Having a “click here to donate” button on your website or simply “accepting donations” doesn’t amount to a whole lot if there’s minimal or zero donor confidence in the organization asking for funds. Some businesses can get away with that, simply because they have a respected and well-known name brand, but many others have to build their credibility to their prospective donors.
How can your organization achieve this?
For a start, it helps to be a non-profit organization, and specifically a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. Because let’s face it, not many people are too keen on donating to a for-profit organization. The reason 501 (c)(3) organizations are so appealing to donors is because any donation they make is tax-deductible.
So that’s a great place to start, but an organization needs more than non-profit accreditation to start bringing in funds. There are several important factors but let’s highlight the three that are most important when restoring confidence in your donors and therefore driving donations:
No one wants to donate to an organization that seems needy or might use donated money for personal gain. A great place to begin with seeming and feeling legitimate to a donor is providing a sound and airtight online presence. A strong, clean website build can do wonders for any business’s credibility, and maintaining a Facebook page with active posts can help as well.
Staying active in the community and allowing potential donors see the projects your funds go to is a huge plus, and so is keeping online activity up. When you can provide feedback and blog posts on your website and Facebook page, people in your community can begin to look at your organization as a thought leader and hopefully a business worthy of sending donations to.
Donors want to know that their hard-earned money is being put to good use. Simply saying “we’re not-for-profit” in many cases, isn’t enough. Organizations need to provide proof of where their received donations went. Some of the best non-profits in the world have charts and graphs detailing every aspect of their finances right on their website. Because their funds are from the public and for others, there’s nothing to hide!
Finally, let’s talk about a platform. As I alluded to at the beginning of the article, simple donation buttons are better than nothing, but those don’t take the engaging of donors to a higher level. There are many donation platforms out there that allow organizations to create donation campaigns with a goal date and amount. These are my particular favorites, because the donor can actively see where their funds are contributing. Then there are individual causes to be donated to along with general donations: all of which many donation platforms out there can handle.
In short, there are a few key pieces to inspiring donor confidence, but sometimes that cuts out the cheapest solution.