Improved revenue opportunities aren’t the only purpose of fundraisers. Being able to spread awareness of your nonprofit and your mission is arguably just as important. And thanks to the increased exposure online donation tools can bring you via your website, e-newsletter, and social media channels, the chances of other donors learning about your nonprofit — and funding your cause — will only increase. This is when being social as a nonprofit is a real gift!
Affordability of donation tools
Quality fundraising tools do come at a cost. But that doesn’t mean they should put a huge dent in your budget. Thanks to advances in online technology (and the necessity of digital fundraising during the pandemic), it’s more affordable than ever to invest in a quality online fundraising platform. Make sure to shop around and find digital donation tools that work within your budget.
Also, keep in mind that digital fundraising saves you money in other areas. Where traditional in-person fundraising may require you to rent expensive venues and hire on-site staff, virtual fundraising eliminates or minimizes most of these costs. Knowing how much money you’ll save should also factor into your decision when it comes time to purchase a quality online fundraising platform.
What Should You Look for In Your Collect Donation Tools?
All right, now that you know about the benefits that come with using digital donation tools, what online fundraising platform should you invest in? That’s up to you — but you should know that many of the pricier software packages come with a lot of “bells and whistles” that most nonprofits don’t need. Be sure to assess your organization’s needs when selecting your software. Not only will this save you money, it’ll eliminate having to learn a lot of unnecessary features.
To help you get started, here are the questions all nonprofits should ask when selecting an online fundraising platform:
How much do top donation tools cost?
We already mentioned that digital donation tools should be affordable, but just how much should you spend on yours? Certainly, there are some online fundraising platforms that are free for any nonprofit to use — but considering you get what you pay for, a paid platform might suit your needs better.
When assessing cost, keep in mind that certain fundraising software comes with a monthly or yearly fee. A number of fundraising platforms may also require you to get into a multi-year contract which we advise against — you don’t want to get locked into a single platform that makes you pay for features you might not need.
Finally, be sure to consider the processing fees an online platform may charge for donations made via credit card or other payment methods. Some of the better platforms give you the option of requesting that your donors pay these processor fees which can be beneficial to you since you’ll be able to keep more of the money for your nonprofit.
Are there different packages and options for digital nonprofit donations available?
When you start hosting virtual fundraisers, you may only need a basic online platform for a limited array of virtual activities. As you get more comfortable with the software, however, you may want to host more elaborate fundraisers or collect donations using more ambitious methods.
When this happens, you’ll want to work with a provider that offers additional tools that help you grow as your needs change. From software that lets you host a very basic silent auction to online tools that enable you to build an elaborate hybrid gala with ease, your online fundraising platform needs to scale with your needs.
How easy is it to use the pro donor tools?
Some nonprofits hold back on producing virtual or hybrid events because they worry they won’t be able to use the technology. Likewise, some donors are hesitant about giving via text or online donation form if they’ve never used such methods before.
Make sure your online fundraising platform is easy to set up and manage. Test it out to see how easy it is for users to make donations on its system. If the provider offers a free demo of the software, be sure to sign up and experience first hand how intuitive the controls are.
Is tech support provided to accept donations?
No matter how easy-to-use an online platform is, technical difficulties will come up — often at the most inconvenient times. When this happens, it’s good to know your provider offers technical support you can call up to talk you through any issues you experience. Some of the best online donation tools offer services you can access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They may also provide informative instructional videos and easy-to-understand printed instructions. Be sure to take advantage of all the help!
What Tools Can PayBee Offer Your Nonprofit?
Can PayBee provide your nonprofit with the online donation tools you need? To help you answer that question, here are some of the most popular and useful features on our system:
Customizable landing pages to replace standard donor page
PayBee has been designed to automatically generates an event landing page for your fundraiser that provides visitors with top data such as the dates and times for your gala as well as links to your registration page where they can purchase tickets. Best of all, these landing pages are customizable and can provide ways for visitors to leave one-time donations online, long pledges, recurring gifts, or other contributions. Each page comes with a unique URL that allows you to share them anywhere. So include them within your monthly email campaign and social media marketing efforts to encourage donors to make a financial gift.
Learn more about how to take advantage of PayBee donation options.
Peer-to-Peer nonprofit fundraisers
Leverage the power of your volunteers and staff by encouraging them to create peer-to-peer fundraising web pages that they can share with their personal social networks. This is a great way to widen your potential donor pool and build awareness of both your event and your nonprofit. PayBee’s system not only makes it easy for individual members to build peer-to-peer fundraising pages, it also links them to your main fundraising platform, making collecting online donations easy. For some serious inspiration, check out our 100+ Fundraising Event Ideas here.
Built-In pro social sharing features
Promoting your event via social media isn’t just a great way to bring more interest to your fundraiser. It’s also an excellent way to direct them to your online donation page and encourage them to contribute to your programs. And thanks to PayBee’s built-in social sharing features, you can easily reach out to large online audiences through email campaigns, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media channels. Send out your key marketing messages to your entire database with ease.
Guest management software
Managing your guest list is the single most important thing you can do to keep your fundraising events running smoothly. And PayBee can help you every step of the way by letting you create customizable ticketing campaign, confirming attendance, sending out reminders, building a seating chart, and keeping track of each guest’s special needs. By sharing all this information with your event staff and volunteers, you’ll be able to keep your audience comfortable and ready to donate during your galas.
