Article written by:
Brad Denzel, CPA
Senior, Assurance & Business Advisory Services

The e-commerce movement has exploded, gaining traction with each passing year. Since the first online transaction in 1994, the amount of business conducted through the web has increased exponentially. While many consumers may think of retail sales when they hear e-commerce, the accessibility of the internet and ease of which you can navigate through it provides the perfect opportunity for nonprofits to capture more donations.

While the days of going door-to-door to collect donations or sell cookies may go on forever, providing an alternative method for donors to make a difference has become a vital aspect of nonprofits’ way of conducting business. After all, as effective as it may be collecting donations in neighborhoods or at popular retail fronts, it is tough to beat a website that is up and running no matter the time of day. In conjunction with accepting online donations, many organizations have also included an online store within their website, furthering the online consumer interaction.

A snapshot of online giving statistics lends a hand in showing just how big of an impact e-commerce has had on the nonprofit industry. According to Nonprofit Source, in 2017, online donations totaled $31B, up from $19.2B in 2012. Additionally, a survey conducted of donors worldwide showed that 54% prefer to donate online.

Below are some tips on how to better your website to increase traffic and donations.

  • Become social media accessible; include links to your website within social media posts and encourage others to spread the efforts by posting often to social media accounts.
  • Include the option to opt into email subscriptions; an easy way to maintain relationships with donors is through routine newsletters that can be distributed via email.
  • Build your website around your mission. Visitors to your website should be able to easily identify your organization’s mission. The inclusion of pictures or testimonials related to the mission help newcomers quickly learn about the organization.
  • Make your website donor-friendly. Although this may seem obvious, once a visitor ventures away from the front-page of the website it becomes difficult for the user to donate. Including a donate link at the top or side of each page is an easy way to always be one click away.

With a plan in place and an easy-to-use website, nonprofit organizations can maximize their donations and make a greater impact on the world.

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