Online Fundraising | The Complete Guide [With Tips + Ideas]

Online Fundraising

The Complete Guide [With Tips + Ideas]

Online Fundraising Feature

The Basics: What to Know About Online Fundraising

Online Fundraising FAQ

What is online fundraising?

Online fundraising is a key revenue generation strategy for nonprofits and other fundraising organizations to raise money via digital means.

It usually involves an online donation page and can include additional elements such as mobile giving, peer-to-peer fundraising, matching gifts, virtual events, and more. In other words, anything that produces funds through the Internet!

Why is Online Fundraising Important?

Online fundraising allows nonprofit-donor relationships to thrive in new and improved ways. And it does so by empowering giving experiences that are quick, easy, secure, and without geographic bounds.

As a result, fundraising organizations can collect revenue from a widespread network of support in increasingly effective ways, gathering funds and resources from anywhere in the world.

Why Does Online Fundraising Work?

In today’s digital landscape, nearly everyone has access to the web in one form or another. By implementing online fundraising efforts, nonprofits and other organizations can meet donors where they already are.

And from the donor’s perspective, giving online is typically a fast and intuitive process, providing a positive supporter experience that leads donors to get engaged time and time again.

What does the online fundraising landscape look like now?

Busting Online Fundraising Myths

Myth #1: Matching gifts are not an accessible form of online fundraising.

There are a lot of myths surrounding corporate matching gifts, including that it’s not an accessible form of revenue for nonprofits. But the opposite is actually true!

Matching gifts are one of the most widely accessible types of corporate philanthropy, and just about any organization can reap the benefits with a well-planned strategy for doing so. An estimated $2 to $3 billion is donated through the programs each year, with an additional $4 to $7 billion going unclaimed.

And donors love to participate in the programs, too. In fact, mentioning matching gifts in your donation request even results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in gift size.

Myth #2: Older donors don’t give online.

While younger donors make up a significant portion of the online giving demographic, the reality is that all generations of supporters use online donation forms to contribute to their favorite nonprofit causes.

In fact, studies indicate that today, nearly 50% of donors over the age of 60 support nonprofits online. And that figure continues to grow, too!

Myth #3: Direct mail recipients won’t give online.

Direct mail recipients may still prefer a tangible appeal in their mailbox, but the truth is that this segment doesn’t just give by check anymore. They give online, too!

An easy way to ensure that your direct mail donors find their way to your online donation page is to include the URL (or a scannable QR code) to your giving form in a prominent location within your newsletter, card, or fundraising pamphlet.

That way, when recipients read about the impactful work you’re doing, they can give instantly instead of waiting days or weeks to send a check.

Myth #4: You only need one donation form.

While you might be able to get away with having a single “catch-all” donation form, it’s not likely to be your most optimized strategy. If you run multiple fundraising initiatives throughout the year, consider instituting two, three, or even more donation pages.

For example, you’d want your multi-year capital campaign to be set up on a separate donation page from your general fund. Differentiating between efforts with distinctive forms makes it easy for donors to give directly to the campaigns and funds that they care about most!

Myth #5: Online giving is expensive.

This is a common misconception around online fundraising. But the truth is if you can find an excellent online donation platform, the cost doesn’t have to be a hindering factor.

To get started, establish your team’s budget. There are numerous platforms available at any given price point, and you’re sure to find one that fits your wants and needs!

Each provider is going to take either a percentage of each donation (usually around 3-5%) or a flat rate per donation made. Plus, additional tools, like Double the Donation’s matching gift automation software, allow you to collect additional funds, thus driving up the return on your investment.

Myth #6: Setting up an online donation form is difficult.

Thanks to all the tools and resources available to nonprofits and education institutions today, it really isn’t difficult to get started with online fundraising. With the right provider, setup can take mere minutes. And maintaining the page in the long run can be simple as well.

While there is a certain amount of planning and preparation involved with any new fundraising software, online donation pages are some of the simplest and easiest fundraising tools that you can use. Not to mention, most fundraising tech providers provide useful Knowledge Base article hubs, informational how-to’s, and support teams ready to assist their users in making the most out of the tools!

