Online fundraising is on the rise

Online donation services have become more significant for nonprofits in the past year. Enabling online gifts allows people to make a contribution with a few clicks before the organization's message slips out of focus. In fact, the "2013 eNonprofit Benchmark Study" from M+R Strategic Services revealed online donation revenues increased 21 percent between 2011 and this year. This was driven by a 20 percent increase in the total number of contributions given using the Internet.

The average dollar amount of gifts increased as well. For monthly donations, the average was $19, and across all organizations, the average one-time gift was $60. International groups were able to achieve a single donation average of $163. Of the different types of nonprofits, environmental groups experienced a 34 percent increase in online revenue. 

Environmental groups also sent the most monthly emails per subscriber with an average of 4.9 messages. Email lists corresponded to social media follower bases. For every 1,000 email subscribers in a nonprofit's database, the organization has 149 Facebook fans, 53 Twitter followers and 29 mobile subscribers. Email and social networks are becoming significant ways for charities to drive online revenue.

How to increase online supporters
As nonprofits continue to gain more social media fans and email subscribers, they have the potential to boost online fundraising revenue. There are many techniques organizations can use online, but some may be more effective for certain groups, according to npENGAGE. The organization's website should always have a donor focus, and the payment processing services nonprofits utilize can impact how prospects perceive the organization. The website needs to show donors that payments are secure, accessible and transparent. Nonprofits can establish donor trust by being open about the cause and the fundraising amounts they need. 

Meanwhile, social media can increase donor engagement, but the same network may not work for every organization. Nonprofits may need to test which sites work best for their causes, and maintaining a presence is important. Even though social media is on the rise, email campaigns shouldn't be neglected. Because this marketing technique has been around for years, organizations may need to refresh how they approach email. Online donation forms can generate new leads for the email list. It's important that nonprofits remove inactive users from the list because it is more valuable to have a smaller list with a higher open rate than to have a long list containing useless contacts. 

Online fundraising will continue to grow for nonprofits, and it can result in more engaged donors if organizations approach their prospects through email and social media. 

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