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Have you noticed an increase in online donations lately? As our lives become more and more intertwined with technology (employee microchipping, anyone?), the way we support charity is no exception.
Whether you’re raising money for a community project, a research facility or a local animal shelter, there are a number of tried and tested methods for raising funds... so much so, it can be hard to come up with any original ideas for connecting new people to your cause. Thankfully, the internet has opened up a wealth of new channels and possibilities for fundraisers. They key to standing out from the crowd: Keep your online fundraising endeavors both fun and profitable. Fun ideas like online auctions, hosting webinars and even setting up an e-commerce store work wonders for both organizations and individuals looking to raise money. Here's why.
With Giving Tuesday behind us, it's time to close 2016 strong. You know the impact of December giving is huge. In fact, CharityNavigator.org reports 31 percent of all annual donations occur this month! Today we'll look at one simple but commonly overlooked strategy for supercharging year-end revenue: running an online auction.
Charity auctions are consistently among the most popular and lucrative events nonprofits can host. While the basic rules of fundraising auctions have remained the same over the years, the format of these events is rapidly evolving, thanks to the advancement of auction technology. On the one hand, auction technology has made planning and executing charity auctions much easier for nonprofits. On the other, because it’s so specialized, many organizations are at a loss as to what exactly auction software does and how they can use it in practice. We regularly receive questions from fundraisers about auction technology, so we wanted to clear up some of the uncertainty. We teamed up with our friends at BidPal to create an expert comprehensive guide to auction technology. Today we'll cover: Online Auctions & Event Sites Online Auction Catalogs Online Ticketing Mobile Bidding: More Profitable Silent Auctions Mobile Bidding: Smoother Live Cash Appeals Auction Scoreboards and Fundraising Thermometers Read on to learn the basic functionalities of auction software, plus practical ways these tools can raise more at your next auction. 1. Online Auctions & Event Sites Online auctions are, simply put, digital silent auctions. While most charity auctions are limited to a single night and venue, online charity auctions allow organizations to open up their auctions to more donors for longer periods of time. They're typically paired with silent and live auctions to make the most of your marketing efforts. Plus, since there are fewer costs with an online event, they can be done with minimal risk or investment.
Online charitable donations were higher than ever last year - a trend that will likely continue in 2014. That means Nonprofits must provide online donors with a seamless giving experience that includes a prompt and genuine "Thank you" and some public recognition for their support. This post-donation messaging is crucial to maintaining positive relationships that encourage future donations. Consider these five guidelines for thanking online donors and making a powerful impact. 1. Confirmation page It takes only a few simple details to ensure a smooth digital donation process. After a user submits a donation online, a confirmation page should appear and verify acceptance of the donation. This page can serve as a receipt for tax purposes. Additionally, this is your first opportunity to thank generous online donors. Create concise, genuine language to express gratitude on this confirmation page. 2. Email A thank-you email should be standard for online donations of any size. If you are using a service to help you collect online donations, most will have features built in for sending automated thank-you emails. If you are managing online donations yourself, compile a list of donors in an excel list with their names and contact information. These tips will help you create a great thank-you email: Customize the email with the person's name and donation amount to add a personal touch. Include pictures, stories and video embeds of how the donation is making an impact. Offer your name and contact information to encourage open conversation. Create an engaging subject line. If you don't have an automated system that sends emails for you after each donation, aim to send out batch thank-you emails within 48 hours of the donation. 3. Donor appreciation page Have a special place on your website to recognize businesses and individuals who donate or support your cause. Businesses in particular will appreciate the recognition as well as any new traffic you can direct to their website, which will encourage future donations and sponsorships.