The Impact & Advantages of Online Fundraising

Nonprofits benefit from online fundraising by…

Collecting Donations Anytime, Anywhere

Thanks to widespread online fundraising opportunities, nonprofits and other charitable organizations are able to raise money from around the world with ease. No longer bound by geographic limits or time zones, your team has the chance to meet donors and prospects right where they are: in the virtual realm.

In other words, as long as donors have a device, internet access, and the link to your donation page, they can give to support your nonprofit’s cause.

Capturing Additional Donor Information

Online fundraising typically provides crucial insights such as donors’ mailing addresses, emails, phone numbers, or even their connections to the cause. These data points can be used to segment and personalize your supporter engagement strategy!

Plus, we recommend collecting employment information within the online giving experience as a way to uncover workplace giving opportunities, wealth indicators, and more.

Fundraising More Cost-Effectively Than Ever Before

Online fundraising is one of the most cost-effective ways to raise money from your network of supporters.

Your donation page software (p.s., check out our guide on how to determine the best provider for your needs and get set up with the right tools!) will likely collect a small percentage of each donation or institute a flat fee per contribution. However, with online giving success at an all-time high, the return on your investment is substantial. And the costs are minimal compared to alternative fundraising methods.

Increasing Mission Visibility and Awareness

Did you know that online fundraising can function as a type of awareness campaign for a nonprofit’s cause? When you dedicate resources to the promotion of your giving opportunities, you can also get the word out about your organization and its mission.

By encouraging donors to give online, you direct them to your website, where they can find even more information about how they can get involved to make a larger impact. For example, it’s also a great way to increase knowledge of matching gift program opportunities!

Uncovering Matching Gift Opportunities

When collecting donations online, organizations are able to seamlessly incorporate matching gift requests—and prompt donors to take immediate action—in a way that traditional in-person donation appeals simply can’t.

For example, as soon as a donor clicks submit on their gift, they can be automatically directed to their employers’ matching gift guidelines and online submission forms. This allows the match submission to become an extension of the online donation experience itself, rather than a separate process entirely.

Donors benefit from nonprofit fundraising by…

Giving Easily

Your supporters want to give to your organization as easily as possible—with little to no friction or roadblocks standing in their way.

Luckily, online fundraising allows donors to do just that.

When individuals give online, they’re able to skip past the check-writing, envelope-stamping, and donation-mailing steps in the traditional giving process. Instead, all it takes is a few taps of a cell phone, computer, or tablet!

Keeping Their Data Secure

Many donors worry that their sensitive data will be compromised when donating to nonprofit causes.

With online giving, though, the information is as safe as can be, thanks to top-notch security measures like encryption, tokenization, authentication, PCI compliance, and more.

(Hint: this means it’s essential that your organization prioritizes security in your efforts, too—from software selection to smart password management practices.)

Establishing Recurring Gifts

In the past, donors who wanted to give to your organization on a regular basis had to manually mail in a check according to their intended schedule (e.g., monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.).

With online giving, however, donors can easily set up recurring donations that are automatically made on a regular basis. That’s less legwork required of your supporters, which also leads to heightened retention rates, greater overall giving levels, and more.

Spreading The Word With Ease

Donors who give to your cause are likely eager to support your efforts in other ways, too. One of the easiest ways for supporters to do so includes promoting your organization to their own personal networks and encouraging their family and friends to get involved.

After an individual gives, there’s often an easy way to share their donation status with their peers. Meanwhile, online fundraising also enables donors to solicit online gifts on your organization’s behalf.

Participating in Matching Gifts

Just like it benefits your organization to seamlessly incorporate matching gifts into the online giving experience, so too do your supporters benefit from a streamlined and simplified process. After all, your donors want to make a positive impact on your cause. But if the steps required to complete a matching gift request are long, drawn-out, or otherwise complicated, they’re less likely to follow through.

