How to Sign Up for Fundraising Platform Services
How to Sign Up for Fundraising Platform Services
Does your nonprofit utilize digital fundraising strategies? If not, you’re leaving money on the table. As our society becomes hyperconnected through the internet and social media, it’s more important than ever to make the digital transformation to online fundraising strategies.
Compared to online data from 2019, online giving to fundraisers increased by 21% in 2020 and continues to rise. This digital progression in the fundraising space means your nonprofit needs to be on board with online fundraising to remain relevant in the space and achieve your fundraising campaign and revenue goals.
Consider how you utilize digital technology in your life. Where would you be in your professional and social life without your phone? How many times have you used your device to purchase something online? So, doesn't it make sense to incorporate these strategies into your fundraisers and campaigns?
A digital fundraising strategy incorporates social media marketing, SEM, SEO, email, website, and text strategies to see success. While digital marketing isn't a new thing, fundraising teams are slow to integrate it into their plan.
But how do you make the shift into digital marketing for your nonprofit? More importantly, how do you create a fundraising platform using online tools? There are dozens of digital fundraising platforms to help you achieve your revenue goals.
So, which one is the right platform for you?
Each platform is slightly different from the other, with unique features and functionality to help you create, customize, launch, and manage your campaigns. Using an online fundraising platform can revolutionize your campaign efforts and results, streamlining your volunteer recruiting, donor management, and outreach.
This guide to digital fundraising platforms gives you everything you need to know to choose the right platform for your nonprofit's donor acquisition and revenue goals. We’ll walk you through selecting the right platform for your organization, how to sign up for a fundraising platform and execute your first digital campaign.
A Brief Overview of Signing Up for a Donation Fundraising Platform
Do you remember the challenge of piecing together a puzzle or Lego kit when you were a kid? The instructions seem challenging to follow, and many kits seem confusing and complicated. That's the same feeling many nonprofits have when selecting a digital fundraising platform for their organization and websites.
An online fundraising platform shouldn't be this challenging to understand and use. You need a seamless platform allowing for easy signup, setup, and execution. Choosing a platform with all the bells and whistles is great, but it’s no good if you can’t figure out how to use all the functionality it offers.
When choosing between your shortlisted options for a fundraising platform, get in touch with the team and ask them questions to understand the user experience of the platform and the tools it has on offer for nonprofits.
Ask the following questions to see if the platform is right for your nonprofits goals.
Does the platform provide in-person training over Zoom or other virtual spaces? Or does it use written instructions a demo or webinars to train people on how to use its functions and features?
- How many team members can access the platform training simultaneously?
- Do you need any technical skills to signup and setup the platfrom for your nonprofits needs?
- Do you need a third-party consultant to operate the platform? Does the provider offer consultation and support services to train the team on the effective use of the platform?
These questions give you insight into the complexity of the signup and setup process. Some providers offer an intuitive setup process for their platform, while others require technical skillsets for effective operation.
These factors influence the running costs of operating the platform and the results you get with your nonprofits campaigns.
Evaluating Your Crowdfunding Software Fundraising Needs
The first step in assessing the right digital fundraising platform is to see how it fits into your organizational needs. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of your nonprofit’s objectives.
What are your goals for finances, volunteer and donor recruitment and management, and your mission? How does the prospective platform align with those initiatives
Discuss these goals with key members in relevant organizational departments. Where are you succeeding with your current campaigns, and where can you improve? Your goals are aligned with your nonprofits success in each of these areas.
Assess the current donor and volunteer markets for your organizations and understand evolving trends in your sector to know where to focus marketing efforts. It’s important to draft SMART goals when assessing your organizational needs and how they can benefit from using a digital fundraising platform to reach your targets.
After curating your organizational goals, it’s time to see how your prospective fundraising platform integrates its features and functionality into making them a reality. While you may operate in a sector with many other nonprofits, your goals, team, market, and community are unique and require a flexible, customizable platform catering to your individual requirements for success.
