HOW TO Build a Digital Major Gifts Program

I love it when anecdotes plus statistics lead to predictions, which then become real life case studies and finally evidential proof.

In 2012, we first witnessed major donors taking notice of online campaigns when a dozen major gift prospects made their first gifts ever to Florida State University during the school’s inaugural “Great Give.” These were prospects who had never made a gift of any size or type, but felt compelled to do so for the first time during the online giving day micro campaign. (Most gifts were made online in the $500 to $5,000 range with one coming in offline as a $100,000 pledge)

Major gift donors and prospects often give four- and five-figure gifts through ScaleFunder's crowdfunding and giving day modules without being specifically solicited.

Major gift donors and prospects often give four- and five-figure gifts through ScaleFunder’s crowdfunding and giving day modules without being specifically solicited.

Flash forward to the nearly 900 crowdfunding projects and online giving days ScaleFunder’s team has helped to launch and the refrain is similar in many cases – big gifts come from major donors and prospects, often unsolicited.

But those big gift donors should have been solicited, because we know:

  • 85 percent of millionaires use social media, text messaging, AND smartphone applications. (Fidelity Investments study of millionaire investors)
  • Online donors have higher household incomes than those who only give offline. (2012 Convio study)
  • Online-acquired donors give twice the average size of gift compared with donors acquired via mail. (2012 Blackbaud study)

The statistics tell us the more money a person has, the more likely it is they are engaged online and via social media. Past experience tells us big donors are excited by innovative online giving efforts. For these reasons, digital is quickly becoming a staple of the best major gift programs. With that in mind, here are a few tips for injecting digital energy into your traditional major gifts program:

Train gift officers to be active in the digital space

This is not a mandate that every single gift officer opens and maintains Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for engaging donors. Instead, find those gift officers who are already active online as well as those who have an interest in increasing their digital footprint for fundraising. Build a training program for the willing gift officers that helps the novices get started and the pros polish their online appearance.

The same goes for your institution’s leadership. For the right donor, having a president or chancellor comment on that donor’s Facebook photo of their granddaughter’s graduation could be monumentally effective at strengthening that donor’s affinity for the institution. Again – provide training for your administration so those opportunities can be identified and leveraged.

Provide digital opportunities for major gift donors

From offering innovative matching and challenge opportunities to branding a giving day theme in the name of a specific donor’s family, online giving campaigns can serve as virtual naming rights for your digitally active major donors and prospects. Whether it’s a giving day theme or a crowdfunding perk, think about how you might build your biggest donors into your online campaigns in visible and meaningful ways.

Create a subgroup of major donor online ambassadors

We’ve seen major donors set up crowdfunding campaigns that have brought in $60,000 in a matter of days. More importantly, those major-donor-led crowdfunding campaigns have identified new major donor prospects through the networks of the major donor ambassadors who launched the campaigns. Which makes perfect sense – major donors often have major donor prospects in their networks (online and offline). Leveraging a major donor’s support as both a donor and recruiter can more than double their impact.

Major donors are proving to us they want to be involved during online campaigns through their actions during those campaigns. On Wednesday January 20, RNL/ScaleFunder’s Vice President of Digital Fundraising Strategy, Justin Ware (that’s me), led a webinar with tips and tactics for building digital into your major gifts program. Click here for the recording, slides, and infographic of that webinar.

Email v. Social Media

Email v. Social Media – which deserves more of your time and resources when trying to grow your donor base?

*Quick caveat here: I don’t believe in a one versus the other approach as they’re both crucially important. But in a cash-strapped world where digital content is a must, where should you focus more of your time if you want to expand your reach into segments of new donors? Let’s discuss…

Email versus Social MediaWhen it comes to conversions, email brings in far more fundraising donors and dollars that social media. After all, social media is rarely used as a solicitation channel. Facebook’s “Donate” button has yet to gain significant traction, for example.

But, social media is an incredible awareness tool and the only set of channels where a cause can quickly go viral. That’s probably why, according to this 2013 Georgetown/Waggener Edstrom study, the vast majority of those surveyed said social media is the #1 way they learn of a new cause to support. In fact, social media outpaced email by a rate of about 2 to 1 across all cohorts in the study.

And really, this makes sense when you consider how a person typically interacts with email. It’s two things – either you respond to email, because you have to (for your job) or because you REALLY believe in something. Email is deliberate – the decision to support has already been made in many cases. And according to the aforementioned Georgetown study, it’s likely that decision-making process started as a result of something you viewed on social media.

