Digital Fundraising for charities

Non-profit organizations and charities should keep up with any new technologies to maintain their existing and their potential donors as well as to succeed in such growing competitiveness in the fundraising sector. The modern digital and the more technologically advanced world is vast changing in the way charities are raising money for any cause.

A report in the year 2016 has shown that 7.2% of fundraising came from online donations, a percentage that will surely increase over the next years.

According to Blackbaud’s 2016 Charitable Giving Report, a mere 7.2% of all individual donations in the UK were made online. Of those online donations, however, 17% were made using mobile devices – a jump of eight percentage points since 2014. This implies that such usage will grow in importance.

 Why are more charities now choosing online fundraising strategies?

Digital fundraising for charities can help effectively in increasing the size of the donations for any non-profit organization.  Better yet, using unique fundraising strategies can even be more appealing to wider categories of audience.

Combining both old-school fundraising strategies along with the digital ones can mean better chances for nonprofit organizations to raise more money through the following:

  • Finding new donors
  • Targeting younger audience
  • Using the digital marketing to create more engaging fundraising ideas
  • Saving time, effort and money of the old school fundraising techniques

Digital fundraising has already proved that highly engaging digital marketing by the fundraising campaigns can lead to a magnificent increase in donations.

Digital marketing into digital fundraising

Over the past few years, digital fundraising has become one of the most effective and popular ways to raise money. Not only that it collects more online donations, but it’s the best way to interact with the possible donors through social networks and personal profiles. As we’ve just mentioned, the key to creating a successful fundraising campaign is social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc..). Social media is an effective, viral, and quick way to spread the organization’s messages.

Millions of people are now having 24\7 access to the internet on their PCs, tablets, and smartphones. It is a cornerstone that digital fundraising campaigns should be compatible with the up-to-date mobile technology.

Case Study

A standout amongst the best digital fundraising campaigns and an award-winning National Fundraising competition was one of the Alzheimer’s Research UK called ‘Running Down Dementia’. The charity only used a digital fundraising platform, and it successfully has managed to create a movement of people working together to achieve the same goal. Donors have participated in a charity race to run 100+km, as to raise £100 for the nonprofit organization.

By utilizing such innovative digital marketing technologies such as Facebook groups, live video streams, and leaderboards, we can always keep our communities involved and engaged throughout digital fundraising activities as well as the campaigns.’

5 Innovative platform ideas for digital fundraising for charities

Today we have brought to you some of the most popular online fundraising strategies. Ideas and tips on how to effectively manage online donation campaigns:

 1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding fundraising strategy means collecting small amounts of money from a large number of people, which in turn make a significant impact.

Example of a successful Crowdfunding campaign:

When the Grenfell Tower fire took place in London, people, as well as nonprofit organizations, have raised more than £40,000 in total only through crowdfunding.

2. Online donation websites

Wonderful and JustGiving are both useful as they allow your own supporters as well as volunteers to donate money on your behalf.

Another successful example of an online donation website is the British Heart Foundation. In 2016 the BHF raised a personalized campaign for the London-to-Brighton bike ride. The campaign that was in coordination with JustGiving foundation, has led to 14% more donations than the previous year.

3. Donation buttons

You can include a donation button on your online fundraising page. All what you need is to link your page with a valid payment system such a PayPal or a bank account. Fixed small donation amounts will make it easier and faster for you to induce them to donate. However, if you choose the fixed-donation option, always allow options to donate other amounts of money. In addition, always try to inform the donor exactly how much and what type of things that their donation can buy to your non-profit organization. Also, keep a donation tracker to encourage people to help you reach the end goal.

4. Social media

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat, have recently been playing such a humongous role in the success of some of the most iconic digital fundraising campaigns.

The first step towards getting the most out of social media is to build a community around your nonprofit organization so as to keep them up to date with all of your campaigns. Any online fundraising campaign needs to touch the heart of the donors so that they can relate to it. The easily shared content through tweets or videos of a celebrity or other high profile person can endorse the campaign as well as the fan page of the organization to grow followers.

5. Text donations

Text donation is a very quick and probably the easiest way to raise money for a cause. And it can target and engage new sectors of donors. The only thing to consider about text donations is that the campaign must be sticking out to catch the eye of the people who receive it and get a quick response. For example: Vodafone has offered JustGiving a free text service, so text donations are free for Vodafone customers.

5 Case studies of digital fundraising for charities

Five successful digital fundraising campaigns that analyze how much does technology affect a charity in reaching more people and increasing their donations.

Contactless payment campaign by the blue cross

Blue Cross was searching for an innovative method to coordinate the ascent of contactless payments, which has rapidly turned into a favored strategy of payment for many people, especially the younger ones.

And in order to cope with their current customer needs and trends, they came up with the innovative idea of “Pat And Tap” button. This idea allows people to make an instant £2 donation. This innovative idea amplifies the effectiveness of contactless payments.  Such creative online donation strategy has increased both the amounts of money raised as well as spreading awareness among animal lover communities.

