To say the Internet has had a huge effect on our society would be a gross understatement. The reality is, the digital age has transformed more parts of our society than we could even count. From business operations and communicating with loved ones, to consuming media, the list goes on and on. And we all have to stay on our toes as technology evolves, introducing new opportunities and challenges.
One major opportunity the digital age has brought forth is the ability for donors to give money to organizations digitally. With a swipe, click or tap, people now have the ability to donate whenever and to whatever organization they want.
While this is a great advancement forward for the industry, some organizations are still wary of introducing online giving programs. The reasons why nonprofits are apprehensive can run the gamut, but I wanted to pause and debunk some of the major myths associated with online giving.
Myth #1: Online giving services charge high fees that take a large amount of money from my organization.
Truth: While online programs do require processing fees to operate effectively, the increased amount of donations gained by offering online giving as an option outweighs any fee structure. Online donations rose 13.5 percent last year, according to Giving USA. This is nearly three times the rate of overall contribution growth, which means that while fees can be a deterrent from the online giving game, you don’t want to be left sitting on the bench. Even more compelling: GiveCentral reports that organizations have seen growth of 10 percent per month after introducing an online giving program.
GiveCentral is also proud to present fees that are on average only 1-2 percent of total online donations. This is significantly lower than other services available to nonprofits.
Myth #2: People are either online donors or offline donors, without any crossover.
Truth: No nonprofit wants to alienate a potential donor by not offering multichannel donation options. If you stick with either solely online or offline fundraising options, though, you’re bound to miss out on donations from folks who like a wide variety of giving options.
The key is to find the right mix for your organization and its donor audience. Perhaps supplementing a direct mail campaign with a follow up email makes sense for your nonprofit. Or maybe you want to overhaul your whole fundraising strategy to cover every possible donation avenue—from text-to-give, to online giving to check collection and more. Take the pulse of your donors and implement a giving program that maximizes potential donations.
Myth #3: The technology needed to facilitate online giving is too complicated and difficult for my staff to use.
Truth: Many online giving programs can be set up within hours, allowing nonprofits to start collecting donations electronically almost right away. While there are initial set-up steps that require your staff’s expertise, once a program is up and running, there is very little maintenance required. Of course, organizations are encouraged to manage and update their programs as they gain familiarity with the services and understand the benefits.
If you’re still weary of the burden an online giving system could place on your administrative support staff, keep in mind that many organizations provide set-up support and ongoing consultative services to ensure success.
Technology that enhances the donation process for everyone, and is easy to use, is the hallmark of GiveCentral’s services. By consolidating all collection, fundraising and communication activities in one place, GiveCentral’s platform makes it easier for donors to give, for nonprofits to reach out, and for administrators to save time on accounting and data management. Everybody wins!
There are many more myths about online giving out there, but knowledge is power. Make sure you explore all the options available to you, and do sufficient research, before you make a quick judgment about online giving. And remember: trying something new always has risks, but it also can provide great rewards. Learn more about how GiveCentral can enhance your fundraising efforts.
PS: Here at GiveCentral, we strive to stay on top of the latest trends, challenges and opportunities that affect our clients. We want to make sure we can answer your questions about popular myths, for example, while also providing you with unique insights and data about our industry.