To say the Internet has had a huge effect on our society would be a gross understatement. The reality is, the digital age is transforming more parts of our society than we can 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 presents is the ability for donors to give money to organizations digitally. With a swipe, click or tap, supporters now donate whenever and to whatever organization they want.
While this is a great advancement for the industry, some organizations are still wary of introducing online giving programs. The reasons are many, but I want to pause and debunk some of the major myths associated with online giving. Here we go!
Myth #1: Online giving services charge high fees that take a large amount of money from my organization.
Truth: It’s true that many technology tools aren’t free. While online programs do require a processing fee to operate effectively, the increase in donations by offering online giving as an option far outweigh any fee structure. A study by Giving USA reports that online donations grew by 13.5 percent last year. This is nearly three times the rate of overall contribution growth. 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.
Look for tools specifically designed for small and mid-sized nonprofits that will simplify many manual tasks, freeing you and your team up to focus on more valuable work. Text giving has become even more accessible for organizations of all sizes because of its affordable price and quick turnaround for receiving funds. It is also quite safe to give online. Donors know that trusted security systems and data protection are always in place any time they engage with a credible organization.
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 multiple donation options. If you stick with either solely online or offline fundraising options, you’re bound to miss out on donations from people who like a wide variety of giving options. Beyond awareness, make it easy for your supporters to give. Research now shows that younger donors prefer to give more online.
The key is to find the right mix for your organization and donors. Perhaps 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 option. Text-to-give, livestreaming and online giving to check collection are some such amazing tools. Take the pulse of your donors and implement a giving program that maximizes potential donations.
Another variation of this myth s that online giving is just a tiny percentage of total giving and therefore doesn’t matter. When we dig deeper we find that the donor behavior is shifting. Donation frequency and amounts are steadily increasing online.
Myth #3: The technology for online giving is too complicated and difficult for my staff to use.
Truth: Many online giving programs can be set up within hours. This allows nonprofits to start collecting donations electronically almost right away. While the initial set-up requires some 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 places on your administrative support staff, keep in mind that many organizations provide set-up support and ongoing consultative services to ensure success.
GiveCentral provides technology that enhances the donation process for everyone. By consolidating all collection, fundraising and communication activities in one place, nonprofits increase reach, while administrators save time on accounting and data management.
With targeted messages and multiple options to give, donors also find it easy to support an organization. Everybody wins! Whether you have a small or large team, these features will make their jobs easier to manage so that they can get back to what matters most: developing long-lasting relationships with supporters.
There are many more myths about online giving out there, but knowledge is power. These myths run the risk of putting off even seasoned fundraisers from sending out the communication to keep up with their goals. It’s time to put them to rest. Make sure you explore all the options available to you. 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. Explore our resources designed to help you select the write plan.
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.