By integrating matching gifts into your online fundraising framework, you simplify the engagement opportunity for your audience. And they’re able to do more for your mission with less effort!

Top Online Fundraising Methods

Donation Pages

Double the Donation's auto-submission streamlines corporate philanthropy participation.

Your online giving page is the primary place a user will visit when they want to donate to your cause. This critical resource lives on your nonprofit’s website and serves as the foundation for all of your digital fundraising efforts.

Thus, you’ll want to guide traffic to this location for various campaigns, link to it across your marketing outreach, and implement inspiring CTAs (or calls to action) that direct users to the page from anywhere on your site.

With all that relies on your donation page, spend time optimizing it so you can drive more generous gifts to completion. That could mean branding it to your cause, ensuring it’s mobile-accessible, collecting employment data to uncover matching gifts, and more.

You can also integrate your other fundraising tools with your online giving page to maximize the donations you receive. For example, you might connect your giving form to your CRM to automatically funnel data into donor profiles and access detailed information to tailor your engagement strategy. Additionally, you may decide to embed an employer search tool (like ours!) to assist donors in locating match opportunities.

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

Donor engagement is at its highest point while supporters are actively giving to your organization. What better time to remind them that they might be able to double their contributions than directly within your giving page?

With a matching gift plug-in, donors can easily search for their employer and access guidelines and submission forms for their matching gift programs. Plus, your nonprofit can store and leverage the collected employment data!

From there, you can also remind donors about matching gifts immediately after they give—on the acknowledgment screen. This allows you to keep the opportunities in donors’ minds and encourage them to take the next steps to secure a match on your behalf.

See how our matching gift automation platform can help below:

Matching Gifts

Matching Gifts Illustration (1)

As more and more companies participate in CSR, or corporate social responsibility, as a way to improve their reputations, gain favor with stakeholders, and even boost their sales, corporate matching gifts continue to grow in popularity and availability.

In these programs, businesses empower employees to give back to the causes they care about with the incentive that their individual gifts will also be matched by their employers. This allows donors and fundraisers alike to stretch their impact significantly farther than otherwise possible.

Most commonly at or above a dollar-for-dollar ratio, nonprofit organizations can use matching gifts as a way to double or even triple the money they’re raising online. Plus, the availability of matching gifts leads to increased individual giving in the first place. Studies have shown that simply incorporating matching gifts in an organization’s fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average donation amount. And that’s before the corporate match is even accounted for!

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

The best thing you can do to empower your team to make the most of matching gifts is to become familiar with the programs yourself and communicate program guidelines to your supporters. For example, it’s important to be aware that most companies implement eligibility requirements that outline qualifying nonprofits, employees, donation amounts, submission deadlines, and more. And most match-eligible employees remain completely unaware of the programs’ existence in the first place!

In order to learn more about the matching gift opportunity and how your team can prepare more effectively, we recommend the online Matching Gift Academy.

Plus, keep in mind that you can also invest in a matching gift automation tool like 360MatchPro as a way to streamline the processes involved with educating donors, identifying potential matches, following up with eligible supporters, and tracking gifts to completion.

Matching Gifts and Online Fundraising CTA

Fundraising eCards

Sample online fundraising eCard

Digital cards are perfect for celebrating any occasion, making them a creative way to engage your supporters year-round. Create different designs for circumstances like:

  • Donation requests
  • Matching gift reminders
  • Thank-you messages
  • Holiday greetings
  • Donor anniversaries
  • Cause awareness days
  • Annual occasions (e.g., birthdays)
  • Tribute gifts
  • Product sales
  • Event invitations
  • Get-well-soon cards
  • And more!

Whether you create designs for special occasions or year-round occurrences, your options are endless!

Plus, they’re a great way to deepen the meaning of a donation. Fundraising Letters’ donation eCards guide explains that they provide an instant give-back with every gift. Not to mention, peer referrals are a powerful way to recruit new supporters for your cause, and the social aspect of eCard fundraising fits into the strategy perfectly.

