We’ve pressed the importance of online fundraising time and time again. Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes are ramping up their digital presence, and online communication tactics are getting sleeker and more innovative.
Email marketing is now a household word. Supporters are being engaged straight from their inbox.
But, alas, we would be wrong to say that all supporters can be found online. Your emails might not be reaching people who still rely on direct mail. Nor are they reaching those whom well…haven’t provided an email address.
Your online communication efforts should have as wide of an audience as possible, so it’s time to get donors to go digital. To help you out, we’ve pulled some tips and tricks on how to capture email addresses and incentivize supporters to move online.
1. Help Us Build a Greener Future
Your credit card bill, phone bill, electricity bill – think of any payments you regularly make, and that service probably has a paperless option. Not only do businesses save money when people opt out of paper statements, but the environment gets a pick-me-up too. The latter is an appeal you can make to your supporters.
In your next direct mail message, ask recipients to help your organization go green. Instead of receiving updates and communications in the mail, they can opt for the environmentally friendly choice and receive those online. Additionally, unlike checks, remind direct mail supporters that online transactions won’t get lost in the mail. Donating can be quick, set up to recur and tax documents like receipts are sent instantly.
Demonstrate that going paperless is all-around greener, easier, and more convenient. Ask donors to make their next donation online, and include a step-by-step of how to navigate to your online donation form.
2. Invite Them to Your Online Community
If your direct mail supporters haven’t opted into online giving for this long, they probably haven’t seen the extra value in going digital yet. Create this extra value for donors by linking the act of going online to a special membership, or exclusive access, to your organization that direct mail doesn’t provide. Use language that shows you’re offering them an invitation to “join your online community.”
Here in this online community, they can access a ton of special resources. They can check out your blog, and engage with you on different social networks. Only on your website can they enjoy insightful impact stories, videos, and vast photo collections. And by signing up for your newsletter, they can easily receive updates on your organization’s latest projects, right to their inbox.
3. Host a Matching Period Online
Everyone loves to stretch his or her dollar. That’s why donation matching periods have always been a great way to excite and activate donors during a campaign. Well, now you can use this classic technique to draw people to the web – just host the matching period online.
If you’ve got corporate contributions in the pipeline, direct the funds to match online donations. Let your supporters know that they can double their impact by going online to make a gift. Inform your direct mail recipients when, and for how long, the matching period will take place. Its limited duration will create a sense of urgency that can motivate people to take action.
Capture the donors email during checkout so you can instantly send them a receipt and a Thank You email describing how else they can be involved in your online community or receive updates about your mission.
4. Give an Online Gift
Many donors give gifts in honor of a friend or family member. Let offline supporters know how easy and convenient it can be to make a dedicated gift online.
For instance, many nonprofits set up holiday gift options at the end of the year. If you have a special online gift catalog or program, tell your donors they can log on and give someone a meaningful, impactful present.
And with the right fundraising software, organizations can offer donors a more stylized, meaningful way to send a dedicated message. For instance, StayClassy offers an eCards feature that sends honorees a highly personalized and branded greeting. When they make an online donation, donors can immediately tell someone they made a gift on their behalf. They can also send one asking the recipient to pay it forward and give to the cause. Whether it serves as a holiday, birthday, wedding, or engagement gift, supporters can donate online and deliver an eCard for a personalized giving experience.
5. Just Ask
At the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt to just ask for a donor’s email address. Let them know that, increasingly, communication will take place online. Supporters will be able to receive reports, progress updates, photos and stories by signing up for an email newsletter. Make sure you direct them to the specific address where they can sign up!
As nonprofits make the smart choice to go online, they need to help some of their supporters do the same. Hopefully these practices will help you incentivize the shift for digital late bloomers. At the end of the day, online donating and fundraising is an effective and convenient strategy for all – including your supporters. It’s just a matter of getting them to realize it!
Donors Give 80% Larger Gifts in December
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