- Will De Ath
Over the last 2 years, we've seen many degrees of innovation in fundraising technology, and many more degrees within the period during the pandemic.
The pandemic has hit charities hard and now we have to make up for more money, with less staff, and try to fundraise in completely new environments with supporters who have fundamentally changed their habits.
We have to adapt and change the way we fundraise to keep up and create sustainable methods of donation income, methods that can withstand anything that is thrown at us so we're never hit this hard again, something that allows for multi-channel high converting donations, rapid campaign deployment, and campaign tracking without the head-scratching. Donation links are an answer to this.
A what? A donation link. click here and you'll see a real one in action. It's that easy. A simple link that takes donors directly to a highly optimised donation page that can be shared or placed anywhere a donor engages with your charity, online or offline.
They're time relevant, convert highly, and best of all it tracks exactly what donation channels are working best. No touchpoint or channel can be left without the opportunity to donate.
Donation links are shared with supporters using unique short URLs, QR codes (those scannable codes we're starting to see everywhere), and sometimes inexpensive contactless technology (namely NFC), on places such as social media, print media, emails, and websites, that allow donors to be lead to a campaign, touchpoint and time-relevant donation page optimised to take a high converting donation and let you understand exactly what and where your fundraising is working best, no matter where your donors are.
Simple and effective methods to share donation links
Short URLs are short web links that are usually unique, trackable, and easy to type in and is a donation link's primary way of sharing is from its short URL.
evr.fund/abcd would be an example of a short link used within Everfund's donation links.
Each one has a unique code that links straight to one of many donation links that are set up for different campaigns, branding, messaging, and content.
Unique links are then assigned to particular campaigns, touchpoints, or even supporters fundraising on behalf of you which provides the ability to track data and donation volumes compared with other donation links so you can quickly understand what fundraising approaches.
Short URLs are primarily placed or shared on online touchpoints such as social media posts, email, and digital ads, but can also be placed on print media for donors to easily type into their phones to donate right there and then.
Short URLs can be used to create QR codes which are codes that can be scanned with a smartphone camera and can be placed on practically anything to point donors to specific donation links. Print opens up many options for QR codes and allows anywhere donors are in the real world to have the opportunity to donate in all the places print can get in front of people's faces.
Similar to QR codes, inexpensive contactless technology can be created or encoded with a short URL and, again, can be placed on practically anything so donors can tap their NFC enabled phones, much like a contactless payment, but instead takes the donor to a custom donation link to allow touchpoints with higher footfalls another way to donate.
Contactless tech is somewhat harder to implement than the likes of QR codes, so it's often reserved for placement where lots of donors are present, such as venues, mass fundraising events, or at fundraising galas.
Increasing your donation reach
Donation links can be placed and shared on any engagement channel or touchpoint with short URLs, QR codes, and occasionally inexpensive contactless technology for higher footfall areas.
This approach ensures that you can maximise your potential reach to practically any place you can imagine a donor engaging with your charity from, online or offline, no matter where or how you fundraise now, or in the future.
Fundraise no matter where your donors are
Donation links allow donation opportunities to be placed in any location, wherever your donors are and it doesn't matter whether you engage with your donors via email campaigns, leaflet drops, your website, or live-streamed events.
Nowhere is left out without the possibility of a donation opportunity being deployed in each of these channels alongside call to action messages (in this case, content that asks your supporters to donate for a particular cause, campaign or appeal, etc) to direct donors straight to an easy, high converting and simple to use donation link.
Increasing your donation reach fundamentally relies on that you're fundraising with a multi-channel approach which ensures that no matter what happens in the future, you're already in the places which your donors are and could be in the near future on both online and offline touchpoints.
The more channels your fundraising on with a reliable and easy to access donation opportunity, the more reach you'll get from your fundraising making sure you'll never miss a donation from those you are ready to donate there and then.
Capturing donors when they're in the mood to donate
Having a larger donation reach not only allows you to fundraise from donors no matter where they are but also ensures that when donors are in the mood to donate and support you, you have an opportunity right in front of them via any touchpoint that they felt compelled to support and donate to you from.
Donors who feel compelled to donate but don't have a donation opportunity in front of them are a lost cause.
You'll lose the effort you made to get them in front of your message, their interest, and possibly a long term supporter so it's important that wherever you fundraise if your story is is worth donating to and your aim is to make donors in the mood to donate, give them the opportunity right where they are, no matter where they are.
How to start multi-channel fundraising in your charity
I believe the most important thing for your fundraising right now is to take action to ensure that you are not missing out on the reach your campaigns have and the donation opportunities that could be made while implementing these simple multi-channel fundraising techniques. Implementing this new-learned knowledge into actions is a surefire way to create results for your charity's next fundraising campaigns.
I do encourage you to use a fundraising tool that helps you simplify all of this—and obviously, my recommendation is that you try out Everfund for free. Charity founders, charity marketers and fundraising professionals love the powerful ways we've built to help them reach donors no matter where they are via any touchpoint, raise much higher converting donations than what they're been used to, and seamlessly track exactly what works best, all within one easy to use dashboard.
You can book a personal discovery meeting with me or one of our team to see where these techniques and concepts can be used in your charity using Everfund as your tool to achieve your own sustainable fundraising success!