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4 ways to increase the size of your online donations

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As a nonprofit, some of your top priorities have to do with acquiring donations in order to fund your mission, keep your organization running and help your team make a difference in the lives of others. Naturally this means the higher the donation amount, the farther it will go in your organization.

In general, across the industry, the average one-time gift is $68, and the average monthly gift is $18 (from email solicitations). However, in 2015, 4aGoodCause nonprofits saw an average one-time donation size of $172, and a monthly average of $37; we’ve also seen a one-time gifts as high as $60,000!

How do these nonprofits do it? Here are four steps you can take to increase the size of your online donations:

1. Suggest giving amounts

You probably have seen the suggested giving amounts on other nonprofit pages, or your nonprofit is already using them. But what if we told you there is a science behind choosing the right suggested giving amounts? The suggested amounts you choose to display should be based on the nature of your organization, the giving behaviors of your donors and context of which you are asking for the gift.

In The Impact of Social Influence on the Voluntary Provisions of Public Goods, it was found that there was a 12% increase in average donation amounts when donors were subject to “social information conditions”. In other words, offering suggested giving levels were helping donors know the amounts that were “appropriate” to give.

Tips for suggesting giving amounts:

  • Suggested giving amounts should be realistic, relevant, and specific to the fundraising campaign.
  • Figure out what your average giver donates and then try to push that average gift slightly higher
  • Benchmark against industry figures

2. Demonstrate the need for higher donations

Your donors may be giving an average gift size of $50, but if you can demonstrate a need for an additional $25 by telling your donors where the extra money is going, they will be more likely to increase their donation. Consider specifically telling your donors how each suggested amount will help your nonprofit and the community you are supporting. For example, a $50 donation may provide school supplies to a child in need for one month or a $100 donation may provide meals for a family of 6 for 5 weeks. Make it personal. Make it relevant.

3. Double the gift

If you’re looking for a creative and unique way to increase your donation size, consider matching gifts. Matching gift programs are components of corporate giving that are designed to support employees’ philanthropic efforts. This program allows employees who work for companies that offer matching gifts to submit a request to have their employer match a charitable contribution they have made to an eligible nonprofit. The average match ratio is 1:1, or dollar for dollar. This means that a company would give $250 to a nonprofit that an employee gave $250 to. Some companies are even open to matching at 2:1 or even 3:1 ratios, tripling or quadrupling donations.

You might be surprised how many companies offer the matching gift programs. 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gifts, as do many small and medium sized businesses. Learn more about these matching gift programs to help increase your nonprofit donation size.

4. Offer a recurring donation option

Monthly donors give 42% more than one-time donors give over the course of a year, so it is important to include a recurring option for one-time donors. Your online donation page should have the option and encourage donors to give monthly gifts and set up recurring gifts. Check out this great example of a nonprofit encouraging donors to participate in recurring giving.

We are dedicated to helping nonprofits increase the size of their online donations. Let us show you how you can raise more support and keep more of what you raise.

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Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Since founding 4aGoodCause in 1998, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves - building websites that make a difference in the world. He's helped build hundreds of websites that have raised millions of dollars for nonprofits from Maine to Hawaii.

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