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

One of the biggest challenges facing matching gifts is a lack of awareness among eligible donors. Because fundraising eCards provide an excellent way to make your message stand out and grab your audience’s attention, the two strategies can fit together seamlessly.

We suggest mentioning matching gift opportunities in any digital fundraising cards your team sends—including donation requests, gift acknowledgments, dedicated follow-ups, and more. Plus, you can send an additional eCard to thank the donor for their matching gift participation when they submit their request and when the corporate match is ultimately fulfilled.

Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants for online fundraising example

Google offers a program that empowers nonprofits to raise funds and awareness for their causes, attract donors, and recruit volunteers with Google Ads. Through the Google Ad Grant program, they equip eligible organizations with up to an incredible $10,000 in ad credits per month.

That means your nonprofit’s online giving form can be placed at the top of search engine results pages for relevant keywords. This will help connect you with people searching for causes like yours!

So long as your nonprofit complies with the program’s guidelines, you’ll continue receiving ad credits each month, which you can use to bid on keywords that are relevant to your cause.

However, the process can be a bit overwhelming, which is why many organizations turn to Google Ad Grant firms like Getting Attention to oversee and manage the process. Firms that specialize in Google Grants will manage the application process, make sure your account stays activated, and conduct comprehensive keyword research. All in all, this helps you get in front of qualified leads—all of which play a huge role in a successful online fundraising effort!

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

The Google Grant enables qualifying organizations to promote select pages on their websites, placing their ads in top-ranking slots at no cost. And you can use your Google Ads to market matching gift content on your site! In doing so, you can drive more traffic to resources like your dedicated match page, Ways to Give page, blog articles, or even your online donation form to share relevant information with your audience and encourage them to participate in the programs.


An example of an online fundraising page for a crowdfunding campaign

Crowdfunding is a unique type of online fundraising, and it’s one that can be used by nonprofits, schools, businesses, individuals, and more. Generally, the structure of such a campaign involves collecting many small-dollar (or mid-level) donations from a wide-reaching network of supporters. And one of the most significant distinguishing factors about crowdfunding, compared to a standard online donation page, is that the campaign is typically hosted on a third-party website rather than being embedded into an organization’s own domain.

It’s also a particularly social type of fundraising initiative, with crowdfunding campaign pages being easily shareable across expansive audiences.

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

If you’re selecting a third-party crowdfunding platform through which to host your organization’s upcoming fundraiser, make sure to locate a solution with matching gift automation functionality! Luckily, Double the Donation integrates with many of the fundraising sector’s leading donation tools. This includes popular crowdfunding platforms, which makes it quick and easy to screen for and pursue matching gifts more effectively than ever before.

Matching gift integrations enable your team to seamlessly incorporate matching gifts throughout your crowdfunding process, including collecting employment data within the giving experience and triggering tailored post-donation outreach after the fact.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising illustration

Peer-to-peer fundraising taps into a nonprofit’s donor base and encourages supporters to raise money by reaching out to their friends and family members. And it’s often tied to a pledge-based event like a walkathon or a 5K.

And while these initiatives used to involve door-to-door donation requests, peer-to-peer fundraising has since shifted almost entirely to the virtual realm.

Today, peer-to-peer (or social) fundraisers are empowered to create and customize personal fundraising pages to share digitally with their loved ones. Some nonprofits even get creative by having supporters send outreach via donation eCards to challenge their loved ones to participate!

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns provide an excellent opportunity for organizations to engage with first-time contributors getting involved because of a personal ask. When your team makes an effort to steward new donors into your community of support, they’ll be increasingly likely to stay involved for the time to come. And corporate matching gifts are one of the best ways to grow your connections, strengthen relationships, and keep your organization at the top of your donors’ minds for longer.

Thus, be sure to identify incoming peer-to-peer donors and flag those with matching gift potential to encourage them to take the next steps. If your peer-to-peer platform integrates with Double the Donation, this is easier than ever⁠. We screen employment information against a comprehensive database of matching gift companies in order to locate your best opportunities⁠—and trigger tailored outreach⁠—for you!

