In 2017 $410 billion was donated by Americans to thousands of nonprofits around the globe. More interestingly, $31 billion of the $410 billion was raised online, which is forecast to rise significantly by 2020 and beyond.
With this continuing upward trend in "online donations" it's time for nonprofit organizations to ensure they are ready to ride the online giving wave.
So today we will provide you with a definitive checklist to help you ensure that our online fundraising platform equipt with the necessary tools and characteristics to maximize online donation revenue well into the future.
Cost & Scalability
With a wide range of CMS (Content Management Systems) and fundraising platforms available in the market today, choosing the right one for your organization can be overwhelming.
As with most purchasing decisions cost is more often than not the overriding factor. So during the decision-making process its impotant to be ware of your organizations short, medium and long-term online goals and objectives to avoid unwanted costs in time to come.
As a general rule of thumb there are two cost drivers that can turn a nonprofit online solution into a costly situation that goes horribly wrong:
1. Expensive software features
2. The need for skilled human resource
So in a nutshell, if you are a startup or small nonprofit organization try to avoid CMS and Fundraising solutions that apply add-on monthly charges for key fundraising features. But most importantly, choose a solution that you able to maintain, develop and grow without having to hire web developers and designers or software consultants every time you need something done or something goes wrong.
Great Customer Support
Software is nothing without great support. You need support if you run into a technical problem or require a helping hand setting up that new donation campaign.
So before you jump in and start investing time and money into your new online fundraising platform be sure that you will receive free professional support that will help grow your online platform well into the future.
Great customer support should include:
1. Live Support (professional - knowledgeable - supportive - solution providers)
2. Ticketing Support (for more complex issues)
3. A Solid Library of Video Tutorials (video tutorials detailing every process)
Ultimately, if you do not receive great sales support it would be safe to say that great customer support is most definately out of the question.
No Skills Required
We touched on this within cost and scalability and cannot emphasize this enough. We have been serving nonprofit organizations for over 17 years which is why we fully understand the importance of simplicity.
Regardless of whether you are building a new web page, creating a donation form, running a volunteer campaign or managing fundraising events online: implementation must be kept easy enough for a child to carry out.
Choose a system that can be mastered with little effort and over a very short space of time. It's highly likely that as a nonprofit owner you will delegate your online fundraising projects to a non-tech volunteer. This is why it's extremely important to use a foolproof and virtually unbreakable fundraising and custom website platform.
The "No Skills Required" promise will determine the speed and ease of your nonprofits online growth and success. Not to mention reduce cost significantly and save you $1000s.
Intuitive Website Builder
When it comes to the success of your nonprofit's presence online, content is key. So it's important to consistently grow and nurture your online content. This can be done by freshly added content, updating old content, running campaigns, publishing weekly blogs and so much more.
Since content is the driving force behind your nonprofits online presence it is crucial that the website builder you choose to use is easy and fast to use.
Website builders come in all shapes and sizes so here are a few things that you should expect from your nonprofit website page builder.
- Free and easy to implement page designs
- Free and easy to implement row layout
- Fully customizable pages
- Page editing visibility
- Easy point and click functions
- Advanced page design features
- Simple site organization
- Mobile optimized as you build
- Free integrated plugins
The true essence of a well rounded page builder is the removal of tedious thought process and the need of any technical understanding whatsoever.
Comprehensive Activity Reports
If you are like the majority of nonprofits you will want to use your website for collecting donations, finding and hiring volunteers, promoting & selling events and possibly selling products and services.
Given that you will be involved in one or more of these online activities, reporting is essential. As a nonprofit organization time is precious so it's important to use a fundraising platform that provides comprehensive activity reports.
For example, if you are running five donation campaigns you would want to know how each of them was progressing at a glance. Live reporting can improve the way in which manage campaigns, save time and increase success.
Comprehensive reporting should at a minimum include:
1. Page Performance
2. Constituent Performance
3. Campaign Performance
Bottom line, as a nonprofit it's crucial to measure every aspect of your organization's activity. This will help streamline success and eliminate non-productive campaigns and activity.
Online Fundraising Applications
Last but least fundraising applications and since you got this far its highly likely you are a nonprofit are in need of an online fundraising and website solution.
Fundraising plugins and apps available for almost every CMS (Content Management System). So, depending upon which CMS you choose to use (WordPress, Wix Joomla to name just a few) for your website it will be necessary to purchase appropriate plugins and apps to suit your nonprofit organization and budget.
We have always believed that nonprofits are unique and require an online fundraising solution that is built specifically for nonprofits.
So with that said, we believe that fundraising apps and plugins should be included within a fundraising platform without incurring any additional cost regardless of organization size, revenue or number of constituents.
If you are in search of a cost-efficient and scalable online fundraising and custom website solution for your nonprofit organization we would love to hear from you.
For professional advice please reach out to us through live chat