You need an effective, unique, and recognizable donations page and platform that donors and volunteers find inspiring and engaging. The platform should allow you to seamlessly incorporate your nonprofits online and offline branding, providing synergy between design and identity concepts that your market can identify at a glance.
Some platforms have better customizations than others. For instance, if you’re using PayPal Giving, the functionality is great,m but the ciostomization and organizational identity branding tools are limited.
Suppose your online giving platform doesn’t have an identical design and branding theme as your website. In that case, your donors may find it confusing and be weary of making a donation because your supporters might think it's a scam, reducing the number of donations you collect and affecting your fundraising goals.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online fundraising platforms allowing for the seamless integration of your online identity and full customization of your design requirements. The features and functions of online fundraising platforms vary, but whichever you go with should offer the following as a bare minimum.
- Customized donation forms with your branding, identity, and colors.
- Easy uploading of images and videos.
- Customization for giving tiers and other functionality.
- A clear depiction of your mission statement.
- Templates for individual fundraiser events.
Researching Fundraising Platforms for Fundraisers
As mentioned, there are dozens of online fundraising platforms. You’ll need to assess the differences between them to find the right one offering a good fit for your organization. We decided to take the hassle out of this exercise.
Our team investigated the top online fundraising platforms to give you a brief understanding of what they offer your organization.
This nonprofit giving platform is a top-ranked provider, giving you everything you need in one platform to master your digital fundraising efforts. Fundraising is a challenging process and, PayBee makes navigating its platform and executing campaigns simple.
You get a complete suite of digital tools to help you create any fundraising campaign, regardless of your organization's mission or market. Focus on your mission and cause while PayBee handles the specifics of executing your campaigns.
With PayBee, you get features for handling your donations and processing, managing your account backend, and many other useful features that make planning, payment processing, donation processing and executing your fundraising campaigns a breeze.
The Paybee platform supports in-person, hybrid, and virtual events with a straightforward peer to peer operation that’s simple to navigate, reducing confusion. You get world-class support from the PayBee team and everything you need to get your campaigns moving.
This platform offers great functionality for your organization. It features excellent security to protect your donor and volunteer data, fantastic 24/7 support from an effective team, and simple integration to other tech platforms to bolster its functionality.
Fundraise Up centralizes and simplifies processes across several fundraising activities between your website and social media accounts. You get event management modules and phone integration for telethon fundraising.
The platform uses AI-based machine learning tech to optimize your fundraising efforts across different platforms, ensuring optimal results for your campaigns.
PayPal Giving Fund
Many donors utilize PayPal to give to charities and nonprofits. It’s a powerful transactional tool offering a universally trusted and recognized impact on donor markets. It’s a good choice for crowdfunded campaigns, with features like campaign pages.
As good as this platform is, it’s not as effective in its design integrations as other options on this list. PayPal acts as the final arbiter of the distribution of your campaign funds. In other words, even if the prospective donor selects your organization, you might not receive the donation.
However, the PayPal Giving Fund offers organizations a useful tool for collecting donations, but it shouldn’t be your sole collection platform.
This platform offers a suite of beneficial, functional, and useful tools for your fundraising campaigns. It’s a good choice for startups because it doesn't charge any monthly platform fees. You’ll need to complete a registration and application process to qualify for an account to use the platform.
If accepted, your organization can create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and pages with options like Live Display to boost donor and volunteer engagement. However, Give Lively doesn't offer any CRM integration features, and you’ll need another platform if that’s important to your organization.
The Registration and Sign-Up Process
Signing up for a digital fundraising software should be an easy affair. You’ll start the process by signing up for an account and completing the required information and documentation requests to open your account. These requirements differ between platforms, but most of them offer an intuitive signup process that’s not complicated or confusing.
Most platforms require basic information like the manager's name and email address to set up an account, and you’ll need to create a strong password to protect your data. Some platforms may also require the organization's name, physical address, and copies of your nonprofit tax documents.
After completing the document requests, you're ready to start training on the peer to peer platform functionality and preparing your first campaign. Your profile features the basic information on your nonprofit, your mission statement, and your brand identity.
