Nonprofits not accepting online donations are missing out

The lifeblood of nonprofits is the generosity others bestow upon them, traditionally in the form of either time or money. In the past, donations were collected via the diligent efforts of direct marketing, sending letters and making phone calls. But as fundraising techniques have evolved, efforts have slowly started to move towards a mix of both traditional and digital strategies. This process has become so popular that donors now almost expect charitable foundations to offer some sort of online donation form. According to a new study, the trend is only going to grow.

Research from the 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study revealed that noncash payments in the U.S., not including wire transfers, have been steadily growing by an annual rate of 4.4 percent since 2009. The total value of those payments have risen from $72.2 trillion in 2009 to now approximately $79 trillion. Among the varieties of payments being monitored by the Federal Reserve were debit cards, which experienced similar growth, developing at an annual rate of 7.7 percent - credit card payments grew at nearly the same rate.

The growing prevalence of noncash payments make accepting donations online more of a requirement these days than a luxury. Contributors appreciate, but also anticipate the ease provided by an online donation option. But accepting digital payments is not enough. To create an effective online fundraising strategy, nonprofits need to:

Putting your nonprofit online immediately opens the door to whole audiences that may have otherwise never even heard of your charity or your mission. In order to attract them, however, your organization needs to first establish itself as a presence, and then promote that you accept online donations.

Keep in touch
Attracting an audience is great, but if you don't keep them roused and interested, they may lose interest and move on to the next best thing. Maintaining a presence online not only gives your nonprofit the option of seeking new contributors previously out of reach, but it provides you the opportunity of opening lines of communication with these new, incoming donors, as well as existing ones. Keeping contributors engaged will help build strong relationships that lead to more interest in fundraising and long-term donors.

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