Online fundraising's breadth, potential

The value online donation pages and social media fundraising platforms offer nonprofit organizations seems to begrowing each day. Fundraising experts from across the nonprofit sector are reporting strong results after implementing digital campaigns that raise awareness and drive contributions at a low cost to the organization.

Online Statistics
In fact, the latest eNonprofit Benchmarks Study revealed 15 percent of the $317 billion donated to nonprofits from individuals in 2011 was made via online donation pages, and is increasing 35 to 55 percent each year. Facebook has more than one billion active users, presenting nonprofits with a vast population of untapped potential donors ready to hear about a cause and help make a difference. When an organization earns a "like" from a user on Facebook, it can be roughly translated to $217 in annual contributions.

Furthermore, the average online gift for one-time donations was $62, while the average recurring donation was $20, the study indicated. Online donation pages may be able to ease the giving process for benefactors. It is advantageous for nonprofits to investigate online options for collecting gifts and supporting fundraising efforts.

Unique Online Strategies
The Families of SMA organization provides nonprofits and volunteers with insight on how to optimize campaigns and increase online activity. Many nonprofits have teams of fundraisers working in different regions, launching their own campaigns and events to spur contributions. To increase awareness of these smaller efforts, organizations encourage partners to launch their own donation pages that can be customized for specific events and projects or be incorporated into the overall campaign. The donation pages can track contributions and keep viewers up-to-date on the latest developments and progress made toward a specific goal.

The personalized donation pages can also incorporate social media links that enable visitors to read through the information and then share the website with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other similar platforms. Adding the sharing tools is a cost-effective way to connect different components to an online fundraising effort while making it convenient for donors to act as word-of-mouth marketing outreach to other interested givers. Make the tools easy to spot so that whenever the viewer is engaged with the cause they can easily spread the word without leaving the page before making a donation.

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