Digital fundraising utilises developments in technology to create fundraising campaigns and systems that are faster, smarter and more effective for charities.
While adopting digitally based protocol isn’t a new concept, for many, digital fundraising is a relatively unknown sphere that may have certain pre-conceptions attached.
To avoid making common errors when increasing your digital footprint, here’s our comprehensive list of ‘dos and don’ts’ to help utilise digital technology to the best of its ability.
Use reporting facilities
One of the biggest advantages of digital programs is the capacity for precise tracking and recording. Data is only as useful as the analysis, however. An essential element of every campaign must be reporting and analysis. Don’t overlook reporting as valuable insights will help you get to know donors better and build more successful campaigns for the future.
Expect overnight results
By their very nature, digital programs and processes are designed to increase performance and save time, but this doesn’t mean results will be instant. Relationships still need to be nurtured in the same way as offline fundraising through intentional donor stewardship. Campaigns should also be tested over time to get a true measure of their success.
Make sure programs are optimised for mobile
PC and mobile users have very different experiences of digital campaigns and programs must cater to both. This is particularly important when sending emails or designing website and landing pages. You only have a few seconds to capture attention, and pages that are slow to load or difficult to read on a handheld device will lose attention and be detrimental to the success of the campaign.
Focus entirely on online
While digital technology is certainly forming the future of fundraising, offline fundraising still has its merits. The power of programs such as direct mail and community events cannot be overlooked. If a program achieves results and is currently meeting targets, keep them in place while boosting digital income in other areas.
Take advantage of free trials
There are lots of digital programs available and changing systems can become overwhelming, particularly when budget is a consideration. Avoid rushing into annual contracts before familiarising yourself with new programs by taking advantage of free trials. Using a test system for a month will allow you to assess how user-friendly a program is, experience the service levels offered by a company, and identify and how well the team will adapt.
Overuse the email list
Email marketing delivers an excellent ROI while providing valuable data that helps a charity get to know its audience better. While email campaigns can be pulled together with relatively little planning and coordination, don’t make the mistake of overusing data. All communication should be strategic to avoid donor fatigue and contacts becoming de-sensitised to your messaging. Devise a communication plan every quarter and make sure you stick to it.
Increase the efficiency of digital platforms further by integrating programs. The website, payment gateway, SRM database, communication platform and financial reporting should all be linked to avoid manual uploading and double handling of data.
Meet the needs of your audience
Implementing digital campaigns that appeal to a younger more tech-savvy audience may not appeal to an ageing database. It’s important to always meet the needs of existing donors while trialling new campaigns.
When approached strategically, digital campaigns and technology have the potential to advance fundraising efforts leading to better outcomes for a charity.
SupporterHub exists to help charities upgrade systems to improve fundraising outcomes and build better relationships.
To find out about SupporterHub’s FREE 30-day trial, contact us today.