So, if you’re interested in growing your base, consider beefing up your social media presence by doing the following:

Get active on several major social media networks.

The “must list” of social networks to be active on is somewhat fluid, but Facebook is mandatory. It has, by far, the most users and the most users in the key donor demos of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Plus, despite punditry to the contrary, Millennials are still very active on Facebook, too. You’ll also want to be active on LinkedIn for the prospecting value of the professionally focused social network if nothing else. Instagram is imperative if you want younger donors and students involved.

Train your staff – especially you major gift staff. (Or hire additional staff)

Did you know that 85 percent of all millionaires use social media, text messaging, AND smartphone apps? The more money you have, the more likely it is you’re online and using social media. Be sure you have multiple staff members in every area of focus who can contribute to content production and social media conversation management.

Produce good content on a regular basis.

This doesn’t have to be overly polished content. In fact, some of our crowdfunding data at ScaleFunder suggests a highly-produced piece can actually be detrimental to the success of a fund. (More research needs to be done, but still, interesting to note…) To be effective, content needs to be coherent and connect to the emotions of the audience. Or at a minimum, fulfill a need for the audience. Do that and do it often to provide your donors with a ever-open window into your organization that keeps your mission front and center in their minds, while at the same time, extending your mission to new audiences ready to support your cause.

Justin Ware is the Vice President for Digital Fundraising Strategy with ScaleFunder. In early 2016, Justin will be helping to launch ScaleFunder’s Giving Day module and consulting services to pair with ScaleFunder’s already highly successful Crowdfunding module.

BWF_social to Tour West Coast with FREE Online Fundraising Workshop

BWF presents a FREE half-day workshop to help your nonprofit raise more money online.

BWF presents a FREE half-day workshop to help your nonprofit raise more money online.

Oh, the things we now know about online fundraising. For example, did you know that…

  • Online acquired donors give twice as much to your organization as those acquired off line via channels like direct mail? (Blackbaud/Convio study)
  • Donors who give online have much higher household incomes than those who don’t give online? (Blackbaud/Convio study)
  • Social media is the #1 way most Americans now learn or a new cause to support? (Georgetown/Waggener Edstrom study)

Online and social media isn’t a luxury add on to your nonprofit organization’s communication strategy anymore – it’s a necessity for the future survival of your organization that will also raise big money and acquire lots of new donors RIGHT NOW. And now is when you want to get started on a strategy that helps you connect with donors on this ever-expanding medium.

On July 21, 22, and 23, BWF_social’s lead consultant Justin Ware will join Bentz Whaley Flessner principal Josh Birkholz for a three-city road show focused on building your online and social media presence for fundraising. In each city, Justin and Josh will deliver a three-hour morning workshop that will consist of two sessions and wrap up before lunch (because we know how busy you are). Best of all, it’s free!

To register for the Monday, 7/21 Los Angeles event, click here.

To register for the Tuesday, 7/22 San Francisco event, click here.

To register for the Wednesday, 7/23 Seattle event, click here.

Looking forward to seeing you soon on the West Coast!

10 of the Best Higher Ed Online Giving Days

In case you haven’t noticed, online giving days have become kind of a big deal in higher ed. The million dollar+ day is no longer the miracle campaign only the best and most prestigious schools can accomplish. Nope, seven-figure online campaigns are becoming common place. Assuming, of course, the organization planning the campaign knows what they’re doing.

We’ve said on this blog many times – to have a successful online giving day, you need three things:

  1. Good online infrastructure (campaign landing page and giving forms).
  2. A solid, established, and consistent online and social media strategy driven by good content.
  3. A coordinated online ambassador effort.

Below are 10 of the best campaigns of the past three years. Seven of them had a version of an ambassador program, nine of them had elaborate and long-running social media strategies behind them (the only one that didn’t have a long-running strategy did have a powerful ambassador effort), and every single one had excellent online infrastructure. So without further adieu, 10 higher ed online giving days or fundraising campaigns to model your efforts after… (And I’d love to know which campaigns you think I missed. Please let me know in the comments)

Georgetown City Challenge – 2013

Purpose: Scholarship support and regional alumni engagement.

Duration: 27 hours.

  • Donors: 1,514
  • Dollars: $529,000
Gamification was the driving force behind Georgetown's successful City Challenge campaigns.

