Work station with Zoom meeting on laptop screen

Digital Fundraising and the Pandemic—6 Lessons

Digital Fundraising and the Pandemic—6 Lessons

by Bill High

The digital fundraising world was clipping along at a steady double-digit increase each year. Then the pandemic occurred.

It’s quite possible that the pandemic has dramatically accelerated the digital fundraising space by 3-4 years. Here are some quick lessons on what we’ve learned so far.

Preparedness

Some nonprofits were prepared to become digital fundraisers. The transition was seamless. However, many were caught off-guard and had to rush to find a solution.

Experimentation

When fundraising suddenly become all-digital vs. in-person or event-oriented, many nonprofits experimented. They tried digital fundraisers, webinars, Zoom fireside chats, and more. They learned that experimentation is good.

Donation Platform

Surprisingly, many nonprofits, but particularly churches, did not have a digital donation platform. The scramble to obtain one was good. Now, there needs to be reflection on whether they have the right platform. A user-friendly, secure platform with appropriate analytics is critical.

Peer-to-Peer

Before the pandemic, I’m not sure I’d heard many nonprofits speak of peer-to-peer fundraising. Now I’m seeing articles being written about it and inquiries on how to do it.

Major Donors

Perhaps one of the most pleasant surprises is that major donors demonstrated a willingness to show up at virtual events. In the past, they might not have come to a physical event but they expressed a curiosity and a willingness to participate.

Security

With the push to digital, there’s an increasing emphasis on security. We need only witness what happened to Zoom in the early days of the “Zoom rush.” Their security was found wanting. It’s time to button up any loose ends here.

 

What’s the big lesson whether for churches or nonprofits? Digital giving is here to stay, and if anything it is expected. And the expectation is for excellence—just as if it was in person.

What has your experience been in Covid-19 era with digital fundraising? What have you seen that’s worked? Not worked? Done well? Wish it could have been done better?

 

 

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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Published August 7, 2020

Topics: Giving Trends | Nonprofit Development

Charitable GivingFundraisingGiving TrendsNonprofit DevelopmentNonprofits

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