Bliou Enterprises


Make Donating To Your Cause Easy And Meaningful

December 20th, 2010

People have less time and more options to donate now than ever before, so if you are to engage someone to give to your cause, you’d better be compelling with your message and convenient with your means of donating – or they’ll simply go elsewhere.

This includes offering an array of ways of giving, since constituents have various preferences. Direct mail still drives many annual giving budgets, but online giving is increasing all the time, and mobile giving should not be ignored – it will most certainly be the new frontier.

When sending a direct mail appeal, make certain that you not only emphasize what your gift(s) of $___ will do/accomplish when making suggested asks, but prominently show how the gift can be made online with a direct hyperlink featured not only in the letter, but also on the reply card and the return envelope.

Studies have shown that many mail recipients will research a non profit organization online prior to making a gift (whether by mail or web), so why not provide a means for them to respond online directly? Statistically, online gifts average higher than mail gifts, and these funds are received more immediately.

Take care that your direct hyperlink goes immediately to an online giving form, however, and isn’t in a cumbersome trail of endless clicks. Your online eform should be to the point as well.

Once the donor arrives online, the first two questions on the eform should be regarding donation amount and credit card number. If the donor has committed to these two pieces of information, s/he is much less likely to abandon the form and to fill out the rest of the questions.

Again – tying donation amounts to what they will do/accomplish toward your organization’s mission will boost your overall average gift. It’s imperative that the donor feels their funds are helping to achieve something for the greater good.

With mobile giving increasing all the time, it’s all the more important that non profits engage constituents this way as well, whether it is simply via text messaging, or for outright giving. There are many more options than simply giving $5 or $10 gifts now, including larger gifts starting at $100, which provide the non profit with donor contact information, for further cultivation later on.

Making the process easy includes not imposing on the charities as well, however.

Many donors will conduct research on the non profits they are considering giving to, including how overhead costs are managed, and how much of their gift actually goes to benefit the organization, rather than to administrative expenses, and so forth. It turns out that donating on an iPhone is not only a cumbersome process, but sends 30% of the gift to Apple in the form of “fees.” Not terribly philanthropic by any standard.

There is a movement afoot in the form of a petition, urging Apple to change this policy, but in the meantime, many in the non profit world are calling for a boycott of the iPhone and investing their energy toward apps, etc. elsewhere, such as the Droid.

What is certain is that the industry will grow and change rapidly in the area of mobile giving and text messaging, so the prudent fund raiser will keep a watchful eye on what happens in this segment, and respond accordingly, to meet the needs of their constituents – and organization.

Keep the base of the pyramid strong

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