The average internet user spends nearly seven hours online every day. Between keeping up with global news and connecting with loved ones on social media, your donors have countless reasons to be online. Considering the amount of time they spend on their devices, your nonprofit can tap into many opportunities to bring donors closer to your mission.

In this guide, we’ll share five strategies for developing meaningful online donor experiences, including:

  1. Improve your website accessibility.
  2. Accept multiple ways to give.
  3. Encourage two-way communication on social media.
  4. Add virtual events to your calendar.
  5. Share appreciation and impact online.

By strengthening your nonprofit’s online presence and engagement opportunities, you can appeal to younger donors, reach a global audience, and make it easier for people to stay invested in your cause. Kick off your efforts with these top strategies.

1. Improve your website accessibility.

Your nonprofit’s website is a go-to resource for prospective and existing supporters to learn more about your impact, upcoming events, and ways they can contribute to your goals. Especially for those who are new to your organization, make a strong, lasting impression by enhancing your website experience.

To ensure that everyone can access your content, take the following steps to improve your website accessibility:

  • Use high-contrast colors.
  • Add alternative (alt) text to describe images.
  • Include captions and transcripts alongside videos.
  • Confirm that users can navigate your website using only a keyboard.
  • Boost readability by avoiding the use of all caps.

Additionally, verify that your website is mobile-friendly by implementing responsive design, creating a clear navigation structure, and using high-resolution images. By accommodating donors on mobile devices, you can maximize giving and engagement. After all, according to 360MatchPro’s fundraising statistics, mobile users made up 33% of online donations last year.

2. Accept multiple ways to give.

When it comes to securing donations for your nonprofit, it’s important to make the giving process as convenient and streamlined as possible. Beyond creating a high-quality donation page, consider offering multiple giving options on your website. Doing so allows you to appeal to more donors’ preferences and increase the amount of revenue you bring in.

For example, you could highlight options such as:

  • Monthly giving. Make it easy for donors to contribute regularly to your nonprofit by opting into your monthly giving program. All they need to do is specify the amount they’d like to give on your donation page and sit back as these donations are automatically processed every month. This option allows you to establish a predictable donation pipeline and cultivate convenient, long-term support from donors.
  • Donor-advised funds (DAFs). DAFs are charitable giving accounts that have become increasingly popular among philanthropic-minded individuals. Donors can make tax-deductible contributions to their accounts and distribute these funds to a nonprofit of their choice whenever they’d like.
  • In-kind donations. Some donors might be more interested in contributing non-monetary gifts of goods or services to your nonprofit. For example, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing housing insecurity might accept donations of clothing, quilts, and non-perishable food items. Or, it might appreciate pro bono services including photography, legal expertise, and social media management.
  • Planned gifts. Planned, or legacy, gifts are contributions that a donor makes to your nonprofit after their passing. These gifts allow donors to establish a legacy of generosity and can often include life insurance policies, real estate, and retirement plan assets.
  • Stocks. Through donations of stock, donors can access tax benefits such as avoiding capital gains taxes, or taxes on the profit they earn when they sell a stock share. Plus, they’re tax deductible.

Make sure that your donation software integrates with a CRM like Salesforce to store and analyze key details about your donors’ giving habits. Over time, you’ll be able to acquire a better understanding of how much donors tend to give, as well as which options they prefer most. Then, you can concentrate your efforts on creating educational materials and promoting those popular options.

3. Encourage two-way communication on social media.

By maintaining an active social media presence, your nonprofit can increase transparency, build trust, and assemble a wide audience for your cause. There are many ways in which you can use social media to engage in two-way communication with supporters and strengthen your relationships, including:

  • Encouraging followers to share your posts and produce their own user-generated content related to your mission.
  • Inviting supporters to join your nonprofit’s social media groups to bond with other like-minded individuals.
  • Hosting live Q&A sessions to interact directly with supporters.
  • Sending out polls and surveys to collect input on your programs, event offerings, and other involvement opportunities.

Plus, if you use tools that integrate with your social media platforms, such as Salesforce advocacy software, you can streamline engagement tracking and use these insights to strategically target specific segments of your supporters. As a result, you’ll be able to encourage more people to get involved based on their interests and preferences.

4. Add virtual events to your calendar.

Fundraising events are ideal occasions for bringing your nonprofit’s community closer together and keeping donors invested in your mission. While it’s certainly nice to connect with attendees face to face, incorporating virtual events into your event calendar can yield a host of benefits. For instance, they allow you to reach attendees beyond your local area, reduce expenses, and provide added convenience to your guests.

When planning these online events, keep these tips in mind to set your team up for success:

  • Keep attendees engaged through gamification using leaderboards, badges, and fundraising thermometers.
  • Use attention-grabbing video clips and photos to maintain interest throughout the event.
  • Encourage attendees to interact with one another in the live chat.

Like your in-person events, be sure to drum up excitement in advance by promoting your virtual event through multiple channels. In addition to sending out emails and posting on social media, consider taking your efforts a step further by designing eCard event invitations, branded to your nonprofit and personalized with each recipient’s name. This method can secure more registrations by making each supporter feel individually acknowledged by your organization.

5. Share appreciation and impact online.

Your nonprofit’s long-term success and sustainability depend on nurturing lasting relationships with your donors. Whenever someone makes a gift, signs up to volunteer, or registers for one of your events, show them that you’re committed to staying connected for the long term by following up and expressing your appreciation.

Regardless of whether you’re automating a thank-you email or mailing a handwritten note, tailor each message with specific information related to its recipient to make them feel especially valued. According to Jackson River’s Salesforce donation processing guide, you can pull from donor details in their profiles such as their:

  • Gift size
  • Giving frequency
  • Geographic location

Whether you use Salesforce or another CRM, note and respect how donors prefer to hear from your nonprofit. By appealing to their specific communication preferences, you can ensure that they read and appreciate your thank-you message.

Beyond saying “thank you,” specify the impact of the donor’s gift. Include a statement like, “Your gift of $25 will help cover the cost of veterinary services for our newest parakeet rescues.” Furthermore, consider linking them to other resources to learn more about the difference they’ve contributed to, such as your annual report.

As you implement improvements to your online donor experiences, set and track metrics such as time spent on your nonprofit’s website, types of gifts secured, social media engagement, and virtual event attendance to evaluate your results. Use these insights to identify further adjustments you can make to create more fulfilling digital experiences for your donors. Before long, you’ll have a thriving online community that’s eager to rally around your mission.