The importance of Technology for scaling your fundraising

From walkathons to galas to good old fashioned cold calling, everyone has their favorite fundraising strategy. Although there are hundreds, if not thousands of different methods, they can easily be separated into two overarching categories. Those that YOU WORK FOR and those that WORK FOR YOU. Tech works for you.

Through market research, I have come to realize that the leaders of nonprofits often classify spending on tech as needless capital expenditure, while very few consider them to be essential fundraising investments. This often seems to stem from a lack of understanding of tech. When planning a gala, it’s easy to treat it as an investment, as the ROI can often be totaled the following morning. When investing in digital, the ROI is there, even though it often doesn’t feel like it.

As we enter a new digital age, particularly with millennials largely integrated into the workforce, nonprofits that hope to keep up must embrace tech and exploit it for all it’s worth. Online giving has increased roughly 10% year over year for the last 8 years straight, and it’s only accelerating. The below chart shows the sum total donations to US charities made through digital channels.

Year

$ Raised Digitally

PCT Change from Previous Year

2012

$19.2 billion

-

2013

$21.2 billion

10.42%

2014

$24.1 billion

13.68%

2015

$25.8 billion

7.05%

2016

$27.8 billion

7.75%

2017

$31 billion

11.51%

In 2017, visitors to nonprofit’s websites were divided as follows: 40% Mobile, 10% Tablet, 50% desktop. Of these visitors, 1.1% made a donation (representing an 18% increase over 2016) culminating to an average value of $1.13 per visitor.

When considering a nonprofit’s digital properties there are four questions to ask,:

  1. At any given moment, is my digital presence (across all channels) up to date, clear and concise?
  2. How quickly can a potential donor find my website/app/social page and complete a donation?
  3. How is my digital presence maximizing committed donors? Do we have subscription options? Are we retargeting across channels? Do we accept donations in all places in all ways? (website, app, social channels, digital ads, etc.) (Credit cards, Paypal, Venmo, ACH/Wire, Bitcoin, Apple Pay, etc.)
  4. How well am I tracking our digital efforts? Do I know where I am missing out on potential donors, and if so, what am I doing about it?

These questions are essential, but only a start. If any of them resulted in anything less than a resounding “YES!”, I can guarantee you a reassessment of your digital strategy would be incredibly beneficial to your fundraising efforts!

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