You can even use your peer-to-peer volunteers as key advocates for the opportunity. By encouraging fundraisers to share matching gift information with their networks and communities, they can grow their fundraising impact as they inspire more peers to give and to get their gifts matched.

Mobile Giving

Online Mobile Fundraising

Today’s donors do a significant amount of their browsing and other online tasks from their mobile devices. As a result, online fundraising and mobile giving strategies go hand-in-hand now more than ever before. In fact, you can’t have mobile giving without online fundraising.

When it comes to mobile giving, though, many nonprofits (and their donors) jump straight to text-to-give. But that’s only one type of program to consider. The umbrella term also encompasses methods like these:

  • Mobile-responsive email appeals
  • Mobile-friendly peer-to-peer pages
  • Mobile-first donation forms
  • Mobile-optimized
  • Social media promotions (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
  • QR code promotions
  • And more!

The online fundraising software you choose should function just as well on a smartphone or tablet as it does on a desktop or laptop.

Thus, it might be time to run a check on your software systems to reaffirm the mobile responsiveness of all your donor-facing fundraising tools. Remember, this should include your standard donation forms, peer-to-peer software, matching gift platform, and more. Otherwise, you might end up missing crucial donations from supporters who would otherwise like to give on the go!

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

If you’ve invested in matching gift software already, ensuring your solution is mobile-friendly is key. Test it out on different devices, browsers, etc., and identify any potential roadblocks.

You’ll want to collect employment data using the company database search tool embedded in your mobile giving forms, just like you do your standard donation pages. This way, you won’t let any matches slip through the cracks just because the gift was made from a mobile device!

Virtual Events

Online fundraising event - sample auction

Fundraising events have long been a popular revenue-generation strategy for nonprofits of all shapes and sizes. For example, think of any charity auction, run/walk/ride, gala, or event-a-thon. In the digital landscape transformation of recent years, however, we’ve seen a significant shift in the way these events are being hosted.

Today, virtual and hybrid experiences are the norm, meaning any supporter can attend and support your organization from anywhere in the world. Thus, it’s become an excellent way to elevate any online fundraising strategy.

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

Did you know that many event donations qualify for corporate matching gifts? This can be an excellent way for organizations to bring their event fundraising to the next level⁠—but these donations are often overlooked as match-eligible opportunities.

Keep in mind that the rules for matching gifts through fundraising events can vary from one company to the next. Not to mention, it may also depend on the type of event in question. A donation contributed as part of a gala would likely be matched by the donor’s employer according to the program’s standard guidelines. Run/walk/rides and other peer-to-peer fundraising events, however, may have separate program policies altogether.

For example, companies like CVS Health, Penguin Random House, and State Street Corporation offer fundraising matches in addition to standard donation matches. In this case, all donations collected by a qualifying team member are eligible to be matched, rather than just those given directly by the employee.

Still, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the nuances of your donors’ matching gift programs to help guide them through the process. Or provide them with a tool that makes locating their employer’s policy as easy as can be!

E-Commerce or Product Fundraising

Online Fundraising ECommerce Sales

Google offers a program that empowers nonprofits to raise awareness for their causes, attract donors, and recruit volunteers with Google Ads. Through the Google Ad Grant program, they equip eligible organizations with up to an incredible $10,000 in ad credits per month.

That means your nonprofit can be placed at the top of results pages for keywords that will connect you with people searching for causes like yours. So long as your nonprofit complies with the program’s guidelines, you’ll continue receiving ad credits each month, which you can use to bid on keywords that are relevant to your cause.

The process can be confusing and time-consuming, which is why many organizations turn to Google Ad Grant firms like Getting Attention to oversee and manage the process. Firms that specialize in Google Grants will manage the application process, make sure your account stays activated, and conduct comprehensive keyword research to help you get in front of qualified leads.

