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Common myths about online fundraising…busted!

Online fundraising covers a broad spectrum of internet platforms used to raise money digitally.

Online campaigns can take many forms including peer-to-peer giving, email and social media campaigns, and traditional website giving.

Established charities will usually adopt a combination of off and online strategies. By comparison, newer charities founded in the past up to ten years are likely to begin their fundraising efforts purely online.

SupporterHub's mission is to help charities step into the future to enhance fundraising results. If your focus has previously been purely offline, read on as we bust some common myths about online fundraising.

MYTH: Only young people donate online

In a survey carried out by 24% of baby boomers (born between 1944 and 1964) said they were prompted to give an online donation because of direct mail they received.

Further, 30% of Greatest Generation donors (aged 75+) say they have given online in the last 12 months.

While children are learning to use smartphones and tablets from a young age, the technical capabilities of the older generations should not be discounted when considering online fundraising.

Older donors may be stereotypically less savvy, but they have access to social media, mobile apps and the internet, and have become accustomed to carrying out their business online.

In a government survey conducted by ESafety, 89% of Australians over 50 said they had access to an internet-enabled device either in the home or elsewhere. With access to the internet comes instant access to fundraising campaigns and donation platforms. Recent stats show this method of fundraising can and does appeal to all ages.

MYTH: The fees are too expensive

Online third-party payment platforms charge fees which some may perceive as too steep in relation to the funds received. While fees may seem an unnecessary expense and may deter donors, all programs attract admin costs. Analyse whether the costs are worth sacrificing all the donations raised through that campaign and you'll likely find that the admin costs provide a more than attractive ROI.

MYTH: Older donors prefer to send cheques

If you have an ageing database made up of donors who have always supported by writing a cheque, making an assumption on the way they prefer to donate risks future income. Just because this is the way the donor has always given; it doesn't mean they wouldn't prefer to shift to online donating. What any supporter wants and deserves is choice. Ask donors how they prefer to give before pigeonholing them into offline giving, the chances are, they just may not know any other way.

MYTH: It's not secure

Donors may once have looked upon the internet with confusion and suspicion but not anymore. With trusted security systems, cybersecurity and data protection all at the forefront of program development, the internet is a credible platform that is seen to put the needs of the consumer firmly on the front foot.

MYTH: Direct mail recipients don't give online

Just because a donor is on a direct mail list, you can't assume they prefer to give offline too. Making assumptions about donors can easily lead to them choosing another charity to support. Some may like to read an appeal letter in their own time and mull over the content before going online to make a quick, easy and secure donation.

The only way to know how your donors prefer to give is to ask them. Send out donor surveys, analyse the stats and don't be afraid to combine off and online communication.

MYTH: You don't get to know the donor as well if they give online

Online fundraising can often be looked at as anonymous or even clinical, but this couldn't be further from the truth. By running online fundraising campaigns, structured reporting can give valuable insight into donor behaviour to help you better target future fundraising campaigns.

Gain critical insights into the time of day donors like to donate, the types of appeals they respond to, preferred donation amounts and more. You can also send donor surveys to gain a deeper understanding of what motivates supporters to create more focused campaigns in future.

Online fundraising is no longer a thing of the future. It's here, it's present and, likely, the majority, if not all, of your existing and prospective donors have the internet at their fingertips and are more than prepared to support you that way.

To find out how SupporterHub can help increase the impact of online fundraising campaigns, contact us today.