Gamification was the driving force behind Georgetown’s successful City Challenge campaigns.

Notre Dame Day – 2014

Purpose: Scholarship support.

Duration: 24 hours.

  • Donors: 4,049
  • Dollars: $918,518

UMass Amherst’s UMassGives – 2013

Purpose: Increase student giving and the overall culture of philanthropy in support of UMass Amherst.

Duration 36 hours.

  • Donors: 1,588
    • 626 students gave over the 36 hours.
      • In the entire year prior, 529 students gave.
  • Dollars: $84,000

For a blog post recap of UMassGives, click here.

Washington and Lee’s Give Day — 2014

Purpose: Online giving event.

Duration: 24 hours.

  • Donors: 4,300+
  • Dollars: $1.4 million.
Major gift donors played a huge role in Washington and Lee's Give Day's success by giving $650,000 in challenge grants to drive participation.

Major gift donors played a huge role in Washington and Lee’s Give Day’s success by giving $650,000 in challenge grants to drive participation.

For a blog post recap of Give Day, click here.

University of Texas at Austin 40 for Forty – 2014

Purpose: Student engagement and annual giving.

Duration: 40 hours.

  • Donors: 2,104
  • Dollars: $128,000

Boston University Giving Day – 2014

Purpose: Annual giving online campaign.

Duration: 24 hours.

  • Donors: 2,872
  • Dollars: $1.11 million

Arizona State University – 2014

Purpose: Donor engagement and annual giving.

Duration: 36 hours.

  • Donors: 908
  • Dollars: $3.059 million

For a blog post recap of ASU’s campaign, click here.

Colgate’s WRCU Radio campaign – 2013

Purpose: Raise money for the school’s communication program.

Duration: 24 hours.

  • Donors: 5,683
  • Dollars: $5.1 million

For a blog post recap of Colgate’s campaign, click here.

Columbia University’s Giving Day – 2012 and 2013

Purpose: Online fundraising campaign for annual and major giving programs.

Duration: 24 hours.

  • Donors:
    • 2012: 4,940
    • 2013: 9,700
  • Dollars:
    • 2012: $6.8 million
    • 2013: $7.8 million

For a blog post recap of Columbia’s 2012 campaign, click here.

Average numbers for all schools:

Average donor number: 3,423

Average dollars raised: $2.69 million

Average duration: 29.5 hours

Are you ready to celebrate a successful online giving day? At BWF_social, we have experience building giving days and a consulting package to ensure success for your school. Learn more by clicking here.

How to have a $1 million+ online giving day at your school

Seems like every week… shoot, almost every DAY now we’re hearing about another $1 million+ online fundraising campaign or giving day in higher education. From Arizona State to Boston University, these seven-figure giving days are becoming the norm rather than anomalies.

But how, right? What is it these schools are doing differently or better than other institutions who are having mixed results?

To get to the bottom of planning a successful giving day, we asked Washington and Lee’s Annual Giving Director, Skylar Beaver, what’s the secret sauce? By answering three short questions in the video below on W&L’s $1.4 million “Give Day” on April 24, Skylar provides an overview for how you might go about planning your giving day in 2015:

A few things jump out from the Washington and Lee Give Day that are common among many successful giving days:

  • Like most successful giving days, Washington and Lee enjoyed significant participation success along with a big fundraising total.
    Like most successful giving days, Washington and Lee enjoyed significant participation success along with a big fundraising total.

    Significant lead or challenge gifts to encourage participation and boost overall giving.

  • A strong strategy led by a interdepartmental team.
  • Social media.

We’d also add good, easy-to-use online infrastructure (in other words, a campaign page and giving form that more donors describe as “fun” rather than “maddening”) and a robust online ambassador program. Really, when you do that combined with the above items, it’s tough to fail.

Are you ready to start the planning for your giving day in 2015? BWF_social has a package to help our higher education partners succeed with online giving days. To find out more, contact our Director of Interactive Communication, Justin Ware, by clicking here or here.


Higher Ed Online Fundraising and the Rise of “Money Bombs”

Arizona State: $3.059 million in 36 hours … Columbia University: $7.8 million in 24 hours (after raising $6.8 million just one year earlier) … Santa Clara University: 2,600+ donors in 24 hours – by far their biggest day for donor participation ever.