How You Can Incorporate Matching Gifts

Unfortunately, most companies will not supply matching funds for a direct purchase or product sale. However, many e-commerce storefronts offer supporters an easy way to include an additional donation at the point of checkout.

If that’s the case, make sure your online shoppers are being informed about the chance to have those donations matched to amplify their impact! Remember: knowing their gift can be matched is often just what an individual needs to inspire increased generosity.

To do so, you can follow many of the same practices as you would a gift made through your standard donation form. Integrate your online platform with a matching gift tool like Double the Donation, gather employment information to screen for matchable gifts, and follow up with donors after the fact.

Building Your Online Fundraising Toolkit

Because online fundraising occurs primarily in the virtual realm, your organization is going to rely heavily on donation tools and other technology to power your efforts. Thus, building your tech toolkit and empowering your team with the right software for your needs—at a price point you can afford—is essential.

If your team already has an established digital fundraising strategy upon which you’re looking to improve, consider soliciting donor feedback on the current cadence. Ask supporters to review the online donation experience and make a note of any roadblocks they experience as they give. And encourage them to share what they like about your online giving system, too! Then, use the provided responses to guide your organization as you enter the software buying process once again.

As you consider your options, remember to check out reviews and case studies and get a demo of leading solutions to see the tools in action.

Keep in mind that you want a platform that’s quick and easy to use, with an intuitive design, from both your organization’s behind-the-scenes standpoint and from that of your end donor.

It’s also crucial to look into online fundraising software that easily integrates with your existing database and other fundraising software. For example, you’ll want to confirm that any donation tool, peer-to-peer fundraising platform, CRM or donor database, and matching gift solution you choose are able to speak to one another.

This allows your team to maintain a seamless flow of information from one system to the next, streamlining data management and reducing the chance of human error!

There’s a lot that goes into choosing the right online fundraising tool.

These factors may include:

  • Features and functionality

  • Integrations

  • Budget

  • Setup and maintenance

  • Scalability and customization

  • Leadership input

  • Support

  • And more!

Developing Your Online Fundraising Strategy

Online Fundraising Assessment

1. Assess the Current Situation

Before you even begin raising money online, you need to determine your starting position. We recommend examining your existing fundraising strategies as well as your online fundraising budget to get a feel for the scope of your efforts.

Take a look at your existing online fundraising efforts and see where they could be tweaked, improved, or overhauled for better results. Then, determine what you need to get there!

2. Get Leadership Approval

Before significantly revamping your online fundraising efforts, you’ll likely need to obtain approval from your leadership team or board of directors. If this is the case, it may require a convincing presentation that demonstrates the vitality of such an overhaul for your organization.

However, it shouldn’t be too difficult to show your board of directors that a continued shift toward innovative online fundraising is the right move for your nonprofit. The overwhelming majority of nonprofits of all shapes, sizes, and sectors raise a significant portion of their fundraising dollars online, and it’s important to keep up with the trends to best appeal to your supporters.

If you can show your leadership the untapped fundraising potential within online giving, you should be able to convince them in no time!

Online Fundraising Implementation

3. Implement Your Online Giving Methods

Once you have the approval you need to get started, you’ll be ready to implement the strategies you’ve outlined for your organization’s online fundraising plan.

This should include:

  • Determining which forms of online fundraising your team would like to institute. Keep in mind that you can always start small and roll out new methods as you get more familiar with the digital landscape.
  • Following the provided onboarding steps for any new software (donation tools, CRM, matching gift platforms, etc.) and establishing integrations between your systems.
  • Testing your online giving experience from a user’s perspective to flag and resolve any potential roadblocks.
  • Incorporating a well-thought-out matching gift digital strategy to maximize online revenue through all sources of Internet-based giving.

From there, your nonprofit audience will be thrilled with the new opportunities offered. But they won’t be able to get involved if they’re unaware of any new ways to offer their support. And that’s why promoting online giving using your new (or refreshed) digital channels is a must!

Best Practices For Smart Online Fundraising

Keep the Form Simple

The simpler and more straightforward your organization’s online donation form, the higher its conversion rate (or the percentage of people who complete the donation process) will be.

