According to the Non Profit Times, residents of Seattle, Washington gave more online than residents of any other U.S. city. By the numbers, they donated more than $53,542 PER THOUSAND residents for a total generated of $33.2 million dollars. These numbers come from the Most Generous Online Cities 2013 Report, but PR Executive Ronn Torossian 5WPR CEO says those numbers represent much more than who gives the most. There is no doubt that online giving is up, but how are you taking advantage of it? There are several ways to take advantage of the open wallets and willing donors you can find online. As long as you follow the as yet unwritten rules.
Catch Them in the Moment
The best time to “make the ask” is while your target is immersed in the story. Don’t just sit back and wait for them to give. Offer them ample opportunities both during and immediately after you share the story. But, don’t just ask for donations. Put names and faces on those donations. Help people “see” how they are making a direct difference right now.
Make them Feel Part of the Story
It is essential that your donors feel they are doing more than giving to a “good cause.” Online donors want to be a part of the action, as if they were actually at an event. They want to come away with a story to tell. So, be sure to give them one. Make them understand, specifically, how their involvement matters to your cause.
Make it Easy
No matter what else you do, if it isn’t easy to give, then people are NOT going to do it. Simple and readily accessible buttons that lead to easy donation forms are the ONLY way to go. Any added layers of complication, and you will lose donors. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s that, when frustration supplants action in their minds, they lose their motivation to do it Right Now. If they get frustrated they may have every intention to come back later… but they probably won’t.
These are some basic realities of representing a non-profit in an online world. You have to connect, “make the ask,” and make it easy… or you are definitely leaving money on the table.