Thanks, in part, to a strong social media strategy, Santa Clara University saw record-breaking donor participation during their first ever "money bomb" online campaign.

Thanks, in part, to a strong social media strategy, Santa Clara University saw record-breaking donor participation during their first ever “money bomb” online campaign.

Short duration, online fundraising campaigns or “money bombs” are taking over higher education. But it’s not as easy as sending out an email and posting a few things on Facebook. The institutions that have had success have invested tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in three main areas to prepare for these online events:

  • Well-designed, donor-centric online infrastructure (campaign landing pages, giving forms, mobile sites, etc).
  • A long-term online and social media strategy (not just for the campaign, but throughout the year).
  • Peer-to-peer or online ambassador programs.

If you’re interested in learning much more about the above suggestions, check out the following web chat from the Chronicle of Philanthropy (full-length chat posted below). In it, I’m joined by Georgetown’s Joannah Pickett (chief architect and strategist behind GU’s perfectly executed City Challenge online campaigns), Ohio State’s Chad Warren (one of the best online campaign planners in the business who has both Florida State’s Great Give and Dayton’s I Love UD campaigns under his belt), and the Chronicle’s Cody Switzer:


Are you ready to plan an online fundraising campaign for your institution? We have plenty of experience helping our clients achieve online fundraising success during these money bomb efforts. Click here for my BWF contact info or here for my LinkedIn to connect with me (Justin Ware) and learn more about how we might work together.


Content Marketing for Universities Using Hashtags

User generated content – it’s the holy grail of content marketing. But as many who have tried can tell you, it’s not as simple as asking your audience to “submit your favorite photos of (fill in the blank).” LogoFirst, it needs to be easy on the user. I mean, REALLY easy …like including a simple hashtag in a post is all they should need to do. Which is the case for students, alumni, and supporters of the University of San Francisco, thanks to the institution’s use of – an online application that builds audiences through publishing by curation. helps the University of San Francisco’s e-communications team track content tagged with the #USFCA hashtag on leading social networks such as Instagram, Twitter, and blogs. After a post using the #usfca hashtag is discovered, that content is then reviewed. If it passes muster, the USF e-comm team features that content on the website. The result is a conglomeration of photos, videos, and stories about life at and around the University of San Francisco.

The University of San Francisco's content marketing hub,

The University of San Francisco’s content marketing hub,

“ fits perfectly into how we work towards the strategic goals,” said Thomas Listerman, Director of E-Communications at USF. “We curate content as a part of our regular monitoring – morning, noon, and afternoon.”

And it’s working. The project has led to a spike in visitors to USF’s web presence.

“We launched in March 2013 and after 9 months, we have now reached 130,000 views and 960 unique contributing sources,” said Listerman.

The page has also led to extensive use of the #usfca hashtag.

“We also measure (through radian6) the social media footprint in terms of social media conversations that mention the university name, and specifically conversations that include #USFCA,” said Listerman. “Compared to the same month last year, we have seen an average 168% increase in USF-relevant conversations overall and a 573% increase for the use of #USFCA.”

Like most universities, the University of San Francisco has few staff resources assigned to social media.

“Three full-time staff manage both email marketing and social media for the university, so we have to use our time efficiently,” said Listerman. “The monitoring and review process of #USFCA has been a way for us to generate more social media content, and more engagement with our content, with much less effort compared to creating the social media content ourselves.”

The site is authentic while also remaining on brand, thanks to the review process. Since it’s easy to use, there’s no shortage of user-generated submissions. And, because it’s user-generated, it’s helping USF understand what matters to its constituents, which shapes overall content marketing.

“The data from is playing an increasingly important role for our content marketing strategy,” said Listerman. “We use metrics from and our other social media venues as a live ‘Litmus test’ for which stories to develop further through other channels.”

Interested in conducting your own content marketing campaign similar to what the University of San Francisco has done using Listerman has the following list of tips to offer:

  • Consistently monitor your content – Look at what your community is already talking about and how your curation can make a difference. Respond daily to questions and comments that deserve response.
  • Get students involved with developing the concept for the project, either as student workers or as a focus group.
  • Give the community one common hashtag to identify themselves when they refer to the university in their social media conversations.
  • Use your brand messaging platform to create curation standards for your team.
  • Make sure that your platform of choice…
    • Links back each curated piece to the original item.
    • Gives each curated content item a URL of its own.
    • Allows for sharing through other social media channels.
    • Allows for metrics both on a site-wide and item-specific level.
  • Implement a procedure for circling back with every contributor you curate and publish, to let them know you’ve published their content.
  • Swag doesn’t hurt. USF used postcards and stickers for the back of laptops or smart phones to create extra attention in the student population.
  • Re-launch your project every semester with a focus on incoming students, in order to get them into the habit of using the right hashtag when they discover the university and throughout their student experience.

