Posted by Tony Endelman

There’s never been a better time for you to amplify your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts.  In its annual report on philanthropy, Giving USA, The Giving Institute illuminates that in 2014, charitable giving rose 5.4% to a record $358.4 billion. The report shows that contributions rose in all categories—individuals, corporations and foundations—making up for ground lost during the economic slump between 2008 and 2011.

With charitable giving at an all-time high, it’s important to note that online fundraising is growing much faster than any other kind. The internet has streamlined the fundraising process, making it easier than ever for people to raise—and donate—money.

As a nonprofit, you can grow your mission and boost online donations by following six simple best practices:

  1. Go Mobile. Right NOW.
    Mobile devices have officially overtaken desktop computers as the most used digital platform. In the last four years, Smartphone usage is up 394% and tablet usage is up 1721%. According to MobileCause, 51% of people who research your nonprofit’s website before giving do so on a mobile device. And, over 60% of mobile users will abandon your site immediately if it doesn’t have a mobile responsive design. The bottom line: If you’d like to see a boost in online donations, your nonprofit MUST be mobile-friendly. 
  2. Use Branded Fundraising Pages
    Believe it or not, branded fundraising pages within a nonprofit’s website raise six times more money. Make sure your donation page is fully branded with your name, logo, compelling imagery and mission-specific copy. The fact is, a branded donation page not only helps potential donors understand that they’re in the right place, it also builds trust and confidence.
  3. Feature a Donate Button…Everywhere
    Your nonprofit should have a donate button on every page of its website. You can accomplish this most easily by integrating the button into your site’s main navigation.  Make the button stand out with bright, bold colors so potential donors know exactly where it is at all times.
  4. Keep It Short
    People don’t like to spend a lot of time filling out lengthy forms. And they especially don’t like to divulge a lot of personal information. Simplify your donation form and only ask for the information required to complete the transaction. Your potential donors will be less likely to abandon your form, and more likely to make a donation. 
  5. Offer Default Giving Levels
    Research shows that suggesting giving levels leads to increased donations. So, instead of asking people to type in the amount they want to give, offer a handful of suggestions. Usually, this results in donors giving larger amounts than they would if you required them to make their own, unassisted decision. Livestrong, for example, starts their giving levels at $25 and goes up to $1,000. They also include a box for “other,” so that people can choose to give a different amount.
  6. Put Security First
    While financial transactions are commonplace on the internet, people still want to know that you’re taking the proper measures to ensure their information is secure. Do whatever it takes to make sure your nonprofit’s website is completely safe.

Start following these best practices, and you’ll be well on your way to elevating your nonprofit and growing your mission. Firespring makes this easy by offering stunning nonprofit websites with all the essential tools built right in.