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Home Fundraising How To Move To Online Donations

How To Move To Online Donations

by Clay Harmon

How To Move To Online Donations During COVID-19

Many nonprofits rely on in-person fundraising events to attract new donors and energize active donors, or to drive funds that carry them throughout the year. Since events will be limited for the near future to protect communities like yours during COVID-19, it’s vitally important to find new ways to engage people, build support for your nonprofit’s mission, and make it easy to give online. The good news is you have everything you need in your Aplos account for digital giving, communication, and connecting with your people. We will quickly walk through some options so you can find the right tools for your organization. We’ll also go over ways to make it easy for your supporters to donate to your cause virtually.

Step 1: Select Your Digital Giving Tools

Aplos has tools to help you quickly and easily set up an online donation form, widget, or Text to Give for your nonprofit. All of these can be set up in minutes with no coding required. Each option also offers donors the choice of one-time or recurring donations. You know your donors best, so you can utilize any or all of the tools Aplos has available to keep them connected digitally.

Online Donation Pages Or Widgets

Online donation pages are easy to customize with your logo. You can even create a dedicated page to ask for support for a specific COVID-19 need. A widget can be embedded on your website, or you can easily link a dedicated donation page to your weekly email or social media page.

See Sample Donation Pages

Sample #1

Sample #2

How To Customize Your Donation Page

Start Collecting Donations In Aplos

Text To Give

Text to Give is a great option for your supporters when you aren’t able to hold in-person events. If you hold an online event, such as an auction, you can also include a phone number on a slide during the event that instructs people to text the word GIVE. An auto message will guide donors through a quick donation setup on their mobile device.

See The Text To Give Guide

Start Using Text To Give

Nonprofit Text To Give Launch Kit

Step 2: Share Your Message

Connect Through Social Media

Because physical events are being canceled, social media can help your supporters feel connected. Whether streaming over Facebook Live, Instagram TV, or posting a video on YouTube, your supporters can join in to see live updates. You can also schedule regular posts to provide encouragement, show your supporters how your nonprofit is assisting others, provide opportunities for people to serve with your organization, or post stories of how your supporters are responding positively. These options help fill the void of physical connectivity.

Add Ways To Connect And Support Your Nonprofit In Your Emails

Even if you aren’t holding in-person events, it’s important to still build a community around your organization. Whether that’s sharing the link to your online event, or ways supporters can safely get involved in the community, a personalized email to each person is a great mode of communication. You can easily use the email campaign tool within Aplos to spread the word and link to multiple giving options.

Add Donation Links To Your Website

If someone is looking to make a donation, your website is likely the first place they will go. Make sure a Donate button or link is visible on your homepage, preferably on the top right of the page, so people can easily find it. If you are doing any special efforts related to COVID-19, make sure you highlight that on your homepage, and provide a link to more information so people can see how you are engaged and support your efforts.

How To Share A Donation Widget

Get Creative

Many people are currently stuck at home, which means there may be new ways to engage and connect with them. These are a few ideas:

  • If your in-person fundraiser is on hold, it may be worth trying a virtual one. Ask people to dress up for a Gala and submit their photo. They can join a Zoom meeting to see your keynote, or watch it live on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Try a Google Hangout to engage people on topics related to your mission.
  • Provide resources to parents. Lots of kids are home, so provide an educational tool or craft idea related to your cause to increase awareness. 
  • Create social media challenges. Ask your supporters to post a video on social media related to your cause, and then challenge their friends to do the same.
  • Host an online auction fundraiser.

Other Academy Resources

Online Fundraising Basics Course

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