By Williams Ekinam

Software like idealware ( which offers comprehensive resources and guides.

Second, select a fundraising software that offers many of the functionalities that will maximize your success, such as custom-branded buttons like “Donate” and “Thank you,” as well as recurring donations capabilities, among others. Heather Mansfield, a nonprofit researcher and publisher, in her book Mobile for Good counsels that “online donors are inspired by the cause(s) that a nonprofit advocate for, rather than the brand name of the nonprofit.” According to Mansfield, donors want to know their donation is having an impact, so they want to read and be inspired by success stories from the organization. The message should sound urgent, and communicate the dire need for donation, along with empathy for the cause. Text-heavy donate messages with numerous questions are counterproductive. Rather, the following could be adapted as best practices in online fundraising:

  • Play up visuals in your content. They not only reduce text but also offer compelling information.
  • Set achievable default donation amounts that range from $5 to $20, with an empty field where donors can enter any amount they want to donate.
  • Make the donor’s phone number optional so as to quell the fear of tele marketing calls.
  • Include program versus operating expense graphics, with a financial statement that’s easy to decipher.
  • Include frequent references that cite giving impact information, as some donors respond better to statements that clarify the impact of their donations.
  • Encourage tribute donations in honor of a friend or loved one. Some people like to see the names of their parents/children among the donors.
  • Target millennials; they can be very generous. Optimize your online donation by making the donate button mobile compatible. Findings show 14 percent of online donations come from mobile devices such as cell phones.

Bottom-line: shares this food for thought about online donations: “While old fundraising methods are still your bread and butter, online giving is your marmalade. With a whole generation of marmalade-o-philes on the rise, it’s important to make sure your strategy is current, mobile-friendly and diverse.”

Williams Ekanem is a communications specialist based on Long Island, NY.