Local approaches lead to global growth

Online fundraising can open many doors for nonprofits that are well established as well as those just getting started. Organizations can take advantage of the cost-effective tools online that enable messaging to reach larger audiences at low expense to the nonprofit. A myriad of media options and formats are available for nonprofits to choose from and send messages through such as video content, blogs, social media posts and email blasts. Thus, there are ample opportunities to reach target donors and generate traffic to online donation pages.

Go small then big
NP Engage explained many nonprofits have found success with multichannel marketing by starting out with focus on local markets and then expanding to gain national and international attention. Even if the charity has an global focus and makes efforts to impact communities all over the world, fundraising strategies should have a local appeal before they take off on a grander scale.

Sometimes nonprofits use social media channels and other online communication portals to engage members of state and national congress in discussions on certain issues. Others might discuss campaigns in local communities to raise awareness and funds online and inspire other cities to mirror those efforts. No matter the end goal, all online campaigns can start small to truly engage interested donors and then slowly grow initiatives and gain momentum.

Pick your cities
Because digital gift-giving increased by more than 10 percent between 2011 and 2012, more nonprofits are expanding their fundraising efforts to include online and social platforms. While online donation pages and social campaigns are able to reach audiences all over the world and have no geographic limits, there are certain areas of the country that donate more online than others. Targeting these cities with localized content and events can boost online success and help sustain an international movement.

A recent industry study outlined the top cities in the United States for online fundraising success. The data looked at major cities with more than 100,000 people and ranked their per capita online giving and donations in 2012. In the top 265 U.S. cities, more than 6.3 million donations were made online totaling $509 million, up 15 percent from the year prior. The number one city was Seattle, which reached $22.9 million in online donations, up 36 percent from the year before, followed by Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Arlington, Virginia; and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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