At GiveWP, we like to think we have the best nonprofit fundraising tips. But it always helps to take a step back and see what our community has to say.
In a recent Bluehost Twitter Chat for Nonprofits, we discussed tips for nonprofits to succeed during the holidays. While crucial for the season of giving, these fundraising tips are also important to keep in mind year-round.
Tip 1: When starting out with online fundraising…
There’s a long list of fundraising tips for people who are just starting out with online fundraising. Some of the most important that we saw were about mobile giving and recurring donations. Keep in mind that recurring donations are the backbone of nonprofit fundraising.
A lot of donors also like to give on their phones. So you need to make sure your website forms work well on mobile and desktop screens.
Plus, you need to think about who you’re targeting. Create donor personas so you know how to present your fundraising “asks.”
Then, finally, always thank your donors. If you don’t, they won’t return to give again and they won’t recommend your organization to others.
Tip 2: Look for these hosting features for online fundraising…
Always make sure your website is secure with SSL and HTTPS. The HTTPS URL boosts donor trust and also prevents someone from stealing their information.
Another really important feature to have is a staging site function. Bluehost offers an easy staging site feature where you can import your live site to staging and vice versa with the click of a button.
You should also consider caching, backups, and free SSL options. As a nonprofit, a free SSL is ideal. Caching might affect your donation functionality by interfering. Finally, backups are important in case your site goes down. You can quickly replace a broken site with your backup file.
Tip 3: Maximize website speed for donors by…
First and foremost, always choose a reliable theme for your fundraising website. If you choose a bad theme, everything else gets thrown off. When in doubt, go with a default theme from WordPress.org. The most recent is Twenty-Twenty.
Then, test your site on slower mobile data speeds, get rid of large images, and make sure everything is optimized.
You can use online tools to test your site speed and then compress images that are slowing it down.
Tip 4: Use a tech checklist that includes…
Always check everything you’ve set up before you launch it to the public. There are a few key things you should always include when you check your online donations and fundraising funnels. Mainly, make sure you received the money in your payment gateway, the thank you email went out, and you were notified of the donation.
Then, of course, make sure that someone is responsible for keeping track of and following up on donations.
Finally, take it a step further and test everything from start to finish. Test it twice, three times if necessary.
Tip 5: Make sure donor information is secure…
The first thing you need to secure donor information is an SSL. SSL certificates ensure your website comes up with HTTPS instead of HTTP in browsers. This makes donor information impossible to intercept and it builds trust. Donors like to know their information isn’t being stolen.
You also need to consider data laws. Depending on where you live or who you’re targeting, you need to make sure you’re compliant.
It also helps to own all your data as well as make sure that you’re not storing it on your own website or feeding it to other systems.
Finally, of course, make sure that your website plugins and WordPress core software are always up to date.
Tip 6: Analyze your fundraising results with these tools…
Once you’ve started collecting donations, you should always look back to see how you’re doing. It’s easy to analyze your data with things like GiveWP’s reporting dashboard, which comes free in the core plugin. It’s also versatile so you can set goals based on your definition of success. Do you want more donors? Higher average donation amounts?
Then, you can even take your fundraising analysis one step further. Where did people come from to give to your organization? How many people who came to your website gave? Integrating something like Google Analytics with your online donation plugin allows you to track this.
Tip 7: Follow up after every donation and campaign…
Make sure you always say thank you to your donors, no matter what. You should even try to get creative with your thank you. Consider creating a video or sending a handwritten thank you note.
Say Thank you
Tip 8: Build relationships with your donors without the fear of failure…
The ugly truth about all fundraising is that there are times you will fail. Don’t be afraid to fail. There are ways around it. Just make sure you’re always grateful to your donors in the process.
It’s also important to remember why you’re raising money in the first place. Your cause is more than the amount of money you raise. It’s all about the relationships you build.
Bonus Tip: Be ready to troubleshoot your own site…
Anyone running their own fundraising website should know how to troubleshoot it on their own. You might end up fixing your own website. But, the real benefit is that it will help you get faster support from any website company. These details will help you whether you’re trying to get support from Bluehost support, a plugin support team, or any other website company.
Learn how to troubleshoot a website like a WordPress support technician before launching any fundraising website.
Learn More About Online Fundraising from GiveWP
GiveWP is more than just the best online donation plugin for WordPress. They’re also dedicated to providing the best resources for fundraisers of all kinds. Nonprofits and personal fundraisers all can find what they need to get up and running with online fundraising on the GiveWP blog.