Don’t overcomplicate your donation page by distracting the user with unnecessary links, lengthy blocks of text, or unrelated visuals. Donors should be able to quickly and clearly identify which fields they need to fill out and submit a donation accordingly without leaving the page.

Use Consistent Branding

A key component of online fundraising is obtaining and keeping your donors’ trust. An effective way to do that involves maintaining consistent branding and style on your donation page.

In other words, you’ll want to use the same color scheme, imagery, and typefaces that are on your main website and other promotional materials. This way, your donors will be confident knowing that they’re giving to your organization, and they’ll be more likely to complete their gifts!

Incorporate Appealing Visuals

Your online fundraising page is crucial for capturing your audience’s attention and encouraging them to contribute to your organization from the start, and a relevant, eye-catching visual can help. That’s what makes your header imagery so critical.

Ideally, this image should reflect your nonprofit’s mission and the core communities you serve—whether that’s people, animals, ecosystems, or beyond. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words!

Encourage Recurring Donations

If you want to receive regular donations from supporters (thus increasing retention rates and providing steady funds for your cause), be sure you offer an easy way for donors to implement recurring gifts. It should be as simple as checking a box and providing payment information on your online giving form for donors to get set up!

Still, allow users to customize their giving schedules, including options for weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, yearly, and more.

Promote Matching Gift Opportunities

Did you know that donors are more likely to give and to give in larger amounts if it’s being matched? Yet the vast majority of eligible supporters have no idea their employers offer gift-matching programs in the first place.

Thus, directly within the giving experience is an excellent time to remind or inform your donors about the opportunity. It’s a surefire way to spread awareness, drive match submissions, and maximize the number of touchpoints with each supporter.

Suggest Giving Levels

There’s no one-size-fits-all donation ask. However, establishing recommended gift amounts has been known to increase donors’ average contributions over time.

You can even position each giving level in terms of a tangible benefit to your cause. For example, an organization fighting food insecurity might state that a $20 donation can provide hot meals for four individuals in need. Meanwhile, a $100 gift might feed a family for a week!

Enable Tribute Donations

Tribute donations are a unique form of nonprofit support that involves an individual making a contribution in honor or remembrance of another. It’s one of the most emotionally-driven types of giving and can often draw in first-time donors looking to support a cause close to a loved one’s heart.

After all, it provides donors with an impactful way to recognize their loved ones while supporting the organizations they care (or cared) about.

Offer Donation Incentives

Sometimes, donors and prospects need a little extra push to give. In that case, offering unique and tangible donation incentives can inspire them to take the next step with your organization.

For this, consider branded merchandise such as a t-shirt, hat, or mug. When supporters use the item, it even doubles as free advertising! Meanwhile, a few cost-effective options include eCards, digital downloads, and exclusive (virtual or in-person) tours of your headquarters.

Increase donor support and retention with our guide to matching gifts in the donor journey

Implement Effective Storytelling Strategies

Never underestimate the power of a good story!

This is true in all fundraising scenarios, but it’s especially pertinent with online fundraising. After all, your fundraising impact story needs to be so compelling that it inspires action on the part of your donors: to give.

Check out our top storytelling recommendations to guide your efforts here.

Donors are more likely to connect with a single individual or family’s story than facts, figures, and generalizations about thousands or millions of people.

Tell the story of a specific person that your organization has helped in the past. When done well, your donors will feel moved to donate online to help others like them!

Market Your Online Fundraising Opportunities

Your supporters likely won’t be able to access your online donation page unless you direct them to it.

Use these strategies to promote your online fundraising opportunities to supporters and get the word out about how to get involved with online giving.

Most donors research a nonprofit online before they decide to make a contribution. Therefore, it makes sense that your organization’s website would be the biggest promoter of your online fundraising opportunities.

For the best results, remember that your donation page, “Ways to Give” page, matching gifts page, and other key resources should be prominently placed within your website navigation menu.

