Offline vs. Online Fundraising
Offline fundraising remains the most popular way to raise donated dollars. Modest fundraisers like bake sales to more complicated, coordinated phonathons and personal requests for donations positively impact fundraising goals.
Why? Offline fundraising taps into the root of successful fundraising, relationships.
People give to people and not to causes that they cannot relate to in some way. There has to be a personal connection. After all, donors don't receive an immediate physical product for their investment. They do, however, feel rewarded helping others that they feel connected to through a shared mission.
Why consider online fundraising?
There has been a surge in online giving over the past ten years, in part, due to the rise in access to smartphones, social media, and other networking platforms. So much so that donors are now experiencing social media, or let's be honest, Facebook fundraising fatigue!
While the internet has made it easier for potential donors to discover fundraising campaigns, and social media allows online fundraising organizers to expand their reach, these possibilities can wreak havoc on the most important aspect of fundraising, relationships!
How can you transition to or add online fundraising to your fundraising toolbox?
The answer is online peer-to-peer fundraising.
Peer-to-peer fundraising mobilizes organizational supporters to fundraise on your behalf. In essence, this type of fundraising adds the critical component of relationships to online fundraising. Not only does this type of fundraising leverage existing relationships, but it also creates more potential donor relationships! It allows existing supporters to personally introduce your organization to more potential supporters.
Let's take a look at some other positive implications of adding online peer-to-peer fundraising to your fundraising toolbox. Aside from relationships, there are some other critical components to successful fundraising, including:
Low Fundraising Costs
The less you spend, the more money you can allocate to your mission. Labor and rent are among the top two highest expenses for any non-profit organization. Unlike offline fundraising, online fundraising requires less staff. Peer-to-peer fundraising also leverages volunteers and supporters to do the work for you. Further, online fundraising does not require physical space. Virtually fundraising saves money on renting event space and other related expenses.
Relying on one way to bring in funding for your organization is a dangerous proposition. Donated dollars, whether through grants or significant gifts, is not guaranteed. It's imperative to have multiple income sources to maintain budgeted goals and projections no matter what seen, and unforeseen expenses introduce themselves. Don't put all your eggs in one basket!
In a 2018 study conducted by Bank of America in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, wealthy donors shared the top reasons they do not continue giving to a charity.
- Receiving too frequent solicitations from the non-profit organization
- Believing that the organization was not effective or did not sufficiently communicate its effectiveness.
- Being asked by the non-profit organization for an amount the donor felt was inappropriate
Given these concerns, how does online peer-to-peer fundraising support donor retention?
Online fundraising allows you to track and control the frequency of solicitation requests and the nature of communication with donors. It also provides donors with multiple giving options or with an amount of their choosing.