 Donation button by Save the Children

The nonprofit organization, Save the Children, cooperated with Iris Nursery to make a ‘Give Button’ for physical donation. The objective of that online campaign was to encourage more creative and fun fundraising. Donors have to sign up once only. After that, they are active contributors and can engage in donating whenever they want.

The “Give Button” will automatically connect to the Internet through mobile data. This has been preferred by many donors as it’s not as complicated as some other donation forums, and it’s effortless and not as puzzling. In addition, such button idea manages to reach to more of the young audience, who would probably be comfortable to choose real-time donation buttons rather than other traditional ways of payment.

Reach for more audience by the St John Ambulance

Any Fundraising campaign can turn out to be more fruitful when mixing conventional along with digital fundraising strategies. St John Ambulance collaborated with Tesco to dispatch a CPR babygrow trying to expand awareness about how important is CPR. Teaching how to perform a CPR on a child in case of an emergency.

Such Charity campaign aspired to add value to an important problem. It adapted creativity and digital marketing tools in order to extend its reach. That fundraising for a cause has achieved an influential success. It combined traditional and online donation strategies, boosted by digital marketing techniques, to go even further than the nonprofit organization’s expectations.

The goal of the campaign was to reach 300k Facebook views. Better yet, it ended up reaching over 5 million views in the only on its first week. It also got more than 100k shares and stunning engagement rates.

Creative fundraising for UK Cancer Research

Cancer Research UK has created such an ingenious way to raise money for their cause, by introducing £2 contactless payment donations. This strategy was a result of a collaborating with Strawberry Energy and MKTG, to utilize the latest digital marketing trends into creating more appealing donation ideas. That fundraising campaign had yet another goal, which is to raise awareness for World Cancer Day. The contactless payment at the benches established for the campaign throughout London has also offered free Wi-Fi access as well as phone charging ports. Strawberry Energy’s allowed donors standing at the campaign benches to check the quality of the air through a smartphone app, offering one more fascinating method to mix smart digital gadgets with fundraising support.

 Donor’s journey of Alzheimer’s Society

Online donation campaigns do not only utilize the latest digital marketing technologies but also benefit from the user experience and their reviews about the organization’s website. Tracking the donor’s behavior while browsing the website, will lead to improving donors’ online experience. That’s why Alzheimer’s Society decided to upgrade and optimize their donors’ online experience to induce more donations. Those upgrades were based on the detailed research about users’ habits and reactions while browsing. Such front and back-end optimization enabled the nonprofit organization to tailor fit its future campaigns to the specifications of their donors’ improved experience.

Also, they give donors a set of diversified payment options, EX:  Apple Pay and PayPal. That made the Alzheimer’s Society one of the first nonprofit organizations to include Apple’s payment method in the year 2017.

The goal of that journey towards learning more about donors and redesigning the organization website was to increase online donations. They aimed to raise money through establishing a solid digital infrastructure to use in the profit optimization process for years to come. That improvement resulted in a 72 percent increase in donations.

There’s one important lesson to learn from this case study, which is even with a limited budget and a small team, if you just figured out a way to understand donors’ behavior, you’ll, in turn, be able to drive more steady long-term donation flows from them.

Digital Fundraising: Its Impact and Future

One survey at the end of 2014 about predictions over the next 10 years of The Digital Fundraising for Charities was made. These future estimates have spotted a new light on the way digital fundraising is moving.

Some of the key findings of the Digital Fundraising, Its Impact and Future are:

  • Half of the participants in the survey think that over than 30% of donations will be through digital platforms.
  • Nonprofit organization fundraising platforms must look after the full protection, privacy and security of their donors’ financial information. Meaning they should only use the safest online payment methods, in order to gain their donor’s full trust.
  • 85% of the participants assumed that social media will play an increasingly leading role in future online fundraising.
  • The estimates for the gadgets with the most powerful role in digital fundraising were as follows:  68% smartphones votes, and a 20% tablets votes.
  • About the ways that users prefer to donate through, official websites came out as their first choice, and  SMS donations were their last choice.
  • The chances are big that the current digital fundraising platforms will continue to make raising money for different causes much easier, efficient and personalized experience for all of the nonprofit followers and supporters anywhere around the globe.


Finally, and with any type of charity fundraising, it is needless to say how important it’s to observe and study the behavior of the organization targeted audience as well as choosing the best digital marketing strategies to reach them, and gain their long-term trust.

The use of the modern technologies to create more up-to-date innovations and techniques for digital fundraising will definitely serve in favor of the nonprofit organization, to reach their ultimate goal of increasing donations.

Digital fundraising is probably the most powerful tool for any nonprofit organization seeking to reach out more audience for many reasons especially that the use of the integrated digital marketing strategies will offer a more targeted promotion to the specified categories of audience. Thus, the message will spread out  through different platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and the donations will have a significant boost.

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I am a passionate and highly motivated digital marketer. I aim to work hard to deliver good results, achieve success and help the business grow online through digital marketing strategies.

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