Online Donation Platforms: Top 5 Features to Look For

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Online Donation Platforms: Top 5 Features to Look For

During 2020 we witnessed a massive shift to online fundraising. Online donation platforms made the donation process remote, secure and simple allowing organizations of all sizes to continue their good work. As a result, nonprofits witnessed first hand that having an online donation platform that does more is critical to the financial health of their organizations.  

The best online donation platforms can do much more than process payments and act as a digital rolodex. With the right features, it can also help you boost revenue, nurture and maintain donors, and alleviate time-consuming donor management and administrative tasks. Because its an important tool of the trade, partnering with the right platform can save you time and money through automation. 

If your organization or mission runs mostly on donor funds, we recommend that you consider using an all-in-one software, built specifically to address your needs. In our experience, organizations that rely on tools like spreadsheets or documents spend more time managing data instead of donors and are more prone to human error. 

Here are the top 5 features to look for in your online donation platform

1. Customization

No two organizations are the same, as a result, no two campaigns are the same. Your online giving software should help your campaign stand apart from the rest. In 2021, you should be able to brand your donation pages, and add custom giving forms to them. Also, you should be able to integrate different ways of giving such as crowdfunding or sms donations, to your pages. 

For specialized campaigns, your online donation platform should be able to offer you customizations with extensions and plugins to expand your community reach. 

2. Donor Mapping

Your software should help you acquire and retain new donors by providing them with excellent service. Your software should:

  • Provide you with a 360 degree view of donors that show everything known about a donor from the first point of contact
  • Automatically tracks all points of communications, from donor signup to donation histories
  • Logs all incidents, website visits, donation histories, and other activities for future reference and to keep all the team members on the same page
  • Uses donors’ first names to personalize all correspondence
  • Has unique reference numbers for each account, donor and help issue
  • Automatically sends donor acknowledgments of their inquiries and messages so they don’t feel ignored
  • Supports pre-made template designs

3. Email Integration

Tracking emails through a traditional inbox can be overwhelming for campaigns managers. It is therefore important that you have an email communication portal built within your online donation platform that enables you to send and track responses to emails in a timely manner to increase the chances of generating revenue. 

An email feature helps keep your fundraising reps organized and productive. They can integrate their calendars to schedule appointments and engage prospects and donors accordingly. Another great email feature is the ability to automatically pull in email templates so reps spend less time crafting email content. Here are some examples of basic email templates that you should have:

  • Basic information about your nonprofit, segmented by campaigns types
  • Follow-up after a phone call
  • Follow-up after one email that has been sent
  • Automatic receipts after a donation is made

4. Analytics and Reporting

Campaign and donor analytics are two important reports that offer insight into campaign performance and donor data. This data is important because it can help you make better decisions about the types of products, services, marketing and overall communications you distribute to your donors.

Look for these specific analytics in your online donation platforms: 

  • Donor segmentation that is simple to read and understand
  • Clear spend and goal tracking to help you determine your ROI
  • Information about donor behavior – which pages they visited, at what stage did they abandon the cart

5. Real-time Data

Real-time data synchronization helps you make better-informed marketing decisions about donor engagement, campaign reach, content performance, etc. You get an instant snapshot of what medium is performing the most for you for a particular campaign.

For example, you might want to see if you are receiving more donations from desktop or mobile and accordingly, adjust the content on your pages to make them reader friendly. You can also check if for the same campaign, donors are engaging more via email, LinkedIn or Instagram. This real-time data sync across all devices also helps you manage your campaigns effectively anytime, anywhere. 

Beyond 2021, the fundraising landscape will continue to transition to the digital space. Get a headstart now and create your own online donation campaign with us. Fill out the form here and ask our fundraising expert for a demo. Try out some of these features for yourself and see how your fundraising can take off!

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