Is your school looking to maximize its fundraising potential? Of course!
We all appreciate things that make life easier for us, and technology has done exactly that. Allowing donors to contribute online makes it easy and convenient for them- whether they live within your school's locality or overseas.
It also saves you time and resources you would otherwise have used to print physical donation forms.
Granted, cash and checks remain the preferred mode of donation, especially for the older generation. However, the younger generation finds it easier to donate from their digital gadgets. Statistics indicate that online giving is steadily becoming the preferred mode of donation for many.
This means your school needs a platform that will allow you to collect these donations easily. Which begs the question: what is the best way to collect donations online?
Read on as we provide you with the answers to this vital question.
Choose a Reliable Payment Processor
PayPal is one of the most famous payment processing systems. It is an easy and convenient way of accepting online donations. However, there is a caveat; donors would need to have your phone number or email address to send you, their donations.
One limitation with PayPal is that you won't be able to post photos/videos showing the success of past fundraisers to encourage people to donate. Additionally, prospects with no PayPal account will not be able to contribute unless they create an account, which may be a hassle for some. Stripe can serve as a good alternative.
Both payment processors offer discounts to nonprofits, meaning your school will be able to retain a considerable chunk of the donations.
Creating a Donation Form
This is arguably the most obvious way of collecting online donations. As the name suggests, a donation form is an online form where your donors can leave their contributions.
The donation form must be simple. The whole point is to make it easy for your donors to contribute. They should be able to quickly locate the form and make a contribution within a few clicks once they visit your website. To increase credibility and trust, the form should indicate that the prospect will receive a donor receipt once they make their donation.
Needless to say, it is essential to make your donation form mobile-friendly so your supporters can easily donate from the comfort of their smartphones. Statistics indicate that mobile giving is growing by the year, with mobile phone users accounting for over 30% of all online donations. Also, ensure your supporters can access the form without zooming in and out, which may discourage them from donating.
Donation forms are also an excellent way to communicate your unique story to donors, and your core mission and show the impact of past fundraisers.
Text to Donate
Sending a text to potential donors is another easy and convenient way of collecting online donations. After all, people are constantly checking their phones (an average of 85 times a day) and are unlikely to miss your message.
Many software providers can help your school send donation campaigns to your prospects. Txt2give, for example, can send out texts to all your contacts and allow them to send you their donations without hassles.
Facebook has over one billion users making it a ripe online space to launch your fundraising campaigns. However, you'd have to be innovative to rise above the digital clutter.
Luckily, several platforms like Facebook Fundraisers allow you to carry out peer-to-peer fundraising and leverage your school's social media presence to raise funds. You can also use Facebook's advertising tools to ensure your requests reach as many people's feeds as possible.
Create a Crowdfunding Page
Almost everyone who uses the internet has come across a crowdfunding campaign. They have been used for all sorts of donations, from soliciting birthday gifts to raising money to help families in times of distress.
Crowdfunding is easy to share, which is why such campaigns are growing in popularity.
Initially, such campaigns were used to raise money for individuals, but nonprofits, schools included, have seen how effective they are and are now following suit.
Crowdfunding pages can be used to customize your campaign and share success stories, including videos and photos. You can also post updates about the progress of your fundraising campaign and encourage prospects to subscribe and donate. The options are endless.
Email campaigns are an excellent way of spreading your message and inspiring people to support your school's campaign. There are plenty of donation tools that will help you set up and schedule emails appealing to your supporters to donate. At the end of the email will be a call to action in the form of a 'donate now' button leading to a donation form or your website.
Invest In a Secure System
Making online donations comes with its fair share of security issues. Investing in secure donation tools is therefore essential if you want to win the trust of your supporters. Your payment processor of choice should have built-in fraud protection to protect yourself and your prospects from the prying eyes of online fraudsters.
Luckily, most online donation tools are safe, fast, convenient, and affordable. Your supporters can donate from pretty much anywhere in the world without the risk of handing their information to the wrong people. Unlike traditional fundraising events, they also allow you to reach out to as many people as possible, which can be costly to organize and execute while limiting the number of people you can reach out to.
While you are trying to decide on the right direction for your school fundraiser, check out our blog post on how to choose the right platform for your fundraising needs. Know that whichever route you decide to take in your fundraising campaigns, LeanStream is here to help. We have a lineup of fundraising solutions to help you reach out to more of your supporters, easily collect online donations, and build stronger relationships with donors. This will help you in future campaigns.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team, and let's figure out how we can team up to improve education. We are more than proud to be your partner.