Discover how PayBee’s guest management software is ideal for hosting your nonprofit fundraiser.
Event activity monitor feeds
Smart digital donation tools keep your audience engaged so they’ll donate more. The PayBee system’s event activity feed lets you share a live feed of every fundraising activity, from virtual concerts to auctions, with your online audience. What’s more, you can include features like an event donation thermometer on the screen, letting your audience see how close you are to your fundraising goal. This is an ideal way to keep your virtual and hybrid audiences excited and in a giving mood.
Learn more about the benefits of sharing live feeds with your audience.
QR code for donations
QR codes offer an easy way for your audience to visit your donation page – or any web page — simply by scanning the unique codes with their smartphones. And PayBee’s system automatically generates customizable QR codes you can use anywhere in your event venue, offline or online.
Print QR codes and display them at your check-in tables and encourage guests to donate. Or create QR codes that allow guests to purchase event add-ons like raffle and drink tickets. There’s really no limit to the way you can use QR codes, which makes them the ideal digital donation tool.
Learn more about how to collect donations from literally anywhere using PayBee’s QR codes.
PayBee Mobile App Donations
Keeping your fundraising events running smoothly is the key to ensuring your guests constantly donate throughout your gala. And by using the PayBee Mobile App, your staff and volunteers can easily handle tasks, including checking in and checking out guests, mobile bidding, and bid adjustments using their smartphones. This enables your staff to give your guests a better experience, encouraging donations. Payment processing designed for financial gift giving!
Smart auctions to collect donations online
PayBee’s live auctions combine the fun of a classic auction with the high-tech features of digital donation tools. Our automatically generated smart bidding paddles are equipped with unique QR codes that record every donor’s bid in a cloud-based shopping cart. This makes it simple to keep a rally of all donations made at your event. And once your auction is concluded, the checkout will be easy for all your guests since all the necessary information has been recorded in PayBee’s system.
Discover how you can enhance your auctions with our smart bidding paddles.
Mobile bidding and payment processor
Live and silent auctions are two of the most profitable activities a fundraiser can offer. And with PayBee’s mobile bidding features, your guests will be able to place their bids from anywhere using their smartphones and other mobile devices. They’ll also receive text and email updates that let them know when they’ve been outbid and when the auction is about to end, encouraging more bidding. By using a secure payment processor, this is an excellent way to collect more donations for your nonprofit since it widens your donor pool considerably.
PayBee also provides auto-generated silent auction sheets that make it simple to keep track of each auction item and allow guests to place their bids. And our silent auction pages can be customized to include photographs of your auction items, and you can add exciting product descriptions to entice your guests.
Learn more about PayBee’s silent auctions and mobile bidding features.
In-Person mobile payment processing
Collecting donations, whether via debit or credit cards, should be a fast and convenient experience for both your guests and your staff. To facilitate this process, PayBee provides multiple checkout options, including mobile credit card readers linked to the PayBee mobile app that lets your guests checkout with a simple credit card swipe. Money will be taken directly from the donor's bank account as their digital donation, which is perfect for pop-up charity fundraisers. If your guests prefer to checkout using cash, check, bank account transfers, or other online payment methods, PayBee’s system can accommodate them as well.
Automatic event follow-up and reporting features
Collecting donations from guests who left your event before paying their outstanding donation pledges used to be a hassle. But thanks to PayBee’s automatic event follow-up and reporting features, you can ensure you collect all your donations. The PayBee system automatically sends emails to any guests with outstanding pledges and offers a fast and convenient way for them to donate online. This means your nonprofit business will also be seen as more professional and efficient when it comes to hosting business events and charity fundraisers.
Our donor backend reporting system also creates a breakdown of all donations, letting your team know which event activities generated the most interest from donors and revenue. This is very valuable information that can help you plan more successful fundraisers in the future.
Tech Support For Accepting Donations Online
Having help available for accepting donations online and to help manage any technical issues is always important when using digital donation tools. PayBee’s tech support, part of our customer membership, is always available to answer questions about PayBee’s online fundraising platform and all of its features. If you need help, simply contact one of their Support Specialists and get the assistance you require. You can also access PayBee’s helpful online guides to familiarize yourself with platform features.
Moving Forward - Digital Donors
When selecting online donation tools for your nonprofit, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. However, it’s important to do your research and find an online platform with features that support your organization’s unique needs. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the digital tools of each system, find how well they fall within your budget, and consider how easily your nonprofit will be able to upgrade your system if you decide to pursue a more ambitious fundraising strategy. Make sure that the tool you use matches with your marketing strategy and core values too.
Discover PayBee’s Online Fundraising Platform
To begin, you can sign up for a free demo of PayBee’s online fundraising platform. This will let you participate in a mock gala and learn first-hand what your supporters and donors will experience at your fundraisers. You can also ask any questions about digital donation tools to our team of experts.
Want to engage with our team one-on-one? You can schedule a mini demo and learn about the PayBee system that way. We’re here to help your nonprofit fundraise online for efficiently, so contact us today!