Not to mention, a blog on your site can provide additional opportunities to promote online fundraising initiatives and motivate supporters to get involved. And you’ll want to incorporate an eye-catching CTA that directs readers to your online giving page, too!

Track Online Fundraising Metrics to Measure Success

  • Total Online Revenue

    Before you can begin looking at more specific measurements, you’ll need to know how many of your fundraising dollars came from online donations. You may ultimately decide to break this metric down into revenue collected through each fundraising method or calculate a sum of all online channels.

    Regardless, this is a crucial data point for understanding the rest of your fundraising metrics.

  • Average Donation Size

    In order to better tailor your future outreach strategies, it’s useful to know how much each donor is giving, on average, when they visit your donation page. This information can help you craft ideal fundraising appeals, as it’s important to avoid over-asking and under-asking. Finding the perfect middle ground allows you to maximize your gift sizes without leaving funds on the table!

    Top tip: this data is likely stored in your nonprofit’s CRM, so it should be easy to locate and analyze.

  • Prior Pages Visited

    To better understand your donors’ giving logic, it’s useful to know what pages they’re looking at on your website before they hit that “Donate Now” button.

    Perhaps you have a popular blog post (such as one of these free blog templates on matching gifts!) that spurs a lot of donors to give. Or maybe you find that people who visit your “Ways to Give” page aren’t going on to donate. You can use both of these data points to improve your donors’ website experience and drive more visitors toward the end goal.

  • Matching Gifts Identified

    Calculate your organization’s potential for corporate matching gifts by determining the total number (and/or revenue value) of individual gifts marked as eligible for matching. To do so, you’ll need to request supporter employment data and determine which donors work for companies that match gifts.

    The easiest way to gather this information is to use an automation platform that can handle the eligibility screening and calculations for you without your team even lifting a finger.

  • Donor Acquisition

    Knowing how many new donors you’ve gained, also known as your acquisition rate, can provide invaluable insights for your nonprofit. Make sure to track donor acquisition across all of your fundraising efforts, and pay extra close attention as it relates to online fundraising and drawing in more supporters for your cause.

  • Donor Retention

    How many donors are giving to your organization more than once? Donor retention is an important metric to track (across months, quarters, and years), especially when it comes to online fundraising. It helps in ensuring you’re getting the greatest impact for the resources you’re investing!

    If you’re seeing a low retention or high churn rate, start brainstorming ideas with your team to keep supporters coming back time and time again.

  • Donation Page Conversion Rate

    Your nonprofit’s donation page conversion rate is a simple metric that looks at how many donors actually make it to the end of the donation process. If a donor abandons your giving page for any reason, your conversion rates will go down.

    The ultimate goal is to keep donors on your donation page through the final submission so you get your gift. And you can do so when you avoid implementing a difficult giving experience, causing distractions, or leading donors to other parts of your nonprofit’s website as they give.

  • Completed Matching Gifts

    Unfortunately, not all match-eligible donors will take the steps to request matches from their employers. That said, tracking the number of matching gifts (or total match revenue) paid out can provide additional insights into the overall success of your corporate matching gift strategy. And from there, your team can uncover areas of potential friction in the submission process, scale up your marketing efforts, and more.

Additional Online Fundraising Resources

The Complete Guide to Matching Gifts Online

Matching Gift Programs Additional Resources for Matching Gift Month

Bring your online fundraising to new heights by incorporating matching gift strategies. Learn everything you need to know about the programs with our complete guide. Plus, explore how you can automate the process!

How to Choose Your Fundraising Tools

Buying Online Fundraising Software Additional Resources

Be sure to equip your team with the right tools for smart and effective online fundraising. Our in-depth buyer’s guide walks through key steps for investing in top-tier tech to power your digital engagement.

Online Fundraising Statistics to Know

Nonprofit Fundraising Statistics Additional Resources

Don’t just take our word for it on the power of online fundraising. Explore recent studies outlining best practices for successful nonprofit engagement—including online giving, matching gifts, and more.