The Follow Up – What To Do After You Recieve An Online Donation


Over the last few years, online giving has left its mark upon the face of nonprofit fundraising. According to statistics gathered by Nonprofit Tech For Good, online giving grew 13.5% in 2013 and during the same year, online giving accounted for 6.3% of all charitable contributions made. As the landscape of charitable giving changes, many organizations are embracing the new methods or capturing donations.

Because e-giving has streamlined the process of collecting donations for your nonprofit, it’s necessary to examine how you follow up with donors. Now that a contribution to your nonprofit can be made with the click of a button, the window to connect with your donors to create a lasting relationship is much smaller. Utilize these two tips when exploring how to reach out to your digital donors to keep them interested in your nonprofit’s work.

Send An Email

After your donors have taken the time to click through your e-giving platform, whether it be on your website, or through your mobile app, be sure to automate an email to be sent out after their donation has been made. This email is your first opportunity to connect with them after they’ve contributed, and could potentially be your last chance to make a good impression.

To be effective, your email receipt should do three things:

  • Arrive as soon as possible after your donor has completed their gift online
  • Thank the donor for their contribution
  • Suggest other ways to get involved

Though it is important to solicit new donors to engage with your organization in your follow up email, that does not always mean asking them to contribute in the future. Rather than being so overt in the ‘ask’, instead invite new donors to visit and follow your social profiles, or share a piece of content your nonprofit has created to celebrate past successes. Inviting new donors to learn more about your nonprofit in this way will have a more lasting impact than an ill-timed plea for further contributions.

Formally Acknowledge The Contribution

Now that you’ve made the initial connection with an automated email, it’s important to let your donors see the human side of your organization. Within one to two business days of their donation, be sure to send a handwritten thank you note that acknowledges their contribution to your organization. If contributors have provided their phone numbers during their online giving process, it may be worthwhile for your organization to give them a quick call.

Because 60% of donors only contribute once to an organization, it is ideal to communicate with your donors as quickly as possible after they make their contribution. Employing the above methods it will be more likely to establish a relationship with your new donors that will benefit your nonprofit.