After setting up the account, you can create independent fundraising pages for your different campaigns. You can create a fundraising goal and deadline for the campaign and make it a visible goal that your volunteers and donors will see when landing on the page.
Your platform should have integrations for email marketing and social media sharing to get your campaign page out into the digital universe where your prospective donors and volunteers will see it during their daily online experience.
The platform should feature integrations for payment processors, such as PayPal or Stripe, where your donor can make seamless, one-click donations that are convenient and hassle-free.
To summarize the signup process for your digital fundraising platform.
Step #1 - Select your platform.
Step #2 - Choose your package from what's available (free or paid options).
Step #3 - Create an account using basic information.
Step #4 - Upload the requested documentation, such as your 501(3)(c) documents.
Step #5 - Complete the fields requesting information about your nonprofit's address, members, and contact information.
Step #6 - Configure the platform to your requirements.
After setting up your account on your chosen platform and completing the registration process, you’re ready to start customizing it to your organizational needs and fundraising requirements.
Customizing Your Websites Campaign Fundraising Page in Minutes
Your fundraising page acts as the backbone of your digital campaign. It’s where the rubber meets the road and your donor’s access information about the campaign and make their contribution.
To ensure you create an engaging fundraising page, you’ll need to understand the customization options available for design and functionality, tailoring them to your needs.
The Fundraiser Page Dashboard
Visit your dashboard after logging in to your account and navigate to the settings and functionality section to customize your design and functionality options.
Use the personalization tools top add your copy, images, and videos you want to use to create engagement with visitors to your page.
Tell Your Organization’s Story
Your copy is what donors use to inspire them to make a contribution to your campaign. It must have a clear representation of your fundraising goals and how you intend to use the funds.
Matching Gift Modules
The platform should have features offering matching gifts, allowing companies to match their employee donations to your campaign.
This feature allows you to set up virtual registrations for events and improve donor engagement while tracking your campaign data for later live analysis. It should streamline event registration, reducing the time event attendees spend in traditional line and paper bid systems.
This feature allows for mobile-based app engagement with your events, campaigns, and supporters, allowing your donors to give through their device of choice without physically engaging with your team.
Share on Social
The platform should feature full integration with your social media accounts. You can link buttons on your fundraising page to your accounts for simple one-click access for visitors.
Thank Your Donors
The Fundraising page should have an automated response every time your donor makes a contribution. The system should send out a personalized thank you message to the donor, showing your gratuity for their donation.
The system should allow for the customization of KPIs relevant to tracking your campaign results and success. You should get instant access to information on KPIs that matter.
Create and Launch Your First Fundraiser Campaigns Online
Identify Target Beneficiaries
Who are you targeting with your fundraising campaign? Know your donor demographic and the information you need to market it to them effectively. Understand demographic factors like the age and gender of your target donor profile, their average income, interests, and location.
Setting Fundraising Goals
What are you trying to achieve with your fundraising campaign? How much money do you need to raise to meet your campaign objectives? Convey this information to your prospective donors so they have an idea of how much they need to donate.
Setting Campaign Timelines
When do you need to raise donations to meet your campaign objectives? Display the deadline for donations to your prospective donors to give them the information they need to make a donation timeously.
Sharing Your Story
What is the motivation behind your campaign? Share a personal story that your donors can relate to and tugs on their heartstrings. This strategy impresses urgency and gives your donors information on how you intend to use the funds they donate and how their contribution makes a difference.
Identify Primary Marketing Channels
How will you market your fundraising campaign? Are you using email or social media, or a combination of both? Are you using virtual or hybrid events or auctions?
Understanding the value of these marketing channels and what they can bring to the table gives you an idea of the most effective systems that drive optimal engagement with your crowdfunding platform, charity fundraising, and donor market.
Managing Your Nonprofits Donations and Donor Contributions
Your campaign is only as effective as the results it produces. Your choice of digital fundraising platform should offer tracking of your campaign results with KPIs customized to your requirements. KPIs give you information on the success of your campaign and how you can improve to bolster the results of future campaigns.
