Leveraging technology to help fundraising and targeting middle-income donors

Leveraging technology and understanding the behavior patterns of those who give can make for a more complete nonprofit fundraising strategy.
Date Published
11/03/2014

Nonprofit fundraising strategies are becoming increasingly fluid. Typically, an agency knew who its support base was and understood how to communicate with them in such a way that they would be encouraged to lend their financial support to advance an organizational mission. This was done either by employing a direct mail strategy or contacting people by phone to garner monetary gifts. However, technology essentially changed the way 501(c)(3) groups interact with donors.

The advent of the Internet and the creation of gadgets such as computers, tablets and smartphones, worked to fragment contributors. In addition, adopters of these devices also skew younger meaning that nonprofits need to develop new approaches to make a connection with these individuals in order to influence them to give. These factors and many others have made fundraising more complex than ever before, while also charities to essentially change their communications efforts on the fly.

Leveraging technology to increase nonprofit fundraising efforts
If a charitable organization doesn’t understand the importance of employing modernized strategies to help to raise money, then chances are it is quickly coming to the realization that donation amounts are rapidly dwindling. The Internet, social media and other sites that are popular with people today, can all help charitable groups connect with donors who are savvy when it comes to the use of advanced technology.

According to a report from Business Insider, there is a new website that makes it easier for contributors to give their financial support to charities in need. Dollar a Day was started by the former CEO of Kickstarter, another popular online platform that nonprofits are using to bolster fundraising efforts.

The premise behind the site is to encourage people to contribute $1 every day for a full month to a different organization. Not only does this serve to raise increased awareness on the part of the donor, but it also helps an organization introduce an individual to its foundational mission in an effort to encourage them to give bigger gifts or, at the very least, make contributions on a consistent basis.

“I don’t think it’s as easy as one might hope to discover new nonprofits,” Perry Chen, founder of Dollar a Day, told the website. “Dollar A Day was trying to solve that problem first and foremost … It’s really about trying to finding a way to support and shine a light on nonprofits already doing great work and getting people to directly engage with them.”

Donors can subscribe to an automatic monthly payment of $30 and the site will automatically distribute $1 contributions across its network of partners and introductory emails will be sent to contributors, giving them an opportunity to learn more about the organization that their money went to. As an added bonus, the money is 100 percent tax deductible, Business Insider wrote.

Those who earn less often inclined to give more
Most charities typically like to solicit larger gifts from people with the financial wherewithal to give more. However, the Nonprofit Marketing Blog, citing research conducted by Sea Change and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, uncovered that between 2006 and 2012, a large number of financial gifts come from those who earn $25,000 or less on an annual basis. In addition, both studies showed that the more an individual earns in salary, the less he or she is inclined to give to charity. However, many 501(c)(3) organizations only target higher income earners as opposed to those on the lower end of the spectrum

In order to ensure that nonprofit fundraising efforts are robust enough in order to give assistance to those the charity was designed to help, in addition to incorporating technology, individuals who are inclined to lend their financial support on a routine basis should be targeted, too.

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