Justin Ware helps higher ed institutions, healthcare organizations, environmental organizations, and other nonprofits develop content marketing strategies. To connect with Justin to learn more, click here.

@WorkingOrange – How to Manage a Higher Ed Twitter Account

@WorkingOrangeProfilePicIt’s an age-old (in social media time) and still relevant question – “what do we tweet?” The easy answer is, “something that’s useful, valuable, and fun for your audience.” For a specific example of a Twitter account that covers those three things and more, check out Syracuse University’s @WorkingOrange. The @WorkingOrange Twitter account is run by Syracuse’s Career Services department and is awesome, because…

First, it provides valuable information about a hot topic, especially for younger grads. Those of us who work in higher ed know there’s a lot more to a four-year degree than simply landing a job. That said, it is a big reason why many people attend college. Which means, finding a good and rewarding job is part of the “product” that colleges and universities offer. And successful brands provide adequate stellar customer service around their products. In large part, that’s what this Twitter account amounts to for Syracuse grads – a customer service channel to help fullfil that promise of meaningful work following graduation.

Two, it is highly engaging and interactive – lots of retweets and mentions. It might seem trivial to some, but to your most active and influential social media followers it is not – validation matters online.

When you think about it, we all like to be validated. Some of us at work, others by our families, others still by our friends and social circles. For those of us who spend a lot of time conversing on social networks, we also seek validation in our social media communities. @WorkingOrange provides that validation by truly communicating with the account’s followers. That activity matters, because it builds and strengthens relationships with supporters, which increases the likelihood of them becoming life-long supporters.

Three, it has personality! Most successful Twitter accounts have personality. Just have a look at the following tweets…

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 3.12.04 PM

Some Twitter accounts – @DeptofDefense, for example – need to be a bit more serious, most of the time. (Although even the Department of Defense can find appropriate ways of having fun on Twitter) But for the majority, it’s important to fit the attitude and style of the social network. For Twitter, that’s (hopefully) quick-witted, courteous, upbeat, useful, and timely. @WorkingOrange is all of those things and more.

Wanna talk more about social media for higher ed? Contact BWF’s Director of Interactive Communication Justin Ware by clicking here.

Online Ambassadors Help Columbia Reach $6.8 Million in 24 Hours

GivingDayLogoIn a previous post, I suggested nonprofits do three things to boost their online (and offline) fundraising. 1) Build an online ambassador program. 2) Improve your online giving websites, apps, and widgets. 3) Invest in personnel to manage your social media strategy. Columbia did all three of those things on their way to a wildly successful, 24-hour, online giving campaign that brought in more than $6.8 million on October 24, 2012. But you don’t have to take my word for it. BWF interviewed CloEve Demmer, Columbia’s Director of Annual Fund Programs, and Gwynne Gauntlett, Director of Digital Strategy for Alumni Relations and Development at Columbia. In the video below, Demmer and Gauntlett talk about how they prepared for and executed Columbia Giving Day:

In addition to the massive fundraising total brought in during the 24-hour campaign, Demmer and Gauntlett said they were equally surprised by the success in the days following Giving Day. Several million additional dollars were given to Columbia by alumni and supporters who said they were inspired by the powerful campaign. Which shows that online campaigns might be as valuable as marketing tools, as they are fundraising mechanisms.

Above all else, what Columbia’s campaign demonstrates is the value of investing in online and social media for fundraising. Facebook might be free, but a strategy to raise money using Facebook is not. Columbia’s staff and leadership understand this. As a result, the school just wrapped up one of the most successful one day fundraising campaigns ever. And chances are, they’ll do it again in the near future.

Justin Ware is a fundraising consultant who specializes in online and social media engagement at Bentz Whaley Flessner. To contact Justin, click here.

