Boost Online Fundraising with Mid-Year Revenue Spikes

Our 2011 Online Fundraising Report shows that nonprofit organizations receive over 20 percent of their total online funding in December, and nearly 45 percent in the last four months of the year.

Staggering, but not news.

Key takeaway. For a large portion of the nonprofit sector December is a critical time of year.

But should it be?

The real question is if your organization should continue to rely so heavily on the giving season and tax write-offs to drive online fundraising success?

My take. No way.

We should always be looking for new and creative ways to drive online giving throughout the year (sometime it helps to have a great piece of nonprofit online fundraising software to help with this).

Non-December Surges

Even though December is a universally-accepted annual benchmark that signifies conclusion, certain sectors have their own benchmarks that they count on for donation surges.

2011 Online Giving By Month

For example, June serves as the annual benchmark for educational sectors, as it denotes the academic year’s end. Our report shows that this prompts education and higher education’s monthly online revenues to swell, jumping from around six percent to an average of 14 percent of their total online gifts.

The healthcare sector typically holds fundraising events in April and September, which bumps up their earnings, as more donors are likely to give when a cause is highlighted prominently. During those months, healthcare’s online earnings increased from around seven percent to roughly 11 percent of their total online gifts.

Create Your Revenue Spike

If your organization is looking for more online donations throughout the year, and you do not want to wait for December’s giving spirit, creating your own month of revenue spikes can be an effective approach.

Select your month wisely – The month you choose to focus on creating an online revenue spike should coincide with your organization’s needs and activities. Think about your events, campaigns, holidays, times of year, etc… and start planning how you can incorporate online fundraising into the mix.

Promotion is key – Donors will not know about new happenings without advertisement and promotion. Use online communication, such as your website, Facebook, Twitter and email blasts, as well as direct mail, newsletters and phone calls to past donors to keep them informed. Make use of every channel you’ve got available.

There is no magic bullet – Keep in mind that creating a “new” Online Giving revenue spike out of thin air is pretty tough work. It’s going to take time, patience and dedication. But in the end your efforts will pay off.