Changing face of online fundraising

Website, Fundraising campaigns, and Social Media are strong components says Classy’s latest report: The Modern Nonprofit Professional Experience

Online donations from individual donors were the method that most respondents (58%) used to raise money in 2018, followed by Mail-in donations from individuals (57%) and Donations from major Donors (56%). However, in 2019 the parameters of online fundraising have drastically evolved: Website Donations (66%), Fundraising Event Campaigns (59%), and Social Media (59%).

These findings are part of Classy’s latest report: The Modern Nonprofit Professional Experience. Classy - the online fundraising software surveyed 1,002 individuals 18 and older who are managers and above at a nonprofit organization in the U.S. The survey was fielded in March 2019 using the Qualtrics Insight Platform, and the panel was sourced from Fulcrum by Lucid.

Peer to Peer Fundraising Campaigns

Interestingly in 2019, Peer to Peer Fundraising Campaigns(38%) take a prominence. 54% of professionals in the development departments at their organization would like to launch more peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns in 2019.

In 2018, Nonprofits were not even considering peer to peer campaigns which right now are such a potent tool.

This is your answer to the community building and getting your brand advocates to work.

These are not your Influencer Campaigns. If you haven’t given a thought, then the time is now. Start creating a list of your most engaged Subscribers and Donors. Get on to a meaningful engagement with them and if they are your true brand advocates then they will take your Peer to Peer Campaigns forward.

Social Media remains a core marketing channel regardless of organizational size, which matches the way social media platforms continue to dominate public attention.

The top three channels for large and medium nonprofits are direct mail, email, and social media, while the top channel for small organizations is word of mouth, followed by social media and direct mail. Social media also provides 50% of traffic for Peer to Peer campaigns, along with personal fundraising campaigns.

Quite evident why NGOs should start looking for cultivating brand advocates and start from their Email Database.

Strong tech infrastructure

With extended lockdowns, people spending more time on digital and inside homes, NGOs not only need to think digital-first but that also means building a solid technology infrastructure to support seamless online giving. Trust me this won’t be the last pandemic we will see.

Of all respondents, 73% of nonprofit employees want their fundraising software to be easy to use—above customizable design, cost-effectiveness, and even aiding in donor retention (an overall top concern for organizations as mentioned earlier).

This affinity for seamless digital experiences matches that of modern donors. More than half of consumers surveyed by Classy in September 2018 said it was easiest to make donations digitally, whether on a computer or smartphone, and this encompasses all generations. Furthermore, about half of the respondents (49%) from the same survey stated that if it were easier or more convenient to donate to their favorite nonprofit, then they would definitely or probably give more often.

For both the front-end and back-end users of this technology, smooth and intuitive digital experiences are imperative. Nonprofit professionals need technology that will help them raise more money more effectively and thus simplify their roles, not complicate them. As such, it should be easy to use above all else.

According to the report, 52% of those in the IT department and 44% in the marketing list a stronger focus on online fundraising as a top priority for their organization in 2019. I am sure these bunch of people must be super proud of their thought process in this COVID-19 world.

Donor Retention

It isn’t surprising that Donor Retention(49%) is the second most big concern after Overhead Costs(58%) but this is also a clear indication of why Nonprofits have realized that having an advanced technology should be the top investment priorities for organizations. Such as investment in a better CRM system and online fundraising platform.

And hence is the big need to invest in the front and beach end technology for any Nonprofit organization that is looking to scale online fundraising.

Online giving behaviour in India more or less follows the same path. According to Online Giving India 2019, using cash was the most common method of donation (68% of donors), followed by giving online with a bank/ credit card (33%), and using a donation box in a shop or other public place (25%). These numbers without any doubt have drastically increased with the ongoing pandemic situations.

Hence the top priority of Nonprofit organizations should be investing in Owned Media assets i.e.

  • Website
  • Fundraising/Donation Page
  • Blog
  • Email

(I will share my thoughts on how to do it in a later post. Fyi - I consider Social Media as a broadcasting channel and in the paid media bracket.)

By the way, did you know what is the most common reason for Indians to donate? It makes the donor feel good and has remained unchanged from 2017. So if you want to feel good about yourself then donate to my personal campaign that I have been running for COVID-19, along with Action Against Hunger India.

Donation Link

May peace be with you ❤️