How to increase donations online: quick guide for nonprofits

It’s encouraging to see that charitable giving in Australia — even amidst the challenging circumstances of a world pandemic — remains stable.

A study by Mccrindle looked at how COVID-19 has had an impact on donations in Australia. The numbers show:

  • Four in five (81%) of Aussies are giving financially to charities/nonprofits, which are consistent with previous years.

  • One in four givers (23%) expect to give more towards the end of 2021.

  • Over half (53%) say their charitable giving will likely stay the same.

Good news all round! However, for the remaining 24% (one in four) — they expect their giving to decrease. As a nonprofit or charity organisation, there will always be challenges; especially when it comes to fundraising strategies.

That’s why deciding on the best possible digital payment system and the most effective way to encourage online giving should remain a priority. Here are a few tips to help you increase your donations.

Optimise your donation process for mobile

Optimising your website for mobile is a non-negotiable! It makes it easier to navigate your website, which encourages your visitors to explore your content and easy to check-out when they want to make a donation.

Checking if your website is mobile friendly is easy. Here’s two ways you can do it (one for back-up).

1. Manually drag & resize the screen on desktop: Bring up your website in a browser on desktop. With your mouse, grab the right side of your browser window and drag it all the way to the left until you can’t shrink your browser anymore.

2. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test: All you need to do is pop in your website URL in the search bar to check on your site’s mobile-friendliness.

Just found out your website is not mobile-friendly? You need what is called a ‘responsive design.’ Mobile-responsive websites adjust to fit any screen size and are easy to use on any device. Depending on how you host your website (i.e WordPress), you will have access to a number of responsive design templates.

Provide multiple ways to collect donation money online and offline

In the charitable sector, there are many ways to receive donations: automatic, recurring donations, fundraising, crowdfunding, membership fees, and selling goods and services.

But first, you need a payment provider to help you facilitate these payments. With Ezidebit you can take both recurring and one-off donations both online and over the phone, as well as card-present donations with our EFTPOS terminals. By offering a variety of options to accept donations, including one-off payments, you are making it easier for donors to give to your cause.

Tell a compelling story

As human beings, we connect through storytelling. Explaining what your organisation does is one thing, but how are you using it to develop a deeper connection with your potential donors? The stories you tell need to inspire and motivate action. In other words, motivate them to donate.

Here’s some strategies to help you dig a bit deeper:

  • Tell a story that reminds your donors or prospective donors of a shared experience

  • Use videos to explain your mission

  • Create a ‘day in the life’ story

  • Encourage user-generated content on social media with your volunteers and donors

  • Look at how you can create urgency in your cause

  • Find ways to directly show the impact that donations provide

Share these stories across all of your channels; your email newsletter, website, annual report and social media. And make sure there is a clear way to donate at the end of every story you share — whether it’s a one-off or recurring donation.

Hook in small, recurring payments

Subscription-based services have become a part of everyday life. From Netflix to coffee bean deliveries, these everyday costs are negligible and deemed necessary. So how can you achieve the same thinking with recurring donations?

Explain why you need recurring donations and what impact they have. Donors want reassurance that their monthly gift is going to make a difference, so it is important to explain exactly what that donation will accomplish. Ezidebit can help you set up a reliable Direct Debit solution to ensure you can process recurring bank and card payments without any hiccups.

UNICEF Donations Messaging

UNICEF added a message to encourage donors to consider a smaller monthly donation.

Keep payment security at the forefront of processing donations

Accepting small minimum donations as low as $1 is important to maintain a steady stream of revenue — but this does raise some important security considerations.

The ability to make quick, anonymous, low-dollar-value donations appeals to fraudsters who want to commit a particular type of fraud known as card testing. In a typical two year period, 10% to 15% of Australian not-for-profits have been the targets of fraud, with an average loss of $23,000, according to data from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. What’s worse, is that nonprofits and charities are usually the least equipped to deal with them.

That’s why partnering with a payment provider like Ezidebit can help you secure and safeguard your business. We’ve developed a program called the Merchant Trust Initiative to help and support our merchants. Within this program, there are a range of tools and information that can be used to help protect your nonprofit or charity against the most common data threats, as well as provide access to a range of resources including templates, webinars, blogs, educational materials and support.


Read more: How to keep your customers information secure when taking payments online


Make the best use of technology to help you operate efficiently

A report released in 2020 aimed to understand how nonprofits across Australia and New Zealand are using technology to recognise opportunities and areas for improvement. Only 52% of nonprofits are using at least one type of new or emerging technology. And nearly half (49%) of the nonprofit staff are less than confident using technology and information systems.

The effective use of digital technologies is critical to your nonprofit or charity success moving forward.

Some areas technology plays a successful role includes:

  • accepting donations

  • fundraising

  • communication through raising awareness

  • engaging donors

  • managing donor information

  • measuring campaign performance

If running on limited resources is a common challenge for your organisation, technology can help you work smarter rather than harder in all the areas listed above.

Case in point: The World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS) worked with Ezidebit to accept payments and enable seamless reconciliations to aid tier growth and expansion. As part of a hackathon/day-of-service, Ezidebit helped WBGS implement an event entry ticketing system on their website that resulted in a 39% conversion rate for tickets from the public and over 1,500 link clicks in a 24-hour period.


Read more: Client Spotlight: The World’s Biggest Garage Sale Reclaiming Goods for Profit and Purpose


Best online payment system for nonprofits

We know the day-to-day running of your nonprofit or charity will take up much of your time. But collecting donations online doesn’t have to be arduous in itself, as there are increasingly accessible options for collecting donations online. To find out more about how Ezidebit can help your nonprofit or charity reach its potential, contact us today.