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5 Steps to an Effective Online Fundraising Page

By Clay Boggess on May 21, 2022
Online Fundraising

Improve donor engagement and boost giving virtually

Life today is largely based in the digital realm. Any school fundraiser that doesn’t involve an online aspect is missing out on donor dollars. You may plan to sell products, or you intend to simply create a platform to share your story and ask for assistance. No matter what route you take, your online fundraising page matters. This webpage is the face of your fundraiser and therefore influences your success. Use the five steps below to create an effective online fundraising page for your school.

1. Layout

Layout refers to the overall fundraising page design and structure. A solid layout prevents visitors from being overwhelmed and moving on before donating. You want to provide easy, accessible, and stress-free viewing for your potential donors. Ensure navigation on the site is seamless and mobile-friendly from the home page to the final ‘submit’ at the end of your donation form.

White space on the webpage is an important design element of your webpage. The correct use of white space increases readability by up to 20%. Manage this by breaking up your text and keeping your margins clear of text and ads.

2. Story

A well-written online fundraising page is narrative-based. Before giving funds to your organization, donors want to get to know you. Tell a compelling organizational narrative. Share your school’s mission, values, and history. Talk about your current goals and the obstacles you must overcome to reach them. Include statistics and useful numerical facts when possible.

When writing your story, be personable and relatable. The goal is to pique the reader’s interest and influence them to align with your cause. To do this, they must understand your cause and empathize with it.

3. Transparency

Your fundraising webpage content must be transparent and honest. Consider two organizations supporting the same cause. One organization shares a detailed project plan, projected budget, and past project outcomes. The other gives a brief description of their project idea. Which one are you more likely to donate funds to? You’ll probably feel more confident giving to the first organization knowing how your funds are allocated.

Be as specific as possible in your project description. Tell your donor community what problems you face and how you plan to overcome them. Transparency will build trust and encourage loyalty between your school and your donor base.

4. Incentives to Give

On occasion, offer additional fundraiser incentives to give. You can do this using online sales of goodies or school merchandise. Alternatively, you may wish to host virtual contests or giveaways. The point is to keep your raise active and fresh. A past donor may not return to your page to donate a second time, but they may pay a donation fee to enter your posted giveaway.

The easiest incentive to give is gratitude. Post thank you letters to your past donors, or if you prefer to keep donations private, send thank you letters directly by mail. Reassure your donors that their donations matter and that they are making a difference.

5. Keep Your Page Up to Date

Effective online school fundraising pages are those that are updated often. Donors want to be kept in the loop. When you reach a fundraising goal- share it! When you begin to implement a project, write about your experience in doing so.

Share photos and videos whenever possible to provide donors with an inside look, and optimize them for mobile viewing. Recruit students to share statements about recent improvements or academic accomplishments they have made thanks to donors’ generosity.

Bonus: Choosing an Online Fundraising Platform

You’re officially ready to write your school’s online fundraising page. What platform should you post it to? Listed below are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an online fundraising platform:

  • Audience: Does the platform have a built-in donor base? Does this donor-base match your target market?
  • Ease of Use: The webpage should be easy for your end-user to navigate. Equally important, it should be easy to set up.
  • Fees: Platforms charge a fee to host your fundraising page. The fee can be a one-time charge, time-based, or a percentage of your raise. Also, be aware of the time it takes to withdraw donated funds.
  • Security: Protect your donors by choosing a fundraising platform with a secure card processing system. Ensure there is no past record indicating a lapse in security.

Read reviews, ask your network, and take advantage of free trials to choose the best online platform for you.

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Author Bio Clay Boggess, Author

Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.

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