Competition Drives Online and Social Media Action

Earlier this week, about 120 million Americans took part in what boils to down to the country’s biggest competition – an election. This Saturday and Sunday – and every weekend through the beginning of February – about another hundred million+ people will at least passively observe any one of several dozen fierce competitions on football fields across the nation. Combine the two, and you have a roughly $10 BILLION industry all built around one thing – (hopefully) friendly competition.

It’s clear competition drives behavior in America and across the globe (from what I understand, soccer is kind of a big deal around the world). We’re human, therefore we like to compete. So doesn’t it make sense to add a little competition to your fundraising strategy to drive giving activity? The following are two examples – one from healthcare, one from higher education – where competition was cleverly used to accomplish fundraising and/or membership goals.

‘Tis the Season for Online Gaming

In late fall 2010, the University of California, San Francisco was looking to raise awareness about fundraising for their new Benioff Children’s Hospital. The objective was donors, not necessarily dollars, so a mini campaign was launched with a goal of raising $100,000. To participate, supporters of the new children’s hospital were encouraged to set up online teams. The rules were simple – which ever team had the most donors won the competition and the right to name a wing of the hospital.

As it turns out, $100,000 is a bit low if you’re running a fun online competition, just outside of Silicon Valley, during the holidays. After the short (roughly one-month) campaign wrapped up, the teams who took part in the UCSF Challenge for the Children raised more than $1 million through roughly 165,000 donors. The winner? Online gaming development company Zynga, the firm behind Facebook’s popular “Farmville” application raised more than $800,000 through roughly 162,000 donors. In Farmville, game players build their own virtual farms with virtual animals, plants, barns, and whatever else you might find on a real farm. For the Challenge for the Children, Zynga sold virtual candy cane seeds which could be grown on the players’ Farmville plots. Proceeds from each candy cane were given to the Challenge for the Children, making each gamer who bought a candy cane a donor.

The Challenge for the Children also drew celebrity support, but the second place finisher was 12-year-old boy and cancer survivor named Paddy O’Brien. Paddy brought in roughly $12,000 through 425 donors. When asked how he did it, Paddy said it was simple: he asked his friends to support his team and had those friends ask their friends to do the same. Paddy was an online ambassador for the Benioff campaign. And online ambassadors are a group your nonprofit needs to have a program built around if you’re planning on raising money online. (For more on how to use online ambassadors to boost your Facebook presence, check out this earlier post.)

For a great, recent example of using competition to boost your organization’s social media activity, I present you The Alumpics.

The Alumpics was a competition between the alumni associations of seven of the ten Ivy+ schools. It ran during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Instead of tests of physical prowess, the Alumpics tested the social media mettle of these organizations. Each day, the organizations would post an alumni-related photo on Facebook. The photo with the most likes that day won gold, second-most silver, and third most took home the bronze. At the end of the Alumpics, the org with the most golds won the contest.

While this didn’t have a direct fundraising tie, it did create a lot of buzz around the participating schools’ Facebook pages. In total, 70 photos received 32,532 “likes.”

“So what?” you might be asking. Well, here’s why 32,532 Facebook “likes” is a big deal. According to the 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report, the value of a Facebook fan who “likes” a  nonprofit’s page is $214.81/year. That bears repeating – every Facebook “like” or fan of your organization’s page is worth $214.81 per year if you follow up with that fan. So those 32,000+ likes are potentially worth just under $7 million for the institutions that participated in the Alumpics.

Online competition can work to drive fundraising, but it’s not as simple as just putting a scoreboard on your website and hoping people will get in the game. The following are a few tips to help your online fundraising competitions boost giving and interest in your organization’s mission.

Connect with the zietgeist: What societal movement has everybody talking? What’s happening in pop culture? Is the Final Four coming up? Does your institution have a big anniversary on the horizon? Is it the holiday season? Connect your competition with a well-known and heavily participated-in event to leverage the buzz that already exists around that event.

Make it easy to participate: Ease-of-use should be a serious consideration for all your online giving activity, but it’s especially important if you’re trying to lure new donors to your cause. For online giving forms, only require information that is absolutely necessary. For returning donors, enable one-click giving with the information they’ve already provided. And…

Make your contest mobile platform friendly: Several studies show that the primary method of checking email is now on a mobile device. A large number of your supporters will share a link to your online competition via email, which is just one of many reasons why you should considering optimizing your online giving process for mobile platforms.

Justin Ware is a fundraising consultant who specializes in online and social media engagement at Bentz Whaley Flessner. To contact Justin, click here.