Here are the top KPIs to consider when launching and monitoring its success.
This KPI gives you data on the gifts you receive from a specific campaign and when you received the contributions. Did the gifts occur in the first few weeks after launch or did it take months to build enough traction to achieve your campaign targets/
Growth Rate in New Donor Acquisitions
This metric gives you information on the donors you attracted to your campaign and how many of them made first-time contributions. You get information on the traffic source and whether they used email, website, or social media channels to find your fundraising page.
Donor Retention Rate
How many of your donations came from recurring donors who made previous contributions to your campaigns? This data is useful to help you build the donor relationship and optimize the future value they offer your upcoming nonprofit fundraising campaigns or event ideas.
Donor Reactivation Rate
This metric shows you how many donors contributed to your current campaign that missed out on previous gifting opportunities. You can request data on who you need to keep on your books and who you should eliminate from future marketing activities and online donations.
Average Gift and Growth Rate
Track your donation size and identify the average size of donations and the growth in donations received compared to previous campaigns. Understand if your average gift size is growing or declining and how many new donors you captured with your recent campaign or event.
Return on Investment (ROI)
How much did you receive in donations compared to what you spent on your campaign? This metric gives you an understanding of the profitability of your campaign and where you can cut expenses to make your future campaigns more profitable.
Recurring Gift Percentage
How many donors made a recurring gift to your campaign? This metric allows you to identify high-value donors that are willing to donate to future causes.
How much money can your donors afford to donate to your campaigns? Couple the data with other metrics like giving history and gift percentage to estimate the lifetime value of your donors.
Time Between Gifts
This metric gives you data on the time between gifts to analyze your annual cash flow requirements and the best time of year to launch your campaigns.
Donor Lifecycle Migration
This metric analyzes the time it takes for your donors to migrate from one stage of your campaign to another and from one donor stage to another to estimate your donation timelines and the average donations you can expect for your upcoming campaigns.
Transitioning to a Paid Plan
Most digital fundraising platforms offer you a free version of the software as a trial. Trial periods can range from a week to a month, depending on the provider. However, the trial gives you limited functionality of the platform, and you’ll need a subscription to access the full suite of services.
However, most free versions are rough to give you an idea of the intuitive navigation and use of the platform before committing to a subscription. and paying fees. You’ll know it's time to make the change when the free version no longer offers all the functionality to cover your requirements to execute and manage your campaign optimally, requiring a transaction fee.
FAQs on Signing Up for a Fundraising Donation Platform
Q: What are the costs associated with fundraising platforms?
A: Some digital platforms are free fundraising tools with no fees, while others are paid services with variable pricing. Deciding on which one to use depends on your organization’s budget, your goals, and your needs. For instance, if you’re a startup, you might benefit from a free service, vehicle established nonprofits will get more functionality and performance out of a fees based paid service.
Most digital fundraising platforms have free options, but they have limited functionality. You get the bare bones of what you need to launch a campaign with fewer features and tech integrations.
However, not all nonprofits need these features. Check the top recommendations for platforms in this post. You have plenty of options for a free system and great choices for subscription platforms to run your giving campaigns.
Q: How long does it take to set up a fundraising page?
A: Setting up your fundraising page on your digital platform shouldn’t take very long if you have everything ready to go. Registering for the platform takes a few minutes, but you’ll need the nonprofit's documentation and physical information on hand to complete the process.
Setting up the fundraising page is easy. Most platforms have an intuitive setup process with easy navigation. The platform should offer support if you get stuck with any part of the setup process.
Q: Can I switch platforms if I'm not satisfied?
A: Sure. You can change platforms. Most online fundraising services offer free services to try them out before committing to a monthly fee or subscription. If you do take a membership service, most of them run month-to-month, with no upfront fee required. If they don’t meet your expectations, cancel and move on to the next platform without any hassle.
Q: What support can I expect from the platform?
A: Your choice of digital fundraising platform should include support to help you through the setup and execution processes. Some platforms offer chatbot or email support, while others offer webinars or phone support. Choose the platform with the right support features to match your requirements and skills.