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Online Fundraising: It’s Not About the Money! (Part 3) – Generational Prerequisite

Online Fundraising Part 3

In the past blog series I talked about how online fundraising is about engagement, new donor acquisition and pipeline build up.  For every 100 new donors, maybe a few will eventually turn into major donors (IF you are lucky!).  Well, those new donors will most likely be the younger generations who expect a different experience when interacting with your organization and building a relationship.

You should expect that these Generation Xers and Yers will seek a strong online presence from any organization they are going to build a relationship with.  In fact, this is probably one of the top, if not the most important baseline requirement a gen X/Y and millennial supporter will look for.  If a nonprofit doesn’t have this, it’s unlikely they will even consider them.

Mobile Requirements    

On a global scale, It’s estimated that 63-65% of millennials and 51-66% of gen Xers use a smartphone or tablet when shopping for products or services.  In the United States alone, 64% of all adults own a smartphone and 7% have been deemed the “smartphone-dependent generation”, with the majority of this subset consisting of gen Xers.  From directions to the nearest coffee shop to ordering the latest technical gadget, you can bet that these individuals will only interact with mobile-friendly websites.

We’re in an on-demand world, which means people want instant access to information, products and services from wherever and on whatever device they’re using.  Even for those who aren’t considered smartphone-dependent, many circumstances can limit us to only smartphone access, meaning that if your site isn’t mobile, you don’t exist!

Utilizing Social Networks 

Pew research reports reveal that social media is used by 65% of all U.S. adults, and of the younger population (ages 18-29), 90% of them use social media!  These newer generations are especially social online, so it’s in any organization’s best interest to make their information easy to find through these social channels.

Fortunately, it’s much easier to tap into supporters’ networks, especially if you leverage p2p fundraising.  Younger generations are much less likely to share information over the phone than they are with social media channels.  Plus, with social networks there’s potential for viral supporter-based growth.  Without online, without mobile, this type of growth probably won’t happen.

Transparent Online Fundraising 

With so many online scams, paired with heightened awareness surrounding them, our increasingly tech-savvy population expects complete transparency with online transactions.   Clear and honest pricing invokes trust, which equals more donors who donate more often.

  • Clearly explain exactly what a donor’s gift will go towards
  • Inform donors of any transactional or miscellaneous fees (if any) that could result from a donation
  • Follow up with donors right away with an electronic receipt, a thank you, and a description of how they made a difference with their contribution
  • Let donors (or potential donors) know who else is giving by mentioning the number of donors on your website, where they’re from, etc.
  • Provide proof that you spent donations in the manner you said you would by sharing the results of a campaign or benefit publicly on your website and/or social media channels
  • Make it easy for supporters to see what you are doing and to build an engaging relationship with you (via social media, website updates, emails, etc.)

Side Benefits of Applying These Efforts…

1. Natural Inbound Marketing for Your Organization
  • More campaigns + more transparency + more content + more viewers = more continued and potential supporters!
  • Lower acquisition cost to attract new supporters
2. An Organized Framework using Specialized Tools to help you Engage with Less Manual Work
  • The cost of running a crowdfunding campaign is much less than running a direct mail or call campaign, executing outbound donor development, etc.