The internet and development in technology made a number of things easier. Well, if you look at it fundamentally that is the goal of technology; to make life easier. Thanks to the internet and ecommerce development, online shopping has made life easier across the world. With secure and faster payment processing, banking became less stressful. Money transfers can happen within a few minutes. Fundraising also benefited from the development payment processing systems. Online fundraising is easier compared to offline, but is it a good idea? Online fundraising is process of gathering voluntary contributions of money (and or other resources) by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies using internet connection. Online fundraising is getting a financial need across to those with the resources and will to donate towards solving the need. Nongovernmental organizations, charity organizations, foundations and other nonprofits usually embark on fundraising campaigns for projects. Online fundraising promises benefits like easier fund solicitations, faster payment processing and easier and faster ways of expressing gratitude to donors. The integration of online fundraising platforms to organizational websites makes the process faster and more cost effective. SEO agencies aid ranking which makes online fundraising related searches bring up relevant results. It is believed that one of every four fundraising dollars is generated online, this makes online fundraising a necessary tool for nonprofits. The question still remains is online fundraising a good idea for your project? Here are the pros and cons of online fundraising neatly laid out for you, so you can be the judge and the jury of your case!
Pros of Online Fundraising
1. Cost effectiveness
Online fundraising is cost effective. Using direct mail is more expensive because of printing costs, paper costs, and costs of transportation and so on. Having these costs in the thousands could run into huge sums. However using the email costs very little to nothing. With social media becoming more popular, sharing is easy and cost effective. It is considerably cheaper to run an online fundraising then a traditional one. Think about it, is spending huge sums the way to go where fundraising is required?
2. Saving time
Online fundraising is very fast, it takes a shorter period of time to set up and implement. Internet makes it possible for a good number of people to be reached in less time. The Red Cross once raised 3 million dollars in 24 hours through a texting campaign following the devastating Haiti earthquake years ago. Where time is of the essence, online fundraising is the best choice.
3. More targeted
It is easier to reach a targeted group of people online. Although donation should be open to everyone, online platforms like social media makes it possible to target a certain demographic or location of interest. This feature is not as smooth in offline fundraising.
Analytical tools makes it very possible to analyses results, these tools collect information related to the donors and the fundraising project over a period of time. This information is organized and easily accessed by the committee.
Cons of Online Fundraising
1. It’s still a growing field
The use of internet for fundraising is a relatively new field as most organizations are yet to embrace. Some reasons may be due to the fact that some methods used in online fundraising may not be yielding much positive results. Take email for example, while email marketing has a successful field fundraising has not really shown much promise. Response rates to email fundraising appeals are much lower compared to offline methods. Before diving into this field it is vital to have a good pool of online contacts. It is also important to mix offline fundraising methods with online until the decision to select one is necessary.
2. Difficulty building relationship with donors
Although many may donate, and data is collected about the donors, it is more difficult to build relationship with the donors compared to offline fundraising. Word of mouth requires you know the donor to a considerable level before you approach and it is easier to build a relationship after donation because a conversation has already occurred. Donors having physical contact with the committee helps to establish a relationship much faster than online fundraising methods. It is recommended that an offline attempt to establish relationship be initiated after an online donation. This may be helpful for future fundraising campaigns.
3. More donors but donate less sums
Statistics show that people give online, two out of every five people prefer to give online. That is good right? Not necessarily, people who donate online give smaller sums compared to those who give offline. This possess a potential problem for organizations looking to move their fundraising online. It may save time and money, it may get a higher number of donors, but the donated sum may not compare to funds generated offline.
Online fundraising may a good idea for an organization and a bad idea for another. However, it is important to take note of two things before embarking on online fundraising. Firstly, after the online fundraising, go offline and build relationship with your donors through phone calls, physical meetings, and mail and so on. Where the number of donors is too high for your organization, try to build a relationship with top donors. Secondly, it is important to keep eyes on the statistical and analytical aspects of online fundraising, compare statistics with those from offline fundraising to arrive at a reasonable conclusion regarding which to discontinue.
About The Author
Junaid Ali Qureshi
is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Progostech, Magentodevelopers.online.eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.