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Recent 26 Apr 2019

How To Find Donors Online

Maximize Your Nonprofit’s Reach by Finding Donors Online

by Becca Stebbin, Lead Content Strategist

There are hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the United States alone, all of whom are competing for attention and donations online.

While you may be intimately familiar with your organization and why it stands out, it can be difficult in today’s world to convince everyone else why your cause is most worthy of the time and money of your potential donors.

At Lifted Logic, Kansas City’s premier web design agency, we have helped hundreds of nonprofits establish an online presence and accept tens of thousands of dollars in online donations through their websites. We’ve even donated over $5 million in web work to local nonprofit organizations, and this year, we’re giving away a $50,000 website!

Below are our tips for how to find donors online:

Meet your donors where they are (the web)

Is your website search engine optimized so that when a potential donor searches for something related to you on Google, Bing, or Yahoo, your organization shows up in the results?

For example, if your nonprofit provides free counseling for at-risk youth, then a person searching Google for “local youth charities,” or “how to donate to inner city youth organizations,” or “supporting nonprofits near me” is certainly not a potential donor you want to miss out on.

SEO is a huge project to tackle, especially for an organization with little web experience. SEO services are offered by a wide variety of agencies—but be wary of those who promise to get your website ranked #1 every time. SEO is a subjective, inexact science (more of an art, really!) and should only be done using white hat (fair) practices by an experienced agency, preferably local to your organization.

Read why most SEO companies are like diets

Once a user finds you, will your website have integrated e-commerce donation functionality which they will be able to find and use easily? It’s estimated that 54% of worldwide donations in 2018 were made online, and those trends have only been rising year over year.

Make sure your website, from the code to the content, is appropriately optimized for search engines and can process online donations to ensure you are adequately capturing online donors.

…and then streamline your online donation process

Go to your organization’s website and put yourself in the shoes of a first-time visitor. How easy is it to find and go through the donation process? If your “Donate” button isn’t prominently featured on every page of the website, you may be missing valuable visitors.

Additionally, if your donation checkout process requires excessive information or input from the user, or is more than 3 steps, we find that these potential donors are more likely to “bounce,” or exit without completing a donation.

Approximately 40% of millennial donors are enrolled in some sort of monthly giving program, making it easy for nonprofits to have a source of steady donations. It can be difficult, however, to implement this system on your own, especially in a streamlined and legal manner.

The user experience (UX) experts on the Lifted Logic team can work with you to create a donation checkout process that is as simple as possible, as well as one that offers donors a “subscription” option which can charge a monthly or yearly sum to their credit card, automatically. Not only is this less work for you, but it’s more money, too!

Learn more about e-commerce web design from Lifted Logic

Make sure you have a broad online presence

Social Media

In 2019, it’s not enough for a nonprofit organization to have a great website. In today’s social media-centric world, it is essential to have an active and engaging social media presence in order to find donors online

While many regard social media as a waste of time or simply a pain in the butt, social media platforms are actually an amazing tool to help connect your organization with current supporters and donors, as well as reach potential new ones. It’s also a great way to show off your organization’s work and its impact on the local community!

Read about what your nonprofit website could be missing out on

One of our favorite examples of this is to create a weekly “Spotlight” highlighting a person, group, or place that has been positively impacted by your organization’s work. You can share this story on your website’s blog, then automate that post to send out on your organization’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and more to attract follows, likes, and comments. All of these are great engagements that help your organization be more visible online and attract new potential donors.

Other examples of how to use social media for a nonprofit could include:

  • Showcase your amazing volunteers with a “Volunteer of the Month”
  • Go live with a video stream on Facebook or Instagram during a fundraising event
  • Post ongoing “Case Studies” with live updates (and donation reminders) on a project
  • Run donation campaigns through paid ads and organic posts to remind current and potential donors that you still need their support

Whether you are on a routine of monthly blogging (we can tell you, it’s not as easy as you think, especially for a nonprofit organization!) or would simply like to help people keep up with what you’re doing, email newsletters are a great way to reach people in today’s world!

Email newsletters not only help you promote your organization and ask for donations; it’s a way to remind your audience that you exist and that you’re doing amazing work that deserves to be supported.

One of the best things about email newsletters for nonprofit organizations is that for the majority of people who have email use it on their phone; and for those who opt for notifications, that means your organization can be seen almost immediately, helping you stay relevant and top-of-mind for your audience.

Tell your story through video production

What is the best way to speak to the widest audience? Video, of course! When 57% of people who watch nonprofit videos go on to make a donation, it’s fairly easy to see why video has a huge potential to help you find donors online and link them to your nonprofit organization.

When you are able to show (and tell) website visitors about your organization’s origin, mission, and work and involvement in the community in your own words, you can connect with them in a more personal, absolutely invaluable way.

Next on Deck: 5 Tips for Effective Nonprofit Web Design in Kansas City

The Lifted Logic team creates general informational videos about nonprofits (like the homepage video on the Crosswinds KC website) all the time for use on their websites. Other nonprofit video ideas could include testimonial videos from donors, volunteers, or beneficiaries of your organization; videos from your annual fundraising gala; and more. (Bonus points if you then use your social media presence to showcase these videos!)

Check out this video we created for Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City!

Need help attracting online donors to your nonprofit organization? We are here to help!

We hope you find our tips for attracting donors to your nonprofit organization helpful. If your website is lacking the things we mentioned, we can help!

Come to our office for coffee and to discuss everything we can do to help ensure your nonprofit organization grows and succeeds for years to come.

Get in touch with our team by calling 816.298.7018 or use our cost calculator tool today!


Free Website Estimate


About the Author

Becca Stebbin, Lead Content Strategist

Becca was a Content Strategist before it was cool, building SEO best practices into digital marketing strategies for our clients well before it was an industry standard. Her experience at the forefront of digital marketing and SEO serves her well as the intrepid leader of Lifted Logic's Content Department.